Various symptoms manifest among patients with mental health conditions and this impacts the lives of patients and family, including the ability to socialize normally. Common symptoms among psychiatric patients and patients with bipolar disorders are unstable moods. Symptomatic treatment of conditions includes use of mood stabilizers.  Lithium orotate is one such mood stabilizer that is a preferred choice for its mechanism of action. Typically prescribed as combination medication to treat depression Lithium orotate is regarded as effective to also treat mania in psychiatric patients. Subsequent sections will offer in-depth information about possible lithium orotate side effects to help family members identify and manage undesirable outcomes.

How does lithium orotate work in managing mental health conditions

Microorganisms in the intestines produce orotic acid, a compound which combines with lithium from dietary intake. Lithium is regarded as one among the more important trace elements and is known to have a calming effect. Studies have shown a marked decrease in violence, and suicidal tendencies in societies where lithium was found in drinking water. The effect of lithium on behavior, makes the nutraceutical a preferred choice for treating patients with symptoms associated with mental health conditions. Lithium is combined with orotate, as the compound is essential for delivery of lithium in a form that can be absorbed by the body.

The neuroprotective agent is effective in bringing about a reduction in brain activity that may be abnormal among patients with mental health conditions.  Most of the changes in behavior and symptoms associated with psychiatric and mental health conditions are attributed to unusual activity in the brain.

What symptoms of mental health conditions can be managed with lithium orotate?

Lithium orotate is used for treating Alzheimer’s, ADHD, and as part of holistic treatment for alcoholics undergoing deaddiction therapy.  Common symptoms of various mental health conditions include depression, insomnia and anxious feelings. Patients suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, age related degenerative conditions and bipolar disorder are typically administered the neuroprotective nutraceutical to manage the symptoms. In addition to offering relief, the medication also helps prevent migraine and headaches that are commonly known as cluster headaches.

Is lithium orotate also used for treating other conditions?

Lithium orotate is also used for managing other conditions include Parkinson’s, glaucoma, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder that are usually experienced by patients. Prescription strengths are used for preventing alcoholics in deaddiction from falling back into the habit. Additionally, lithium orotate is also used for treating schizophrenia and blood disorders including anemia.

Psychiatric patients are known to end up with certain outcomes as a result of altered behavior. For instance, there is the possibility of eating disorders – anorexia and bulimia; the latter refers to binge eating among patients with mental health conditions. The nutraceutical is also regarded as effective in helping manage epilepsy along with other medications. Lithium orotate along with other medications is also used in helping treat patients with liver ailments and renal impairments. Finally, the combination is effective in the management of seborrhea, a common skin condition. The calming effect makes it a good choice to control aggression in patients in addition to movement disorders that are typically observed in psychiatric patients.

What kind of lithium orotate side effects are possible?

The undesirable effects of lithium orotate are broadly classified as mild/moderate and possible adverse. A large number of individuals may not experience any side effects whatsoever. The intensity, duration of effects is also likely to be experienced differently, with some intense or effects for a long duration, while others may find the effects resolving quickly.

Side effects of lithium orotate that are most frequently experienced include nausea, and possible dizziness. Diarrhea is another condition that is reported among a sizeable number of users. Fatigue and a general overall weakness that is not attributed to any other condition or reason is also a possible undesirable effect of lithium orotate. These effects may not last for a long duration, and may resolve naturally.

Possible effects that have an indirect impact on the patient

Apart from the effects mentioned above, there is also the possibility of effects that could have an indirect impact on patients. This is typically associated with patients who are on the supplements or prescription medication for longer periods.  Patients may feel abnormally thirsty, or feel the need to frequently urinate. Individuals on long term use of the supplements may experience tremors, and this could also be a result of an overall weakness that is best observed or experienced in the muscles.

As a result of binge eating, individuals may gain weight, while some are known to end up with swelling due to the body fluids that are excessive/abnormal. Patients with skin conditions may find the condition aggravating as a result of lithium orotate. These skin conditions include acne, psoriasis and rashes. As a result of this, the patient may require special attention from dermatologists to treat the conditions.

In order to prevent any possible aggravation of skin disorders among patients with mental health disorders, it is necessary to monitor blood lithium levels through periodic/frequent laboratory tests. An increase that is not controlled may result in aggravation of skin conditions.

