View Full Version : Lamictal


ColoradoDawg
09-20-05, 05:34 PM
My doc wants me to try Lamictal for anxiety, and as a general mood-stabilizer. The only other drug I've taken for this was Neurontin, which worked well for those symptoms, as well as other issues, but some side effects made me unable to continue. I take 40-60mg/day Adderall XR, and I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with this drug (taking Adderall, or not).
-thanks

Andrew
09-20-05, 07:06 PM
I take Lamictal, which has been an excellent mood stabilizer for me. If you're dealing with anxiety, I might question the doctor about your adderal, as its a stimulant, and stimulants have been known to actually make anxiety worse for some people.

ColoradoDawg
09-20-05, 08:03 PM
good points Andrew, however, I was having detrimental anxiety and insomnia issues early this summer (during which didn't take Adderall once... for 3 months). If anything, Adderall has helped me with generalized and social anxiety, as I am much less introverted, and more confident in social situations, and in general. I did switch to ritalin for about 2 months last year and that really screwed me up w/ anxiety, made me depressed, etc. Adderall has seemed to have mild mood-stabilizing effects on me.

If ya dont mind, what has your experience with Lamictal's side-effects been like. I'm reluctant to start taking it after reading the potential side-effects, as I have issues with some of the most common problems such as double vision and tremors (both pre, and not affected by adderall). I'd love a little insight from someone taking it.

Andrew
09-20-05, 08:45 PM
I don't recall experiencing any side effects from Lamictal, though my experience may not be representative of the general population.

ColoradoDawg
09-20-05, 09:09 PM
thats good. I just seem to be the guy that'll start taking a med and really something odd will happen. I'll check the drug info-sheet, and sure enough, its one of the rare, weird side-effects. I'm sure I will be fine, but it's supposed to be a drug to try after other things haven't worked, and it seems like a bit of overkill (being one of the top Bipolar II treatments). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. btw, what's your dose?

Andrew
09-20-05, 09:17 PM
I take 250 mgs of Lamictal.

Gourmet
09-21-05, 12:01 AM
ColoradoDawg....love that name:)

I've been taking Lamictal for 6 years now. It has done great things for me, but I am taking it for a seizure disorder. I take 600 mgs of Lamictal each day....which is a lot particularly for my size and close to max dose for anybody.

The side effects I experience... I take 200 in the mornings and 400 in the evenings. The larger night dose makes me clumsy for about an hour. I feel clear in my head, but my motor skills are a little off and I jumble up words. I also have a touch of blurred vision that only bothers me if I need to read. As I said, this lasts an hour, maybe two after taking. I consider it insignificant.

I took an ssri with it for a short period of time for anxiety and had no problems.

I now am taking 80 mgs of strattera for AD/HD and am having no reactions or side effects other than a little nausea in the mornings. Both meds are doing their jobs and both of them I take with food.

ColoradoDawg
09-21-05, 03:33 AM
Thanks, I'm not too sure how fond I am of the name though... it does get across the point that I am in Colorado, and a Ga. Bulldawg fan (ladies can interprete the dawg anyway they want ie: all men are dawgs...etc ;))

My doc wants me to work up to 200mg/day. What I'm concerns are is being clumsy, as I'm known to be. Having a clear head is key for me, and my motor skills are are already sktechy. I can deal with all that no prob. My main problem is keratoconus (progressive cornea defect) which already causes blurred/double vision im my left eye, as well as potentially MS caused double vision (binocular diplopia)... no dx yet,but several symptoms. The vision stuff is why I'm reluctant to take something that could add to that problem. Its hard enough studying with my eyes the way they are now (not correctable at this time...by any method). However, I had slight visual gains while on neurontin, so I could very well have no problem with Lamictal.

