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Q: lithium side effects ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: lithium side effects
Category: Health > Men's Health
Asked by: penwrite-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 28 Mar 2005 21:03 PST
Expires: 27 Apr 2005 22:03 PDT
Question ID: 501800
iam taking lithium tabs with effexor as a treatment for a major
depression i suffer since four months.this treatment made my muscles
stiff and aching and reduced my libido :
1- how can i reduce muscle stiffness and ache ?
2- how can i improve my libido ?
Subject: Re: lithium side effects
Answered By: adiloren-ga on 29 Mar 2005 12:06 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Thank you for the question. Some side effects are to be expected with
anti-depressents. However, there may be some methods to reduce them. I
will outline some of these methods below.

This information is not medical advice, it is simply a reflection of
the information regarding your question on the internet.

Please contract a doctor before altering your dosage or drug regimen. 

You very well may be aware of this, but I need to clarify my intent. 

Now, on to your question!


If you are experiencing swelling of your neck or legs, it could signal
low thyroid function and you should contact your doctor.

The muscle stiffness is odd, as Lithium has muscle relaxant
properties. Perhaps the tension is related to your condition and not
the treatment.

This could also be the result of an allergic reaction, if you haven't
yet confirmed that that is not the case.

The following herbs may help with the muscle pain:

"Ginger - a powerful herb with many therapeutic benefits, including
immune system stimulation and and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger
relieves muscle aches as well as secondary fibromyalgia symptoms such
as headaches and nausea.

Olive Leaf - olive leaf has been shown to have strong anti-viral and
anti-bacterial properties, along with immune boosting and
anti-inflammatory capability.

Gotu Kola - long used in Indian medicine, gotu kola strengthens tisses
and blood vessels. It also acts a rejuvenator and anti-inflammatory.

Turmeric - contains the compound curcumin which is a powerful
anti-inflammatory for treating muscle pain and swelling. Also contains
powerful antioxidants which can ward off illness by ridding the body
of dangerous toxins. "

"White Willow Bark: Thought to inhibit the neural transfer of pain signals. 
Contains the natural pharmaceutically active compound salicin, or
salicylic acid, the chemical forerunner of acetylsalicylic acid
(modern aspirin), known to complement the body's ability to relieve
discomfort but without the possible complications caused by aspirin. 

Capsicum Frutescens: Used effectively to relieve pain, apparently by 
desensitizing sensory receptors on cells, and thus effectively
blocking pain signals from being processed. 

Calcium Carbonate: A necessary mineral for helping the body calm
nerves and buffer impulses within the nervous system. 

Fo-Ti: A popular Chinese herb used to alleviate pain by aiding the body's 
production of natural calming agents. 

Calming Herbs (Valeriana Officinalis, Radix Heraclei & More): Contain
a number of alkaloids that act as nerve sedatives, helping to reduce
tension and calm nerves."
The following nutrients may decrease the reaction causing the muscle pain:

"Omega-3 Fatty Acids - especially those found in fish oil, omega-3
fatty acids can decrease inflammation and allergic response.

Magnesium - an important mineral for proper muscle and nerve function,
as well as hundreds of different cell functions. "

Again, you should make sure that you don't have an allergy to any of
the medication that you are taking, as an allergic reaction can cause
muscle pain and swelling.

Getting massages could help, as could taking hot baths. 


The libido problems may be from the Effexor. It can cause sexual
disfunction and impotence.  However, some have reported an increased
libido, so I suppose it is all circumstantial.

You should discuss reducing your dosage with your doctor, this can
make a big difference.

Some suggest that Viagara can reverse this effect.

Others suggest Wellbutrin as an alternative to Exxefor.

Some natural agents may help with the libido problem:

Horny Goat Weed

Catuaba, Guarana, and Muirapuama

Maca: Peru's Natural Viagra

This may be controversial, but some suggest that the use of Marijuana
can lessen the side effects of Lithium.

You should always check with your doctor to make sure that these
combinations of herbs, nutrients, drugs, etc. are compatible with what
you are already taking.


Google Search terms used:

"lithium side effects" 
and libido
and "muscle pain"
"effexor side effects"
and libido 
and muscle pain
"muscle pain treatment"
"increasing libido" or "boosting libido"

Request for Answer Clarification by penwrite-ga on 03 May 2005 22:15 PDT
is the so called  natural lithium or lithium orotate( iam not sure of
correct spelling) different from "traditional" lithium?

Clarification of Answer by adiloren-ga on 13 May 2005 15:59 PDT
Yes, lithium orotate is a more natural form of the mineral composite
known as lithium. The prescription strength lithium is less easily
absorbed by cells, and while more powerful, can be more dangerous if
not taken  in carefully restricted doses.


The Unique, Safe Mineral with Multiple Uses July 1999
by Ward Dean, M.D. and Jim English

"Lithium is a mineral with a cloudy reputation. It is an alkali metal
in the same family as sodium, potassium and other elements. Although
lithium is highly effective in the treatment of manic depressive
illness (X4 DI), its pharmaceutical (prescription) versions, lithium
carbonate and lithium citrate, must be used with caution. The reason
for the caution with prescription lithium is because lithium in these
forms is poorly absorbed by the cells of the body ? and it is within
the cells that lithiums therapeutic effects take place. Lithium ions
are believed to act only at particular sites on the membranes of
intracellular structures like mitochondria and lysosomes.

Consequently, because of this poor intracellular transport, high
dosages of pharmaceutical forms of lithium must be taken in order to
obtain a satisfactory therapeutic effect. Unfortunately, these
therapeutic dosages cause blood levels to be so high that they border
on toxic levels. Consequently, patients taking prescription lithium
must be closely monitored for toxic blood levels. "


The Unique, Safe Mineral with Multiple Uses July 1999
by Ward Dean, M.D. and Jim English

"The lithium salt of orotic acid (lithium orotate) improves the
specific effects of lithium many-fold by increasing lithium
bio-utilization. The orotates transport the lithium to the membranes
of mitochondria, lysosomes and the glia cells. Lithium orotate
stabilizes the lysosomal membranes and prevents the enzyme reactions
that are responsible for the sodium depletion and dehydration effects
of other lithium salts. Because of the superior bioavailability of
lithium orotate, the therapeutic dosage is much less than prescription
forms of lithium. For example, in cases of severe depression, the
therapeutic dosage of lithium orotate is 150 mg/day. This is compared
to 900-1800 mg of the prescription forms. In this dosage range of
lithium orotate, there are no adverse lithium side reactions and no
need for monitoring blood serum measurements.17"

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you need futher assistance. 

Best regards,
Anthony (adiloren-ga)
penwrite-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: lithium side effects
From: clint34-ga on 29 Mar 2005 04:54 PST
Hot tub and a porno.
Subject: Re: lithium side effects
From: swmo-ga on 29 Mar 2005 06:57 PST
i would suggest talking to the prescribing doctor (psychiatrist
hopefully) about the side effects you are encountering.

i would guess that it is a side effect of the lithium vs a side effect
of the effexor.  but i am not a doctor, just a social worker.
Subject: Re: lithium side effects
From: fishoilblog-ga on 13 May 2005 14:24 PDT
For more information on using fish oil to treate bipolar disorder,
check out this blog entry entitled <a
Bipolar Disorder? Fish Oil: Alternative to Lithium</a>
Subject: Re: lithium side effects
From: fishoilblog-ga on 13 May 2005 14:24 PDT
Oops, here is the link:

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