Posted by Brad S (18.104.22.168) on October 09, 1999 at 12:01:36:
In Reply to: lithium is "sort of" working... posted by Bob Judd on October 09, 1999 at 09:35:52:
Suggest that you ask your doc what your serum level was on your last blood check. Dosage varies by individual, but most literature says that 0.6 meq/l Li is normally the minimum concentration for effectiveness. While nothing seems to be definite in treating CH, this did seem to be true for me. The dosage you are on is where I started several months ago and it resulted in a 0.4 blood concentration level. Side effects at this level were minor but also no improvement in CH. The dosage was increased to 900mg/day which increased the concentration to >0.6 and effectively eliminated CH attacks. Over the last couple months, I've dealt will some pretty nasty side effects, the worst of which was bad insomnia. My body stays so tense that I can't sleep without prescription sleeping pills. Over time, this med combination has attacked my mental capabilities. I stay confused, have poor reasoning capabilities, and temporarily forget the simplest things like how to type or how to drive; I have no brain, but I'm pain free (what a trade-off). I have also gotten some dull, all-day-long type headaches that are kinda like a bad hang-over type HA. There seems to be a correlation between these HA and the amount of water I drink. When I drink more water, I don't seem to get them. Fortunately, I have been CH attack free for about 4 weeks now and have started tapering off the meds. So far - so good.
Literature says that Li toxicity can occur at levels above 1.5 meq/l. This concentration can be experienced even at low doses if the bodily functions are abnormal. Thus the need for careful monitoring.
Good Luck! I hope that you find the right combination for pain free days, months, and years.
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