Reaction to Lithium
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  1. #1
    Registered User Gibs's Avatar
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    Default Reaction to Lithium

    I have not been around a lot because I have been sick.....I was diagnosed about 6-7 weeks ago with Bipolar disorder. On Friday my doctor decided to put me on Lithium because my other meds were not keeping me from becoming manic. Sooo here is what happened.

    Okay...So I had a reaction to the Lithium that I took Friday night. I had to take a 150mg dose. to start. I took it at around 9:30-10:00 and right after a friend called me to come over she had a few girls in for a few drinks. I couldn't drink but I went just for the social aspect of it. About an hour after I took it, I apparently got very quiet. I started to feel really sick. I stood up and said I was going home I seriously was going to walk to my car get in and drive home. But (thank God, cause I would have either passed out in the driveway or went off the road in the car) I staggered across the kitchen and was slurring my words. My friend Nicole got me to the couch and laid me back on it. I lost all my color, went completely white and clammy. I was changing colors according to the girls and the paramedic. I couldn't swallow at all it felt like my body forgot how to swallow. Eventually I could swallow but only if I had water in my mouth. Nicole went to get water for me and Robyn (my daughter) was there because she was sleeping over with Maggie (Nicole's daughter) Robyn shoved her bottle of water to my hand and said DRINK. Every thing from the neck down went really tingly and was like dead weight Numb like. I had no control over my body, Like rubber. I could not breathe. My neck, back and Knee started to hurt really bad. I could not control my hands or limbs it was total dead weight. I was sluring my speech at first, and then it got so bad I could only give one word answers to the paramedics that came. I couldn't understand what people were saying, my sight was really blurry. They asked me questions like the date and stuff I couldn't answer them. I remember they kept saying stay with us, are u still with us. Robyn was crying to break her heart but at the same time trying to be strong. My sugar was 16.4 my sugar has NEVER been above 5.4 ever in my life. My blood pressure was 179/97. I was really cold and my teeth were chattering. They covered me in like 4 blankets in the ambulance and gave me oxygen. I honestly felt like I was going to die. I have never been so sick or scared in my entire life, not even through the bad things that happened to me. I kept thinking I did not want to die in front of Robyn. I got to the hospital, and was a little better because of the oxygen but still couldn't move myself or anything. The nurse did all the vitals and that stuff, and we had to wait 2 hours for a doctor. When he saw me he said it was probably side effects of the drug, and told me to keep taking them until I get used to them. When we left Steven (My husband) was like "HELL NO, they are going back to the pharmacy to be disposed of, you are not taking them ever again." I will take my regular meds now and call my Psychiatrist on Monday. But I am never taking that again. I think it was some sort of allergic reaction. My arms got itchy and my head. But I did not get any hives. My gums and around my teeth and my lips were all very numb. I tell you I seriously have not been so scared. I have never felt that sick in all my life. On Saturday I ended up having a hard time swallowing again and got 3-4 hives, I ended up taking two doses of Benadryl.

  2. #2
    Registered User onencgirl's Avatar
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    Please take care of yourself. It sounds as though you had a bad reaction. See your Doc ASAP!
    If You Find Yourself Dancing In The Rain
    You Have Been Blessed

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    Wow!! Very hard to understand why the dr would say to keep taking a drug that you had such a severe reaction to. I realize there are side effects of drugs; but when they are that severe WHY in the world would they tell you to keep taking them. I am not in the medical field; but totally agree with what your dh said; sometimes we have to do what is in our best interests. Sooooooo glad you are okay!! Sounds soo scary what you went through!!!!

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    Registered User Gibs's Avatar
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    Thanks you two. I have never been so scared in all my life, I was honestly afraid I was going to die in front of my 10 year old daughter. I'm going to be completely honest in saying that our hospital has a bad rep for their doctors and sometimes even the nurses. All I know is I am NOT taking it ever again and am going back to see My regular dr tomorrow morning.

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    Registered User newstudent's Avatar
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    I am so sorry you had to go trough that.
    Please read about All the possible side effects whatever they give you next. My unfortunate personal experience is that doctors do not always tell you everything about medication.
    Get better soon.

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    Registered User Gibs's Avatar
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    Hi Newstudent. I read all the possible side effects before taking it. I always do. But I have never had a reaction to a drug before. We pretty well knew what was happening when it started, it started aproximately an hour after I took it, it was a slow release capsule.

  7. #7
    Registered User Lynnwantstosave$$'s Avatar
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    Wow, what a scary experience! I can't stand it when Dr's act so blase about some things. I've unfortunately had situations like that also. Hope you find the correct meds to help you.

