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Doctor insights on: Bipolar Disorder And Lithium Carbonate

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Dr. Alan Ali
1,718 doctors shared insights

Bipolar Disorder (Definition)

Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that in its most severe form causes dramatic shifts in mood, from mania to depression. Symptoms of mania include markedly elevated mood and energy, reduced sleep and a reduced need for sleep, racing thoughts, and grandiose ideas. When mood changes are severe, psychotic ideation may be present. Symptoms of depression can include low energy, feeling sad, feelings of guilt and hopelessness that are out of proportion to the patient's actual situation, low motivation, inability to experience pleasure, and suicidal ideation. Sleep may be increased, and concentration may be impaired. Some manic patients may be extremely irritable rather than euphoric. Less severe but clearly abnormal mood ...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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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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Dr. Alan Ali
87 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


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