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Lamictal - Loss Of Concentration, Short Term Memory?


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#1 dieselgirl

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 03:21 PM

I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced side effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!
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#2 OnlyZ

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 04:46 PM

If you have been on it for over a month and you are still experiencing this, then you may need to switch medications. If it is seriously impeding your job duties then you have to decide if this medication is worth the risk of losing your job. There are many other medications out there that are in the same class as Lamictal--maybe one of them would be more tolerable for your body.
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#3 robert45

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 10:46 PM

I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced side effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!


I have a similar med trio, Wellbutrin, Lamictal, and Clonazapam at night. I am also having trouble at work. I'm a lawyer and have my own office. Another lawyer and a secretary work for me. It's good to see another high-functioning person at this site with significant job responsibilities. I am somewhat self-conscious that if the depression doesn't render one disabled, the treatment for it might.

Have you talked to your psychiatrist about these side effects? Mine seems so convinced that I'd be hopeless without medication that whatever side effects I might have are insignificant compared to the dysfunctional alternative. A few weeks ago, I learned that my landlord would not be renewing our office lease (after 7.5 years), so I need to find new space and move the office by the end of June. This would be a challenge under any circumstances, but with the depression and the fairly new meds (10 weeks WB, 4th week Lamictal, 10 weeks clnzpm) and their side effects, the challenge seems nearly impossible, but I'm hoping to overcome it. It looks like I'll be losing our second lawyer over this. She's been working for me for 6 years, but I haven't been able to generate enough work for both of us. Anyway, enough about me, this is your thread.

#4 raffey

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 06:59 AM

I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor (prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced sid.e effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!



Hi Dieselgirl,

I've been on Lamictal for about 3 years now. I take 400mg a day, 100mg in the morning, 300mg at night, (because of the drowsiness it caused when I started taking it.)
I experience these side effects too. It also affects my spelling & grammer. I forget words & appointments as well & I can remember nothing. Luckily I don't work - I wouldn't be able to.
I put up with those side effects because this drug has completely relieved me of my chronic insomnia and chronic headaches.
Medications affect people in different ways, as you know. I took my first dose of Ciprelex last night & must admit that I was able to concentrate significantly better on reading when I went to bed. I'll let you know how it goes.
However, it still might not be the drug for you, especially as this particular side effect seems not to go away. I'm so sorry that it affects you like this, but I wanted you to know that it seems very likely that it is the drug & not you going crazy.

It might be a good idea to go back to your doctors. It seems from reading these forums that most people have to try quite a lot of drugs to find the right ones.

Oh & tell your manager that he/she can't be doing their job properly if that's how the treat their staff. If they want to get the best out of you, they need to be a little more tolerant and understanding.

Also, if you live in the UK go & see the Occupational Health worker in your company. I don't know if there is an equivalent in other countries.

Try to keep your chin up, and know that there is a solution out there.

#5 Doctrc

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 08:04 AM

Been on Lamictal for quite a few months now. Woke up this morning and found your entry very interesting. I could pretty much copy and paste what you've written as my own.

The evaporation of my mind and my intellect has become rather troubling. At every moment I have to reach harder and harder for thoughts and memories.
I, too, have been in my industry for many years, but rarely a thought crosses my mind to support it. I've had bouts with this before Lamictal, but its gotten worse while on it. I've only been on Lamictal and waiting to start titrating something else to support the incredilble loss in interest and overall lack of focus, energy and drive. '

Have you found solutions since your entry?



I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced side effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!



#6 greedware

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 06:26 PM

I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced side effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!


Lamicatal really messed up my memory. And spatial coordination. Had to dump it.

#7 Always Trying

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 07:18 PM

I'm on the same bandwagon as you. I take 200 mgs of Lamictal and 225 of Effexor XE. Currently I am on the lowest dose of Effexor that I ever had. But, when I started with the Lamictal, maybe 9 - 12 months ago, it was intended to enhance the Effexor, but primarily to get my mood swings less swinging. I do not have any form of BiPolar, but I could go from just fine to tears in a heartbeat. It has worked wonderfully for me so I am thrilled.

