Alternative Treatments to Lithium?
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Q:  Alternative Treatments to Lithium?

Hello -

 My father has been taking lithium for bi polar regularly for 20 years.  However, a few years ago my mom started to notice that it did not seem to be as effective, I have also noticed this as his moods and behaviors become more and more irrational  and erradict.  He receives regular check ups from a doctor who monitors his lithium levels.  Do you have any ideas for alternative treatments?  He was also just diagnosed as being pre - diabetic, I don't know if that would affect anything.  My Dad is 60 years old, I have heard lithium stops being as effective when you get older?  Is that true?  thanks for your help

Hello Anon -- 
In general, with the caution that anything at his age ought to be started low and taken up slow, the usual list of candidates is the same at his age and in his position (re: lithium not working well enough, and facing a risk of diabetes) as for anyone else. As you may have seen, that list can be found on my website: a master
list of all the options; and an explanation of how to work one's way through them all on the general Treatment page under the Bipolar II section.  

Dr. Phelps

Published November, 2005


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