I had been taking Lithium for 3 years 450mg twice a day. I stopped during my pregnancy, then 2 months after my sons birth I was put back on starting at 450mg twice daily. After about 7 months I was then raised to 900mg twice daily. I found this odd being as I am only 5' 110lbs. I was having digestive problems (diarrhea), dizzy spells, black outs, kidney and liver problems. Among a few other things. I was told that I can file a lawsuit against the company who makes it. Does anyone know if this is true.
3 Sep 2011
It is true you can sue the manufacturer, but since Lithium is no longer a Brand drug (it is a very old medication), you'd have better luck suing the doctor who prescribed it for malpractice. I'd consult with an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice.
However, usually a person has to have suffered serious side-effects (like life-threatening, heart attack, stroke, birth defects, etc) for you to have a good case. But you could claim pain and suffering, which could be a valid legal reason to bring suit against the doctor.
I'd suggest stopping the drug (tapering off, though usually Lithium is safe to stop cold-turkey) if it's causing so many bad side-effects. I'd also find a new doctor, since the one who prescribed you 1800mg of Lithium per day (that's a pretty high dose, especially for your body weight and height). I understand that blood levels are what count, though, and perhaps your metabolism is very high and is preventing your Lithium levels from reaching whatever your doctor sees as high enough. But, I've seen women taller than you and much heavier put on doses in the 900mg/daily range.
There are also different forms of Lithium. Are you taking Lithium Citrate, Lithium Ororate, Lithium Carbonate, or Lithium Sulfate? It might be a good idea to try switching to the Lithium Ororate version, as it's said to be "safer" and have fewer side-effects.
But I agree that 1800mg per day, unless you have out of control manic episodes, is rather excessive given your height/weight.
- Lithium Information for Consumers
- Lithium Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Lithium (detailed)
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