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Is there a difference between Lithium Carbonate & Lithium Carbonate ER

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Hi!

Is there a difference the regular and ER version? Does one work better? I was on the ER a few months back and felt more of a difference at this point (I'm slowly going up on the non-ER version).

thank you! 

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I don't think so? Did your pdoc actually change your prescription? I've gotten ER and non-ER from my pharmacy using the same prescription. I think it was just what they had in stock. I could be totally wrong though.

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I was on the ER originally but had to stop because I was getting bad stomach pains. I was in the hospital for three days and they had me stop the lithium. I decided to try it again but to go up slowly and the doctor gave me the non-ER. I'm at 600 mg right now and as long as it doesn't bother my stomach I will go up to 900 in like a week. 

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oh wow, sounds like my pharmacy might not know what they're doing... good to know...

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I'm on 'prolonged release'. At one point the pharmacy almost gave me a different kind, but before they did, they took it back. I asked what was wrong and they said the two were very different. Not much else for explanation. Does ER mean extended release?

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There's a difference between peak plasma concentration times. AFAIK, regular lithium is around hour or so, and ER is around 5 hours. Half-life doesn't change -- just time to peak plasma.

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There's a difference between peak plasma concentration times. AFAIK, regular lithium is around hour or so, and ER is around 5 hours. Half-life doesn't change -- just time to peak plasma.

So which one based on this is better? Which one do you take?

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There's a difference between peak plasma concentration times. AFAIK, regular lithium is around hour or so, and ER is around 5 hours. Half-life doesn't change -- just time to peak plasma.

So which one based on this is better? Which one do you take?

ER is generally used to smooth out plasma levels. If you only take lithium once per day, it may have some benefit. Your doctor would decide.

I take good old generic lithium. But I split my dose (600mg in the morning, 900mg in the evening) which helps keep my blood serum levels adequate. I believe there is at least one study that questions the need to do this. Again, it's something your doctor should counsel you on.

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My pdoc didn't think it was necessary to split doses, but he told me it couldn't hurt if that is what I wanted to do. To some extent, I do it to keep the number of meds I take AM vs PM fairly even.

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^^ My pdoc at the time wanted me to split doses because it wouldn't last all day in my blood stream.  I ended up on 300 mg lithium in AM and 450 eskalith (long acting lithium) in PM (or it was reversed for AM and PM meds ... I forget.  But I was on both to keep it in my system all the time).

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