Can Lithium Increase Cycling?
[Home] [Bipolar News] [Bipolar Disorder] [Medications] [Treatments] [Bipolar Disorder/Job/School] [Disabilities] [Ask the Doctor] [Ask David] [Self-Injury] [Personal Stories] [Graham's Column] [Steven's Column] [Storm's Column] [Columnist Archives] [Suicide] [Community Support] [Family Members] [Expressions] [Greeting Cards] [Books] [Awards] [Links & Rings] [About Us] [Contact Us]


Q  Can Lithium Increase Cycling?

While I know that every medication will respond differently to a variety of people, I would just like to know if there has ever been a link between Lithium and it making people exhibit greater symptoms of Bipolar illness (specifically rapid cycling)? I've been on Lithium (1,800mg / day) for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 months and the higher my dosage goes (I started out at 600mg / day), the more rapidly I seem to cycle from depression (with suicidal ideations) to rage. Thank you for your time.

Hello John -- 
I've not seen this happen, in fact I routinely tell folks that lithium is one of the few medications we have with some "antidepressant" potential that does not run the risk of increasing cycling.  However, from what we are learning recently about how lithium works, I can imagine that it is possible for lithium to act like antidepressants do, even though I've never clearly seen it myself, nor ever having heard it described by mood experts.  But you're describing it, so I'm chalking up a mark in that column:  I've now heard, once, of lithium possibly increasing cycling.  Of course the problem is, how can we know for sure that something else is not associated?  Including just some underlying change in what the lithium is supposed to be treating....   So we should list this one in the "not sure but important to listen" category, for now, I think.  

Dr. Phelps

Published April, 2003


Bipolar World   1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)
Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff) 
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan

Email Us at Bipolar World


About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Plyler about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/ Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links  Manage Your Medications  Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents   Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?