    P.S. I also have a son named Dalton.
    I ran my life into a ditch big time and i am tired of struggling, i need a change and i need it now. Trying to change past behaviors so they are not the indicator of future behavior. That is why i am here...

  8. #8
    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    That was frightening just to read. I cant even imagine how horrible that was for you. That Dr.'s comment left me speechless! I am glad you are feeling better now.

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    Glad you are feeling better. Scary situation!

  10. #10
    Registered User newstudent's Avatar
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    I am glad you read the paper that comes with the medication.
    Have you considered also reading online about it? Please don't get me wrong, but there are side effects on some drugs that are not on the paper because they are rare and nevertheless people have them.
    Maybe you can call me paranoid - it's just that my trust in medication is veeeeery limited. If I have not read about it on all kinds of places I will not take it. Ok - maybe I am crazy.

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    It is a good thing you had people around you when this happened. Make sure to tell the doctor about the reaction and also find out what class of medication this is. You obviously were having an allergic reaction.

    I would also ask your doctor what in the medication could have caused this type of reaction.

    Take care.

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    When a doctor prescribes a drug, there are usually side effects that come with it, but in most cases the need for the meds outweighs the side effects. You could read every single published thing about a drug before you take it and will not know until you take it if you are going to have certain side effects. Some side effects are tolerable and some are not.
    I am not fond of taking medication either; but I had a kidney transplant and have no choice; side effects or not!!!

  13. #13
    Registered User many houseapes's Avatar
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    wow, that was scary.....my 26 yr old son had an awful reaction to Haldol last sept. Not even 24 hrs after he took the first dose, we found him trying to walk down the hallway with his limbs & neck all contorted. At first we thought he was having a stroke. We got him to the ER & they gave him benedryl as well & that helped. Hugs to you & your family.

  14. #14
    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    My dad years ago had the same kind of reaction to sulpher (he had a bladder infection) - turns out he is highly allergic to sulpher. He not only went thru what you describe, but then he started to bleed out (meaning blood was coming from all of his orafices), ears, nose, mouth, rectum, etc....

    My mom described to us in great detail what it was like when he stumbled up the stairs to her with blood running out of him saying that he thought they needed to get to a hospital. My dad, being my dad and thinking that ambulances are only for dying people (him not being one), actually had my mom drive him to the hospital hanging onto bloody towels in the process. Me, I would have been totally freaking out, (whether I was the driver or the bleeder) - but my dad was a medic in the war - he saw a lot and felt he could handle even more.

    By the time he was admitted and Dr's were able to attend to him he had lost almost all his blood. The Dr's said he was the closest alive person to death that they had seen to date (does that make sense?) meaning he should have already died from what little blood was still left circulating in his body.

    He spent 12 days in ICU and another week in a regular ward before being allowed to return to home. The Dr's not only told him to never take anything with any amount of sulpher in it again, but also to have his entire family tested for sulpher intolerances, as it is hereditary. Turns out none of us kids can have any sulpher either. It will poison our bodies immediately.

    How scary for you and for your daughter. It is terrible to watch a loved one go thru something that we have no idea what is happening or how to help. Good thing your dh is smarter than that ER doc. Most times a Dr will recognize that there is an intolerance and switch a patient to another type of med that offers the same benefits for what it was intended. You apparently had a terrible intolerance, we are not talking about a small rash here and to tell you to take more after such a major reaction to me seems like malpractice... One should never play around with the heart & one's blood pressure - shame on that Dr. And also, if he felt that you just needed to develop a tolerance for it, with what you just went thru, the only way that should be occurring is under close guarded medical care (meaning from your hospital bed with cardiac surgeons close by) - what a moron.... (in my simpleton opinion)....

    It's no wonder people are dying left and right.....
    Last edited by sabrelvssammy; 05-28-2012 at 01:30 PM.

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  15. #15
    Registered User Gibs's Avatar
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    Lynn - Awesome that you have a son with the same name, How old is he?

    Thanks everyone for your concern (((hugs)))

    Newstudent, - I do read everything online as well as the paper, and I definitely will more so now that this has happened, I have never been allergic to any med every before, so its scary that this happened and in such a short period of time.

    I saw MY doctor yesterday. His first thought was "I wonder if you had a panic attack" BUT then he read all of what happened and said that there was a lot going on there not a panic attack, and in any case he did not want me to take it anymore incase something else happened. So he prescribed a new medication called Valporic Acid, I have to pick it up today. I will start it tonight when my Husband is home that way if I have any other sort of reaction he will be home with me.

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