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Old 05-07-2009, 04:05 PM   #1
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Lithium side effects that linger after discontinuation?

To keep a long story short, my fiance was recently put on Lithium (900mg a day) and after only about 2 weeks, it made her near-toxic and her doctor (a different one than the one who put her on it) took her off of it. Not only that but she was a complete and utter zombie while on it. Towards the end of her course, her left hand started shaking and had been doing it periodically. We were aware that this was one of the side effects. She is now off of Lithium and is on Tegretol, so hopefully Tegretol helps her. And believe me, she has been on EVERYTHING. She actually has been diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder. But in any event---

The problem is, now, her left hand is still shaking off and on after several days of no Lithium. I realize it may be too soon (and i'm making her drink a ton of water) but since i'm paranoid about everything I have been scouring the internet for answers. I know that a doctor is always the best person to answer questions of this nature, but I was hoping some people with similar experiences could ease my (our) mind. Thank you!

 
Old 05-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: Lithium side effects that linger after discontinuation?

Many mood stabilizers can cause tremors -- including Tegretol.

Unfortunately, there isn't alot you can do about it except decrease her dosage or switch to a different mood stabilizer like Lamictal.

I have tremors myself because of the Depakote I take. I've been dealing with them for the past 3 years ever since I started taking this med. I'm not happy about the fact that I have this side effect, but for me, it's worth it as long as it helps stabilize my moods and prevents me from having another manic/psychotic episode.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:18 AM   #3
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BipolarPrincess HB User
Re: Lithium side effects that linger after discontinuation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreams in neon View Post
Many mood stabilizers can cause tremors -- including Tegretol.

Unfortunately, there isn't alot you can do about it except decrease her dosage or switch to a different mood stabilizer like Lamictal.

I have tremors myself because of the Depakote I take. I've been dealing with them for the past 3 years ever since I started taking this med. I'm not happy about the fact that I have this side effect, but for me, it's worth it as long as it helps stabilize my moods and prevents me from having another manic/psychotic episode.
I'm going to suggest Lamictal to my pdoc since it helps with depression.

I've also noticed tremors with neurontin - don't like it one bit.

Hey dreams, are you supposed to suggest meds to your pdoc? The therapist I met for the intake told me not to suggest medication and to take what they thought was best. That kind of aggravated me because I *know* myself, and have a pretty good knowledge of drugs and so forth.

 
Old 05-08-2009, 02:44 AM   #4
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Re: Lithium side effects that linger after discontinuation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BipolarPrincess View Post
I'm going to suggest Lamictal to my pdoc since it helps with depression.

I've also noticed tremors with neurontin - don't like it one bit.

Hey dreams, are you supposed to suggest meds to your pdoc? The therapist I met for the intake told me not to suggest medication and to take what they thought was best. That kind of aggravated me because I *know* myself, and have a pretty good knowledge of drugs and so forth.
hi bp princess, i had fine tremors on lithium and twitching tremors etc on abilify, when i went off the latter i was given kamedrin (don't know what other names this drug has) and it stopped tremors and twitching within a few days. i am now on lamictal and seroquel along with four or five others with no side effects (am losing weight gained on other meds and am able to read again which is great). my pdoc always allows me to make suggestions re: meds, as you say we are the ones who know ourselves and what might suit, particularly if we have been a long time trying and if we are unwilling to accept some side effects. maybe ask your pdoc about this as it does make for a more 'level playing field' to be involved in your own treatment.

iw

 
Old 05-08-2009, 02:49 AM   #5
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Re: Lithium side effects that linger after discontinuation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickx12 View Post
To keep a long story short, my fiance was recently put on Lithium (900mg a day) and after only about 2 weeks, it made her near-toxic and her doctor (a different one than the one who put her on it) took her off of it. Not only that but she was a complete and utter zombie while on it. Towards the end of her course, her left hand started shaking and had been doing it periodically. We were aware that this was one of the side effects. She is now off of Lithium and is on Tegretol, so hopefully Tegretol helps her. And believe me, she has been on EVERYTHING. She actually has been diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder. But in any event---