Did you have any weight changes? I gained some on Neurontin, and have read that this can affect weight somewhat.
I've taken ssri's, and really dont like 'em but have thought about trying again
Anyway, thanks for the insight... much appreciated... (*by the way, I took an Ambien before I decided to respond, so if my post turned into garbled junk... sorry :eyebrow:

Andi
09-21-05, 07:44 AM
I am VERY med sensitive and Lamictal, over time, has been a godsend for me. I will admit that in the very beginning I did encounter a few side effects that aren't nearly as bothersome now as they were in the onset of treatment. The first thing that hit me were the euphoric states with each increase. These lasted from a few days to about a week. Then there were the muscular twitches. At times these were mild and then there were days that they became bothersome but overtime they did subside. At one point and time I was up to 450mgs. My doctor and I discovered that at a higher dose, I actually begin to lose cognitive function and became emotionally numb. I could not shake the feeling of just not "being" there. Decreasing the dose and switching med time took care of these problems. I have not experienced any weight gain due to the Lamictal but as we all know, reaction is individualized.

I have learned over the years that for some, it is not always best to look at the side effects of medications until something doesn't "feel" right. There are those that seem to have a psychosomatic reaction.

Btw...Bipolar II rapid cycling...350mgs

Gourmet
09-21-05, 08:55 AM
Hi again!
I'd like to repeat that I am on a very high dose and that the side effects are usually only after the larger dose which is in the evening and for a limited time. :) As far as weight..I did gain about
5 lbs which I didn't consider a big deal, but it was harder to take the weight off if I gained any weight due to lack of exercise, diet, etc. I have had no tremors whatsoever.

I was pretty weird on the ssri (weirder:)) but I am not sure if the lamictal combination had anything to do with it.

Contrary to Andi's report, I am actually cognitively brighter ...like putting on glasses (with slightly blurred vision in the evening :D) As said, we all handle things differently and have our own reports. I noticed immediately how much sharper I was. Like Andi, the drug has been a godsend to me too.

But I am taking the drug for a reason other than moods.

The benefits for my personal case far outweigh any side effects. It is the only drug that arrested my seizures completely.

Wishing you the best in your decision.

ColoradoDawg
09-21-05, 04:45 PM
Hi again!
I'd like to repeat that I am on a very high dose and that the side effects are usually only after the larger dose which is in the evening and for a limited time. :) As far as weight..I did gain about
5 lbs which I didn't consider a big deal, but it was harder to take the weight off if I gained any weight due to lack of exercise, diet, etc. I have had no tremors whatsoever.

I was pretty weird on the ssri (weirder:)) but I am not sure if the lamictal combination had anything to do with it.

Contrary to Andi's report, I am actually cognitively brighter ...like putting on glasses (with slightly blurred vision in the evening :D) As said, we all handle things differently and have our own reports. I noticed immediately how much sharper I was. Like Andi, the drug has been a godsend to me too.

But I am taking the drug for a reason other than moods.

The benefits for my personal case far outweigh any side effects. It is the only drug that arrested my seizures completely.

Wishing you the best in your decision. One reason my doc's want me to be on one of these anti-seizure drugs is that they think I might have had a few in the past. BUT they have no idea if it was MS or a seizure or as a couple of the "best" in the U.S. have said "might be something no one has seen" that caused the mri results... So the seizure treatment aspect is kinda a "well, couldn't hurt" attitude

I'm glad to hear that it is such a beneficial drug for you... the fact that it doesn't negatively affect your cognition is hopeful. The doc gave me a choice between Lamictal and Topamax, and pushed lamictal because it doesn't (usually) make you as foggy as Topamax, which is good considering this is an ADD forum and whatnot :cool:.

Anyway, after researching the side effects of the two, I'm tempted to forgo trying lamictal for the topamax. This is mostly because Topamax had very few reported visual side-effects (and only 2-4% increase in cognitive issues over Lamictal). Topamax takes a lot less time to start helping (4-5 days I think) as opposed to 4-5 weeks for Lamictal. That makes a lot of difference seeing as I'm having issues right now.. not a month from now... Soooo, my doc's calling me here in a few, and I'll get his opinion on the situation.... Thanks again for everyones insight... and any opinions of Topamax are of-course welcomed.

