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Hi everyone! I'm an 18 year old girl who has been on lithium for about 5 months. I started off on the regular, but found it made me very nauseaus, so I moved to the Extended Release tablets shortly after. It's only 300 mg a day, coupled with 150 mg of Wellbutrin XL, with 100 mg of Seroquel to take as needed for insomnia as well as major depression. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder a few years ago, but this is the first time I've been on medicine steadily. ANYWAY...

I've read pretty much everywhere that slight hand tremors are a common side effect of lithium. However, everyone that experiences this seems to be well above my meager 300 mg. I'm just not sure if I have a high enough concentration in my blood to warrant this side effect - after all, i am 5'11", 160 pounds, and not small by any means. I was also wondering how severe the shakes are? I have been experiencing pretty much full body tremors. From my legs all the way down my arms, even to my head (it's hard to notice at first, but if i wear dangly earings, or if my hair is hanging down, the shaking is distinguishable). The shaking is fairly fine, probably unnoticeable to the naked eye, until i pick something up. If a paper is rested on my hand, it shakes violently, and occasionally they will get so intense that it is like they are vibrating, which is VERY visible. No pain, just shaking. They seem to be 'resting tremors,' as well. They go away after I start to move, but they come back to my legs if I stand still and my hands as soon as they stop moving. It's become a constant thing.

Other symptoms I have and was wondering if others experienced are:
Decreased brain function. Not in the "I forget how to speak" sort of way, but lately I'll write something, and then reread it and it's filled with mistakes that shouldn't be there. I will do such simple mistakes as spell "of" as "ove" or stop sentences and pick them up later on as if the discontinuity never happened. When I reread the mistakes, I instantly pick up on them, but not while writing. This is extremely frustrating as I am an English major. I KNOW better!

I also have had a few extremely bad headaches - migraine style, I suppose. I have never had headaches before, but I actually had to take a day off of work due to one particular headache that was seriously debilitating. They're not a recurring thing, they don't seem to have triggers, and they come and go as they please. But totally confusing!

Other side effects are things such as bouts of nausea, slight dizziness after standing for a while, tinnin (ringing in the ears) and a sort of restlessness that causes fidgety-ness (if that's a word).

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced these symptoms on such a low dosage of lithium, and if so, do other symptoms accompany it?

I just want to know if this is cause for alarm, and it's so hard to get a good idea with all those 'symptom checkers' online, because they don't take into account the medicine you're taking. Any input would be totally appreciated and loved! Thank you SO much.

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well i am taking Lithium Carb also and well it makes me lose weigh i used to weight 105 now ia msown to 85 pounds i am 5'4 and well i amtaking it aand it helps me alot though i felt tthe same symptoms as you did but i go over them :-) :-D
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I am on 1500 now, but I got tremors when I was on 600. I'm about twice your weight, so we can pretend it's equivalent. (I'm a 23 year old girl, btw.) I get the same tremors. It actually makes it impossible for me to log in on our touch screen time clock, write legibly, put in my contacts, or use a mouse, and I've been told my legs shake noticeably as well. Have you taken a lithium lab recently? Tremors are usually caused by too high a concentration in the blood stream. They can, however, just come from medicine mixing like mine do. As for other side effects, I get dizziness and decreased speed of mental function, but I've experienced those from every anti-depressant I've been on, because they all lower my already low blood pressure to borderline dangerous levels. As for nausea--I started taking my pills in the middle of a meal and it has decreased the nausea to almost none, so I hope at least that nugget might be of some help. Hope it gets better!
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i am also taking 300mg of lithium and i experiance shaking and headaches. according to my doctor this is normal but the shaking is so bad i cant hold anything and it is very noticible ahen happening
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My Psych actually just recently told me a trick to get rid of the tremors I've had for the last month I've been on 900mg of Lithium (along with a plethora of other pills)... is Vitamin B6 1000mg (well above the daily required dose for normal things)... I tried this, and on the second day it was like nothing had ever happened, it was such a relief.
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These postings have provided me such a sense of relief and I thank you all for posting. I feel worse now than before I started lithium and it's because of the tremors, difficulty speaking properly (seem to trip over my own words so to speak) and the nausea. I am going to talk to my doctor about the B6 recommended by one user to see if that will help. Usually B6 makes me very jittery but I am willing to try anything at this point because I feel like I am completely disfunctional at work and school. I am pursuing my Master's degree so this can not continue.

Thanks again to you all!
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I'm only 15 years old and I'm on 1,350 mg of lithium, 30 mg of Cymbalta, and 150 mg of Seroquel. I had a performance in band today where we had to stand on the stage. During our performance we were expected to stand straight and tall with our feet together as we played. I thought for sure I was going to pass out. I could feel my body shaking and the more I tried to make it go away, the worse it got. Afterward, I went to the cafeteria to get something to snack on, in hopes of helping it go away. The shakes didn't stop. Two of my friends saw me in the hallway and asked why I was shaking so bad. I'm trying to drink more water to see if it will go away, but I've already drank 52 oz today. I've been on my medication for almost two months and this is the worst it's been.