However, the negative effects you say, I have always had those. I have been on many meds for about 30 years, this or that. I have always felt that it would be impossible to determine which med causes which side effect unless I treated this like determining an allergy, which I am not about to do. My memory has always been a problem for me. In fact, it alone has cost me jobs.

And yes, I have been fired for my psychiatrict problems, even though when it happened, my employers knew nothing about them. Their justification was that I just didn't fit in.
I know that in these instances, they weren't able to figure out what my deal was. Many a time their reaction to something I said or did made that crystal clear to me, but I wasn't willing to be honest as I already knew they would fire me instantly if they found out. When they would let me go, I knew it was because they were sick of the constancy of my problems. It wasn't as if I had a weird day here or there, it was always.

I worked for a law firm for about 18 months. There were only 2 partners in this firm, which was attractive to me. The one who hired me knew about my problems 100%, and she also knew about my skills. Her partner however, knew nothing of either about me. During the time I was there, I did enough bonehead things that I wanted to tell him what the deal with me was, just so he'd understand without walking away shaking his head in wonderment. My hiring lawyer made it clear to me to not ever mention my issues to him, or he would fire me. Proof of how close minded some people are. The times I screwed up were only an embarrassment to me and no other person or the firm suffered from them.

I also know that for every job I lost, the issues with me were the ADHD disorder and not my depression.
I firmly believe that any employer will get away with firing you for any stupid reason, when in fact it relates to the psychiatric issues. They would just never say so.

Oh, an important factor here I neglected to say. I also suffer from a severe case of ADHD. Problems with memory, what you have described are part of the ADHD picture. My memory has always been questionable, but I can't say with certainty that the Lamictal didn't make it worse. Since it's always been a problem, I sort of ignored it. But I do remember the job I lost due to my (lack) of a good memory. Now I have to wonder if the Lamictal made mine worse. Hmmmm
I take a high dose of Adderall XR daily, and Strattera for my ADHD, due to the severity of it. It helps, but nothing is going to put my symptoms in a closet.

Your 2nd paragraph sounds to me to be exactly like ADHD. In fact, I expected you to say that before you finished. All that occurred to me is that maybe the Lamictal is activating some problems with this disorder that you never knew you had, probably because the symptoms were slight enough to not disrupt your life and or your environment is the perfect one for minimizing the symptoms. But, whether you do or don't isn't for me to suggest, as I would imagine your doctor would have that figured out by now.

Another thing that was mentioned by you and another person, is taking a med before bedtime due to problems getting to sleep. I have had this problem for my entire life. And to add to it, when I finally do fall asleep, typically between 1:30 and 3:30 am, I am in a coma. There is NO waking me up. Also, I sleep for 12 to 14 hours a day, which majorly disrupts my life since I can't be depended on to show up anywhere. I don't think I'd wake up at all if I didn't have a dog smacking me in the face.

Getting back to your questions, it sounds to me like the Lamictal isn't doing what it is intended to for you. I sure would have a chat with your doc and have him reconsider this.
I really don't know how one of my meds affects another one. I have always been told that there is no problem with any of mine being in conflict with any others.
For me, the probability of each drug affecting the purposes of another drug has to be high. Even by virtue of my doc starting me on Lamictal, saying it would enhance the Effexor.

I take many other meds besides these mentioned, and I hate to say it, but I may ask my doc about the 2 meds that two of you said to help you sleep.

Good luck to you, I'm sorry I don't have any good words of wisdom here. Please come back and let us all know what happens for you.
Thanks - A.T.
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In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

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#8 NewQuestions

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 03:04 PM

I worked up to 200 mg without problems. Then had servere cognitivie problems--short-term memory, verbal skills, abstract reasoning, concentration. I have to go off of it. I have read that many people have this side effect. I would go off of it if I were you. It is really not that powerful a drug anyway.


