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lithium and constipation?

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Old 10-07-2005, 08:54 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 69
kayte04 HB User
lithium and constipation?

I was put on lithium in August and after a few weeks started having bad constipation. The only thing my doc was able to do to help me was to give me the prep stuff you drink for a colonoscopy. After that I decided to quit all meds and give my body a chance to get back to "normal." That included, lithium, lexapro, geodon, lorazepam. Now I'm in having some serious mood issues but the constipation is gone. Everyone is mad at me for going off the meds, but I was miserable. I haven't told my therapist or pdoc about going off meds yet but see my therapist today and pdoc next week. Has anyone else had this trouble with lithium? What did you do?
I was always diagnosed with unipolar depressed until recently and had the same problem with Effexor. I have irritable bowel syndrome too so that probably plays a part, but it's miserable to be constipated. My pdoc never seems to get that.

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Old 10-07-2005, 04:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,335
Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: lithium and constipation?

Yes, constipation can be a big issue with lithium.
Except, anyone in the health field should have been telling you the 11th Commandment:

I drink lots. I try to stay away from caffeine as much as possible in pop, but I drink pop, water, juice, tea, even foods like watermelon, cantelope, etc.
I keep a bottle of water by my bed and drink it when I wake up to go to the bathroom at night (another common occurrence while on Lithium).
And I've been on lithium for 20 yrs. The only time I do get into trouble now with constipation is when I'm out of my routine. Like on vacation, or a long shopping day where I haven't stopped for enough breaks.
Yours was a really goood question -
(and by the way, that's been 20 yrs without one single mania or severe depression so think again about avoiding the meds!)

Old 10-07-2005, 08:10 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 69
kayte04 HB User
Re: lithium and constipation?

THanks Ruth,
I do drink a lot of water (thanks to weight watchers!) I drink at least 3 liters of water a day! When all this hit I was also taking metamucil twice a day. Ugh. The frustrating thing is that my doc hasn't ever officially dx'd me as bipolar, just started me on lithium and I figured it out for myself. He never talks about diagnosis, just gives more pills. I'm seriously thinking about going in to the hospital (at the urging of my therapist) but am concerned about my classes this semester. If I miss any more I will have to drop.

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