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Re:The low down on Lithiums BarbaraCat

Posted by Chloe on May 22, 2002, at 18:54:57

In reply to Lithium - one kind better than another?, posted by BarbaraCat on May 22, 2002, at 16:02:52

> I currently take plain old vanilla lithium, generic for Lithonate. It helps tremendously along with Remeron. I'm curious about the different forms of lithium, such as Lithobid(R) for extended release, lithium orotate vs. carbonate, liquid lithium, etc. Has anyone out there found one to work better than another?

Hi Barbara,
Here is what I know about the extended release lithiums: (Also, check the archives, Mitch and I have had many discussions about lithium...)

Lithobid-300 mg pink enteric coated pill that by-passes the stomach. This way there is less or no nausea/diarrhea. The formula also seems to have a little sodium chloride added to it, so if your dietary salt levels changes, it has little effect on Li blood levels.
Personally, I find lithobid more like a "drug" than lithium. I tend to have very few side effects except some dry mouth. NO hand tremor, diarrhea. No low blood sugar shaky feeling that happens late afternoon. No polyuria to speak of. This formula for me is very easy to tolerate if my level stays below 0.6. That seems to be my li limit, FWIW.

Eskilith CR-450 mg hard pack yellow scored pills that dissolve slowly in the stomach and small intestine. I find this one equally good in keeping level from crashing at the end of the day, and keeping tremor at bay. But this brand, to me, feels more like the immediate release lithium. I notice a little polyuria and just know I am taking lithium. I rather prefer this one at the moment. I like the feeling that lithium gives me. I also like the fact that I can cut this pill in half and not destroy the extended release quality. Eskilith CR is good if you are taking 900mg/day, because you can take 450 bid.

Lithium Citrate-a pink syrupy liquid that is mainly used for the elderly, those who have trouble swallowing pills or for patients taking less than three hundred milligrams per day. It is NOT extended release, and is absorbed quickly throw the stomach lining.

Lithobid and Eskilith CR are the only two extended release formulas that are available in the US. There is a big difference in price. About $20 for a month's supply at 900 mgs/day. If you are not extremely sensitive to meds, you may not need to try one of these name brands. You could just space out your dosing to TID perhaps.
But I highly recommend them. When one is BP2 stability of blood levels will increase the chances of having stability of mood, IMHO.

Ask you pdoc. See what his take is, and let us know, Ok?
Hope this helps,




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