I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced side effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!
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#9 DesertLily

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:29 AM

I read everyone's post and it pretty much answered my questions so this is just kind of a complaint lol =) I am at 200mg lamictal now and it has helped stabilize my moods tremendously. But I am experiencing the memory loss and lack of concentration, etc. I am normally a great speller but when I need a word I know how to spell, the letters I need just don't come to mind like normal. I talk to my NP friday but it is ******* me at school.
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#10 santanarocket

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:57 AM

I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced side effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!



What do you take Lamictal for? I take it for Epilepsy, and it does NOT work. It can also be prescribed to people with Bipolar disorder. However, my neurologist told me that it can cause people with depression to be suicidal. (She doesn't know that I have depression.)
Lamictal has been causing me to loose concentration ALL the time. I'm in high school, and we had a group project to do a couple weeks ago. My teacher asked me if my group was done with the project... and I didn't even know what she was talking about. Apparently we had a class discussion on it. I don't remember ANY of it. :/

#11 santanarocket

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:59 AM

I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced side effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!



What do you take Lamictal for? I take it for Epilepsy, and it does NOT work. It can also be prescribed to people with Bipolar disorder. However, my neurologist told me that it can cause people with depression to be suicidal. (She doesn't know that I have depression.)
Lamictal has been causing me to loose concentration ALL the time. I'm in high school, and we had a group project to do a couple weeks ago. My teacher asked me if my group was done with the project... and I didn't even know what she was talking about. Apparently we had a class discussion on it. I don't remember ANY of it. :/



Oh and by the way, I take 100mg every day.

#12 LoonATiK

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 09:00 AM

i had what i call "the stupids" when taking lithium. i never thought that lamictal, a drug that is the centerpiece of my cocktail and that i really rely on, could also be making me stupid.

i'm going to check out the possibility with my pdoc, and see if we can experiment with abilify being my only mood stabilizer. who knows? i have another bp friend who gets by with abilify, and his bp is worse than mine.

maybe we shall see...
Current cocktail: Abilify 30mg. Adderall XR 30mg, Lamictal 400mg, Wellbutrin 300mg, Lithium 1200mg

DX: BP1, ADHD, and PTSD

In tribute to my dad, BP1 suicide.

"She sits in a corner by the door...there must be more I can tell her. If she really wants me to help her, I'll do what I can to show her the way, and maybe one day I will free her. But I know, no one can see through her. Lisa, Lisa, sad Lisa, Lisa..."

-- Sad Lisa by Cat Stevens

#13 divastrop

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 10:56 AM

i was given lamictal 25mg to take with prozac for depression,the pdoc said it can make AD's work better.i noticed nothing on that dose,but there was a vast improvement in my mood on 50mg.however,it was making me feel drowsy so i saw put back down to 25. i was having hormonal problems such as weight gain,irregular cycle etc,which the pdoc put down to the prozac(even though it was ok before the lamictal was aded),so i was switched to effexor which i had tried in the past but it didnt work very well.she thought it might be ok with the lamictal....

wrong.the last 3 months have been hell and the effexor/lamictal combo seems to have been worse than the effexor on its own.as well as the depression and anxiety returning,i have gained even more weight,and i felt confused/muddled all the time,the kids were late for school every day cos i have been unable to get organised-i have 5 children aged 2 to 11 and had never had so much trouble getting organised and stuff.i was also very angry and irritable most of the time.

i am now switching to sertraline,the only ssri i havent tried.i forgot to ask the pdoc if i should carry on with the lamictal,it seems pointless to carry on with such a tiny dose which isnt doing me any good.

does anyone know if you can get withdrawal effects from lamictal?
take a deep breath,and SCREAM!

#14 harper

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:23 AM

Maybe--maybe--there's some hope for the Lamictal/memory loss problem?

I have been on Lamictal 200mg daily for several years for BP II (now also taking Wellbutrin 150mg daily, along with Seroquel 25 mg at night for sleep). Lamictal has caused serious short-term memory loss for me. I, too, am an attorney, and fear for my job performance.

