View Full Version : On the Lam(ictal)


jeaniebug
03-05-07, 06:44 PM
Finally . . . . finally got in to see my new psychiatrist today and got my starter Pack for Lamictal. He was thinking about trileptal, but I talked him into the Lamictal.

I also had my fist therapy visit with my neuropsychologist. Gosh, I cryed my eyes out almost the whole time. :o Depressed and anxious? Not MUCH!! :eyebrow: Mainly stressed about my daughter's troubles in college with lack of appropriate accomodations for her profound hearing loss. She got an F on her first biology test, although so did lots of other people. There was 1 A and 11 F's. She didn't have an interpreter for the first month of the semester in any of her classes. Long story, yada yada. Not my first battle with getting accomodations, and not the last either, I'm sure.

So in therapy we are working on me changing my fairly *irrational* beliefs, which become even more irrational when I am this depressed.

For now, the pdoc wants me to stay on the Wellbutrin (one med change at a time). So we will see what we will see. Sorry, I'm jumping around. Don't worry, there won't be a quiz!

I need some shorthand or acronyms for neuropsychologist and psychiatrist! I'm not that great of a speller and those are killer to type over and over.

I feel better than I did this morning before I went to these two appts. But I was thinking on the elevator down from the doc offices, I can't say I feel like a million bucks. Maybe a buck - fifty. Up from two bits this morning! :rolleyes:

I'll keep ya posted! :D

Crazy~Feet
03-06-07, 09:16 AM
Just keep us posted as you go along Jeanie. I had immediate effects from Lamictal :) and it just got better as I went up. Trileptal gave me MASSIVE headaches though.

netsavy006
03-06-07, 10:13 AM
As long as you don't get a rash. I know this problem is rare but because it happens at all, it makes me fear even trying it...

Crazy~Feet
03-06-07, 10:36 AM
Yes "the Rash" is a serious side effect, but the risk of some bad side effect exists for all medications on some level, Andy. For people who have serious issues with bipolar and require the aid of a good mood stabilizer, Lamictal is an excellent option and well worth the risk of "the Rash". Lamictal can be stopped immediately if "the Rash" occurs, although yes, usually one steps back down off it.

Even ibuprofen and aspirin have risks to the stomach and the liver, ya know. I personally support Jeanie's choice to take one of the best mood stabilizers available on the market today, although if this does not work out for her, possibly others might do the trick just as well. There are many anticonvulsants that are used off-label for bipolar disorder nowadays.

Anyway, good luck to you Jeanie and I will support whatever you choose to do for yourself and to ease the distress caused by untreated or improperly treated bipolar disorder! I know just how bad it can be and have been through many meds with many side effects before finally finding Lamictal, and hope that for you this is the magickal one that works right from Day 1.

Swede63
03-06-07, 11:26 AM
Hi Jeannie, so happy to see that you are making headway in your treatment. Remember it is your healthcare that your dealing, with make sure the doctor understands that (my two cents from recent experiences) Sounds like your on the right track. Good luck with the lamictal and the therapy:)

netsavy006
03-06-07, 10:41 PM
Best of luck to you Jeannie. Keep us updated,
Andy...

jeaniebug
03-07-07, 12:53 AM
Wow, thanks, guys!! :D

Geez, CF, I'm glad i didn't go the trileptal route.

Just to be really safe from the side effects of the rash, I started w/ 12.5 mg/day for week 1. Then I will increase up to 25 mg and so on.

I have gotten a rash from one other medication, sulfa, and don't want to risk it. Apparently starting very slowly makes the risk of having the side effect of the rash almost nil.

Last night after I took the first 12.5 mg, about 2 hours later, I noticed an almost total absence of anxiety. It was back by early morning, but I will be interested to see if can help the anxiety.

I feel like I am more depressed than ever with the wellbutrin, but I will have to wait and see. He wanted me to keep on with it, so I will. Have a slight headache, but not really terrible. Although that could be worse when I have to go back to work tomorrow.

I have this f***wireless keyboard, and I have to pound out the keyboard, and sometimes it still won't type the letters on the screen that I am typing. I replaced the batteries, but it's not helping much. WTF!!! It is only about a year old, but not working for sh**T.

(Pardon the rant :mad: ) :faint: :mad: :faint: Ideas? Probably go pick up another keyboard.

netsavy006
03-07-07, 11:21 AM
Sounds like you need to give the Lamictal a little more time to buld up in your system a little bit. Once you reach a stable dose of lamictal and are on it consistantly some of these side effects may go away. I know I had to take zoloft for about 6 months to a year before most side effects went away...

jeaniebug
03-07-07, 01:20 PM
Sounds like you need to give the Lamictal a little more time to buld up in your system a little bit. Once you reach a stable dose of lamictal and are on it consistantly some of these side effects may go away. I know I had to take zoloft for about 6 months to a year before most side effects went away...
Yes it will need some time and I'm sure increases in dose. I just don't want to get the rash, or I won't be able to take it. And I think it can really help me and has far fewer side effects than the alternatives (lithium, etc.).

