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Creatinine Creep

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KevinfromSydney

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
16
Hi everybody. I'm a new member. I was diagnosed with BPD at the age of 16. I've had one other minor episode of hypomania/mania 2 years after that. I've been taking Lithium for the last 20 years on quite a high dose. I have been completely well whilst taking Lithium and have found it to be a good medication despite some minor side-affects. However, I'm now finding that I'm experiencing 'moderate chronic kidney failure' as measured by elevated creatinine levels in my bloodstream. My levels are around 150-160 (I'm not sure3 of the measurment used. Has anyone else had any experience with creeping creatinine levels whilst taking Lithium? Could you please advise me on what happened and what you and your doctor did about it please?:)
 
jax

jax

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
868
Location
Belfast, N.Ireland
Sorry I don't know anything about this. Just wanted to wish you good luck. Will you have to come off your lithium? I hope they can sort something out.
Jacqui
 
Q

quality factor

Guest
Hi everybody. I'm a new member. I was diagnosed with BPD at the age of 16. I've had one other minor episode of hypomania/mania 2 years after that. I've been taking Lithium for the last 20 years on quite a high dose. I have been completely well whilst taking Lithium and have found it to be a good medication despite some minor side-affects. However, I'm now finding that I'm experiencing 'moderate chronic kidney failure' as measured by elevated creatinine levels in my bloodstream. My levels are around 150-160 (I'm not sure3 of the measurment used. Has anyone else had any experience with creeping creatinine levels whilst taking Lithium? Could you please advise me on what happened and what you and your doctor did about it please?:)
Hi, my creatinine levels after being on Lithium for forteen years, are now at the stage where I have only 40% kidney function, I now have CKD, Chronic Kidney Diesease. I see a Consultant every three months at the local renal unit and am on a low protein diet. I have to have my blood pressure and urine checked every three months. I have been advised against taking ibuprofen. I came off Lithium three years ago. The Consultant feels it was the Lithium that put my kidneys in the state they are in. My right kidney is in the worst condition. I have been told they will not improve but can remain stable. I have frequent UTI's and have been on lots of antibiotics this past year.

If I was in your position I would have a discussion with your doctor about continuing on Lithium and perhaps looking for an alternative medication.

Good luck, QF.
 
K

KevinfromSydney

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
16
Reg. Creatinine Creep

Thank you QualityFactor for replying to my post. I'm so sorry that your kidneys have been affected by your continued use of Lithium to treat BPD for fourteen years. From my research and from talking to a kidney specialist, I was under the impression that most of the time, the kidneys will recover function once the lithium has ceased, with only a small percentage of people suffering permanent damage and kidney failure? My doctor has reduced my Lithium dose to 1400mg per day(previously 1800mg) and my level is now at 0.8 (prev. 1.0 ). I'm getting blood serum tests every month and my kidney function doesn't seem to be getting worse at the moment. If it deteriorates any further, then I'll probably have to consider an alternative to Lithium. The only other medication I"ve tried for BPD is Epilim and it made me feel really strange and I had to go off it and back on to the Lithium. Maybe I could go on to a lower dose but I always find it hard to reduce my lithium dosage. I guess it's a bit like any other drug. It feels painful when you reduce your intake until your body gets used to the new level. At the moment, my lithium level is 0.8, which is supposed to be the 'ideal' level. Maybe I can reduce my dose by another 250mg (1 Lithicarb tablet) and get my level to around 0.6. I don't know how I would feel at that level. Once I was at that level and my doctor said that I might as well be taking smarties, as I was not in the therapeutic dosage range. If you're going okay at a certain dosage level, why not leave it there, instead of immediately increasing the dosage to get it to the right level?
 
Q

quality factor

Guest
Hi again. I must be one of the small percentage of people that have kidney failure due to Lithium.
I have been led to believe that Lithium should be carefully monitored and it seems that is happening for you. I had blood tests every three months but something in my monitoring system must have gone wrong for this to happen. Anyway I am stuck with it now and my aim has to be keeping my kidneys as well as possible.
Hopefully you will be able to continue to take the Lithium if it is proving effective for you, my advice though would be to proceed with caution.

QF.
 
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kidney2014

New member
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
1
Hi, I am at the Mayo Clinic getting evaluated for kidney damage due to lithium.

I have been watching my creatinine rise for the last decade and my creatinine is now 1.7-1.8.

I pee a lot and no other drug has worked for me. When I try to lower my dose of lithium, my quality of life drops considerably with the on set of depression.

I have a life because of lithium and appreciate it exists, but the side effects are disastrous. I take synthroid for my thyroid, I have had parathyroid surgery removing 3 of my 4 parathyroid glands, am overweight (BMI 32)/obese, have tremors etc.

The alternative is to be in a mental institution for the rest of my life vs. freedom and I choose freedom and life.

I wish things did not have to be so complicated.

I worship our creator for a better solution and pray that science and research yield better solutions in the coming years.
 
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suzy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
1,064
Ive never heard of it!

Ive been on it around 5 years, always 0.5 level thats the one that works for me! How do you know your creatinine level?
 
K

KevinfromSydney

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
16
Suzy, if you're taking Lithium then you should be getting regular tests for your Kidney function. The way they test this is to measure the amount of a chemical called 'creatinine' in your bloodstream.
 
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