Interesting history of the nutraceutical/neuroprotective agent explaining the mechanism of action

Lithium orotate was first used for gout treatment. Considered as good mood stabilizers, the nutraceutical is also used to prevent migraine in individuals. Lithium salts are also effective in preventing cluster headaches. One of the reasons for the effectiveness of the nutraceutical and prescription medication is the mechanism of action, wherein, the glutamate receptors are changed by the medication. Excessive or deficient amount of glutamate between neurons is regarded as the reason behind depression or mania respectively.



Lithium orotate side effects that require medical attention

There is a possibility of an effect on heart rhythm from Lithium and its salts. This may then turn out to be an adverse effect on patients with heart ailments. Patients with a known history of heart ailments are to seek specific medical advice about Lithium orotate, to prevent the consequences of irregular heartbeats having a major impact. Similarly, the supplement or prescription strength of the medication may have an impact on patients with kidney ailments. The inability or reduced ability of kidneys to process/remove lithium and its salts from the body may cause undesirable effects. This is dealt by modifying dosages to a level wherein the lithium is removed from the body even by impaired kidneys.

Effect of Lithium on serotonin levels and anesthesia

Serotonin levels in the body are affected by lithium orotate, and this could have undesirable consequences on the central nervous system. As a result, patients undergoing surgery and requiring anesthesia are advised to stop taking lithium supplements at least two weeks before any procedure. This is to be under medical supervision, and in circumstances, where the patient may have to undergo any unplanned or emergency procedure, the healthcare provider is to be specifically informed about lithium supplements. This is necessary to prevent undesirable effects, through suitable procedures to mitigate the effects of lithium and its salts.

Lithium orotate and its effect on thyroid

Lithium may increase or aggravate the effects of thyroid in patients, and this makes it necessary healthcare providers to be informed in detail about the condition. This will help in the initiation of suitable measures to reduce thyroid complications. The best option is always to compare the intended outcomes of thyroid medication and lithium supplements. When the outcomes of one medication are more important than the other, it is best to continue the medication that has a more important or critical impact on health. Similarly, it is also a good idea to compare the unwanted outcomes of both medications and decide on the reactions that may cause maximum or minimal impact. This will help patients to take a call on modifying dosages, or dropping one medication for a short period.

Certain treatment protocols are known to involve staggering of scheduled dosages in a manner so as to give a clear gap between two different types of medications. This may work for medications that have a short duration of action; however, this may not be effective with thyroid medications as the duration of action is extended in nature.

Can pregnant women take the supplement safely?

Pregnant women are to take additional precautions about lithium supplements as a result of possible effects – birth defects and heart complications in newly born infants. Wherever, it is absolutely mandatory to administer the supplement to pregnant women for managing specific conditions, it is to be given only under close supervision and constant monitoring.  Lithium secretes into breast milk, and nursing mothers are to avoid the supplement, as it may impact the child’s health.

Are there any interactions that may occur with other medications? 

Lithium may also interact with other medications, herbal remedies, and supplements.  Most interactions typically result in aggravation of undesirable effects, or a reduction in the effectiveness. In certain circumstances, the interaction could cause the potency of medications/supplements to increase beyond desired or intended outcomes. This is to be borne in mind by patients and family members, to prepare for possible interactions and handle the impact accordingly.

Lithium is likely to trigger interactions when taken along with antidepressants. It is therefore necessary for patients with depression to intake medications and lithium supplements with suitable precautions to prevent a spike in serotonin. One of the adverse outcomes of increased serotonin levels is the possibility of serotonin syndrome.

Other possible drug interactions include effects when taken with MAOI medications. Prescribed for treating depression, monoamine oxidase inhibitors are known to cause a spike in serotonin levels. The combination of MAOI medications and lithium supplements may cause an increase in serotonin levels causing adverse outcomes. On a similar note, patients with hypertension are typically prescribed ACE inhibitors, and this could trigger an interaction when taken along with lithium supplements. Undesirable outcomes from this combination include higher lithium levels, and this may in turn result in adverse effects.

Drug interactions are also a possibility when taken along with calcium channel blockers. Patients and family members are advised to inform the specialists about the calcium channel blockers, following which suitable measures may be initiated to prevent or mitigate drug interactions.

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