Isn't it strange how different meds affect people! The very 1st day I took 50 mg of zoloft I slept well, for the first time in months, and I stopped bursting into tears througout the day. I never did have many side effects--dry mouth (a bit) and not being able to cry. Several years later after I developed GAD, I started zoloft again, and it did increase my anxiety a little.

netsavy006
03-07-07, 02:36 PM
Unfortunatly for me, Zoloft worsens my sleep patterns so I use to take Lunesta to help. Now that the insurance won't cover lunesta, I'm without and managing night by night. Some evening's I'll get to sleep right away, other's it takes a while. And on other nights, I wake up really early like between 3 and 4 am. Clonidine helps but I don't like having to take the pill every night at 6 since it dictates my sleep times at this point...

Crazy~Feet
03-07-07, 02:55 PM
Sounds like you need to give the Lamictal a little more time to buld up in your system a little bit. Once you reach a stable dose of lamictal and are on it consistantly some of these side effects may go away. I know I had to take zoloft for about 6 months to a year before most side effects went away...Um its supposed to take some time? Lamictal has a very long titrate up period.

Crazy~Feet
03-07-07, 02:58 PM
Wow, thanks, guys!! :D

Geez, CF, I'm glad i didn't go the trileptal route.

Just to be really safe from the side effects of the rash, I started w/ 12.5 mg/day for week 1. Then I will increase up to 25 mg and so on.

I have gotten a rash from one other medication, sulfa, and don't want to risk it. Apparently starting very slowly makes the risk of having the side effect of the rash almost nil.

Last night after I took the first 12.5 mg, about 2 hours later, I noticed an almost total absence of anxiety. It was back by early morning, but I will be interested to see if can help the anxiety.

I feel like I am more depressed than ever with the wellbutrin, but I will have to wait and see. He wanted me to keep on with it, so I will. Have a slight headache, but not really terrible. Although that could be worse when I have to go back to work tomorrow.

I have this f***wireless keyboard, and I have to pound out the keyboard, and sometimes it still won't type the letters on the screen that I am typing. I replaced the batteries, but it's not helping much. WTF!!! It is only about a year old, but not working for sh**T.

(Pardon the rant :mad: ) :faint: :mad: :faint: Ideas? Probably go pick up another keyboard.The anxiety may be what we like to call manic agitation Jeanie :) you'll know as you build the blood level on that long, lovely titration process! I know I felt an immediate ease of some very severe depressive symptoms at my first dose, which for me was the normal 25 mgs (no prior occurrance of rashes).

*kicks the keyboard once to make Jeanie feel better*

netsavy006
03-07-07, 04:23 PM
Um its supposed to take some time? Lamictal has a very long titrate up period.
I didn't know. As i've never taken it, I didn't realize it was a long titration process with the lamictal. Sorry. But one thing I do know is that with each increase in dosage the side effects could come back, just milder than before. And each time as your body adjusts to the new dosage, the side effects will deminish / lessen... Good Luck,

Andy...

Crazy~Feet
03-07-07, 04:27 PM
I didn't know. As i've never taken it, I didn't realize it was a long titration process with the lamictal. Sorry. But one thing I do know is that with each increase in dosage the side effects could come back, just milder than before. And each time as your body adjusts to the new dosage, the side effects will deminish / lessen... Good Luck,

Andy...Which is why I try to only comment on medications I have actually taken or currently take. Lamictal is an anticonvulsant used as a mood stabilizer at lower doses, and acts nothing like a SSRI, ok?

jeaniebug
03-07-07, 04:55 PM
Estuans interius, ira vehementi, sors immanis et inanis. Veni, veni, venias, ne me mori fascias.

CF, translation please? Lets see, vehementi I get, veni--?? inanis? Vehemently inane, the more wine I drink makes me fascinating? Im sure I'm not even close.

Yes, the lamictal *titration,* she is very slow! (I think I'm babbling).....

Crazy~Feet
03-07-07, 05:08 PM
The lyrics to the theme music for the character Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII :D I find I can relate to this "bad boy" after knowing his background very well, and find this quote fits in with my bipolar cycles quite well. Sephie was a great character but a bad guy because he had lost his mind...It means:

"Burning inside with violent anger, hate monstrous and empty. (Sephiroth) Come, come oh come, do not let me die."

dormammau2008
03-07-07, 11:35 PM
i got that moive the other day,,,with him i n it ....with entey called mouther was good never played the games but the films ace ,,,,,smiles at carzy feet

hugs dormy

can realat as well ff8 an dragonballz....

Crazy~Feet
03-07-07, 11:46 PM
I have an image on my desktop right now that is a DVD cover with Cloud and Sephiroth stating: Final Fantasy Advent Children Complete. Coming in 2007...so maybe you will be able to watch that when it comes out, Jeanie, and get a "feel" for my pal Sephie and hear his theme music?

Keep your eyes open for the new DVD Dorm! Sounds to me like in this one you might be able to actually make sense of it without having had to play the game :D...ahhhh, I just love Square-Enix!

Sorry to threadjack but you did ask about my sigline Jeanie :o and I do tend to ramble on over hot anime dudes...I have had that same ava for how long now too?

justhope
03-08-07, 09:16 AM
Hi Jeanie!


YEAH on the Lamictal! I love mine!
They purposefully start you out on the lower dosage, and build very slowly to the max to avoid that rash. I got the started pack like you. Started out on 25mg, 2 weeks, then 50 for 2 week, 75 for a week then up to the full 100mg.

