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I started lithium 2 weeks ago. First night I took 300mg befor bed. Slept 2 hours- on sleep meds, too.

so then I started taking it in the AM.

3 days later, I bumped up to 600, but then I was getting sleepy during the day.

SO____now I am taking it night alnog with elavil to sleep.

Still not sleeping well, but feel VERY hyper in the morning. Not tired at all.

Is this the lith or is it the real me?


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Hi Energ,

I'm not sure, I don't recall anyone speciciffically mentioniong that, but could easily have missed that comment.

The Elavil definitey ought to help with sleep!  I know that one.

Are you getting any stomach upset from the lithium?  nauseau, loose bowels?

I take mine with dinner, so it goes with some food to buffer it a bit.  Also this gives me time to drink some extra water to overcome the initial dehydration I get.

Off the top of my head the only think I can think of is that maybe is is that because you are still getting used to it, some of the side effects may be disturbing you sleep some.

I'll a couple quick checks,  but, I would suggest taking it with dinner for a while.


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Hay, AM, thanks for responding so quickly.

I've only taking it at night for 2 nights, and only once with dinner, so, I will just take it with dinner and see how it goes.

Like I said, I feel well rested, so, maybe it'll be ok.

I really want this to work!

thanks again,


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I read the PI sheet twice. The only side effect, and it appears only once, that is similar is "restlessness". Most all the rest of the mental side effects relate to sloweing inf mental function, and lots of phsycial muscle twitches, etc. (you can't tell from my typing, eh?)

The one other thing you could try, which the manufacutrere suggests is to divide the dose and take half in morning, half evening.

Again, I recommend taking it with some food, so it is easier on your stomach.

It took me about a month for some of the spurious side effects to disappear.

Remember to drink LOTS of water. Drink lots of water. Like a couple quarts a day.  Also, if some of the side effects get bothersome on any particlar day, having a salty snack or adding a little extra salt to your meals can help. Lithium can make you lose salt from the body.

Good luck.  It's a good drug.


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sloweing inf mental function

Dontcha wish we could spellcheck posts here?  Not that I'm complaining, this board is great, but I'm a sloppy typist anyways, and at some stages of side effects I get really bad and have to edit posts multiple times to fix typos.

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i started lithium .. oh. it's been five days i think. i am on 150mg BID - with breakfast and with dinner.

ooh ya i am restless. it's bordering on irritable, and i'm def. not sleeping. 25mg seroquel experiment one night yielded v bad sleep, and the next night, without seroquel was even worse. i'm nauseous a lot but no loosies maybe cause i am taking it with the meals.

i am reveling in all the pringles i'm eating ;)   and peeing like its going out of style but it's actually feeling pretty.. healthy to do as i imagine all the water to be cleansing. cut down to one coffee a day too but not feeling too much withdrawl from that; maybe because i'm feeling 'upped'?

so yes. i'm feeling as agitated and wound up as before the lith. but my suicidal thoughts have gone away pretty much so that is a good thing.

i'm giving it time.

good luck energ


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Hey thanks guys. I've been taking it with dinner for the past few days and have been sleeping better and better. Last night i actually only woke up once to pee and went right back to sleep.

Yesterday I can actually say I had a good day for the first time in MONTHS.

Thanks for all your advice!


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I take lithium....

You should always take it with food

After the first week, the restlessness should taper off, if not, call you PDoc

Everytime your PDoc screws with your lithium levels, you will go through a new restless stage.

Good Luck,


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Dosing Regimen

Clinical investigators have debated the advantages of various lithium preparations and schedules of administration. It has been noted that polyuria, a common side effect of lithium treatment, may be less frequent when lithium is given as a single dose (22). Plenge and others treated 2 groups of rats: the first group was given lithium in the daily feed and the second group had the same amount of lithium injected intraperitoneally daily. Structural and functional changes in the kidney were much more pronounced in the lithium-fed than in the injected rats, suggesting the importance of regularly reaching lithium concentrations low enough to allow renal regenerative processes to occur (46). The tubular regeneration hypothesis is, however, a less-than-adequate explanation because it has been reported that patients receiving sustained-release lithium had higher urine concentrations than did patients receiving regular lithium (47). In the same publication, results from a clinical study where lithium was given once daily showed a correlation between minimum serum lithium concentration and urine volume, whereas no correlation was found between 12-hour dosing and maximum serum lithium concentration and urine volume. The authors emphasized the importance of achieving periodically low lithium levels to avoid renal dysfunction.

  In 1982, Plenge and others described 36 patients who were prescribed lithium in either single- or multiple-dose regimens. Renal functional and structural changes were most pronounced in patients receiving lithium in divided doses (46).

In the Plenge and others study, patients receiving multiple doses received a higher daily dose of lithium. Perry and others switched 8 patients from twice-daily to once-daily schedules. Although the total daily dosage of lithium was unchanged, a significant drop in urine volume was observed after 12 days (48,49).

Abraham and others monitored renal function indices and other biochemical tests after switching from a once-daily to a multiple-dose schedule or vice versa. They concluded that lithium-dosing strategies do not consistently affect renal function in lithium-treated patients (50).

Clinically, once-daily dosing may enhance compliance. Single-dosing may impart a 30%-higher maximum plasma concentration (Cmax), when compared with multiple dosing. Lithium prophylactic efficacy appears unrelated to the dosing schedule. Some patients are sensitive to cognitive side effects from lithium (22). For these patients, perhaps a sustained-release preparation or multiple dosing would be preferable, although its superior cognitive profile awaits confirmation. For most patients, clinicians could either start with once-daily dosing at night or with multiple dosing, with the option of consolidating the dosing to once daily after adequate plasma levels are attained. Lithium monitoring should be completed 12 hours after the last dose of lithium.

Everything you wanted to know about lithium but were afraid to ask.

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My Doc told me about this and has me taking it once at night. Smart one, he is.

The jitteryness has gone and Im sleeping just fine still!

yeee hooo.

And I feel pretty darn good too. First time in years.

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