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That sounds reassuring how long have you been on the 1000mg b6 that is 10 times reccomended max
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i am 36 and im taking 900mg of lithium and 900mg seroqul and 200mg zoloft and 900mg oxcarbazepin and2200 hydrocodin and2400mg of metaxalone and 1mg of clonazepam and 900mg of gabapentin.  for bipolor i have the shakes real bad . the meds are working but i still have fits of rage 1or 2 times a month .i read the forums but i dont see anyone taking as much as i do.

 

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I have been experiencing horrific tremors as well. The simplest tasks have become exceptionally frustrating! Sitting still, writing, typing getting ready in the morning, God forbid I have to hand something to someone. :(  I'm currently on 1200mg of Lithium, 80mg Geodon and 60mg of Adderall (spread throughout the day). I am so glad that I found this posting! I am definitely going to try the B6. Hopefully I will have the same results & be able to get things back under control.

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I'm 15 years old and I just started taking Lithium last week.....So far ,I don't think I've had and side effects yet.........wondering....wondering . I'm currently taking 300 mg of it...that's pretty high!
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Dose doesn't really matter, as individual physiology is different for everyone.  I am currently on 1800 mg lithium / day.  I was on half that, and even at half the dose, I had some tremors.  Since doubling the dose, the tremors have gotten MUCH worse.  My hands, arms, and legs will all twitch and shake involuntarily.  Luckily it hasn't interfered with daily activities too much.  Holding a cup is dicey sometimes, so I need to stabilize it with both hands.  But I can still type.  I also work from home a good bit, so it's not as socially awkward as working around people and not being able to hold a pen or paper steady.

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Dear Samantha,
Yes, Lithium can cause mild to severe tremors, or at least it has had that effect on me. I was just double checking that symptom on a website when your query popped up. I am a 61 year old female and have been on a Lithium Carbonate, 300MG daily maintenance dose for seventeen years. I am a Bipolar I, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder patient from early childhood sexual and military sexual trauma, and also have Borderline Personality Disorder (they say this final diagnosis is tied to my childhood trauma). Bouts of major and chronic depression have gone hand in hand with these maladies; to include two failed suicide attempts, obviously. All of "this" is nothing to fool around with, especially if you are as talented as I suspect you are. I am presuming you are a bipolar if you are on lithium and Seroquel. Take your Lithium. For me, Seroquel left me flat, creatively and emotionally. Anti-depressants actually made my depression worse, as is the case for some of us. I might suggest that you read Kay Redfield Jamison's book, An Unquiet Mind. She is a practicing psychiatrist at John Hopkins, who specializes in Bipolar Disorder. She is a Bipolar, as well. Of course, always discuss your concerns with your prescribing physician. All in all, Lithium has proven over the course of time to be a good mood stabilizer. It helps to stabilize serotonin in your brain;your "highs" and "lows" stabilize, somewhat, sometimes.
A little more regarding your tremors. Try, when possible, to stabilize your elbow positioning to aid in controlling tremors. I am a creative non-fiction writer. For me, there is nothing more frustrating to have a mind overflowing with ideas or inspiration then find I cannot hold onto a pen (as I always do my rough drafts with pen to paper). Then, of course, keyboarding is problematic also. The shaking leg thing is very maddening. I always hope that no one is around for that. It is though you, a person, is freezing to death or horribly frightened, right?
Bipolar Disorder seems to be much in vogue in our society these days, in a bad way. Mass murderers come to mind;a Bipolar off his medication, or some other sort of mental disorder which has contributed to a heinous crime. However, there are millions of us out there, in this country alone, who go to work, contribute greatly, who are often the movers-and-shakers, the idea men and women, and who are the most-liked and admired. We are our hardest critics, therefor, we don't like to hear it from others. "Just stand back and let me get to work!," you might feel.
I will advise you to keep on top of this "Blessing, yea Curse" thing called Bipolar Disorder. It can be a wild, glorious ride or a bottomless pit of despair. Have someone to "spot" you on your mood, perhaps a co-worker or a neighbor you know, fairly well. Sometimes, if it is someone too close, a remark seems too much like criticism or ridicule, or a personal attack upon your Achillles' tendon;Bipolar. Join a group of your own kind;that "normalizes" everything. You are all on the same page, or at least within the same chapter, or at least, the same book or genre.
Well, I'll let you go. Hope all of this wasn't to much information (TMI). Yeah, I'm getting older, but I, we, have a 33 year-old son who keeps us apprised in regard to current "lingo". I am a lover of words;real words. I suspect that you realize that by the length of this reply. Brevity is not my long suit, that's for sure. You hang in there, and have a great life. This world needs dreamers and "imagineers". We are the "receivers" of higher thoughts and emotions. It is our destiny, during our life's brief sojourn, to be the one's who made a real difference in this world. For myself, I have always struggled with self-acceptance, however, I do feel that my presence has had a positive effect on many others. For that, I am grateful.
Take your Lithium. Have a great New Year. Get your degree and teach. I never did, and I regret it. Sue
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     I am the guest who replied on 1/5/14 in regard to your questions regarding tremors from lithium, along with other side effects.  I wanted to revisit my statement regarding my past suicide attempts.  These attempts were prior to being placed on Lithium.  I was diagnosed bipolar at age 18, after my first attempted action against myself.  The diagnosis was all I received; no information regarding the condition and no medication.   I went to a library and looked up "manic-depression".  The bottom line, at that time, was that I was "insane".  Really?  How was I supposed to ever get out of the hole I was in if I was insane?