Once I made it there, the doctor told me if I was still having some high and lows, I could bump it to the 150 until I saw him again. I missed some doses for about a week and a half, due to a financial bump in the road, and had to rebuild again.
So I am just back up to the 100mg. I would like to build to the 150 , I still feel a little depresed and hit a little mania early this week. Nothing severe though.

I will tell you though, while Lamictal does take a while to build to it's full effects , like other blood level meds, my pdoc did tell me in most cases the effects are felt quickly (another reason they really like the Lamicatal). And if you aren't bipolar, you will become worse after 10days-2wks on it, which offers some evidence to the facts, the effects start kicking in pretty quickly.

Since I was dx for years with ADD/depression, but had some DSM qualifications for the BPD...he said Lamictal, while being wonderful in the world of "no to little side effects" ,he said it works faster if you DON'T belong on it, you will know quickly. It was a tool he used with me to confirm a hard dx combo.

I can say by the time I was working on my 50mgs I was feeling better. That would be about the 3rd-4th week.

So great news Jeanie! I am so happy for you! For me having Lamictal, is like having the blind fold removed, or waking from a long horrible dream.

Best wishes...and please continue to post your progress!


Hope :)

dormammau2008
03-08-07, 02:55 PM
hiya crazy feet ive seen it and confussing as it was cos i dont know much abut the stroy but i love the film was great an i like the one your said about ,,,coool duede lol.....an ,,,liked frist ff film this is my sound film ive seen so far have you seen anymore??????

i love all things in this...

thanks c f hun xxx

what other things you liker?

dormy

jeaniebug
03-09-07, 12:24 PM
I have an image on my desktop right now that is a DVD cover with Cloud and Sephiroth stating: Final Fantasy Advent Children Complete. Coming in 2007...so maybe you will be able to watch that when it comes out, Jeanie, and get a "feel" for my pal Sephie and hear his theme music?

Keep your eyes open for the new DVD Dorm! Sounds to me like in this one you might be able to actually make sense of it without having had to play the game :D...ahhhh, I just love Square-Enix!Ha, I was right! Not even close! But thanks for the intro to Final Fantasy, CF and Dormy.

Day 5 on the super low dose. Had a really bad headache in the afternoon, but advil took care of it. I also took a three hour nap for no apparent reason, but felt so much better. :eyebrow:

My mood lifted way up in the evening yesterday also for no apparent reason. But it was nice to feel up instead of down. Don't know if I am cycling or reacting to the antidepressant effects of the lamictal (probably too low still for that), or if it was the NAP. The days are getting noticeably longer here and that always cheers me up as well.

This seems like such slow going, but I know it will be worth it in the end. TTFN :cool:

dormammau2008
03-09-07, 03:56 PM
glade your on the up jenbuy an hope you feel better soon an get....glad that you like ff8 some good stuff there lol iam thinking iam comeing dwon with cold! awwww anyways be safe an keep us infoured how things go

dorm bb

Crazy~Feet
03-09-07, 05:42 PM
Ha, I was right! Not even close! But thanks for the intro to Final Fantasy, CF and Dormy.

Day 5 on the super low dose. Had a really bad headache in the afternoon, but advil took care of it. I also took a three hour nap for no apparent reason, but felt so much better. :eyebrow:

My mood lifted way up in the evening yesterday also for no apparent reason. But it was nice to feel up instead of down. Don't know if I am cycling or reacting to the antidepressant effects of the lamictal (probably too low still for that), or if it was the NAP. The days are getting noticeably longer here and that always cheers me up as well.

This seems like such slow going, but I know it will be worth it in the end. TTFN :cool:Welll Jeanie, I did feel a lift after 50mgs myself. Perhaps we are at different places along the spectrum and you are feeling better like I did too? I hope so!

netsavy006
03-09-07, 09:19 PM
Glad to see that whatever it is you are feeling better. That's always good news. Good Luck.

jeaniebug
03-14-07, 11:20 AM
Week 2, Day 3. Lamictal: 25 mg.

I have been an emotional wreck this week. Could be job related (it s*cks at work at the moment), or related to my daughters stress with college classes this semester. They did finally get two sign language interpreters for her in Human Biology class because one can't keep up.

I think my diagnosis really finally *hit* me this week. Although, I am getting more done, even though I burst into tears several times a day. I never did that on zoloft, but on Wellbutrin (started Jan 8), I have "moods." Of course, maybe Wellbutrin is not good for bipolar......not sure what the problem is.

I feel like I am moving at a snails pace, but someday I will look back on all this and realize it was worth it. Right?

My computer at home was on the fritz from Thursday to Tuesday, so I haven't been able to get on to start being a moderator. Now my computer is back up, but my keyboard is not working hardly at all. So I'm on the computer at work at the moment (though not on shift at this time). Must go get another keyboard, but probably not until next week when I get paid.

I wish this was a more upbeat post and all was wonderful! :o

justhope
03-14-07, 01:56 PM
Hang in there Jeanie...you are on the lowest dose...takes everyone different amounts of time to feel the effects of a blood level med. I didn't feel that much of a difference....until the 2nd week of my 50mg.

Think stress from work...and is it close to..you know..that time????

