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Dr. G/ Another Lithium Question
casa222 posted:
I have just started Lithium and my psychiatrist is working on bringing me up to the therapeutic level. After a week of being on 600mg my level was .5 so she raised me up to 900mg but didn't order any more blood work. She said that should get me to the .7 area that I need to be at. I'm not concerned about Lithium toxicity from this dosage but I was just wondering if blood work is in fact unnecessary when you are that close to the therapeutic level.

My other question is about a possible side effect I think the Lithium may be causing. Can this medicine cause your reaction time to slow? I've noticed it the most when I'm driving. It takes my brain a few seconds longer to process different traffic situations before I react to them. Thanks Dr. G.
Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
Dear casa222,

It's good form to recheck a lithium level after changing the dose, but not critical that it's done asap. Unless someone is acutely manic, or showing signs of toxicity, levels are not as crucial as is judging their clinical response.

Lithium has been shown to slow reaction time, usually in more subtle than major ways, but yes, that's possible and may also be dose-related.

- Dr. G.
casa222 replied to Joseph F Goldberg, MD's response:
Thank you.