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Changing lithium dose - capsules vs tablets


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My doctor sent a message that my lithium level still wasn't high enough and I agree because of symptoms.  In the message he told me that I could use the lithium *tablets* from when I was taking 300mg twice a day.  Only they were capsules, not tablets.  Is there a difference?  I still have a buttload of the 300mg.  It would be nice to use them but if they are too different, I won't.  What do you guys think?  I did ask my doctor in the message but it takes a few days to get an answer.  Dr Google says they aren't the same but was wondering about personal experience.  

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Be sure to follow the prescribing instructions for the ones you are taking and you should be okay.

 

Note that the prescribing instructions may be different. There is an immediate release Lithium and an extended release. I'm not sure that the difference is between tablet or capsule. All I know is what was prescribed to me - tablet was extended release, capsule was immediate release. I took both kinds at night and didn't notice a difference. I was fairly stable at the time, though, which may have made a difference.

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I believe the difference is the capsule is immediate and tablet is extended release. The difference is it stays in your system longer. I have been on both capsule and tablet and the tablets did not give me the severe side effects that capsules gave me. I have been on the Lithium Carbonate ER (generic name) for over a year (900 mg total). The only thing is I have to limit sun exposure and drink lots of fluids because my level becomes toxic and I get low potassium if I don't.

My level ranges from 0.6 when healthy to 1.2 when I am very dehydrated.

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I take both. I have 300ER tablets and I take a 150mg capsule.  I have to take the 150 as a capsule because it is NOT available as an extended release tablet.  I always use up my current prescription and then we make the switch at the next refill, if I am going from immediate release to extended release or the other way around.

 

Or you could do both and mix them until you use up your current stash.  I think the extended isn't as hard on the stomach.

 

Anyway, I don't notice a difference between the two.  Side effects the same - I have none, other than thirst and I have been on it for a few years.  Good drug.  Hope it works well for you when you get bumped up to therapeutic level.

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My doctor got back to me thru messages and wanted to know if the capsules were IR.  I gave him the info on the bottle.  He replied back that he sent in the precription for the tablets but didn't really say why.  :/  The bottle didn't say IR or anything else.  It just have lithium whatever 300mg.  No ER, IR or whatever.  

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Contact your pharmacy, but it's been my experience if it doesn't say Cr or ER it's not. I was on Seroquel IR and Seroquel XR at one point. My Seroquel IR never had anything on the bottle saying it was immediate release or anything. Same with Paxil and Paxil CR. So I always assumed they just marked them if they are controlled release or extended release. Again, though, check with pharmacist b/c this is just my experience.

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