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Wondering about lamictal (lamotrigine) experiences


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Hey everyone.........I have read so many positive stories about lamictal and I was wondering if anyone has a had a bad experience with it. I've been taking lamictal for about two months now, and I'm just not feeling any better. In fact, I'm feeling worse. Lots of anxiety, still on the depressed side of things, I just keep waiting for it to lift. If you've had a bad experience, did you finally find a mood stabilizer that worked for you? I guess I just need a little reassurance lol.

Thanks,

Homesick ;)

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I had to add an AD to Lamictal (and lithium) before I had any lift from the depression. I felt just like you, though - waiting for this so-called miracle drug to kick in. I will say that it did help, just... not on its own. not for me.

Talk to your doctor. Good luck.

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Guest espressogrrl

Hey everyone.........I have read so many positive stories about lamictal and I was wondering if anyone has a had a bad experience with it. I've been taking lamictal for about two months now, and I'm just not feeling any better. In fact, I'm feeling worse. Lots of anxiety, still on the depressed side of things, I just keep waiting for it to lift. If you've had a bad experience, did you finally find a mood stabilizer that worked for you? I guess I just need a little reassurance lol.

Thanks,

Homesick ;)

Heya Choco!

I am in the SAME boat as you. BP, ADD. GAD. Lamictal isnt cutting it for me. my new (and fabu) pdoc says that it is because either:

a. I am not really BP, but i have a lot of BP symptoms, and so mood stabilizer shouldnt be for me. I should have and upped dosage of adderal (ADD) and an anti-anxiety drug like bu-somthing (ask lmnop. I cant remember the word but she does) which doesnt effect BP people as bad as anti depressents, just in CASE i am BP after all.

b. I am not up to a dosage of lamictal that is therapeutic (only 37 at this point, was on 50...see post below)

c. my last pdoc jacked me from 0-25mgs in a day, and from 25-50 after only 10 days more. in his opinion, i went tooo fast, and i needed to do 12.5 for two weeks, 25 for two weeks, 37 for two weeks and then 50 for two weeks. going to fast could also have sparked the increase in depression.

he is actually sending me out on blood tests and an EKG to determine which path is best to take first.

those are my thoughts!!!

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For me ... titrated up very very slowly. Effexor 150 also. Lamictal really helped with depression.

Not bp, doesn't make a difference, lamictal plus an ad seems to help some of us.

Going on it felt a little giddy at times. No giddy now, just ok...(whew, relief)

Luli

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I titrated up pretty quickly. 25 mg. for four days, then 50 mg. for two weeks (they wanted to have me at 50 while I was still in the hospital so they could observe my reactions better), then 100 mg. for past 6 weeks or so. I see my pdoc on the 25th and don't know if we'll go up then or not. I never felt giddy, but I do feel a little bit more normal. I am, however, still depressed.

Tommy

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I don't think I felt solid with my regimen til about the 4th month!

Hospital monitoring is good; maybe they want to see how you're doing til

they add anything else. Guess some folks just do lamictal for depression...with no adjunctive med.

I've had some dips, especially when not eating...gotta have fuel to feed the

little neurons & brain mush!

Hope something works for you; there is so much out there....

Luli

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Lamictal has worked really well for me. I was in a horrible suicidal/homicidal depression. I got a lift out of it within a week. And within a month I was out and about again. I had the usual initial side effects: giddiness, irritability, insomnia.... I now take seroquel so insomnia is not an issue. The only side effect that I really notice is muscle ache. If I lift weights I hurt more and much longer. Other than that this is a great drug for me.

Check out this website: http://www.remedyfind.com/treatments/24/479/ It's a great one for positive and negative experiences of drugs.

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Hey...I think Lamictal has helped me...not sure if I'm BP or just have treatment resistant major depression. Anyway, only "side effects" were a rash at the beginning, which in retrospect, may have been a fungal thing and/or poison ivy....in any event, it's gone away and is/was not the dangerous (albit extremely rare one) that is the big thing to be vigilant about with this med.

I'd say, if the pdoc wants to try it, give it a try. It HAS helped many....maybe it will help you, too.