Anyway, I have searched high and low for any reports of something to help with the memory loss problem, other than dropping the Lamictal (I have gone through practically every other drug there is--Lamictal is the only thing that has helped, and a couple of experiments at dropping it turned out badly for me).

Tonight, on another forum, I found one person whose doctor had prescribed CerefolinNAC to combat the effects of Lamictal on memory. From the package insert:

CerefolinŽNAC is an orally administered prescription medical food for the dietary management of certain metabolic processes identified with early memory loss.

Each oval coated blue colored caplet contains:

Dietary Ingredients:
L-methylfolate [6(S)-5-MTHF] (MetafolinŽ) 5.6 mg
Methylcobalamin 2 mg
N-acetylcysteine 600 mg


L-methylfolate or 6(S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate [6(S)-5-MTHF], is the primary biologically active isomer of folate1 and the form of folate in circulation.

CerefolinŽNAC is indicated for the distinct nutritional requirements of individuals under a physician's treatment for early memory loss with particular emphasis for those individuals diagnosed with or at risk for neurovascular oxidative stress and/or hyperhomocysteinemia; mild to moderate cognitive impairment with or without vitamin B12 deficiency, vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease."



Apparently, it is thought that Lamictal interferes with serum folate levels, which affects memory.

I haven't tried this yet, but I'm going to speak with an couple of my docs about it--both my pdoc and my urologist. I'll have to bring the urologist in on it, because the medication is not recommended for persons with renal stones, particularly those with cysteine-based stones. Unfortunately, I am very prone to renal stones, but mine aren't cysteine-based, so maybe there's a chance I can take the med.

Has anyone else out there who takes Lamictal hear of this? Have you tried CerefolinNAC? If so, did it help?

#15 darcness

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:41 AM

I think that many of these mood stabilizers can also have adverse affects on our memory or our overall cognitive function. In fact, my wife's neurologist even said that her epilepsy meds, Depakote, which is also used as a mood stabilizer can have negative affects on such things. As he put it, these meds turn off the "bad" things but also have some affect on other "good" things as well. It's different for everyone, but it can often cause unwanted side effects, and strange ones at that.

Most of the mood stabilizer meds are also used for epilepsy, so I'm quite familiar with them. One of the most common complaints of epilepsy patients is memory loss and cognitive function loss, sometimes called brain fog. When my wife first started taking the Depakote she was a zombie for a long while. It took her about a month, probably closer to 2 months to really get back to herself. There were days where she would literally nod off all day long, forget her train of thought mid sentence, and ask the same question to me like 4 times in one day. It got to a point where I was scared because I didn't know if the meds were causing it, or if it was seizure activity. Unfortunately this is an all too common story on the epilepsy forums I'm on. It seems in some cases the meds can be worse than the seizures.

The good news is that in many cases the SE's fade over time, much like they did for my wife. She's now seizure free for 4 months and doing quite well. In fact, better then I've seen her in a LONG time. Sometimes the SE's never go away, or some persist. In some rare cases they might even show up some time later, months after starting the med. You never really know how it's going to affect an individual. The good news is that there are quite a few different mood stabilizers to try if things aren't working out with one or another.

I have read that fish oil capsules help most with the memory issues. Some people see quite a dramatic increase in memory (mainly short term) from taking a daily dose of 1000mg. Even my doctor suggested I take them because they can help with memory and mild cases of high cholesterol. It's certainly worth a shot after all the positive things I hear about it on my epilepsy forums.

Some of the greatest advice I've ever received on DF: "Always remember that recovery is not linear"
Such a simple phrase, but so easily forgotten...


#16 Davevanza

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 06:00 AM

I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced side effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!


In my point of view, you are taking a combinations of several pharmaceuticals, as a starting dose, LAMICTAL ( lamotrigine ) should be initiated slowly, it comes in a 2mg,5mg 25mg, 100mg,200mg.

As the body adapts to its effect, the side effects will subside by itself. Starting dose of 100mg is a very large dose here, to be used in Australia, except for Epileptic patients, to treat partial seizures, primary and secondary tonic-clonic seizure. ( it's not effective to treat absence seizure.)

