Is Lithium Lethal?












My doctor has had me on lithium for almost two years.  After a blood test that shows that I don’t have the right amount of Lithium that I needed to take more.  She prescribed Lithium 450m extended release tabs.  They were not good for me.  I threw up and I was in the bathroom constantly with dirreaha.  I told her I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Instead, she just added an increase of 150mg to my 600 mg.  This doesn’t seem to work either.

With the increase I started gaining weight along with being nauseou, throwing up and having dirreaha again.  I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I’ve cut back, however I have now lost track on how and when I’m taking the Lithium.  I keep asking myself – What would happen if I just quit taking Lithium by slowly weaning myself off of it?  How will I be?  What if Zoloft is all I need?

Lithium is so toxic I’m afraid that it’s going to make me ill.  Yes, it has saved my life, but it could take it as well.

Any one have comments on this?

10 thoughts on “Is Lithium Lethal?

  1. I don’t know much about Lithium. It sounds rough, which I’m sure is an understatement. I was taking Saphris, which is fairly new. It’s classified as an anti-psychotic. It makes me feel groggy in the morning, and I’ve gained 5 lbs. in a week. I don’t know if my body is holding onto water weight because of it or what it is. I feel waterlogged. Even though I feel tired I still can’t sleep, and it’s supposed to help me sleep. Right. That’s not working. My doctor won’t put me on any sleeping medication. I was on Ambien, but she stopped it. Doctors think they know what they’re doing. I think they take on too many patients, so no one is ever really properly treated. Those who are are really lucky. That sounds really negative. I’m sure there are psychiatrists out there who take the time to get to know their patients. I had one about 5 years ago that I saw for 7 years. She was wonderful. Anyway, I know how you feel about going against a doc’s orders about medication and dosages, but don’t we as patients have a say in how we feel and how the medication makes us feel?

    • Jewells says:

      Yes, we do have a say. If I feel like the medication isn’t working I tell them I’m not doing it any more. The problem with me is there isn’t too many medications I can take because I have Hepatitis C and have since 1990. So Lithium is it for me because it only affects the kidneys. I’ve never heard of Saphris I guess because it’s new. I guess their trying it out on you. I hate being a test subject. I’ve been one several times and each time it was a disaster! I almost had a deadly fall hitting my head from having hallunciations. I also take Zoloft. It seems okay. It’s just hard to tell if anything is working. I still get manic, and I still get depress. My anger was a bad issue but it’s under control for now. Just don’t piss me off! 🙂 For sleep I’ve been taking trazodone for over 20 years. I had panic attacks and insomnia where I thought I was dying. The dreams were lethal. But I swear by it. I’m actually afraid not to take it. Unfortunatelly, my doctor is no longer my doctor I think she quit. I now have another doctor – a male. Yuck. Take care of yourself and write anytime.

    • Thank you. I love your blog. It gives me insight into what it is like to live with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed with it in January, but I probably had it my whole life. My previous psychiatrist, who I had for 8 years, just diagnosed me with OCD and Major Depression. Both of those combined mimic the symptoms of bipolar, at least for me. I was on Zoloft for 9 years, and it helped with OCD, but I didn’t really have emotions. I just felt blah. When I went to my current psychiatrist’s office with a rash all over my body in a rage, she said, “you know what you have right?” Of course, I really had no clue. I said, “OCD, and I’m having really bad problems with it.” Of course, she explained the symptoms of bipolar, and it was clear. Also, my mother and grandmother exhibit all of the bipolar symptoms, but unfortunately, they were never diagnosed. I don’t know why I’m going on and on about this. I guess after reading your blog, I feel comfortable talking about these things with you.

    • Jewells says:

      Thanks for liking my blogs. The reason I started blogging about my bipolar was to hopefully reach others with the same issues. I always felt alone because it’s hard to tell other people you have bipolar. They looked at me like “Are you crazy?” Then I never hear from them again. Writing about it with others allows me to communicate and talk about our problems so we don’t feel alone. Like you I was diagnoised about two years ago, but I know I had it most of my life. I also have ADD and borderline personality. I always felt like I had a dual personality. I always had a hard time in school. I couldn’t seem to get it with Math and English. My grammer really sucks. I asked my mom if she knew I had issues and she said yes. It’s just that in the late 50’s and 60’s you didn’t think about ADD and bipolar so for years I went undiagnoised. I seeked help when I hit my lowest. I appreciate you reading my blogs and I hope you condinue to do so. Take care of yourself and feel free to communicate with me some more.

