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Do I have to quit dinking coffee when taking lithium?

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19 Mar 2011


Interactions between your selected drugs

lithium ↔ caffeine
Applies to: lithium, caffeine
MONITOR: One study has suggested that caffeine withdrawal may significantly increase blood lithium levels. The mechanism may be involve reversal of a caffeine-induced increase in renal lithium excretion.

MANAGEMENT: When caffeine is eliminated from the diet of lithium-treated patients, caution should be exercised. When caffeine consumption is decreased, close observation for evidence of lithium toxicity and worsening of the psychiatric disorder is recommended. Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they experience symptoms of possible lithium toxicity such as drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, ataxia, tremor, vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, blurry vision, tinnitus, or increased urination.

Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with

Votes: +0

19 Mar 2011

Hey coinsmith,

No, in fact, it is possible to cause more harm then good by stopping your usual intake of caffiene such as coffee. As Maso pointed out, it is the reduction in caffiene that can cause the problem.

If you are going to change the usual amount of caffiene consumption then you will have to have your blood levels checked frequently to insure you don't cause a toxic level of Lithium to develop in the blood.

Hope this helps,


Votes: +0

19 Mar 2011

Hi Coinsmith,
I'm have been on Lithium since 2007 and I have been drinking 2-3 cups a coffe a day. I feel fine. Hope this helps. smileyhappy.

Votes: +1

19 Mar 2011

I have been taking lithium since I was 10. Yeah, I know a long time and major for a kid. Thing is it NEVER worked for me. I rarely ever had any lithium in my blood work. Years later I found out lithium + caffeine is bad. It blocks the absorption of the lithium in your body. Hence why if you cut down it can cause too much. Caffeine while taking lithium is bad but only if you want it to work. I have been caffeine free for 6 years now (with the occasional soda and unleaded coffee) and feel great. I have never felt as though the meds have worked this well in my whole time of taking them. Hope this helps.

Votes: +0

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