Give yourself some time...and if you are concerned about the interaction of Wellbutrin and Lamictal on the moods, once you detemine you don't just need a good cry or too.....let the doctor know...

Never be apologetic...about having a crappy day here...that's what we are all here for....member silly! Nothing in the guidelines here says anything about posting only happy moments :D

As always we are here if you need us! Hang in there...

Swede63
03-14-07, 02:00 PM
No worries Jeanie we all have good and bad days. It's hard to tell what is happening when we have down days, and where there are other things going on like with your daughter, work and unruly keyboard. It's difficult to determine if it is the meds or life or a combo (sorry not much help today:o ) Just see how it goes with the Wellbutrin it looks like you are giving a good try. The whole diagnosis issue is a big deal though I mean it's a life changing experience so that is normal too (feeling overwhelmed)
((Big Hugs)):)

Charl

jeaniebug
03-14-07, 08:25 PM
No worries Jeanie we all have good and bad days. It's hard to tell what is happening when we have down days, and where there are other things going on like with your daughter, work and unruly keyboard. It's difficult to determine if it is the meds or life or a combo (sorry not much help today:o ) Just see how it goes with the Wellbutrin it looks like you are giving a good try. The whole diagnosis issue is a big deal though I mean it's a life changing experience so that is normal too (feeling overwhelmed)
((Big Hugs)):)

Charl
Thanks Charl and Hope. I am doing better this evening. I have both Saturday and Sunday off, that only happens once a month. Then I also have Monday and Tuesday off as my reg days off, so I am really looking forward to having some *me* time.

Have a couple of ideas for job changes that I will pursue this week. Also plan to get my taxes finished, and that will be a relief and a nice refund (I love the EIC)!

I know it just takes time, but I am ready to be better NOW!!! :cool: :) :rolleyes:

jeaniebug
03-23-07, 01:36 PM
It's check in time! :eek:

Week 3 day 4, Lamictal up to 50 mg daily. Just barely starting to notice a difference. Nothing bad to report, and hopefully soon it will be making a big difference.

I wake up more slowly, for the last few years I would wake up with a start and begin with the mind-racing and worrying and anxiety. That is not happening anymore. I like that!

I have had days where I only take 1 xanax, and before the lamictal I was up to 2-3 after I started the Wellbutrin in January. Although I do have days where I need 2.

My mind feels more "calm" at the moment. I still have the ADHD brain, where I forget things and lose things, but the psychiatrist yesterday said when we get the Lamictal up to 200 mg and I'm feeling stablized we may add something for the ADHD.
____________

AND....I got a job offer this morning!!!!!

Working at the regional cancer center doing research for the oncologists on drug trials. And making almost twice what I have been making at the school. (because I don't get paid for summer, holidays, or travel weekends) Oh Happy Day......!!!!!!

So THAT has improved my mood for sure!!!!! Must get some new clothes.....

Hope everyone is doing well. Got my computer working and the keyboard is better but not 100%. So I've been gone, and also preoccupied with the job interview this Monday and being on *pins an needles* or as I like say, "Nins and Peedles" waiting for the call. They did say they would let me know by Friday, and they were right!!!!!

Yeeee Hawwwwww! :D :D :D

justhope
03-23-07, 06:06 PM
Congrats Jeanie

That is wonderful news!

And as far as the 50mg...that is exactly what it did for me.
Even better as the doses moved up!


Yipee for you!

Ok gotta go make dinner plates for the hoards of kiddo's in my house!

Talk to you soon!

Keep us in the loop!

jeaniebug
04-08-07, 01:30 AM
Well, this is the end of the first week on 100 mg of Lamictal. Had a terrible headache the 1st two mornings of the increase.

Resigned from my old job Monday, my last day on old job was Wed. Start my new job next Monday.

I have been anxious and depressed this week, probably because I am so busy with all the paperwork, straightening out retirement etc, I have to continue my own medical coverage until new insurance kicks in (which is not until August 1). Don't want the bipolar to be a "pre-existing condition" for sure.

I think the Wellbutrin caused me to have a hypomanic reaction. I was really "up" right away, had tons of energy and didn't need much sleep. Textbook for my hypomanic episodes. Now in the last 3 weeks or so, my depression is worse than before. But of course, I have lots of stress right now also. Even though I am excited about the new job, I am also worried about it.

My psychiatrist wants me to increase to 150 mg. on Monday, and I'm feeling like I should have at least a few days at 125. Still worried about that allergic reaction, especially with all thats going on. Plus increasing my dose by 50 mg this week gave me a bad headache for two days.

I think I will ask to go off the Wellbutrin. I have been on antidepressants for more than 10 years, and I feel as if they have caused a downward spiral, and an increase in anxiety, racing thoughts, and lethargy. And now I read that antidepressants when you are bipolar often do just that--increase depression and cause mania, including anxiety. Sometimes called "kindling". It seems antidepressants can even cause unipolar depression to become bipolar. :confused:

Psycheduction.org has some interesting observations on that at:

http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/03_treatment.html#Anchor-Do-4869

I can't really tell if the Lamictal is working yet. Maybe because changing jobs has added stress. Oh and daughter had to withdraw from Human Biology and several people at the college are being A - holes. I have spent the week making lists to make sure I didn't forget anything important, and have been too busy to think. Until today, when I felt so low all I could do was watch TV. I need a maid!