LAMICTAL as well as ABILIFY (an antipsychotic) would be used in conjunctions with an antidepressant, to boost its antidepressive effect. However, LAMICTAL is considered safer than ABILIFY, as it does not cause akathisia ( movement disorder), restleness, insomnia.
LAMICTAL itself has an antidepressive effect, as you have already put on the regimen on EFFEXOR-XR at its maximum recommended dosage. ( it comes in 37.5mg, 75mg, 150mg), beyond 150mg EFFEXOR-XR, being a structurally related to Phenyl-ethyl-amine ( stimulant found in chocolate, and closely resembles amphetamine-like substance), it is stimulating, also at such a dose, 300mg, besides being an SNRI ( Serotonin-Noradrenaline Re-uptake Inhibitor, it also inhibits the re-uptake of Dopamine to a lesser degree, about less than 30%), and EFFEXOR-XR in such a high dose, binds to the opioid receptors ( mainly, kappa-1, kappa-3, delta opioid receptors, thus useful to alleviate pain )- Other antidepressant that binds to opioid receptors is AVANZA ( Mirtazapine), in high dosage, it binds to mu and kappa-3 opioid receptor. The rest of antidepressants, whether the novel Tricyclics ( Imipramine, Amitriptyline), SSRI's etc could potentiate opiates, but they do not bind to the opioid receptors unlike EFFEXOR-XR and AVANZA.

LAMICTAL is an anticonvulsant that has an antidepressant properties, also, unlike other older anticonvulsants , such as TEGRETOL (Carbamazepine), DEPAKOTE/EPILIM in Australia (Sodium Valproate/Divalproex/Valproic acid), Phenobarbitone ( a barbiturate, a very old medication rarely used nowadays), DILANTIN ( Phenytoin), MYSOLINE( Primidone- a pro drug, converted to Phenobarbitone in the liver), all these induces or raises liver enzymes, and cause many unwanted side effects, as well as having many drug interactions with them.

LAMICTAL is considered safer than those anticonvulsants that induces liver enzymes.

As with DESYREL ( Trazodone)- not available in Australia, it has been thoroughly discussed amongst Psychiatrists and sleep- disorder Physician, mainly about its safetiness to the Cardiac functions ( as it , in the dose larger than 100mg, used for a long period of time, it may cause arrhyhtmias, or irregular heartbeat), but, in the States, as it is not a controlled substance ( it's not an SSRI's, as some older research suggested, it actually is an "atypical" antidepressant, the same as in the Tricyclic antidepressants, like Amitriptyline, that's why, it can cause irregular heartbeat to some people.) SSRI's themselves do not possess such side effect profile, so far. So the Physicians in the States are quite comfortable prescribing Trazodone, even for hundreads tablets, without being 'spotted' by the FDA in the States.

If, you find Trazodone is helpful, and EFFEXOR-XR is helping you to focus better, you may gain discuss with your Physician about LAMICTAL.

There was a research, and i ws a guinea pig myself, when it comes to an older anticonvulsant, such as DILANTIN (Phenytoin). It comes in 30mg capsules, 50mg chewable tabs, 100mg capsules here in Australia.

There was a double blind study done on DILANTIN, that it actually considered as a 'Nootropic' agent ( as it stabilises the electrical imbalance in the brain, treat certain cardiac arrhytmias, useful for epilepsy,does not cause drowsiness, and improved overall functioning on patients with seizures ). This was compared to Sodium Valproate and carbamazepine.

If LAMICTAL is causing much trouble with your concentration, discuss with your physician about DILANTIN - manufactured by Parke-davis Co. ( due to lack of funding, and new anticonvulsants emerging in mid 1990's, the research on DILANTIN came to a cease.)

The difference between LAMICTAL and DILANTIN, DILANTIN is not stimulating nor sedating, rather it stabilises the electrical imbalance on the brain, so, off-label use, some students, prior to examination are taking it, 50mg/day is sufficient, oppossing to 300-400mg used for epileptic patients, where it can have a side effect such as overgrowth of gum. But with 50/day, there should be no problem associated with that.)

