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Lamotrigine (Lamictal)

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My new/former (bad experience) pdoc put me on 100mg (with 5mg Abilify), and I don't know that it's making much of a difference yet, at least I haven't had any side effects!

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I've been on it for months and months now. To me it doesn't feel like it's working. My doc keeps bumping it up but nothing. I'm taking it with Paxil, ability and klonopin.

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Thanks everyone for replying! I feel slightly less alone now! 

 

 

I've been on it for months and months now. To me it doesn't feel like it's working. My doc keeps bumping it up but nothing. I'm taking it with Paxil, ability and klonopin.

Maybe its time to try a different med?

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I want to add to the positive responses. Had a major depression episode with accompanying  anxiety last May. Since then have been on citalopram, buspar, mirtazapine, bupropion, and a very short try of trazadone. Depression did ease but still had physical symptoms. My pcdoc then prescribed lamictal  starting at 25 mg a day and increasing 25 mg weekly to 100 mg. I felt some improvement at every titration,. When I got to 100 mg I felt a little better immediately  but after 10 days I began to wonder if this was going to  be another failure. The doctor said it could take a couple weeks to determine if the lamictal  was going to work. Then on day 11 since going up to 100 mg, I had a light switch moment. Suddenly starting feeling good. First good mornings in 11 months. Didn't feel overly happy or new energy, I just felt normal..

 

It has only been a couple of days with this improvement so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I will try to update later.

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I was put on Lamictal and developed a rash on my face and had to discontinue immediately. I have heard good things about it though. It's a shame that I wasn't meant to be for me. 

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Ok went to new psychiatrist today since the natural route is not quite working and he sent me home with a prescription for Lamictal 

 

Does anyone have any experience with this before I start on it ??

 

Did some research and withdrawal from this med looks horrible 

 

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I took it for a couple days for Bipolar II Disorder but had to stop because I got the rash (rare but it happens). It is commonly prescribed for both epilepsy and BP, and I know several people who are on it and are happy with the results.  If you need to change/stop your medication, your psychiatrist will ween you off of it to minimize discomfort.  I actually just found out a friend of mine has BP2 and she said she's taken it for 8 years, and it's worked great.  

 

I know it can be scary starting medication but personally, risking a few weeks, *maybe* months of (probably mild) discomfort down the road is absolutely worth feeling better now and being able to live a normal life.  

 

Good luck! Hope that help.  

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I've been reluctant to try it especially after hearing about the withdrawal but for many people it has been the only thing that works.

If you tune into the podcast -

'The Mental Illness Happy Hour' with Paul Gilmartin,

he has recently spoken in some depth about his personal experience with Lamictal and getting off of it. You may have to go back a couple episodes to catch him talking about it; usually at the beginning of the show before his guest is on, and at the end. Hope this helps!

I would recommend the podcast to anyone and everyone regardless!!

Good luck to you!!!

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I will second the hellish withdrawal comments. Perhaps I withdrew too fast, my doc at the time was quite unhelpful. I remember spending quite a few nights over the first week+ of withdrawals watching YouTube vids of Lamictal users and even illegal drug user's accounts of their withdraws (and laughing at some of them). 

 

Funny thing though, I'm back on it after about a year off. It's a fairly subtle effect, and I don't really notice it doing much (at 200mg). Figure I'll stay on it for a while and taper off MUCH slower when I go off. YMMV, but it's so cheap, has virtually no side-effects, and if it does much at all, it seems worth it for now.

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I've been on lamictal about 8 years. It is the best mood stabilizer I've ever taken. I really swear by it. Of course, in my infinite wisdom, I thought I could live without it and stopped cold turkey. I didn't have any withdrawal but I went immediately into a severe manic episode. If you do get the very rare rash, you will have to stop taking it at once. You will not be able to taper off. If at some time in the future you have to come off of it, your pdoc will put you on a tapering off schedule.

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I developed a rash on my face and had to stop immediately. I guess it's one Lamictal's calling cards. The rash can happen all over but on the face is considered very rare, 1 in 500. I guess I won the lottery. 