Hopefully the new job and the Lamictal will both be helping soon. I will have better hours (8-5) and much better pay. I hope I like the people, that seems to be a key for me. I'll be able to have a real schedule. I have been working split shifts: 6-8 in the a.m. then back to work at 2:30 until 9:00 p.m. I am still waking up at 5:30. Must adjust my interal clocks! :eek: So I shouldn't be up now, and I probably should never be writing posts at 11:30 p.m. because everything looks more bleak to me at night.

That's my cue to get off of here and go directly to bed....:D

Wow, this titrating up of the Lamictal seems to be taking forever, or is it just me? :rolleyes:

Crazy~Feet
04-08-07, 02:22 PM
No its not just you Jeanie...titrating up on Lamictal really does take forever!

Check me out I made us all a banner :D. Snag it right from my sigline!

Imnapl
04-09-07, 01:37 AM
Hey C~F, that banner's so nice it's gonna attract groupies.

justhope
04-09-07, 09:48 AM
Jeaniebug, I came to read up and see how you are doing
even though I cheated and heard it straight from you earlier! LOL
Talk to that doc about getting off that Welbutrin? Unless I missed it and you already did. What was he thinking? I swear some of them don't know what they are doing all the time?

And member what I told you....you can over-ride your own meds...all that stress just from the changes. I often get depressed making so many changes.

I don't think there is a much of a worry about your allergic reaction one you make it over the 100 mark? (could be wrong) But I clearly remember my doc wanting to be very careful in the beginning doses...25,50.75 to 100, but not much after the 100? In fact he didn't seem to care, me messing with my doses between 150-200? Just didn't want me going to over 200? Because that can sometimes cause depression.

I have noticed myself, after kind of a sucky weekend...that events that happen that are signifigant to us,,,,definantely can override the meds. Or maybe we think we over rode the meds, and it's just a perfectly normal reaction?

I had something happen that made me hit the depression dumps ,too. It's just like the ADD meds , Jeaniebug...there is no magic pill.:eyebrow:

Lamictal helps with the horrible bumps, up and down, not all of them. I guess we have to remember , that even "normal" people go through bouts of depression, and even feeling good. And it's not those couple days here and there that are bad for us, and that's not what makes us Bipolar...or even means our meds aren't working. It's the extremes that last for days and days or months...and that make us break things around us that "normal" depression, or good moods wouldn't effect? Does that make sense?

I mean my ADD meds help me pay attention, stay out of the fog..but it doesn't make me do anything, it won't make me do the paperwork I hate? It just helps me pay attention long enough to do it?

And the Lamictal is the same way. If we take this and think we are never going to feel depressed again, or even "happy" ....we are never going to get better. I guess it's hard to know what normal is ,huh? We want to stay "leveled" out? And the first sign of oversleeping, or happy go lucky moods makes us think...uh oh! That's how I felt this weekend. And I realized you know what, something that really sucked happened. And yes I stayed in bed longer than normal, ...but i also realized it, and came out of it quicker...and you know what...I think any normal person might have done the same thing......I hope I am making some sense. I just don't want us to give up before we have time to really get used to feeling this way. Or give up because there are still bumps in the road? Until we learn what normal feels like, and what are the normal ranges of up's and downs? So early in the game how could we really know? I don't?

Hang in there....buddy! :D


CF I love the new banner! Very creative! Perhaps my next sig line go around, I can add it as well! Cycler's Unite!

jeaniebug
04-10-07, 06:26 PM
Hey, Hope!

Just called the Doctor this afternoon and he said yes, go off the wellbutrin. I don't need to decrease dose or anything. A different doctor (and not a good psychiatrist, IMHO) prescribed it, and I think it made me manic in the first few weeks, then more depressed. Plus it was causing sleep problems. Plus I have some liver enzymes issues anyway. So now just the Lamictal and the xanax as needed.

I was able to go to bed at a decent time and get up pretty well, so my sleep cycle may not take too long to normalize. I know that will help.

Yes, Saturday I could not get off the couch. Well, I did vacuum.... But Sunday was great and I didn't really feel that bad about Saturday because I had a really stressful week.

Day 2 of new job and so far so good. My supervisor is very positive, which is nice and a big switch from last job! Have much to learn but like the people. A bit too much sitting though....This building is really large, but I got lost the first day, now I think I could stroll around the halls. :)

justhope
04-10-07, 10:35 PM
CONGRATS JEANIEBUG!


Of course I am not a doctor, but I play one on TV..:eek: .yep sounded fishy to me....bad combo. :faint:

So wonderful, now you can enjoy the real good side of the Lamictal...and the rest of your life! Yipee! :)

Can't wait to come here and see how well you are doing next time!

Here's me, doing the happy happy cycling dance for Jeanie! Wahooo! :D

jeaniebug
04-26-07, 12:50 PM
Well at long last I am up to 200 mg which was the target when we started.

Stomach upset, have to take it with food, so I am taking it with dinner.

Constipation-horrible. I have increased fiber a lot, even Phillips MOM is not helping. So I am going to add prunes/juice which has always worked before. I don't like this side effect!

