After 45 years on Lithium for successful management of Bi-Polar Disease I am recently Diagnosed with 3rd stage Renal Disease. I am no longer taking Lithium, but am on Depakote 500 mg, tabs ii, qd for management of Bi Polar Disease. Can I hope for any improvement in my kidney function at this point? I am 73 years old and I have Atrial Fib prn from Hx of childhood Rheumatic Fever, (No CHF) but I am also being treated for low thyroid. I worked as an RN for 30 years. I have a new Nephologist who has ordered an ultra sound of my kidneys. I would like to contact my previous Nephrologist, who travels with a team of doctors visiting hospitalized renal patients. Thank you. Any hope of improvement or usual time frames of when this may occcur. Thank you for a prompt response as my Ultrasound is on April 20th. This is the first day I have been able to check the NKF Website.

Lithium induced interstitial nephritis occurs with long term exposure to lithium in a small number of patients who take lithium.  Stopping the lithium is most important.  I am unable to offer any prognosis without performing a complete history and physical examination.  Careful follow up of blood and urine testing for chronic kidney disease (CKD) is most important.  You should follow your doctor’s advice, eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking and excess alcohol.  You should also avoid all use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) including Motrin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, and Naproxen.  I recommend follow up every 6 months for your kidney disease.

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