Questions re. Lithium Orotate
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Q:  Questions re. Lithium Orotate

Hello, I am from Spain and I am 31 years. I was diagnosed Bipolar I  twelve years ago. First treatment approach was to take lithium and Zyprexa. I responded fine but size effects like weight gain (20 - 30 Kilograms), and lapse of concentration mainly send me to take another meds. When i was taking lithium emotionally I felt much better than any other medication.

Actually I am taking Depakote 500 3 pills a day and lamotrigine 2 pills. Some weeks ago I was also taking Zyprexa but I decided to take off because I had very lucid dreams while sleeping like real life situations and I thought it was a side effect, also I had severe weight gain with it.

I am quite stable now though I think this approach is not too fine for me I miss lithium which I think was much better emotionally.

I have read about lithium orotate from Symmetry, and looks fine. I contacted them  and reported me they have no one side effect report in six years. Also I have read that it can be nuisible for kidneys.

I would like to know whether its safe, has no side effects and it can be mixed with my pills and its safe dosage.

Sorry my English :)

Kind regards,

Hello Juan --
Gracias por su English, senor Ė mas mejor que mi Espanol!  

You asked about lithium orotate: might it be safe to use and cause less trouble, such as weight gain, than lithium carbonate?  

I wish that this could be true. Perhaps it is, but there is no research at all to back up the claims made by the Symmetry company. The story about kidney risk from lithium orotate goes back 30 years to a single study with a dose much larger than is generally advocated today, which caused kidney damage in rats. After that, there was only a single study in humans, also not very helpful in terms of understanding this kidney risk issue.  

So, the answer to the risk question is: we donít know. This is very unfortunate because there are at least 5 companies selling the stuff, making claims for its value. And of course they make it sound really good because they want you to buy it.  Say, I have a great book for sale. You should buy it. It will tell you all about weight gain in bipolar disorder for example. The only book of its kind available. You see? I could easily make some money here. That is not fair, in my view. (Donít buy my book, even if there is a Spanish version now. Just read my website, if you like: itís free).   

Good luck with your search for a good treatment Ė

Dr. Phelps

Published August, 2008



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