  2. Lithium used to make me feel terribly sick sometimes, especially when I was PMSing. The nausea was the worse. I still take lithium, but most of the side-effects have gone away. It works for me. It’s clear that what your doctor is prescribing isn’t working for you, though. Does she seem to take your concerns seriously? My first doctor didn’t seem to care if I said things were going good or bad. Consider talking to another doctor, if it’s possible. The right doctor will take you seriously and inform you of all your options. It might just be that lithium isn’t right for you.

    • Jewells says:

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve never taken anything but Lithium so I don’t know if anything else would work. I will be seeing a new doctor next month because my other doctor is no longer there. I guess a new point of view will be helpful. Again thank you.

  3. what about swtching meds? or have you tried alternatives? i’m bipolar II and i stopped my meds except for panic attacks. now i feel more stress and hypomania amd epression w/ suicidal urges. but i feel alive. mediate, write, listen to music & therapy twice a week plus other things to keep me occupied with my emotions and mind and body. personally i wouldn’t touch lythium but that’s me. be careful. if it’s making you feel so sick make your doctor listen to you. jennifer

    • Jewells says:

      Thanks. I’m not taking the dose the doctor wants me to take it makes me feel toxic. I don’t like getting sick and I don’t like this weight gain. I just found out my doctor is no longer working where I was going. Now, there another doctor and I don’t like that. I’m just so confused on what I’m suppose to do. Before I knew what to do until she increased my dose. For you keep busy like you sad – suicidal urges are not healthy as you know. Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement. You take care as well.

    • i’m not trying to encourage you to do anything particular. i only know what i did. since not taking the psych meds i;ve lost a great deal of weight. all along i believe they were the cause of my weight gain. i’ve been taking meds for pysch problems, it seems like forever. the antidepressants and antipsychotics for racing thought not for psychosis were not doing anything. i was still going into deep depressions and feeling duicidal. plus i was also getting hypomanic. mu mind though shut down and i wasn’t able to be as creative . i need to write, it is what keeps me sane. sorry to hear your doctor left and now you have a new one. that sucks. have you ever gone without you meds? if so how did that effect you? also have you ever tried breathing exercises and meditation. also someone told me that they did a great deal of walking when they felt the mood was going to be coming. walking it off helped her. do you get manic or hypomanic. or are you effected by psychosis if you don’t have meds when you mode goes to the high side. i know i get suicidal but i made contracts that i would not do anything. i have 2 suicide hotlines on speed dial and there is a site on line that you can do chats with. i haven’t used any of these. but i do see my therapist twice a week when she isn’t sick. she is out sick a lot. that really bothers me. i missed my thursday appt. yesterday. i also see a psychiatrist once a month for med checks just to make sure i don’t need anything but my panic meds. the rest fof the pills i take which are a lot are health med preventatives and supplements for health also. let em know what you decide to do. no meds should be making you feel the way that the lithium did. i know i have heard that it can cause nausea and such. i would not go near it myself. it sounds too dangerous. don’t you have to have you blood tested when you are taking it? well take care. my keyboard isn’t working so i have to type off line on my email program. online all i get are numbers. it did this once before, and it just started doing ti again a few minutes ago. don’t have any idea why. it usually works again once i shut down my computer. i have gremlins that pop up in my new computer every so often. it takes control and does weird stuff. keep in touch. be careful with your meds. jennifer

    • Jewells says:

      Your thoughts are well received. I know what I’m going to and that is take my Lithium a different wy. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. I’m not going to take that extra dose. Creativity? I’m there with you. I use to do a lot of writing, photography and making jewelry. My brain just quit on me. Not having these made me very depressed. I I’m not sure what hypomanic is I’ll check into it. I’m more manic – I can’t get upset, or let down. I know that sounds funny, but if I get angry I get manic, when I get excited about something I get manic. I can’t be in relationships because I image things are bad all the time.
      My last relationship with my guy was 7 years ago. I have a friend much younger then me who is bipolar and we hang out sometime. The sex thing stopped because I couldn’t handle it. We go on photography shoots together. I panic a lot to and when I do take Lorespam – but doctor doesn’t want me to take very much and I don’t why. I’ve got to go but I’ll write latter. Vickie

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