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Re: Discontinuing Lithium after many years Southpaw

Posted by Squiggles on August 21, 2006, at 9:21:02

In reply to Discontinuing Lithium after many years, posted by Southpaw on August 17, 2006, at 1:39:02

I'm not sure what the adverse effects you
speak of are, how serious, how dependent
on temporary variables, like extreme heat,
or drug interactions..... i have had many
adverse effects on li over 25 yrs. or so
and yet have not stopped the drug.

I think many modern or younger drs. may
not hold lithium in favour as older ones.

It takes about 6 months to withdraw, but
the recurrence of bipolar may hit you
rather suddenly if you are not observant.

Lots of stuff on the net on this:

* Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2004 Feb;109(2):81-2.

Relapse into mania or depression following lithium discontinuation: a 7-year follow-up.

Cavanagh J, Smyth R, Goodwin GM.

University of Glasgow Department of Psychological Medicine, Academic Centre, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow, UK.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess whether outcome followed a worse course after acute lithium withdrawal. METHOD: Data were acquired by review of the clinical records on 14 cases and 28 controls matched for age, gender and time on lithium for about 7 years following discontinuation. RESULTS: Significant differences were found between cases and controls. Cases experienced more episodes of depression and total affective relapse. The log-rank test revealed a significantly lower survival probability in cases than controls (P < 0.0009). However, the increased risk of recurrence was largely confined to the interval immediately after lithium discontinuation. CONCLUSION: These results confirm that acute discontinuation of lithium leads to a high immediate relapse rate. Most of the excess morbidity over 7 years appears to be attributable to the first episode following discontinuation. Outcome was not worsened by discontinuation.

PMID: 14725588 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Vigilance is important in this case between
you and your doctor. Good luck.





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