Good luck,

CB

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Thanks for all the input everyone! I have been on 150mg for a little while now, and I think the Lamictal maybe just isn't for me. I keep trying to wait it out, thinking I will feel better soon, but it just isn't happening. I guess I just need to keep trying to find something that works for me. I've spent the last 20 yrs or so on and off almost every AD out there, so what's a few months, right? LOL

Homesick ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the input everyone! I have been on 150mg for a little while now, and I think the Lamictal maybe just isn't for me. I keep trying to wait it out, thinking I will feel better soon, but it just isn't happening. I guess I just need to keep trying to find something that works for me. I've spent the last 20 yrs or so on and off almost every AD out there, so what's a few months, right? LOL

Homesick ;)

Are you still on Lamictal? I've heard that 200 mg/day is the "normal" therapeutic dose. Some people on the boards take even more. Maybe you need to try going a little higher to see what happens? It seems to have helped a lot of people, esp. if you look through lots of other threads in this area.....

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I just switched to Topamax a few days ago. I just fet like crap the whole time I was on the Lamictal. Very edgy, grouchy....and it wasn't doing much for my depression either. It's only been about 3 days on the Topamax and I already feel more calm. Hopefully I will get that weight loss side-effect too lol!

Homesick

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Echoing what's said here ---

Anything below 100mg Lamictal is probably way too low.

It took me until about 400mg to reach a good antidepressant+mood stability plateau. That might even be going to 500-600 depending on situational emotional factors.

Then again, you're talking to a guy for whom trazodone doesn't work until 300mg (that's just for sleep), Remeron until 15mg, Neurontin until 1200mg, 40% v/v ethanol solution... well that one doesn't work until I'm almost blacked out...

in any event

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I've been on 150mg for a couple of months now. I've become edgy, more harsh and sarcastic, and less afraid of what people think of me. I blog almost daily, and have noticed quite a change in my writing style as well as what I have to say, and I don't know that I like it. But it's done wonders for depression!

I was on Seroquel too, but I stopped for a bit just to see what would happen, and I'm actually losing weight rather than pigging out! And I have more energy. Just enough to keep me going, rather than the Seroquel lie-in-bed-all-day thing.

So yeah, I think I've finally found my wonder-drug. ;)

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I am about ready to give up on Lamictal. Been on 200 mg since March 2006, and it really hasn't done anything except cloud up my thinking and gives me a terrible sleep patern. My depression seems to be about the same, maybe a little worse. I was hoping it would work for me, but it hasn't. I know for many people it has been a godsend, but I guess it just wasn't for me.

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I am about ready to give up on Lamictal. Been on 200 mg since March 2006, and it really hasn't done anything except cloud up my thinking and gives me a terrible sleep patern. My depression seems to be about the same, maybe a little worse. I was hoping it would work for me, but it hasn't. I know for many people it has been a godsend, but I guess it just wasn't for me.

I know I'm preaching about the same thing again, but have you tried increasing your Lamictal closer to 400mg? Lamictal is one of those huge YMMV drugs, since the pharmacokinetics (rates we metabolize and excrete the stuff) are extremely whacky and vary from individual to individual. Also, perhaps due to the whacky pharmacokinetics, some people have noted a "centrophasic/biphasic" side effects vs. dosage curve, meaning that side effects peak at one (or more) dosage(s) and fade off as dosage increases. I just happen to know this, as the cognitive effects for me were slightly less at 400mg than they were at 300mg.

As for the sleep pattern, when do you take the stuff? I know most people take it at night, but it's horrendously activating for me, so I take it in the morning, and it actually helps keep my energy up. I initially took it at night, but even at 50mg (I'm on 400mg now) I couldn't sleep at all. With morning dosing, this is no longer an issue.

For what it's worth, Lamictal didn't have much of an antidepressant effect on me, either. I mainly was put on it for my hypomanias, which are on occasion irritable/mixed/rageful and have gotten me into trouble before. Needless to say (as I'm still on the stuff!), it's done an excellent job in this respect.

Since your dx is depression (and not any form of bipolar), I am not sure that Lamictal would be right for you, given the fact that it's done nothing for your D (and did nothing for mine, either). Though, I think since your attitude is now "about to give it up", I'd suggest you speak with your pdoc about the suggestions presented by various people in this thread.

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The only side effect that I really notice is muscle ache. If I lift weights I hurt more and much longer. Check out this website: http://www.remedyfind.com/treatments/24/479/ It's a great one for positive and negative experiences of drugs.

I just started experiencing that side effect at 200 mg. I mean, I'm older, so I've always ached a bit after lifting, but now it's much worse.

Tommy

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