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Girlfriend worried about Lithium - Advice needed please



Active member
Jul 15, 2009
London, England

My girlfriend has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and after taking olanzapine and valium she has been prescribed lithium. She has previously been on lithium and gained 3 stones in 3 months, which negatively affected her mental state.

She wants to know if there is any method or way of negating the weight gain as she feels this will make her mental situation worse. She is really worried.



Well-known member
Aug 6, 2010
The worst mood stabilizer I have heard about for weight gain is Olanzapine. It is ment to be very bad for this side effect. I am on lithium, I have been up to 1500mg, I weigh 75kg, lithium has no effect on my weight. Lithium I didnt think was bad for weight gain. I would do a search on the net for information. If she takes the olanzipine she probably wont require so much lithium as before. Better to be over weight and sane.


Well-known member
Jun 26, 2009


I am on lithium and olanzopine, the olanzopine made me go from a size 8 to 12. Since coming off it, well now only on 2.5mg I am back to a size 8.

If she has concerns about weight gain maybe she should consult about adjusting/changing the olanzopine part as I know it affects people differently, some people put the weight on more than others. I dont think lithium affects weight much so she needed worry too much about that

How I lost the weight, even though it wasnt as much as three stone was by going to a gym class each week and jogging, exercise also boosts the feel good moods :) It also just naturally dropped off as the olanzopine level was reduce (I was on 20mg)


If your gf is convinced the weight gain is down to the Lithium rather than the Olanzapine, then look carefully at what she drinks. It is not really understood why Lithium causes weight gain in some people. One theory is people take sugary drinks to re-hydrate or possibly mistake de-hyrdration for hunger. Isn't drinking water supposed to be an appetite suppressant.


Well-known member
Jun 26, 2009
You are meant to drink lots of water if on lithium, also to have a higher intake of salt
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