1. Gastrointestinal distress (diarrhea, nausea) may be reduced by giving the medication with meals or by switching to a sustained release preparation.
2. Tremor is most common in the hands. Tremor is treated by lowering the dosage or by adding low dose propranolol (10-40 mg tid-qid).
3. Diabetes insipidus may result from lithium administration. It presents with polyuria and polydipsia. Treatment consists of amiloride administration, in doses of 5-20 mg per day with frequent monitoring of lithium and potassium levels.
4. Hypothyroidism may result from lithium and is treated with levothyroxine.
5. Dermatological side effects include acne which can be controlled with benzoyl peroxide or topical antibiotics. Lithium can induce or exacerbate psoriasis which usually responds to discontinuation of lithium.
6. Elevated WBC count, usually between 11-15 thousand, is frequently observed and requires no treatment.
7. Cardiac side effects include T-wave flattening or inversion and rare arrhythmias which require discontinuation of lithium.
8. Lithium toxicity may occur when levels exceed 1.5 mEq/liter, and it presents with emesis, diarrhea, confusion, ataxia, and cardiac arrhythmias. Seizures, coma and death may occur at levels above 2.5 mEq/liter. Treatment of overdose may require hemodialysis.
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All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.