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Lithium and Kidney Damage
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Lithium and Kidney Damage

What are the chances of damaging my Kidneys while on 900MG of Lithium(and 500MG of Neuronten which will end in a week)? I just started the Lithium a couple of weeks ago. Will be taking the Lithium for 3 to 4 months max.

Before taking the Li had my creatinine and BUN checked and both were fine. Urine test results(for protein, gravity, etc) are still pending. Had an abdominal ultrasound a few months ago for other reasons and kidneys were normal. I assume that blood/urine tests every few monmths would be wise and possibly prevent or catch any problems?
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Chronic lithium use can affect the kidneys causing a variety of kidney disorders such as nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, renal tubular acidosis, nephrotic syndrome and chronic interstitial nephritis.

Normally, the lithium level is drawn every 4-5 days during initial therapy.  If the lithium levels are within normal levels, then it is less likely that it can affect the kidneys.  

If there are signs of kidney toxicity, then blood tests for creatinine and BUN should certainly be considered.

This should certainly be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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