Light sensitivity. I work under fluorescent lights, and my eyes sometimes hurt. I took all the lightbulbs except 1 out of each fixture (there are 2 fixtures) and it still bothers my eyes. I will try to change the bulbs (at my own cost) to full spectrum fluorescent, especially on my desk light.

ADHD horrible and much worse than normal. Can't remember my own name hardly. :eek: Probably 30 times a day I will look in my purse, walk in a room, start an email, and can't remember who, why or what I'm doing. Partly related to job change but much more horrible than I remember with any other job change.

Sometimes, a lift in depression. I wouldn't say most of the time though. I had to come the ADHD site to remember the name of this drug (Lamictal).

Still have anxiety. Some days, a little better.

Stopped the Wellbutrin 2 weeks ago. I feel significantly less hostile and angry. Also less anxious. My kitties have noticed the difference and now sit on my lap again. Not a good anti depressant for bipolar, at least for me.

I will continue to increase dose, meeting with my psychiatrist today. Maybe like Hope, need some Adderall and maybe something like a little Risperdal.

Lamictal is not helping as much as I hoped. But maybe once I get settled down in my job I will notice it more.

Has anyone on Lithium had a good response in terms of helping depression? I know it has awful side effects as well. Just wondering! :cool: :)

jeaniebug
05-21-07, 04:23 PM
Hello, everyone in Bipolar land!

Well, the Lamictal.....I tried the 200 mg dose and that was not good, as you see from the earlier post, but I backed off to the 150mg which is better. I think I may actually go down to 125 mg for maintenance. I started the Lamictal on March 5, so I'm coming up on three months.

I am very glad to be off the Wellbutrin, wow, I can't believe my own post that said I was bursting into tears(!?) No more of that!! Very good news, IMHO.

So I am getting more done at home. The depression seems better, or at least I don't "notice" feeling depressed or not feeling depressed. Except briefly from time to time.

I do occasionally feel terribly frustrated/discouraged, because the ADHD has kicked in big time! It was really bad at 200 mg of Lamictal. It is better now that I backed off to 150 mg, but I am so forgetful!! Much more than normal for me, and I have always been absent-minded.

But the literature says that ADHD gets worse with changes in situations-- "This is especially true when major changes occur, such as starting at a new school or going to college" (Web MD) -- or a major career change (me).

So I really do feel better overall, but it doesn't feel like a huge change. It's kind of hard to notice. It's a change but it doen't feel like a big thing to me. Don't get me wrong, I will stick with this like glue!!:D :D

I will see the P doc on Friday, and I am hoping to get something for the ADHD, which is really buggin' me a bunch. Perhaps Adderall or Dex?? Maybe I notice the ADHD more because the other symptoms (depression, mania) are not there?? :)

The new job is going well, almost 2 months on that. Learning a bunch and with the ADHD probably forgetting half of what I learn! :eyebrow: Or not...but I do like the job, and more importantly really like the group of people I work with.

Daughter has decided to continue college at CSUN (Northridge, California), it is one of only 3 colleges highly recommended for deaf students in the US (according to her Vocational Rehabilitation counselor). So we are working like crazy to get application process working. But it feels like the right thing to her and to me as well. Even if it is far away! But she will be 21 in Sept, so have to let her go sometime, dang! :o

Thanks for all your support, everyone! It has made a huge difference in my life! ;) :p

justhope
05-21-07, 10:39 PM
Glad to hear you are doing better! You sound so much more...well level? LOL

I just wanted to stop by and say hello to my cycling buddies. Bipolar front for me is quiet. After the fall out of the last 2 weeks I have come through amazingly well. No long sleeping episodes...and no not sleeping episodes. No major moods at all, except those that should be extreme!

I hope everyone is doing well. I hope to be back to my normal "self" here in a week or so. The little one is doing better, now crutching it around the house, and happy to not be stuck in the bed!

Take care all,

Hope

Crazy~Feet
05-22-07, 01:27 PM
My turn to report in...I am doing great on my own med combo. Space is doing terrible :( she is manicky and has pressured speech 24-7. She is driving me and her own self crazy. I hate her meds!

Spoke to the W and he is allowing me to up her Risperdal to 1mg twice a day instead of 1/2mg PRN. I also spoke to him about off-label use of Lamictal for her (see? I am actually on topic for a change!) so what I said to you before was correct Hope. That over-16 thing is more of a guideline than an ironclad rule.

She sees the W on the 31st so we don't have long to go. I personally cannot wait...my poor ears need a break here! Will report along with y'all as we go...or would you prefer I start a new thread for this Jeanie? Let me know.

jeaniebug
05-23-07, 01:05 AM
Hey, CF!

Y'all can keep it here, or not....you might get more attention and individual responses if you start your own thread, but it l ties in..

Sorry to hear about Space. My bipolar symptoms are better, and the ADHD is worse. I am going to the pdoc on Friday, so hope to get relief. Don't know if Dex might be better for me or Adderall. I know you like Dex, I have read that might be better for the Hyper type of ADHD. Which you are (were), right??

I'll see what the doc recommends. I hope he will try something for the ADHD. I have had it all my life, and only diagnosed in Feb 07 and NEVER treated for it. :eyebrow: I am inattentive.....

Thanks for the update! :D

My turn to report in...I am doing great on my own med combo. Space is doing terrible :( she is manicky and has pressured speech 24-7. She is driving me and her own self crazy. I hate her meds!