The problem is, now, her left hand is still shaking off and on after several days of no Lithium. I realize it may be too soon (and i'm making her drink a ton of water) but since i'm paranoid about everything I have been scouring the internet for answers. I know that a doctor is always the best person to answer questions of this nature, but I was hoping some people with similar experiences could ease my (our) mind. Thank you!
maverick,

i had only fine tremors on lithium which disappeared once i went off it. i did have shaking on abilify and was treated with Kamedrin (maybe you could do a search online as i don't know what else it might be called) which stopped all twitching and shaking withing a few days. worth talking to her pdoc or doc about it. as far as i remember it did take a couple of weeks for tremour to stop after lithium and it has taken til now (since christmas after taking lithium for about a year to no benefit!) to get back my ability to read more than a page or two at a time. i hope you both get the help you need. let us know how you get on.

iw

 
Old 05-08-2009, 09:30 AM   #6
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: Lithium side effects that linger after discontinuation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BipolarPrincess View Post
I'm going to suggest Lamictal to my pdoc since it helps with depression.

I've also noticed tremors with neurontin - don't like it one bit.

Hey dreams, are you supposed to suggest meds to your pdoc? The therapist I met for the intake told me not to suggest medication and to take what they thought was best. That kind of aggravated me because I *know* myself, and have a pretty good knowledge of drugs and so forth.
Many pdocs won't mind if you recommend meds that you'd like to try. Mine doesn't. In fact, he welcomes my input and will also allow me to tell him how much of a dose I'd like to take.

For example, when I saw him in December during our first appointment together, I had just been discharged from the hospital due to psychotic depression following a manic episode. After I told him I was hearing voices, he suggested that we try a different antipsychotic, but I said I'd prefer to stay on Risperdal since I've been taking it for 2 years and didn't want to start over with a different med. He also told me that it was just as well since Risperdal tends to be stronger than Geodon, so leaving me on Risperdal would have been a better idea anyways. He could have also switched me to Abilify or Seroquel, but I didn't want to worry about possible grogginess from Seroquel and didn't want to gain weight on Abilify since I already take enough meds that cause weight gain. He agreed, but in February, he decided to add Klonopin to my combo and said that it would help increase the efficacy of Risperdal. (He added it to my regimen to help control my rapid cycling.) Despite the fact that I wasn't taking Klonopin for my voices, I discovered 2 things: It helped calm my voices when they were at a moderate level and it helped Risperdal work even better because I've been on Risperdal and Klonopin for a month now and haven't heard any voices with the exception of yesterday due to how emotionally wound up I was about my mixed episode. I am not hearing any voices this morning, so apparently the Klonopin is helping Risperdal do what it's supposed to like my pdoc said it would.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 05-08-2009, 05:13 PM   #7
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katlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB Userkatlin09 HB User
Re: Lithium side effects that linger after discontinuation?

Just my input....Seroquel at a higher dose causes me to have horrible tremors and the innability to grasp things in my hands. Neurontin causes mild hand tremors.

kat

 
Old 05-08-2009, 05:20 PM   #8
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dreams in neon HB Userdreams in neon HB User
Re: Lithium side effects that linger after discontinuation?

The bottom line is that all mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and anti-depressants cause side effects. It comes down to determining which side effects you are willing to tolerate.

My Depakote causes tremors, dulled thinking and severe short term memory loss.

However, given the fact that it has prevented me from having a severe manic episode, I'm willing to accept those side effects.

Having said that, each of us must determine for ourselves what side effects we will tolerate and which ones we won't.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 05-08-2009 at 05:21 PM.

 
Old 05-08-2009, 07:45 PM   #9
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Re: Lithium side effects that linger after discontinuation?

[QUOTE=dreams in neon;3979440]The bottom line is that all mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and anti-depressants cause side effects. It comes down to determining which side effects you are willing to tolerate.

My Depakote causes tremors, dulled thinking and severe short term memory loss.

However, given the fact that it has prevented me from having a severe manic episode, I'm willing to accept those side effects.

Having said that, each of us must determine for ourselves what side effects we will tolerate and which ones we won't.[quote]

I agree with dreams, it's all a matter of what your willing to deal with. If i've not slept for a couple of dasys then I'll take a coulple of the seraquel for relief. If I'm out of the I'll do the Neurontin for the same purpose and just live with the same side effects.

kat

 
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