     If I was insane, how had I been an Honor Roll student from kindergarten through my Senior year of high school, barring Algebra and Geometry?  I never could fathom higher math.  How did I qualify for the 1968 Olympics, in the now 200 meter event, despite the fact of living in abject poverty and abuse along, with my six siblings?  How did I graduate at age 18, mid-class, from the Army Corps of Engineer School at Fort Belvoir, VA when the majority of the students had some college or had a BA?  Can one be insane, yet do so well?

     By age 21, I once again attempted to "end it all".  Looking back, without going over all the gory details, what accompanied those "attempts" was a whole lot of trauma and stress which were out of my control or understanding.  I turned that stress inward.  I felt like a failure, somehow.  I was a hard worker.  I was intelligent, except for higher math.  I had always been a "survivor".  I would crawl out of the hole, but it took longer and the ascent from the abyss took longer as I grew older.  After an incident at work, where I had "whistle blew" on my superiors within a Federal Government agency, and tried to endure their subsequent ire, I snapped.  I was 43 then.  I did finally get some help and medication.  Lithium has helped.  It is not a panacea, but it can smooth the rough edges.  For me, 300MG registers as a sub-theraputic dose, lab wise.  However, by and large, if I can manage to keep my stress-level down in my day-to-day living, it seems to be enough, along with receiving counseling and medication management.

     Expose yourself to those things which bring you personal pleasure, as long as they are legal and safe.  For me, Nature is very calming, being raised in the deep Missouri Ozarks.  Amidst all the chaos within the four walls of the shack in which we survived, splendor surrounded us from without.  She was my teacher and my mentor;the whispy figure whose hand pointed out the sun, stars, the flora and fauna and the path to "Hope".  I do have a "faith base", as well.  I have argued with that One, a lot.  I am a lay philosopher and theologian, not always so accepting of the "truisms" of others.

     Be advised, should you gain access to your medical records, especially the psychiatric ones, not to be too alarmed upon seeing words like "delusional", "delusions of grandeur", or "phychosis", or "psychotic".  Perhaps, you might also see, "audio/visual hallucinations" at times.  You have access to your records under the Freedom of Information Act of 1974.

     Are we "odd", we people who are "stricken" with mood disorders?  I suppose that depends on an individual's interpretation of "odd".  Within the realm of Psychiatric medicine, many of us are profoundly ill.  Having better knowlege and acceptance, now, of my particular brew of "disorders", I no longer consider myself as "odd", but instead, "unique".  What excitement is there in being "normal", always bowing and bending to established protocol?  Persons of our bent are oftentimes the poets, writers, and actors;those personages to which "normal" people flock to, enmasse, because they, themselves, are incapable of thinking "outside of the box". 

     Your job is to find a venue to market your "wares";your talents.  Turn your diagnosed "burden" into an "asset".  Turn what many call a "weakness or lacking" into your greatest strength.  Be that pop of color, which is so badly needed, center stage, atop the abysmal landscape of black and white, or at best, varying shades of grey so predominent in our seemingly common, lackluster world.

     I will let you go, if you haven't fallen asleep, already.  Remember, you, and anyone else who might be reading this post, are your own best advocate, as a patient and in life.  Be open to taking a prescription for what ever "ails" you.  However, more is not always better, in terms of multiple meds to treat a condition.  Good luck in all you do and stay busy.  Sue           

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Hello Sammmmmatha , When I Fall asleep , I wake up With shivering all over my Body also , Plus my Hands have Become very cold , EVEN if I am inside , I don't Know if its the Lithium Carbonate foing it , Or its Throwing my thyroid off , I have underactive Thyroid Disease , " Hypothyroidism " , Just wondering if you get very cold on this Medicine , I am on thee Same doase has You .
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