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What are the symptoms of being toxic on lithium?

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Old 01-15-2006, 03:04 PM   #1
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TonyaM HB User
What are the symptoms of being toxic on lithium?

Lately, I have been so tired that I don't want to do anything and barely have any energy. I am wondering what the symptoms are of being toxic from lithium. I was taking 900 mg and am now at 300 mg. I am feeling better, but do you think I should ask my doc to try something else for bipolar disorder?


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Old 01-15-2006, 04:50 PM   #2
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Merimac HB UserMerimac HB User
Re: What are the symptoms of being toxic on lithium?

Signs of toxicity on Lithium usually show up in swelling of face and hands, inability to eliminate fluids or reduction in necessary trips to urinate. Sometimes increased constipation, which of course leads to more mental fuzziness. As for asking your doctor about changing your meds, if you are concerned, talk to your doctor. Patients who are able to give input on their treatment for bi-polar do better than patients who have to rely on the doctor exclusively for treatment. The more involved your are in your own treatment, the better you will feel both in feeling in control of your life as well as getting the best possible treatment available.

Old 01-16-2006, 09:37 AM   #3
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Toby706 HB UserToby706 HB User
Re: What are the symptoms of being toxic on lithium?


Last year, i complained about my symptoms of Lithium toxicity on this very board. For some reason, I was running very near toxic-the doctors never figured that one out...but my symptoms were a profound metellic taste in my mouth and total disorientation. I was also shaking real bad in my hands and by the time I got to the hospital I was shaking in my arms.

They decreased my Lith, and put me on Lamictal( bad idea, another story)-I'm back up to my original dose of Lithium-1200 mg day though. This is a peculiar med-but it amazes me at how it always balances everything out in the end. I couldn't live w/o it, no matter how much I gripe about it.

Old 01-16-2006, 10:12 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Toby & Merimac

Hi Toby and Merimac,
Thankyou so much for your replies. After reading them, I no longer feel that I am toxic (although I won't rule it out, don't worry). I just get really weak in my arms in the morning, cold, and irresistably tired. Thanks for help. I take my lithium in the evenings and only on 300 mg right now so I no longer believe that is the casue. Once again, THANKYOU.


Old 01-16-2006, 01:11 PM   #5
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twoeyez HB Usertwoeyez HB User
Re: What are the symptoms of being toxic on lithium?

TonyaM :

For your information ( you may want to print this )

For Lithium : Theraputic range : 0.6 - 1.2 mmo 1/L
Toxic : greater than 2.0 mmo 1/L

Hemodialysis should be considered for patients with serum lithium
>2 mmo 1/L and a deteriorating clinical status. Hemodialysis
effectively and rapidly lowers levels in the severly toxic patient.

If you think your Lithium is high -- get it checked.


Last edited by twoeyez; 01-16-2006 at 01:16 PM.

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