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Cyclingsarah

Doctor won't prescribe me lithium

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Hi guys,

So I've been depressed and have had severe anxiety for 3 years. Antidepressants make me hypomanic (kinda) and triggers unstable mood. I don't fit in the usual description of bipolar, but there is definitely something not right about the way i react to antidepressants - feeling high, warm, racing thoughts x 100, gets overly chatty etc. 

 

I've tried the following moodstabilizers

Lamotrigine (disaster)

Trileptal

Gabapentin

Abilify (made me hypomanic)

Seroquel (made me hypomanic)

Depakote/valproate (still taking)

 

This depression is killing me, but my p.doc. won't prescribe me lithium. Tried two different doctors. What are your thoughts?

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 Well, lithium is a valid augmentation for major depressive disorder and used to be done all the time. The fact that 2 doctors refuse to prescribe you lithium leads me to wonder if you have had blood tests that show a problem with your thyroid or kidneys. In that case, doctors won't prescribe lithium unless you are clearly bipolar and unless other mood stablizers have been tried.

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18 minutes ago, jt07 said:

 Well, lithium is a valid augmentation for major depressive disorder and used to be done all the time. The fact that 2 doctors refuse to prescribe you lithium leads me to wonder if you have had blood tests that show a problem with your thyroid or kidneys. In that case, doctors won't prescribe lithium unless you are clearly bipolar and unless other mood stablizers have been tried.

All my blood work comes back perfect - always. No issues at all. They refuse because they think it's too heavy a drug for me, since I do not show all the classic symptoms of bipolar. But we've completely run out of options to treat my depressive symptoms, and I'm only getting worse. Already tried like 10 antidepressants, nothing works ?

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That's silly. As jt mentioned, lithium can be used to augment an antidepressant. Are you suicidal?  Because you could mention that to the doctor because lithium has anti-suicidal properties. I just started rexulti (which is technically an anti-psychotic but being used for depression and mood) and really like it. I also had help with latuda in terms of depression. These drugs are new though and may not be covered by your insurance. Good luck. 

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I'm a bit suicidal. That's actually a good idea, to mention that. I will give it a go. Just feel like they aren't taking me serious enough. They keep saying lithium is last resort, and i'm like.. if this isn't last resort, then what is?? After having tried like 15 differents meds with no succes. Never heard of rexulti, but have heard about latuda. Isn't ltd supposed to be really activating, a lot like abilify?

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Lithium is not a last resort; I’m surprised that no one’s tried it yet. Usually someone would give that a go right near the start. It’s the gold standard for bipolar. 

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11 minutes ago, Gearhead said:

Lithium is not a last resort; I’m surprised that no one’s tried it yet. Usually someone would give that a go right near the start. It’s the gold standard for bipolar. 

That's what I've said to them severel times. It seems really strange to me ?

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13 hours ago, Gearhead said:

Lithium is not a last resort; I’m surprised that no one’s tried it yet. Usually someone would give that a go right near the start. It’s the gold standard for bipolar. 

My first inpatient I had this really good pdoc. He hated big pharma. He wouldn't even use a pen if it had a pharmaceutical company's name on it. Since I was in inpatient for a while we talked a lot. He complained that big pharma made the younger doctors think that all the new, expensive AAPs were "better" than lithium and he was concerned that many of them wouldn't even try lithium..

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i dont even truly believe im bipolar and im on lithium, fantastic fn medicince. Depakote is a bigger hitter than lithium imho, so is abilify...........Id really push if i were u , or perhap venture to the hospital and go IOP, PHP, INpatient...........get meds changed, suicide obv nothing to mess with

 

or keep dr searching what about a primary doctor prescribing it, sometimes u have a better rapport with ur primary doctor and can explain why you wanna try it

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19 minutes ago, mmaryland said:

good your doc has some sense. here take all the lithium i have its about 6 months worth

Mmaryland, not a big fan of lithium?

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not really, my ex girlfriend got lithium toxicity, and I was on 1350mg a day when I took it. My vision changed and I had to get glasses, dry mouth, routine blood tests, small range of effective blood levels close to toxic levels. Lithium might be good in really low doses, I dont think its really necessary to prescribe 1350mg of lithium but I do want to learn more about the neuro-protective properties of lithium, and how it increases grey? matter in the brain... (could be white matter idk)

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