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Thank You everyone for your replies 

 

Its been a week on this med and the anxiety is much better but still very depressed and agitated easily 

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I just realized that I have been doing worse since going UP on my Lamictal. Only by 50mgs, too. I'm not sure if that's it but it sure correlates. Anyone else have this effect?

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Dear Castillo,

 

That sounds good advice from your doctor by the way. I guess on the original dose you were doing OK. How is your depression on the lower dose anyway , how much relief were you getting?

 

Best Wishes

 

Jim Bow

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Guys, this stomach anxiety thing is still here. How long do you think it will take for the lower dose of lamictal to help it? If that's even what it is...ugh!! I hate this!

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Hi Pip,

 

I am a brand new member and this is my first post. I was particularly interested in your letter because I am experiencing some side effects that I believe are associated with

Lamotrigin ( Lamictal). I am in early menopause. My problem is that since taking Lamotrigine, that I have had increasing breast and nipple pain. I had this mildly before, but since reaching 200 mg it has become severe. I have tried Evening Primrose oil, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E as these are supposed to help, but the pain is still severe. I have seen two 

doctors who don't really know what to do,apart from sending me for thyroid and cholesterol tests.  I have to see my psychiatrist later this month, but I don't think he will believe me as he seems to think that Lamotrigine is the new wonder drug for bipolar. 

 

It appears from your letter that Lamotrigine does indeed mess with your hormones. I have decided to slowly come down off it, despite my fear of returning depression. My life at the moment is one constant blur of pain, day and night. I cannot go on like this and will take the risk. I have been on Lithium before but gained so much weight that I was depressed anyway. I have looked at other sites on the web and many, many other people on Lamotrigine, including men, complain of the same issue as mine including breast enlargement. I am desperate.

 

I truly hope that you also find help in your search for the 'right' drug. 

 

 

Smurphy  

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Sorry to revive an old topic, but I just wanted to thank everyone so much for their input!

 

I started taking lamotrigine about a month ago, and I'm currently at 150mg, increasing to 200 mg tonight. I will be taking 100mg in the morning and 100mg at night. My diagnosis is dysthymia with recurrent MDD, and so far I've been resistant to all the ADs my pdoc has prescribed.

 

Side effects I've noticed so far with this medication include

- constant cold symptoms and stuffy nose (although this could be due to the weather)

- waking up after 3-4 hours of sleeping and being wide awake, though needing a nap in the afternoon to continue functioning

- absolutely no appetite except for junk food

- increasing anxiety

- increasing irritability, although this seems to be settling down

- being overly emotional and crying frequently

 

It also feels like my depression is worsening, but I think that's because my anxiety is increasing. I do not have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, although I know it frequently goes hand in hand with depression.

 

Positives I've noticed on lamotrigine:

- waking up feeling energized

- able to accomplish things I want to get done (a big one for me since I haven't been able to do this in years!!!!)

- able to laugh

- periods of pure joy (short lived, but extremely welcome)

 

I haven't decided yet whether this med will be the right one for me, but I'm remaining optimistic. It's getting hard since I've been switching between different meds for over a year now with no improvement and at times it seems hopeless.

 

Also, I had no idea that this med causes hormonal birth control to be ineffective! I've been on the same OCP for years, and I was wondering why my cramps were increasing and my period was starting to show up a bit later every time. Has anyone else noticed this, and did it go away?

 

Again, thanks so much to everyone who posted before me. This is why I love this forum, everyone has different experiences with the same med and it makes me not feel so isolated. :)

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I have Bipolar I with Schizoaffective disorder Bipolar type. Lacmital is the FIRST medication that I've taken that work good to stabilize my mood. Currently I am on 200 mg a day.
Yet I wonder if it is giving me body aches in my bones, because after being on it for 5 months with my Effexor along with my vitamins and minerals I have to crack my bones constantly to the point where my body feels so good, then feel uncomfortable. My hands are in pain from all the cracking. I wonder have anyone experienced the good, the ugly or both?

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