I have mild reflux, something like GERD or LERD, for the past six months or so. Mostly no pain, just really bad smells at the back of my throat and occasional vomit burp. It recently (past couple months) started giving me vague gut pain and bloating after meals, so I saw a dr, got scoped, and was diagnosed with reflux. No erosion/ulceration was seen though, just stomach juices bubbling up my esophagus a little.
So, I got some prescription strength probiotics and started putting chia seeds in my drinks. (The goo really soothes all that mess.) My reflux was more or less under control with just that, until I finally decided to go to a psychiatrist for my (years long untreated) depression.
Now, after a week at 5 mg escitalopram and 25ish mg (I'm trying to quarter 100 mg pills, it's not so accurate) lamotrigine in the AM, my stomach is MAD. Putting anything in my stomach makes it bloated and painful. And the past couple days it's even worse. Last night, probably two hours after eating I had a wicked vomit burp. Like the food in my stomach wasn't moving down AT ALL. This morning I even woke up bloated. I have a long history of gut unhappiness, but it's usually my bowels/large intestine and this stomach pain shit is really making it hard for me to do anything. Like, I'm so bloated I'm scared if I get up and move around I'm going to vomit. (But I don't have nausea, weirdly enough.) And I think all this clenching my stomach against the bloating and pain is making my asthma worse.
Is this a start up side effect that will go away? Anyone know of anything besides PPIs that can help it? I think the problem is that my digestive tract just isn't moving, not that I have too much acid, and besides PPIs give me wicked diarrhea. When I had a big cup of coffee with breakfast yesterday morning, my big hearty breakfast didn't cause me any problems at all. Coffee usually makes my digestive track tweak the fuck out and puts me on the toilet, I think in this case it brought my gut back to normal speed. But I can't do that with dinner.
My doctor actually wants me on 10 mg escitalopram already and I'm scared to go up because I don't want this to get worse. Also I have medication phobia and want to stay at the lowest doses possible for everything.
But I really want to give the meds a chance to work.....
Does anyone have any experience specifically with the Depakote+Lamictal combo (with or without other medications). I've been on Depakote now since about November of last year but we're swapping out the Trintellix for Lamictal because my new insurance in July might give me a hard time about covering Trintellix. And we (my pdoc and I) figured that demonstrating an approved medication doesn't work (if it doesn't work that is) should be something we should try before submitting the step therapy paperwork for Trintellix. For this new insurance, they not only require that you try at least two other generics, but the "Restricted Access" meds also are only allowed to be used for FDA approved indications (i.e. Trintellix is approved for MDD but I'm BP2).
I started Lamictal on Thursday. 25mg every other day for 2 weeks. Then 25mg every day for two weeks. Then we'll decide if we want to increase it again to 50mg for another two weeks or if we want to increase the Depakote or Rexulti.
I don't recall Lamictal having such a difficult startup when it comes to GI discomfort. I remember the antsy almost anxious feeling, and I remember the headaches, but I'm also having nausea, some mild stomach cramping, diarrhea, but fortunately no vomitting. Has anyone else ever taken Depakote and started Lamictal and found they had a hard time. Better yet has anyone ever taken Lamictal both with AND without Depakote and found it less tolerable when taken with Depakote?
I am aware of the medication interaction between these two meds. So I know that Depakote is going to increase Lamictal blood levels and might amplify some of these side effects. It's just more difficult than I remembered from the last time I took it years ago when I wasn't on Depakote and I wasn't really expecting it to be this much worse. Granted, I've only taken two doses at this point. So I might be jumping the gun and might find that I feel better later this week. But I'm also supposed to be discontinuing the Trintellix on Thursday. And if I'm still having a hard time adjusting to the Lamictal, stopping Trintellix at the same time could make me miserable, and I know that.
Anyone have two cents?
Hi There, I'm not much of a poster. But, I've noticed when you are trying to look up people's personal experience with meds, usually the reports are from people who have had really bad experiences, and so you don't normally get the full range of experiences. I'm assuming, the people who are fine, on certain meds, don't really post anything, because they've had no problems with it. Also, I wanted to post about Fetzima, because there is basically not a lot of information on it, so I felt like I wanted to share with the community to help others out who are deciding what to do. And, these forums were always helpful for me on my med research, so I wanted to contribute.
