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Doctor insights on: Bipolar Disorder And Lithium Carbonate

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Dr. Alan Ali
88 Doctors shared insights

Lithium Carbonate (Definition)

Lithium carbonate is a medication approved to treat bipolar type 1 acute manic episodes. It is also used for as maintenance therapy to prevent future bipolar mood episodes. Its clinically efficacy is related to serum levels which require blood draws. It can cause a minor to serious side effects and is life threatening in overdose. For additional information, please refer ...Read more


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What is the pharmacological mechanism of action of lithium carbonate when used to treat bipolar disorder?

What is the pharmacological mechanism of action of lithium carbonate when used to treat bipolar disorder?

Unknown: The exact mechanism is not fully understood. It effects sodium transport in nerve cells and may have effects on several neurotransmitters, most notably glutamate and serotonin. It is the most effective agent for mood stability, but may have effects on thyroid and kidneys after many years of continuous use. ...Read more

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Would taking the caffeine-free version of hydroxycut have any interaction with the lithium carbonate I take for my bipolar disorder?

Would taking the caffeine-free version of hydroxycut have any interaction with the lithium carbonate I take for my bipolar disorder?

Bipolar: Lithium can be both good and bad. Please let the doctor who is caring for you know your concerns. Lithium may have an effect on your thyroid or parathyroid gland that needs evaluation. If you can, go online and look up side effects of lithium. Doesn't cause problems often but once is enough. ...Read more

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What are the side effects of lithium carbonate on a bipolar guy?

What are the side effects of lithium carbonate on a bipolar guy?

Depends: Lithium is a very effective mood stabilizer. It requires careful monitoring of blood levels and long term it may affect the thyroid and the kidneys, but it is still very effective especially if other mood stabilizers have failed. ...Read more

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I'm taking lithium carbonate and trifluoperazine. Both needed for bipolar?

I'm taking lithium carbonate and trifluoperazine. Both needed for bipolar?

Probably: Most bipolar pts r on multiple meds you r on an old mood stabilizer & an old antipsychotic which is fine but both have the potential 4 long term side effects. ...Read more

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How long does it take for lithium carbonate to be effective for bipolar II symptoms? And what is theraputic level? Thanks.

How long does it take for lithium carbonate to be effective for bipolar II symptoms? And what is theraputic level? Thanks.

Varies: Onset of benefit can occur in days. This is very welcomed when this occurs but it is not discouraging if it doesn't. Depend end on a patients course of illness benefit from lithium can be realized over a few to several weeks. Therapeutic blood levels for lithium range from 0.5 to 1.2 meq/l. ...Read more

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Is 1200 mg of lithium carbonate / day an acceptable dosage for the treatment of bipolar? What are the risks of such a high dosage?

Is 1200 mg of lithium carbonate / day an acceptable dosage for the treatment of bipolar? What are the risks of such a high dosage?

Level more important: The blood level is more important than the dose. The kidneys are the way the body gets rid of lithium. Ansaids like motrin, Aleve (naproxen) can double lithium levels at same dose. So can many blood pressure meds- so all your prescribers need to know you are on lithium to avoid interaction. 1200mg is a typical dose. Normal blood levels are betwn 0.5-1.0, toxic is abover 1.2-1.5. I like <0.8. ...Read more

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If ur taken lithium carbonate and ur brain is gettin healed and makin serotonin but is hard 2 release cuz Ur schizoaffective bipolar wats tha trick?

If ur taken lithium carbonate and ur brain is gettin healed and makin serotonin but is hard 2 release cuz Ur schizoaffective bipolar wats tha trick?

A chemical trick: The medications used as mood stabilizers work in multiple ways to improve neurotransmission, increase the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, regulate the cell membrane's excitability, and balance the flux of ions across the membranes, etc. The healing effect of those medications is observed in the behavior and mood regulation. If there is good response, then it means that is working. ...Read more

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Of lithium or abilify, (aripiprazole) which is more efficient for bipolar disorder?

Of lithium or abilify, (aripiprazole) which is more efficient for bipolar disorder?

Abilify (aripiprazole): Either. Individuals vary in their response & tolerance to medications. ...Read more

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Is lithium still a first line treatment for bipolar disorder?

Is lithium still a first line treatment for bipolar disorder?

It is more like: A second line treatment, but it has been used first line in certain people. A psychiatrist should prescribe it. Have you been on it before??? Did it work for you? ...Read more

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How severe is the bipolar disorder if the doctor prescibes lithium of 4 mg?

How severe is the bipolar disorder if the doctor prescibes lithium of 4 mg?

Lithium orotate?: This dose of lithium is extremely low, -- probably not enough to effectively treat bipolar disorder. Maintenance doses of Lithium Carbonate and citrate are generally in the range of 400-1200 mg/day, with blood levels in the range of. 6 - 1.0 mmoles/l. Although lithium orotate is widely available on the internet, there are no studies if its safety or efficacy in bd. Http://tinyurl. Com/mx549fd. ...Read more

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Why is lithium no longer considered the gold standard for the treatment of bipolar disorder?