Spoke to the W and he is allowing me to up her Risperdal to 1mg twice a day instead of 1/2mg PRN. I also spoke to him about off-label use of Lamictal for her (see? I am actually on topic for a change!) so what I said to you before was correct Hope. That over-16 thing is more of a guideline than an ironclad rule.

She sees the W on the 31st so we don't have long to go. I personally cannot wait...my poor ears need a break here! Will report along with y'all as we go...or would you prefer I start a new thread for this Jeanie? Let me know.

Crazy~Feet
05-23-07, 01:20 AM
Hey, CF!

Y'all can keep it here, or not....you might get more attention and individual responses if you start your own thread, but it l ties in..

Sorry to hear about Space. My bipolar symptoms are better, and the ADHD is worse. I am going to the pdoc on Friday, so hope to get relief. Don't know if Dex might be better for me or Adderall. I know you like Dex, I have read that might be better for the Hyper type of ADHD. Which you are (were), right??

I'll see what the doc recommends. I hope he will try something for the ADHD. I have had it all my life, and only diagnosed in Feb 07 and NEVER treated for it. :eyebrow: I am inattentive.....

Thanks for the update! :DDuring my childhood, I would have qualified for the combined diagnosis, and possibly still do with impulsive speech :o ...I was combined for impulsivity not hyperactivity. Nowadays I am EXTREMELY inattentive, a virtual drooler; I trip over carpet lint on a freshly vacuumed floor when I am unmedicated.

I would up with dex because it is veeeerrrry smooth and causes me no rebound and no sharp edges when taking or losing effect. I love it! I also find that when I take it I am actually more calm than before I took it. DB takes it for anxiety, too. It might be worth looking into.

Dunno what I am gonna do about discussing Space. I might stay here because she comes here but tends not to read this section, whereas if I start a new thread, she will notice my post in New Posts and read it. I am not looking to embarrass the poor kid anymore than she is embarrassed already, ya know? I just need to get this off my chest and this is also my space to vent.

I think I should stay here with this. Thanks for allowing it!

acceptance
05-23-07, 03:05 AM
Im still waiting for my meds,had the doc's reception ring me for a forwarded app;what else could i do,just wait its this friday now,and ive been reading here(me bipolar11),would lamictal,ive never heard of it,is there a site i can go to to see australian equivalance?my son is on seroquel(bipolar11)what meds should i lean to.?

jeaniebug
05-23-07, 09:14 AM
Nowadays I am EXTREMELY inattentive, a virtual drooler; I trip over carpet lint on a freshly vacuumed floor when I am unmedicated.
LMAO, snort giggle! I have been tripping over lint all my life, I thought it was just me! :o (still laughing)

Thanks for that visual, I will print that out and post it by my desk. :rolleyes:


Im still waiting for my meds,had the doc's reception ring me for a forwarded app;what else could i do,just wait its this friday now,and ive been reading here(me bipolar11),would lamictal,ive never heard of it,is there a site i can go to to see australian equivalance?my son is on seroquel(bipolar11)what meds should i lean to.?
Hi acceptance! Lamictal is normally prescribed for seizures, it has an off label use as a mood stabilizer. I think it is not normally prescribed for kids because of that serious rash side effect, but never say never.

Lamictal requires a very slow titrating up process to avoid the allergic reaction, serious skin rash. I started it in March and it took many weeks to get up to the stable dose.

Just google Lamictal and you might be able to find out if there is equivalent in Australia. Good luck Friday!

jeaniebug
05-31-07, 01:20 PM
I am now stabilized on 150 mg of Lamictal. I am generally in a better mood! I do find the effect of Lamictal to be very subtle. Although I notice things from time to time.

I had such horrible depression for so many years, I told my therapist before I started the Lamictal, "I am not suicidal, but I don't really care if I live or die."

I do not feel that way any longer. I have more "interest" in my life or perhaps even more "zest" for life. Occasionally I feel sad for a little bit, but it nothing like the crushing depression I had day in and day out, with no relief from anti-depressants.

Guess what, my house is clean! :eyebrow: I have gone through boxes and closets and sorted out, threw away or donated probably 20 boxes of stuff. I can't even imagine doing that before I started Lamictal.

So overall the depression is better, although I am not singing about sunshine and lollipops or doing cartwheels...but I do feel better.

One of the side effects that I do not like at all are the memory problems I continue to have. Not as bad as it was at 200 mg, but my brain is very "mushy." I come home from work and admittedly, it is a new job, but most days I am just in a coma after I get home, and can only sit and watch re-runs of Law and Order. And sleep. Then go to bed and sleep some more.