Gourmet
09-21-05, 04:59 PM
I have a friend on topomax for moods and she is doing well.

It's nice that you have a couple of options to consider. Good luck :)

ColoradoDawg
09-21-05, 06:38 PM
I have a friend on topomax for moods and she is doing well.

It's nice that you have a couple of options to consider. Good luck :)
Well the doc said that he's never had any side-effects w/ starting patients really slow in the Lamictal, and that if I have any issues to stop whenever I want. This doc is great about options. When I was dx'd w/ ADD, he went over every type of med used for treatment, gave the +'s and -'s, said what he recomended, and let me choose.. A stand up care-giver in these times of un-helpful/unwilling to try MD's (I should note that he's a Psych. N.P.). So, as I'm typing, here goes round one of (hopefully many) doses of Lamictal.

Thanks again for all the insight and advise guys, and Gourmet, dont be shocked if I ask a few more ?'s (if ya dont mind, of course ;))

Gourmet
09-21-05, 07:21 PM
Anytime! :D

neuroangel
09-21-05, 10:25 PM
Hi Colorado,

I started taking lamictal about three or four weeks ago. I'm up to 25 mg twice a day. So far it hasn't done much for the depression, but I am at such a low dose...I am giving it time. (This is being prescribed for treatment-resistant depression). I'm working my way up to 100 mg twice a day over an eight week period. So far, I've lost 6 lbs since starting it. However, I'm starting to lose hair which concerns me. Other than that....only time will tell. Good luck with it.

Cyndi

ColoradoDawg
09-21-05, 10:44 PM
Hi Colorado,

I started taking lamictal about three or four weeks ago. I'm up to 25 mg twice a day. So far it hasn't done much for the depression, but I am at such a low dose...I am giving it time. (This is being prescribed for treatment-resistant depression). I'm working my way up to 100 mg twice a day over an eight week period. So far, I've lost 6 lbs since starting it. However, I'm starting to lose hair which concerns me. Other than that....only time will tell. Good luck with it.

Cyndi I'm in the same schedule (except I started today), working to 100mg 2x/day. I still dont know why I was started on this med... maybe my doc doesn't want me on two potentially addicting drugs (ie: Klonopin).

It wouldn't kill me to lose 5-10 lbs, has it been because of appetite or just losing weight?.. The hair though, thats freaky stuff... i've heard of other, similar drugs doing that, but not lamictal. What's your doc think?

From what I understand, you're not expected to get any benifits for depression 'till you've been @ 100mg/day for a little (I was told, and read not to expect theraputic benifits for at least a month)...

Anyway, I'd like to know how it progresses for ya if you dont mind (side effects and whatnot). also, do you take any ADD meds?

neuroangel
09-22-05, 09:39 PM
I saw the psychiatrist today and told her about the side effects. (Losing weight without an appetite change, losing hair, cystic acne, worsened nocturnal myoclonus). She said I shouldn't be on lamictal anyway, because it's more for bipolar disorder than it is for major depressive. So I am supposed to ween off of it now and start paxil cr in a few days. The paxil will help with my anxiety she said.

I take wellbutrin XL 300 mg and focalin XR 20 mg. Focalin helps considerably.

Let me know how it goes with you. I hope you don't get any of the side effects. I guess you've read about the rash? That scared me, but I thought it was worth the risk. I'm so glad I didn't get the rash.

Best wishes!

Cyndi

I'm in the same schedule (except I started today), working to 100mg 2x/day. I still dont know why I was started on this med... maybe my doc doesn't want me on two potentially addicting drugs (ie: Klonopin).

It wouldn't kill me to lose 5-10 lbs, has it been because of appetite or just losing weight?.. The hair though, thats freaky stuff... i've heard of other, similar drugs doing that, but not lamictal. What's your doc think?

