Originally Posted by jaysangl
I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced Acne due to taking the drug Lithium. I started Lithium the first of August 2006. By the first of November I broke out in bumps on my face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, belly, pretty much everywhere from the waist up....What have any of you that has had this problem done to overcome it? Did you HAVE to switch meds or does it fade in time the longer you're on the meds? HELP!!!
I'm not a doctor, so I can only base my comments on my own personal experience.
I, too, got acne when I was on Lithium, the first drug they tried for treatment of my Bipolar I when I was 20. I had bumps on my arms, legs, face, shoulders, chest, stomach, everywhere. I was incredibly thirsty and I had hand tremors. My hair also began falling out.
The hair and acne side effects don't appear on drug information for Lithium, so I only learned from my psychiatrist that those are actually side effects, rare, but they happen. I stopped taking the medication because I was losing hair and was put on another mood-stabilizing drug.
After lots of trial and error, we ended up trying Lithium once more when I was about 25. This time, it caused my migraine headaches to become more severe than normal. They came more frequently and were accompanied by vomiting and nausea.
So, again, I had to discontinue the drug.
Many people do well on Lithium because normally it has few side effects and works quite well. However, everyone is different.
I'm 35 and have been through just about every drug available. I'm a rapid cycler
, so I'm hard to treat. That's why I've been on various combinations of meds.
Don't be discouraged. If the acne is unusual based on break-outs you normally get with stress, let your doctor know. If you are having any other effects you never noticed before taking the drug, also make your doctor aware.
All drugs prescribed for bipolar disorder effect the body in some way. If the effects are harmful, your doctor should recognize the need to switch. You can't avoid side effects
, but some are impossible to endure. My acne was sparse and didn't bother me because the relief from my symptoms was far more valuable to me. However, the other stuff was intolerable.
You're the one being treated. There are so many options out there. You shouldn't have to put up with effects that stress you.
Remember that the symptoms of bipolar disorder are far worse than most side effects of the drugs used to treat them.
Make your doctor aware of your concerns. It's your body
Hope this helps.