I was on Fetzima for probably 3 years. My main medicine was Lamotrigine/Lamictal 150mg, which controlled my depression crashes. And, I needed a depression booster because of my dysthymia. I was on 40mg the whole time of Fetzima. I learned over the years, the SSRI's did nothing for me. I tried everything in the book. Finally, this, actually, good psych doctor recommended an SNRI, Fetzima.
I remember in the beginning, my only side effect was cold sweats. Like wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat. It was not that fun. But, my depression improved and I was finally stable and felt good for the first time in my entire life. And, I told myself, I'll take the cold sweats, if it means I feel like a normal functioning adult human being. But, after a while, maybe 2-3 weeks, the cold sweats subsided.
After that, Fetzima worked! It was great, the first depression med that I ever felt good on, didn't feel weird, was happy, held a job, friends, etc. Amazing!
Then, I worked really, really hard with my therapist. I did everything I could possibly do to get better. I never wanted to be on meds. I wanted to treat myself and get better, and the end. I have severe trauma as a kid, and in result, suffered from severe depression, suicidal ideation, couldn't move or function, anxiety, social anxiety, and pretty much everything that goes along with that. Although, on the outside, you would never suspect it; I have a master's degree, I'm outgoing, friendly, etc. (Just trying to give you guys a picture of the situation).
So, yes, I, personally, would recommend it. And, had no problems with it. Although, because it's a newer med, and no one has ever heard of it, there is no a lot of research on the long term effects. Obviously, medicine is different for everyone, but Fetzima worked for me.
I finally felt good enough and stable enough to try to get off my meds, 3 years later.
I recently tapered off of Fetzima, 20mg for 1 month, and then off. It was not that fun, but, it wasn't horrible, and it is not the horror stories that I've read from others online. I had one day of a pretty bad depression crash (maybe two), although, I knew it, and I knew what was happening, and I just reached out to everyone to help me through it. And, I know that a side effect of withdrawal is depression! Because your body is used to the meds, and then it doesn't have it anymore, so it takes a while for your brain to even out.
The other very seriously difficult part for me- was the brain fog- brain cognition defects. I've never had anything like this before in my life, always good in school, always able to concentrate. I never even pay attention to that one on the list of issues that could arise. But, I was in a class that week, and it was rough! I couldn't concentrate, couldn't focus, fidgety, I felt like my brain was at 80%. It was a big struggle. I was scared my brain was going to be like this forever, and kept having to remind myself that it's the withdrawal. I, also, decided I'd rather deal with the withdrawal, then be on this forever, so I put up with it. And, probably after a week or two it went away.
And, that's it! My emotions are okay! No depression! I'm very proud of myself, and I feel like the trauma therapy really worked! (So, I'd recommend that too). A lot of people "poo poo" talk therapists, and honestly, going through a lot of them since I was a teenager, a lot of them are pretty bad. But, once you find a good one, which can take a bunch of tries. It pretty much changed everything for me. Took a solid 4 years, I'd say of serious talk therapy from 2014-2018. But, I am a happy/content human being now! And, it was worth everything! And, I have someone I can check in with now, but don't need to go regularly, which feels amazing too!
The meds teach you (or, taught me) what it was like to be stable and content. Which, I had never felt before in my life. And, then once you get off of them, your brain has been trained to know what being stable and content is, (and you've added the skills and tools you need to, through talk therapy to help yourself through), so, it'll go back to where it needs to go.
Obviously, some people will need to be on meds forever, and that's okay too. I'm just sharing my personal experience.
I'm now feeling strong enough to taper off my Lamotrigine 150mg. Which will be 125mg for 3 weeks, then 100mg for 3 weeks, then 75mg, 50mg, 25mg each for 3 weeks, and then 0! We're just doing it very, very slow. And, I hope it goes well! So, I'll share that experience too, in a couple months.
Anyways, that's my review of Fetzima! And, it worked for me, while it needed to.