Why is lithium no longer considered the gold standard for the treatment of bipolar disorder?

New treatments: Lithium has several dangerous adverse effects, if not monitored closely. New medications and therapeutic approaches have been developed and progress has been made. However, a role for Lithium in some cases of otherwise unresponsive manic-depressive psychosis remains. ...Read more

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I've Bipolar Disorder since I was a child. I'm 17 now. I'm taking Abilify + Paxil but my doctor said "You should take Lithium too." What can I do?

Try doc's Rx.: Your doctor knows you best and is making recommendations on how you are currently functioning. Some individuals do well with Abilify as a mood stabilizer, but it is not unusual to require several drugs to get good control of Bipolar disorder, esp during adolescence. Unfortunately, Lithium needs to be monitored to get ideal results, but it is considered one of the most effective meds for Bipolar. ...Read more

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Can someone maintain a steady brain wave. Been on lithium for 15yrs. Would I ever be able to go without it. I have bipolar disorder. Also take paxil (paroxetine)?

Can someone maintain a steady brain wave. Been on lithium for 15yrs. Would I ever be able to go without it. I have bipolar disorder. Also take paxil (paroxetine)?

Brain waves: In bipolar disorder it's not brain waves that are the problem -- it's a problem with unstable mood. Lithium ; some others can keep mood stable. Antidepressants can destabilize bipolar disorder; most psychiatrists avoid using antidepressants in this condition unless absolutely necessary. Currently, conventional psychiatry has little else to offer bipolar disorder but lithium and anticonvulsants. ...Read more

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I have bipolar disorder type 2 will it worsen or effect me if I smoke marijuana? I'm a 18 year old male and I take lithium 900ml and zyprexa 5ml for my medication and I was wondering, if I smoke medical marijuana, would it do a bad effect on me or will it

I have bipolar disorder type 2 will it worsen or effect me if I smoke marijuana? I'm a 18 year old male and I take lithium 900ml and zyprexa 5ml for my medication and I was wondering, if I smoke medical marijuana, would it do a bad effect on me or will it

Yes: Bipolar appears to be mediated by multiple neurotransmitter systems in the brain, in particular serotonin. Therefore, when people with bipolar (1 or 2) take antidepressants it can provoke outright mania. Thc has a similar effect (among others) and also provokes a paranoid response. Your brain is a delicate mechanism--when manic, it's an untuned ferrari. Don't throw a wrench into the pistons! ...Read more

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Would lithium be enough to treat my bipolar disorder?

Quite possibly: Lithium is among the most effective treatments for bipolar disorder. It can treat and prevent mania. It can treat and prevent depression. It is one of the the few drugs that has been repeatedly shown to reduce suicide risk. It is often sufficient, by itself, to treat bipolar disorder. ...Read more

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Is lithium an effective treatment for bipolar disorder?

Is lithium an effective treatment for bipolar disorder?

Yes: In fact, lithium is probably the best/most studied medication for the treatment of bipolar disorder. It is very effective in many but not all cases. It has been shown to be the most effective treatment for suicidality. It can be safe and effective, especially for bipolar I disorder or a manic episode. ...Read more

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Hi I am from Québec and I would need a prescription for Lithium to treat Bipolar disorder at the lowest doesage.

Hi I am from Québec and I would need a prescription for Lithium to treat Bipolar disorder at the lowest doesage.

See your physician: Depending on your health plan you may need to see if physician. If your diagnosis is already solid, I would suggest you see what is available through your health plan ...Read more

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I am prescribed lithium, lamotragine, aderall, and just recently he added propanolol, for bipolar disorder?

2nd opinion helpful: As you know, balancing out the cycles of a bipolar disorder can be maddeningly tricky. So it is not uncommon for multiple meds to be ordered. Which end of the cycle-depression/mania-you are closer to now may help explain your md's approach, but I would ask about the Adderall (dextroamphetamine and racemic amphetamine) (especially if closer to mania). A 2nd opinion may be helpful from an psychiatrist who also is experienced with bipolar. ...Read more

Lithium (Definition)

Chemically, lithium is a light, soft, alkali metal. It's very highly reactive, so that in nature it's only found in compound form. It's useful in batteries. As a medication, Lithium Carbonate and citrate can be used to stabilize mood in people with bipolar disorder. In these people it can help with both mania and depression. Blood level monitoring is ...Read more


Dr. Donald Jacobson
753 Doctors shared insights

Manic Depressive Disorder (Definition)

Though depression is not required for diagnosis most people have both manic and depressive episodes and may have mixed episodes with features of both. Length of episodes vary, but are separated by "normal" periods of emotion and behavior. See my answers to similar ...Read more