From what I understand, you're not expected to get any benifits for depression 'till you've been @ 100mg/day for a little (I was told, and read not to expect theraputic benifits for at least a month)...

Anyway, I'd like to know how it progresses for ya if you dont mind (side effects and whatnot). also, do you take any ADD meds?

ColoradoDawg
09-23-05, 11:24 PM
yeah, so I just had a break-out of some kind of rash, mostly on the upper half of my body kinda like hives about 2 hrs after taking the (Lame)ictal. It was a very unpleasant sensation (never had hives before...)... It went away after about 45 minutes, but my skin still feels weird 2 hrs later, but it's been like that since the 1st time I took it...

I woulda called the Doc, but they were closed, and the rash was pretty much gone before I really thought about it. I serioulsly doubt it was that serious condition they warn about, but I was told to quit and call immediatly if anything skin related happened.

Lamictal had made my skin feel weird the first few days I took it, but with no rash... till tonight. If it comes back, or doesn't go away, dont worry, I'll get checked out, but I'm done with this drug, and as far as I'm concerned, all the anti-seizure type meds... I still dont see why I would start with one of these types over a traditional anxiety drug. Like I said before, I took Neurontin for other issues, but that didn't work either, so why try something with a worse side-effect profile for an off-label use? (I'm not bi-polar, dont have seizures, and am not depressed)

Sorry 'bout the rant, just a little ticked off right now... I'll be over it soon though :D

neuroangel
09-24-05, 11:39 PM
No problem, I'd be ticked off too about the hives/rash thing. I get upset when I'm prescribed things that I shouldn't have. I don't have bipolar or a seizure disorder either. Just depression and ADD.

I'm on day two of paxil. It makes me nauseas (sp?) but other then that...I'll be off the lamictal completely in a couple of days.

So are you going to try anything else for the anxiety?

Cyndi

Gourmet
09-25-05, 03:32 AM
ColoradoDawg. Thank you for the update!

Oh my goodness...rash is not good and from what I understand rather uncommon. I know you have decided to stop it....but please tell your doctor about it even if your rash is no longer there on Monday.

A rash on the upper trunk, particularly under the armpits is not good at all.

Also..a note. When I stopped the tegretol I was taking in order to go on Lamictal, the pharmacist bought back the tegretol I had left...just about a full bottle. I don't know if it was because we know each other well and have been trading for many years or what, but I know that Lamictal is very expensive even on some insurance plans.
Take care and good luck getting your meds straightened out. I am so sorry you had a reaction from the other :(

~gourmet~

ColoradoDawg
09-25-05, 05:49 AM
Luckily, Glaxo Smith Cline (no, I'm not a rep :) )pays for the first 5 weeks of Lamictal through my Doc... Apparently the drug reps would rather front the cost and get credit for their work than just give out samples... I've never heard of it, but I'm sure not complaining.

Anyway, my skin started burning again tonight (upper body mostly), but no rash broke out. If it had, I would have gone to the e-room, as there is no need to play with this side-effect. So, I'm gonna call my doc as early as possible on monday unless I have the same problem tommorow (then I'll go get checked out).

Thanks for the concern Gourmet it helps a lot when you're stressed about something like this, and I'll keep y'all (I'm southern.. c'mon) informed as to what the Doc says...

Like I said, I'm done (as far as I'm concerned) with the anti-seizure meds, when they should be a more of a last resort type med for my situation.... I dont particularly want to be on one of the potentially addictive benzo's, but I've been on large doses of Adderall for more than 3 years with no probs, so I'm sure I can keep any of those meds in check.

ColoradoDawg
09-26-05, 02:08 PM
alright... talked to the doc this morning for a few on the phone.. he says that he thinks the next step should be Trileptal.... The side effect profile doesn't seem any worse than the Lamictal, but I still wonder why I'm being started on drugs that are being used as an off-label treatment for a generalized anxiety issue...??? (especially when I've shown hypersensitivity to the A-C meds already)

Anyway, I'm gonna go see him this afternoon and talk to him about it... I did tell him that I was interested in other types of treatment (no anti-convulsants) and he started talking about anti-psychotics?????? Unless there is something that I'm missing, I think he's thinking something more than just an anxiety prob... Odd.

