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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Lithium levels - October 14th 2018, 10:01 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Adding a triggering prefix in case we're not supposed to list actual doses of medications.

I've been on Lithium for many years now (I forget how many, but at least five). As some of you may know, Lithium requires periodic lab work to make sure the levels are therapeutic and don't increase to the level of toxicity. A therapeutic Lithium level is 0.6 to 1.2. For the majority of the time I've been on Lithium I have been at a therapeutic level, sometimes a little under, but never over.

Up until recently I was usually on either 900 or 1200 mg per day; we adjusted it several times over the years. However, recently, due to my depressed mood, my doctor decided to increase my Lithium intake to 1500 mg per day. While not an extremely high dose, this is above the normal level. A week after being on 1500 mg she had me do lab work. My Lithium level was 0.4, well below the therapeutic dose.

My doctor decided to (slowly) increase my dose to 1800 mg, which is what we've been doing the past couple of days (we have to go slowly to make sure I don't become toxic). She didn't seem concerned that my level was only 0.4 but I am. I am on a LOT of Lithium, and this has never been a problem before. I'm concerned about my health but she is not getting back to me. I could ask my PCP, but since she's not the prescribing physician I am hesitant to ask her. Could something be really wrong with me? I'm just wondering what's going on.

As a note, I haven't changed my eating or drinking habits, either. I do drink a lot of caffeine, which can lower one's Lithium level, but I used to drink even more than I do now (by a substantial amount) and it was never a problem. Any thoughts?


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Re: Lithium levels - October 18th 2018, 07:11 PM

How are you feeling in yourself?

It does seem suspicious that the lithium has been increased and yet your levels are low, without you changing your eating/drinking. Though caffeine, alcohol and salt can lower the levels, as you know.

If your doctor isn't too concerned about it, then it's worth reaching out to your PCP or anyone who could offer a second opinion.

Sorry I can't be more helpful. Hope others can offer some input!


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Re: Lithium levels - October 24th 2018, 07:57 PM

Hey, please keep in mind I am not a professional. I have known a couple people though who have gotten poisoning from lithium from them taking too high of a dose that doctors have prescribed them. If you have any negative reactions consult your doctor right away. If you feel okay, that's fine too. Maybe keep a journal of how you feel each day? If you notice any significant differences contact your doctor.


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