JustHope (thank you, dear!) sent me a PM saying her pdoc told her that Lamictal and other antiepileptic drugs slow cognitive function. :eek: So I googled that and found this:

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)

All commonly used AEDS have some effect on cognitive function, and the effect may be substantial when crucial functions are involved, such as learning in children or driving ability in adults, or when already-vulnerable functions are involved, such as memory in elderly patients. The available evidence is insufficient to support definite conclusions about the cognitive effects of three of the newer AEDs, tiagabine, gabapentin, and levetiracetam. Better evidence is available for “Lamictal” lamotrigine (LTG), topiramate (TPM), and, to a lesser degree, oxcarbazepine (OXC). OXC appears not to affect cognitive function in healthy volunteers or adults with newly diagnosed epilepsy, but its cognitive effects in children and adolescents have not been systematically studied. A relatively large number of studies are available for LTG, which has demonstrated a favorable cognitive profile overall, both in volunteers and in patients with epilepsy. Although dose and titration speed may be confounding factors in some of the studies of TPM, there is clear evidence that this agent does affect cognitive function, with specific effects on attention and verbal function. For LTG, attempts have been made to correlate cognitive effects with what is known of the drug's mechanism of action; this is an area of research that deserves further exploration with regard to other AEDs as well, especially TPM.

Link: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1528-1157.44.s4.3.x?journalCode=epi (http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1528-1157.44.s4.3.x?journalCode=epi)

Antiepileptic drugs decrease membrane excitability, increase postsynaptic inhibition or alter synchronization of neural networks to decrease excessive neuronal excitability associated with seizure development. Common side effects of decreasing neuronal excitability, however, are slowed motor and psychomotor speed, poorer attention and mild memory impairment (Meador, 2005).

And that is certainly true for me!!!!! I am hoping to get some Adderall or something to sharpen the ADHD which is worse than ever on Lamictal! :eek:

jeaniebug
06-06-07, 09:53 PM
During my childhood, I would have qualified for the combined diagnosis, and possibly still do with impulsive speech :o ...I was combined for impulsivity not hyperactivity. Nowadays I am EXTREMELY inattentive, a virtual drooler; I trip over carpet lint on a freshly vacuumed floor when I am unmedicated.

I would up with dex because it is veeeerrrry smooth and causes me no rebound and no sharp edges when taking or losing effect. I love it! I also find that when I take it I am actually more calm than before I took it. DB takes it for anxiety, too. It might be worth looking into.
CF!

Well I got my Rx for Adderall today. I will try it in the morning, 10 mg. I have been so inattentive, I went to the bank Friday after work and could not subtract 6 from 11 to save my life. I mean I knew I knew it, and I did figure it out, but man, I have never been so unable to think in my entire life! :eyebrow:

And then this weekend I did have a good time, but it was an intensely emotional weekend. I spent time with family which is always trouble (for me). Anyway, by Sunday and Monday I felt manic, then yesterday and today, depressed. So I do still cycle and override the Lamictal, but as you told me, the highs are not quite as high and the lows are not as low. Plus I shook off the depression within 2 days. So I do love the Lamictal, if I could only think!!! :rolleyes:

Like I said, my big "science experiment" with Adderall will start tomorrow. I will keep you posted!

Crazy~Feet
06-06-07, 10:15 PM
GO PAULA! GO PAULA!


I am glad to hear your psydoc is being so cool about things. I can hold out some hope for you with my experience. I manage quite well on dex and lamictal. I can THINK! Until it wears off, then I trip over carpet lint again :rolleyes:. Its a good feeling to know that if you begin to cycle you won't hit the ceiling or hit rock bottom.

jeaniebug
06-14-07, 06:00 PM
Thanks for the continued support, CF! I have become more aware of how much Lamictal is affecting me as the weeks go on. There are many differences, now that I am on a stable dose of Lamictal (150mg) and it has taken a while to get used to and notice them. I have been PM'ing some of this to Hope and CF, and put some of it as a post in another thread, but I need to add it to my thread!



I love Lamictal. I am still amazed by the transformation that continues to unfold in my life. I feel more like myself than I have in many years! Only I think I feel better than that. It is so nice to actually feel "like myself" after 10+ years or so of feeling deadened or manic or horribly depressed between the many different antidepressants I was on and the bipolar.

I am much more "self aware" now on the Lamictal than I have been for years or maybe ever. I think the fogginess that the antidepressants caused for the last 10 years has lifted and I don't recognize the landscape (mindscape). Everything is so new and different, I don't even know how to describe it. I am getting so much done overall, Lamictal is a wonder drug. Except for making me stupid. :eek: Well, at least more absent minded than usual. I mentioned before that I did have a major job change 2 months ago, which is making my memory problem worse anyway, so I am not sure how much is Lamictal and how much is learning a new job.

I did start Adderall last week, and that helps me to concentrate better for about 6 hours, or until 2:00. Then I turn back into a pumpkin. :eyebrow: I can tell I need a higher dose, I only started on 10 mg of the XR. <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->

justhope
06-14-07, 08:41 PM
YIPEE!!!!!! Glad to hear continued success stories for the Lamictal for you Jeanie!

Well any meds that make us feel better for that matter...but esp this one since several of us share it in a common bond!
I feel the same way, and am looking forward to the same thing with Keenan...2 weeks in...100mg and we should start seeing some changes in the next 2..yipee!


And remember what I told you about the Cognitive slowing that is "supposed" to happen on Lamictal, well it's not a problem for just BP's but for us it surely makes the ADD seem so much worse...but per the doc...the stimulants if tolerated will help the foggy/duh effects! I can atest to that!

Go! Go! Go! Cycling Club!

Hope :p

Crazy~Feet
06-14-07, 11:29 PM
Go Paula! Go Paula!

(Invisible cheerleaders since I cannot post images here)

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)