I think I'm gonna ask if I can go on one of the benzo's for a short amount of time(and start one of these weird drugs on a school break), as I dont have the will to keep trying meds that screw me up bad during school. Anyway, just whats goin' on on these fronts... Hope everyone else had a good weekend :D. (dont get me wrong, mine was great... all things considered... The Braves one, my Bulldawgs won, and my fav. boxer won.. and I got a date...:cool:... now if these meds would work out...)

Gourmet
09-26-05, 05:41 PM
Hi C.D.

I'm southern too so I speak y'all, reck'n, fix'n to, and gracious goodness. Many, many more.

Let us know how things work out with your meds.... and your date. ;)


~gourmet~

ColoradoDawg
09-26-05, 06:33 PM
well, I'm gonna try effexor and klonopin (short term)... I'm really starting to dislike the internet though... as the first thing I found out about effexor is that it's an very hard drug to stop taking (crazymeds.com says that a lot of people will change doc's if they are told to quit...and not because it was working so wel :eyebrow:l...hmmm) sounds like fun to me...hope it works... Also, the doc said that it sounded like a potential stevens-johnson syndrome rash...sweet... good thing I stopped

here goes nothing, down the hatch, i'll be in touch :cool:

neuroangel
09-27-05, 09:50 AM
I was on effexor and was taken off of it w/o any problems. Cymbalta is in the same class of drugs and I was also fine when taken of off that one. I wouldn't worry about it.

Cyndi

ColoradoDawg
10-25-05, 01:30 AM
new update, I only took the effexor for about a week, but it really screwed me up.. manic-depressive cycles, leading my doc to think that I'm bi-polar. (I've read that effexor isn't too cool if you are bi-polar. crazymeds says: "More than most SSRIs (http://www.crazymeds.org/ssri.html) Effexor (venlafaxine hydrochloride) is likely to trigger not just mania, but rapid cycling."... well that sure was a fun week, lemme tell ya

Anyway, I'm starting Topamax tommorow, and actually looking forward to it. The Klonopin I've been taking on an as needed basis is working wonders, so at least if this doesn't work out, I've got a viable option (not without its own problems, but nothing too nutty... ie: my potentially deadly reaction to Lamictal...)

Take 'er easy y'all
-James

srhtinker
12-15-05, 03:12 PM
Hey all !!! Just came from the doc, and who do I run to to ask ?'s. Who else, y'all, the experts. The doc has been a little concerned about anxiety and deppression. She put me on Lexapro, did'nt work. Then she put me on Prozac, it shocked her that it made me moody and fatigued, because it's rare.
I've been telling her that the Adderall XR has been going up and down. Sometimes it does'nt do the job. She had me do a questionnaire about mood disorders. She thinks I have a Bi-polar 1. She put me on Lamictal, 25 g every other day for 2 weeks and by the 5th week it will go up to 50 mg, while taking 25 mg of Adderall.
Just wanted to ask what you feel and your opinions, I start the Lamictal tomorrow morning.
Thanks Tink
Oh Yeah, did anybody get a rash from it, because that was a side effect listed?

srhtinker
12-16-05, 12:50 PM
O.K, I took the Lam. this morning. So far I'm feeling pretty balanced, but it's only been a couple of hours. I still would like some input.
I think it's funny that I have 2 doctors to help me with the same issues. OK, I lied. It's kind of aggravating. The doctor I actually talk with said I have an anger issue. Therefore, the other doctor took that as being moody. In conclusion, I have bi-polar 1. Help me do the math.
Guys, don't take it the wrong way. I really think I might have a little BP in me, but I feel like the docs are giving me mixed messages.

srhtinker
12-18-05, 04:57 PM
OK, maybe this was not the best location for the post, no worries.