Lithium is an element that is most often prescribed as a drug, in the form of lithium carbonate and to a lesser extent lithium citrate, mainly for treating bipolar disorder but sometimes as a treatment for depression and schizophrenia.
The dose size of lithium carbonate and lithium citrate for these applications is usually so large that there are serious side effects. People who take these forms of lithium in high doses usually have to be monitored regularly by a physician.
Lithium aspartate and lithium orotate are available as supplements without a prescription. The effective dose size is a fraction of the lithium dose prescribed by physicians. Because of this there are fewer, and less severe, side effects.
Lithium can be classified as a mood stabilizer. For those who require it, lithium is a life changing substance that can act as a valuable nootropic. It increases serotonin synthesis, modulates glutamate levels, decreases the release of norepinephrine.
By decreasing the release of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (or noradrenaline) it can reduce the severity of problems like mania, panic attacks, anxiety issues, or other problems that are the result of excess norepinephrine.
Small doses of lithium aspartate or lithium orotate can:
--- Treat bipolar disorder.
--- Treat bipolar II disorder.
--- Stabilize mania.
--- Reduce mood swings.
--- Treat anxiety disorders.
--- Treat panic attacks.
--- Treat social phobia.
--- Treat PTSD.
--- Treat cluster headaches.
Lithium aspartate and lithium orotate are the two most common forms of lithium supplements. Both lithium aspartate and lithium orotate are in the same price range and most individuals find they produce similar results.
However, there are differences. Depending on your preferences and circumstances, one might be better than the other. Some people find lithium aspartate is more stimulating and starts/stops working more abruptly, in comparison to lithium orotate.
People who are sensitive to the food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG) have more of a chance of a bad reaction to lithium aspartate. It would be a good idea for them to take lithium orotate instead.
In the medical profession, lithium carbonate is the most commonly prescribed form of lithium, with lithium citrate being the second most commonly form of lithium prescribed by physicians. Dose sizes are usually 400 milligrams or higher.
For those who respond well, lithium aspartate and orotate can be effective at dose sizes that are a fraction of the lithium carbonate and citrate dose prescribed by physicians. Dose sizes are much lower, with fewer side effects in comparison.
Other forms of lithium include lithium bromide, lithium chloride, lithium fluoride, lithium iodide. In the first half of the twentieth century, an early form of 7up contained lithium citrate. Lithia Coke was a combination of Coca-Cola syrup and lithia water.
Cannabis products like marijuana, hashish, hash oil, act primarily upon cannabinoid receptors. In addition they can affect other neurotransmitters and neuroreceptors including those associated with dopamine, serotonin, GABA, norepinephrine.
Depending on the individual, cannabis products can cause panic attacks and other anxiety related issues. In many cases this is the result of cannabis elevating, or producing effects similar to elevating, norepinephrine levels.
Since lithium decreases the release of norepinephrine, this can reduce many types of anxiety issues. Cannabis consumers who take lithium will most likely find lithium decreases anxiety problems that cannabis can contribute to.
Limit intake of lithium aspartate or lithium orotate to 1-5 milligrams doses, 1-3 times per day at equally spaced intervals if taken more than once a day, when you first try it.
If you notice positive, but mild results, dose size can be increased in 5 mg increments. Limit intake to 30-45 milligrams a day. Lithium aspartate and orotate are semi-soluble in water. They can be taken on an empty stomach to aid with absorption.
If no positive results are noticed within a week, a need for lithium (or excess levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine) are probably not the cause of any medical issues you are facing.
Over time, lithium levels can build in the body if taken daily. You can reduce the dose size if and when you feel the effects getting stronger, even though the dose size remains the same.
Taking small doses can be effective you when you are over-anxious, but taking it when you are already calm may result in loss of energy, lethargy, sleep. Depending on circumstances, it might be best to take it when needed, rather than everyday.
A vitamin B complex, or better still good multivitamin supplement that includes vitamin B complex, may help lithium work more effectively. Caffeine can increase the rate that lithium is cleared from the body, and result in lower blood levels of lithium.
Prior to utilizing lithium, to be safe discuss it with your physician. On your first attempt it might be the best thing to try working with a small quantity of lithium aspartate or lithium orotate, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1-5 milligrams.
A small dose size will give you an indication of the possible results as well as alerting you to any negative reactions. At small dose sizes, the effects are subtle and some people might not notice anything.
Side effects tend to increase with dose size. Limit the dose size to the minimum amount needed to produce satisfactory results in order to minimize the chances and severity of adverse reactions.
The most common side effects include:
--- Dry mouth.
Nausea and diarrhea are fairly common when you first start taking lithium, even in small doses. This may be reduced or eliminated with daily intake, over the course of a few weeks.
Other side effects can include:
--- Confused thinking.
--- Impaired memory.
--- Increased pain.
--- Weight gain.
Taking lithium can increase the output of urine and may cause dehydration if water intake is not increased. Taking lithium with food can lessen chances of diarrhea, nausea, or other stomach related problems.
Taking lithium can interfere with the properties of all forms of amphetamine (levoamphetamine, dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, adderall, etcetera) and other substances that increase, or produce results similar to increasing, norepinephrine.