Discuss with your doctor again. He might not too familiarise / concern about an old novel anticonvulsant, such as DILANTIN, which in fact , has many benefit ove the rest of other anticonvulsants.

One thing to keep in mind, doctors are being pushed by the drug companies, to market their products, till time goes by, then there is a major drawback, and another 'god-send' medication beginning to emerge again.

This is, their profession, we are the sufferers, we want the best help from them to cope with our daily life, I've sufferering for 18 years to find a way out of my depression, anxiety, fatigue, innability to continue with my Bachelor Degress, panic disorder, and chronic tension headache.

Good luck. and God bless you.

#17 Maedhros

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 08:56 AM

Thanks for the info harper. I have B12 and folate on my shelf, I'll add NAC. I haven't noticed many cognitive problems with lamictal, but better safe than sorry.

I went through many of the same problems people are describing here, loss of memory, stupidity attacks, etc. in the past year. I thought I'd have to leave my demanding, professional job. In my case, although it took a long time to figure it out, it was Lunesta causing the problems. (I initially blamed Cymbalta.) So I really, really feel for people going through this. Good Luck!
We are all failures -- at least, all the best of us are. -- Sir James M. Barrie

#18 Sweet Melissa

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 09:49 PM

Very informative Davevanza, thank you.
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#19 24&mustangs

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 02:27 PM

"I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) "

I am so thankful you wrote about this. I am having troubles with this as well. There are good things about the lamital for me that made me scared to mention this side effect to my pdoc. I have finally talked with him about it and he just suggested for me to stop taking it if I feel strongly that it isn't helping with my depression, panic, anxiety, and mood disorder.
It is helping. In some ways I am thinking more clearly and able to deal with the issues that are bothering me. It does seem to have this effect on me though that is related to my cycle. I either can't sleep for 18 hours and have tons of energy (which is actually good since I feel like getting things done) or I have several panic attacks in a 24 hour period of time for no reason. Weird. The memory issues though are driving me nuts, are embarrasing and make me fearful of holding down a job. I have actually forgotten how to get to Walmart or Target at times. I see people that I don't remember. I forget both short term and long term. The long term though isn't stuff that's happened 10-20 years ago just stuff that's happened in the last couple of years.
I don't understand how a drug that is helping me to deal with the pain and fear in my life can also have these undesirable side effects. It does seem to be normal though. I just wish these scientist or drug makers could get this stuff right.
I'll ask about the seroquel and try the vitamins mentioned to see if it helps. If anyone has any positive results with these things or finds another way to deal with this I hope they post.

#20 loveintentional

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 12:45 PM

I started on Lamictal about 5 weeks ago. I am taking 100 mg along with 300 mg of Effexor XR. I also take 75mg of Trazadone at night for sleep.

I feel as if I cannot get organized. I barely have any attention span, I can't concentrate and I forget a lot of things (short term). Then, I cannot quickly think of things that I have known for a long time. I am missing conference calls (which I used to always remember) and it is like I've suffered amnesia and lost 9 years worth of knowledge of the supply chain industry.

All of this is seriously affecting my job. I am an industrial engineer and work in suplly chain management. Unfortunately, my manager doesn't understand what it is like to take these kinds of medication, has told me to get to the bottom of it, and expects my behavior to change overnight.

I am attributing this behavior to the Lamictal because I wasn't like this before I started on it. My doctor prescribe this because I experience long periods of depression that get worse as time goes by. Often, these periods lead me to binge drink (I'm also an alcoholic.) I got really bunched up about 5 weeks ago and checked myself into a dual diagnosis unit which is when the Lamictal was added to my medication regemin.

Has anyone experienced side effects like this? Has anyone had to deal with a manager who doesn't understand the effects of psychiatric meds?

Thanks for your help!



