I would like to know if there are real guidelines that are supposed to be taken while a patient is on Lithium. For instance, how often are your serum / lithium levels taken?
Before I started my lithium I had a complete blood count and chemistries run. Then a lithium level every 3 weeks until I was at a therapeutic level and then every 3 months for awhile. After a year, I have a complete screen and lithium level every 6 months, or sooner if my dosage were to change.
You should also monitor your hydration ~ Not too little, not too much as that will affect your lithium level. About 8 glasses of water a day is right for most people. If you work out or do any manual labor or anything that really makes you
sweat you should throw down an extra glass.
That's about it. I've been on lithium now (very successfully!) for about 3 years and it's been simple and uncomplicated with no side effects.
Wish you the best! WCV
As with any form of lithium your doctor should take routine blood levels. Lithium is a metallic salt and therefore can mess up your salt levels. I was told to drink plenty of Gatorade while working out if taking lithium to replace electrolytes like salt. I'm pretty sure you need serum levels taken once a month. Lithium is the gold standard for mania but is an older drug with unpleasant side effects.
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