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Lithium for MDD

M

Mick909

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Dec 21, 2020
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UK
Is anyone taking Lithium for MDD? I am already on Venlafaxine 375mg, Mirtazapine 30mg, Pregabalin 450mg, Diazepam 6mg and Zopiclone 7.5mg daily. I want to get off the benzos but think I'll crash as soon as I try to wean off. My psychiatrist has suggested Lithium augmentation and then to get me eventually on a maintenance dose of this and the 2 antidepressants. I feel like a f*''"king cocktail already and still feel like f!::££#king death at least 3 times a week, which to be fair is a massive improvement from 3 months ago when I was desperately depressed 24 hours a day.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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Nov 10, 2019
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6,115
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England
Venlafaxine
Mirtazapine
Pregabalin
Diazepam
Zopiclone

You are in the UK?
That is a huge amount of medication. Were you extremely unwell?

Lithium is a very good medication and worked very well for my depression.

I'm not sure we are allowed to take Diazepam and Zopiclone?

Mirtazapine should make you sleep well enough?

Maybe you should take all those tablets you have to an appointment, and discuss this properly and in detail. I wouldn't be happy taking so much but i don't know how unwell you have been or are now. Trust your consultant, certainly, but make sure they are aware of all you are taking.
 
M

Mick909

Active member
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
25
Location
UK
Venlafaxine
Mirtazapine
Pregabalin
Diazepam
Zopiclone

You are in the UK?
That is a huge amount of medication. Were you extremely unwell?

Lithium is a very good medication and worked very well for my depression.

I'm not sure we are allowed to take Diazepam and Zopiclone?

Mirtazapine should make you sleep well enough?

Maybe you should take all those tablets you have to an appointment, and discuss this properly and in detail. I wouldn't be happy taking so much but i don't know how unwell you have been or are now. Trust your consultant, certainly, but make sure they are aware of all you are taking.
Hi, thanks. Yes in UK and I was extremely unwell and all the meds are prescribed by a consultant. The zopiclone and diazepam as my insomnia was extreme, almost no sleep for 6 weeks so am terrified of a relapse there. I have now been sleeping better and want to get to a more stable place with the meds, I think which is why lithium is being suggested so I can drop the sedatives. Sadly I find the internet full of negatively regarding lithium, and mostly about it being used for MDD as opposed to bipolar. I have no one really to talk about it with, my wife seemed a bit horrified at the suggestion if more meds, esp. lithium. I'm leaning towards thinking it's a small price to pay for some stability.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

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Dec 17, 2018
Messages
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Location
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I was taking a low dose (300mg daily) for about a year for MDD. Unfortunately it didn't seem to provide any relief.

Lithium can be a very effective antidepressant. Also requires some management of liquid and salt intake to prevent toxicity and potential kidney damage over long periods of use. Your physician may test your blood levels periodically to monitor this.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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Hi, thanks. Yes in UK and I was extremely unwell and all the meds are prescribed by a consultant. The zopiclone and diazepam as my insomnia was extreme, almost no sleep for 6 weeks so am terrified of a relapse there. I have now been sleeping better and want to get to a more stable place with the meds, I think which is why lithium is being suggested so I can drop the sedatives. Sadly I find the internet full of negatively regarding lithium, and mostly about it being used for MDD as opposed to bipolar. I have no one really to talk about it with, my wife seemed a bit horrified at the suggestion if more meds, esp. lithium. I'm leaning towards thinking it's a small price to pay for some stability.
Lithium made me sleep very well, i have heard of many people taking it for MDD so i wouldn't be worried about that.

All medication has side effects but luckily Lithium has been around a very long time so we know so much about it. Hopefully if taking Lithium, you would be able to stop the zopiclone, Diazepam and even the anti depressants. Perhaps the consultant is aiming for that.

Don't be afraid of ECT either, if ever offered, as these long used treatments psychiatrists i have spoken to, have said they are huge fans of using.

Lamotrigine is another option.

The levels are not difficult to keep under control, you just have to eat and drink as you always do and not go on a sudden diet or have a big drinking session. You can take a low dose and see how it feels. Some are stable on 600mg but some need 1000mg, it won't hurt to try i don't think.
 
M

Mick909

Active member
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
25
Location
UK
Lithium made me sleep very well, i have heard of many people taking it for MDD so i wouldn't be worried about that.

All medication has side effects but luckily Lithium has been around a very long time so we know so much about it. Hopefully if taking Lithium, you would be able to stop the zopiclone, Diazepam and even the anti depressants. Perhaps the consultant is aiming for that.

Don't be afraid of ECT either, if ever offered, as these long used treatments psychiatrists i have spoken to, have said they are huge fans of using.

Lamotrigine is another option.

The levels are not difficult to keep under control, you just have to eat and drink as you always do and not go on a sudden diet or have a big drinking session. You can take a low dose and see how it feels. Some are stable on 600mg but some need 1000mg, it won't hurt to try i don't think.
Thanks! This is really helpful. I spoke to my psychiatrist yesterday and am going to try Lithium augmentation with a view to eventually just being on a maintenance dose of Venlafaxine and Lithium and dropping the benzos etc. He has also suggested rtms in the future but that looks very very expensive and not available on the NHS. Wish me luck :)
 
S

seeking solace2021

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Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Dublin
Hi, thanks. Yes in UK and I was extremely unwell and all the meds are prescribed by a consultant. The zopiclone and diazepam as my insomnia was extreme, almost no sleep for 6 weeks so am terrified of a relapse there. I have now been sleeping better and want to get to a more stable place with the meds, I think which is why lithium is being suggested so I can drop the sedatives. Sadly I find the internet full of negatively regarding lithium, and mostly about it being used for MDD as opposed to bipolar. I have no one really to talk about it with, my wife seemed a bit horrified at the suggestion if more meds, esp. lithium. I'm leaning towards thinking it's a small price to pay for some stability.
Hi Mick
 
