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So I was diagnosed last week with Bipolar 1 and promptly sent to Pathlab to have my bloods taken in anticipation of lithium treatment. The Psychiatrist went on to prescribe me with an initial dose of 400mg Lithium Slow Release tablets and 25mg Quetiapine (An antipsychotic). Both medications were to be taken at around 6pm daily.

Now I do need to point out that I was previously on Citalopram 40mg daily right up until the day I changed to lithium. I was told to stop taking them immediately and start lithium, so I did. Apparently, Citalopram is not a good treatment for someone with Bipolar as it can increase the frequency and intensity of the mania episodes. I can attest that it did in fact make my episodes frequent and intense. I will talk about my episodes in a different post.

Ok back to the lithium and quetiapine. The first lets say two days on the medication I didn’t really feel any different or experience any side effects, from day three onwards that changed. It started with the sweats, I would be sitting down watching TV and start to feel my back and head start beading up with all the sweat. Not a big issue when am home alone. Secondly, I started to need to pee and poo a lot more. Again, no biggy when home alone. Lastly, I have been having sporadic moments of lightheadedness and sleepiness, which for me is the biggest pain. Means I have to lay down for a good 30 minutes to let it pass.

Now am on day five of the medication, the side effects are more frequent but less intense and the sedative effect is very helpful at nighttime – I am sleeping like sleeping beauty.

I do feel slightly more “chill” on the medication but still not 100%, I am still rapid cycling at the moment between mania and depression – here’s hoping when I get my next bloods done in a few days they sort the medication.

If you’re starting this treatment how was it for you?