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Lamictal as General Mood Stabilizer?


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My pdoc put me on Lamictal as a general mood stabilizer on Monday, low dose ramping up over the next several weeks to a target dose of 200 mg.

I am stable right now and feel pretty good. The Lamictal is replacing Tegretol which fell down on the job and allowed a breakthrough manic episode back in January.

How does this sound? Anyone else been on Lamictal as a general mood stabilizer instead of an antidepressant for BP?

I've been a rapid cycler mostly manic lately, but I am not complaining about bringing in Lamictal as I like the side effect profile and it should play nicely with my 100 mg of Seroquel for sleep/anxiety and my 200 mg of Topamax.

I'd love/appreciate any comments about how Lamictal has worked out as a prophylactic...

Thanks,

~Cat

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I've been on Lamictal as a mood stabilizer for a bit over 7 weeks now. I am only using 100 mg. and it seems to be helping quite a bit. As you can see in my signature I am also taking a bunch of other crap.

Tommy

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Thanks for the note, Tommy. I did some reading on Lamictal and it sounds like it is good for a mood stabilizer which made me wonder why it's not talked about it that way more...I have always heard it talked about as more of an anti-depressant add-on.

thanks again ~Cat

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"Anyone else been on Lamictal as a general mood stabilizer instead of an antidepressant for BP?"

Yeah..my hubby takes lamictal. He tried Lithium and depakote in the past, but he hated the side effects so much he was non-complient.

And an anti-depressant as a general mood stabilizer for bp??? Isn't this bad news? Doesn't this trigger mania for a lot of bp folks? Kind of like leaving a match in charge of a pile of fireworks (I thought).

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Lamictal took the heights from my manias and depths from depressions. I still cycle, but not as bad as before. I'd expect it to moderately even out things. If you're milder than me, it may be enough to totally wipe out the episodes.

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Hi Wifezilla...

Yeah, I was on an antidepressant (Paxil) from my GP before my BP diagnosis and I went manic wacko. Then after the diagnosis, my first pdoc was a quack who took me off the Paxil and put me on Tegretol with a Lexapro chaser (??!!) and it was like a match to a pile of fireworks just like you said. Wooo!

I was kind of saying, though, that I have heard a lot that people use Lamictal as a kind of "antidepressant" of sorts...not an official AP of course, but in that kind of role.

Thanks for the input....thanks to you, too, Loon. My highs have been pretty bad the past year, but my lows, not so bad. Like I said, I've been stable for the past three months or so, fingers crossed that the Lamictal keeps me there.

~Cat

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Heya Cat,

I like Lamictal, at least for me (I've been taking it ... wow, 10 months???), and it looks good for others too.

Supposed to be a stabilizer that works more on the depressive side, and to prevent both mania and depression, at least that's what *I'm* banking on.

Hey, it's a good drug (although since it helps *me,* I guess I'm biased ... oh wait, docs are never biased ... oh wait, I'm a patient on CB ;):) ).

I'm glad it's working for you.

--ncc--

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I've been on it for some time (can't remember exactly how long, but it's less than a year), and it's working well in combination with Trileptal. As ncc said above, it's supposed to be good for the depressive side of BP, while the Trileptal is better for levelling out the mania. I still have the occasional breakthrough manic or depressive period, but they're nothing as extreme as what I used to go through.

PS - I'm also on other meds, including Wellbutrin - but the WB is not a long term addition to my cocktail. It's more focused on dealing with some situational stuff I'm dealing with right now.

Good luck,

S

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200mg as a target to start with? Ask about trying to go to lower doses and see if you need to go up or hang out at lower doses. If you are showing symptoms and don't feel right at the lower doses, then you have somewhere to go with your med dose. My clinic LOVES this game plan. Sometimes they cut me too far back and it makes me MAD and now i'm rebelling, but hey, it is worth a thought.

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Thanks for all the great feedback. I've been having absolutely no major side effects during my first week on 25 mg. No headaches, no mood issues, no rash. So...so far so good.

From what my doctor said, Lamictal is one of those "sweet spot" drugs where 150-200 mg is about right for most people for BP therapy and that lower can actually cause some activation...kind of like what Drumming was talking about...irritability around 75 mg or so...even some hypo in some people...but that it usually goes away and that it can be managed with stuff like, well, in my case with the Seroquel.

I don't know...I'm anxious to keep things stable which is where I'm at now...for the most part...I have my days/nights where triggers set me off...but I just know that Tegretol wasn't doing crap for me.

And thanks for mentioning the constipation side effect, Drumming. I noticed that problem a bit this week and wondered if it might be the Lamictal. I'll mention it to my doctor.

Thanks again,

~Cat

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Guest espressogrrl

first visit to a pdoc and she read the tdoc's recommendation that i probably wasnt bp, but it should be 'screened out". so she asked me two questions: do i have mood swings and do I shop. I told her my swings were better because the adderall allowed me to see a clear order of how to solve multiple tasks and not just get overwhelmed. I told her i used to have impulsive shopping, like "hey, its been a bad day. let's buy 200 dollars worth of clothes." but i changed jobs and i dont get paid as much so i don't shop as much. that was the extent of our conversation. so she gave me lamictal. it was supposed to be 25 mgs once a day and then 25 mgs twice a day in 10 days. I asked why. she said "well, it has anti-depressant qualities."

after only 2 days of 25mg I was crying off the hook to the point it was debilitating. thats what got me here. read everything around here and saw that some people need to go slower. i realized she was doing it to screen me for bp. so i called her.

I let her know i was none to pleased that I had to read these boards to find out she was evasive about telling me the lamictal was a bp experiment, and that i won't pretend to be a doctor but i must be more involved in her plans. and she allowed me to start over lower @ around 12 (those pills are HARD to cut in half). Comotose for a couple days. soon i will be going back up to 25, but i am stopping if the crying continues.

so far not so good. so far, all my mood swings have been internal and I am just too zony to act on them. no release. the adderall for the ADD is overruled by the lamictal. can't concentrate or remember anything. did i even take my lamictal yet?

*sigh*

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