S

seeking solace2021

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Dublin
Hi Mick I can relate - I had two months of sleepless nights a few years ago with PTSD
and I made it back from the brink - I am suffering again at the moment since mid Jan this year
but not as bad - I can sleep on mirtazapine so thats why
Anyway like you - I am in a bad place now and feel lost misunderstood and like you am being presented with some interesting options as the mirt at 45 after six weeks has helped but not near enough - like you I think you can't live till you have a decent baseline for mood
Maybe we can share our experiences on here
Have hope - Trust in God - Stay safe
 
S

seeking solace2021

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Dublin
Thanks! This is really helpful. I spoke to my psychiatrist yesterday and am going to try Lithium augmentation with a view to eventually just being on a maintenance dose of Venlafaxine and Lithium and dropping the benzos etc. He has also suggested rtms in the future but that looks very very expensive and not available on the NHS. Wish me luck :)
You're lucky with the rtms option the Smart TMS clinic is closed over here
I am in a similar situation as you - but only on lex and mirt
Still everyday is seven shades of shit!
Appointment this week too - so hopefully I might get a positive change to my regimen
six weeks on 45 mirt working for sleep and helping with anxiety but depression still very bad
I hope you get well soon
Regarding rtms you could sign up for just 15 seconds to start cheaper and review
 
S

seeking solace2021

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Dublin
Lithium made me sleep very well, i have heard of many people taking it for MDD so i wouldn't be worried about that.

All medication has side effects but luckily Lithium has been around a very long time so we know so much about it. Hopefully if taking Lithium, you would be able to stop the zopiclone, Diazepam and even the anti depressants. Perhaps the consultant is aiming for that.

Don't be afraid of ECT either, if ever offered, as these long used treatments psychiatrists i have spoken to, have said they are huge fans of using.

Lamotrigine is another option.

The levels are not difficult to keep under control, you just have to eat and drink as you always do and not go on a sudden diet or have a big drinking session. You can take a low dose and see how it feels. Some are stable on 600mg but some need 1000mg, it won't hurt to try i don't think.

I was taking a low dose (300mg daily) for about a year for MDD. Unfortunately it didn't seem to provide any relief.

Lithium can be a very effective antidepressant. Also requires some management of liquid and salt intake to prevent toxicity and potential kidney damage over long periods of use. Your physician may test your blood levels periodically to monitor this.
A full year on it with no relief?
Why didn't they change the medication sooner?
 
S

seeking solace2021

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Dublin
Venlafaxine
Mirtazapine
Pregabalin
Diazepam
Zopiclone

You are in the UK?
That is a huge amount of medication. Were you extremely unwell?

Lithium is a very good medication and worked very well for my depression.

I'm not sure we are allowed to take Diazepam and Zopiclone?

Mirtazapine should make you sleep well enough?

Maybe you should take all those tablets you have to an appointment, and discuss this properly and in detail. I wouldn't be happy taking so much but i don't know how unwell you have been or are now. Trust your consultant, certainly, but make sure they are aware of all you are taking.
I have some questions about mirtazapine and lithium if you can chat with me I would appreciate it
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
731
Location
California, US
The low-dose of Lithium I was taking was intended to augment another pharmaceutical treatment, rather than provide relief on it's own. I'm doing well on my primary treatment. The hope was to extend it's benefits.
 
M

Mick909

Active member
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
25
Location
UK
You're lucky with the rtms option the Smart TMS clinic is closed over here
I am in a similar situation as you - but only on lex and mirt
Still everyday is seven shades of shit!
Appointment this week too - so hopefully I might get a positive change to my regimen
six weeks on 45 mirt working for sleep and helping with anxiety but depression still very bad
I hope you get well soon
Regarding rtms you could sign up for just 15 seconds to start cheaper and review
Starting Lithium 400mg today and up to 600mg in 5 days, fingers crossed.
 
S

seeking solace2021

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Dublin
Well I hope it goes well for you
I have an appointment This week - I am hoping for something new - worked up to mirt 45
six weeks on it still struggling - so I welcome something that might work
Lithium is very good for minimising bad thoughts I hear - Good Luck - Keep me updated on your progress
 
R

Rosethorn100

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Messages
6
Location
England
Is anyone taking Lithium for MDD? I am already on Venlafaxine 375mg, Mirtazapine 30mg, Pregabalin 450mg, Diazepam 6mg and Zopiclone 7.5mg daily. I want to get off the benzos but think I'll crash as soon as I try to wean off. My psychiatrist has suggested Lithium augmentation and then to get me eventually on a maintenance dose of this and the 2 antidepressants. I feel like a f*''"king cocktail already and still feel like f!::££#king death at least 3 times a week, which to be fair is a massive improvement from 3 months ago when I was desperately depressed 24 hours a day.
Hi Mick909,
I have to say that Lithium saved my life, I was very ill before I started, being on various antidepressants which worked for a while, but then stopped, whilst giving horrendous mood swings. My pdoc suggested it and I had nothing to lose so I gave it a go, ECG and a blood test later I started, got up to 1000mg and was stable for about 5 years. The downside for me was it gave me terrible acne. Having regular bloods is a pain but I have nothing but good reviews for this med, and is amazing at calming suicidal thoughts. I hope you get some relief regardless of what you decide to do, keep us updated. 😊
 
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