So this is 7thousand years after the fact but I just joined the forum; discovering after I did a search about Lamictal causing depression. I am also on Lamictal, and have been for almost three years. Lamictal was a life changing med for me, but, I notice that I oftent forget words. I feel stupid some times and it has just occured to me that what I've been experiancing lately (despression, memory loss) may be linked...Ive dealt with both things you mention but unfortunately I dont have any advice...I guess I'm just writing to say your not alone, and, there are others out here who are experiancing the same.

Thanks for the airing space

#21 anasianeasley

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 03:18 PM

I've been having the exact same problems. I feel like I've lost my brain. I can't focus, remember anything, and respond to people like I'm just plain stupid. I was never like this before, and if it weren't for the many lists I have to keep and my cell phone reminders, I'd be completely lost. (I don't even drive like I used to) Weird. Even with this issue, I'm reluctant to give up my lamictal. It't really worked with my anxiety and depression. I guess you win some and lose some. What's not reassuring is when I mention this issue to my Dr., he doesn't seem to agree with me that the lamictal is the cause of my memory loss. I am currently keeping a journal so as not to feel like I've lost days.
If you judge people, you don't have time to love them- Mother Teresa

#22 stateofconfusion

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 01:14 AM

Thank you all for posting and sharing. I thought that this too was just all part of my nutty little journey to being Bipolar. I've been on the stuff going on 5 years now. I used to be a depressed, yet capable and aptly functioning contract attorney. I made good money. Now I am a low functioning restaurant worker who can forget simple instructions or requests faster than you can deliver them. At this point I'm just upfront about my memory issues, try to write stuff down (as much as that's possible while going in multiple directions across a restuarant floor while managers and team members yell stuff out at you).

I would like to know the result of those who have gone off of it though. Did your full mental acuity return - along with previous levels of drive and ambition? Or do you feel you only partially recovered your mental function? I'm scared that I've been on it for far too long and that some of its side effects may be permanent.

Also, to the last responder, I would seriously have to question my health care provider's intentions if he didn't take my observations about medication related side effects seriously. They're supposed to be supportive at the very least, and committed to finding a regimine that works best for you, the patient. For some of us, that requires us being made competent enough so that we can work to support ourselves.

Sincerely,

State of Confusion



#23 kimmytyme

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:40 PM

Was diagnosed BP in early 05 and I had been on Lamictal for over 5 years, until October 2010. I gradually weaned off and experienced no side effects. I was sick and tired of feeling stupid! It wasn't until I began going to college in July of this year that the level of my "forgetfulness" was made so clear to me. I understood at 44 years old I would have to study a little more than I would have 20 years ago, but it was getting ridiculous! I lost a job 2 years ago because of personality conflict and my "forgetful" ways. I drove my boss absolutely bonkers and myself too! Now that I have been looking back on the events in the last 5 years I wonder if lamictal caused many of the problems I had while it was supposed to help with the BP? I was diagnosed after a big crash in my life (occurred after divorce/bankruptcy and moving 1000 miles from my hometown for a job in 2004.) Well needless to say I had a rough time and I perservered BUT the last 5 years have been hell on my attitude. Somewhere I developed a real rude streak and never (before being on lamictal) have I had vocal confrontations go as badly as they have with coworkers, friends and family. I have gone off in public as well! I have had more irritability towards people than ever before, is it because I am older? I have been asking myself what happened to me for years now...but now I feel much better OFF lamictal WAS IT LAMICTAL?



#24 Oceania

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 05:17 PM

wow. my dad had a stroke and I moved him and my mom who has Alzheimers tovlive near me. I am a single working Mom and I REALLY did think that the stress was accelerating early AlZheimers or other dementia in me as my memory loss and even expressive aphasia symptoms (replacing words with the wrong ones) a's my Dad has been doing were SO bad! As a result of using ALL vac and sick leave for parents I have had little time to see anyone for me and I had recently (about in the middle of the 8 week process of hospitals and my mom getting kicked out of assisted living facilities) been put on lamictal. I have been depressed w continuous migraines with a JIGE fear that I would lose my engineering job cause I can not focus. my first day on thecsite and THANK YOU. I will begin to taper off. I can't afford to lose my job. hope I can find something else to help me with my overwhelmed, depressed self!




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