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Could these problems be related to Lamictal?


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I would swear that my mind was much clearer pre-Lamictal...it feels like I can barely string a few thoughts together, my memory is worse than ever, and I've virtually lost all creativity (I used to write constantly, but now I dabble just a bit every once in a great while). My hair has thinned, gums have receded. I ran it past my p-doc and he said Lamictal doesn't cause these SEs. Then again, he thinks ever SE I experience is "in my head" and never takes a word I say seriously, but anywho. I'm just curious.

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I don't have exactly the same thing... but my memory is totally gone. I have to call my mom or friends and ask them what I did yesterday pretty often.

Scary thing is that it seems to be my long-term memory too.

I'm not sure I can blame it all on Lamictal, could be ADHD-related, or something else... But it does seem to have gotten worse since I started Lamictal.

Edit: "Confusion" is listed as a very rare side effect in my PI-sheet.

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I've got the thinning hair thing. I've heard that lamictal either inhibits the absorption of folic acid or just reduces it altogether, so that is what I blame the hair on. May be completely invalid though.

Not sure about everything else.

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My hair has thinned, gums have receded.

These are possible side effects of anti-convulsants in general.

Tooth disorder is in the PI Sheet and hair loss is known to be a possible [though uncommon] side effect of anticonvulsants as well as many other medications.

There are a couple other threads on teeth and lamictal. Here's one:

http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=1898

THere is a chart here of drugs with a possible side effect of hairloss. Often it is temporary.

Low incidence

ACE inhibitors: Benazepril, captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, quinapril

Antiarrhythmics: Amiodarone, flecainide, propafenone, tocainide

Anticoagulants: Dicumarol, heparin, warfarin, pentosan polysulfate

Anticonvulsants: Carbamazepine, felbamate, gabapentin, lamotrigine, tiagabine

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/drug-induced-hair-loss

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Thanks, all. I had a feeling p-doc was unaware that there was a possibility, however remote, that Lamictal could be connected to the hair loss and gum troubles. See, I knew I'd read that about ACs somewhere before, but you know how it is, you're 99.9% certain you've read something, but you have to leave a margin for error, so it isn't like you can declaim dramatically, But, doc!, I KNOW anti-convulsants can cause hair loss and periodontal disease because I've READ it, so THERE! He's not the type that would take well to that sort of statement, anyway, so... ;)

The thing is, I've never been formally dxed as bipolar...it's always been a distinct "maybe". I have all kinds of mood wonkiness and they're just trying to figure out what exactly is going on while trying to make it better at the same time. I still have anger problems and mood alterations with the Lamictal, I just can't remember if it was worse before. I've been on it for a couple of years. I'm so tempted to go off it and find out. I hate being unnecessarily medicated, and I really want my creativity back :) I know it's Lamictal-related because I've had these mood issues for years, but I only saw that part of me dwindle away after I began this med. What I would really like to try is Abilify, because I've read that it helps anxiety and OCD, and if it also stabilizes mood, that would make it a wonderdrug for me. Would it be obnoxious of me to ask p-doc if I can switch? He would say "no" simply because it wasn't his idea, but if I can find a p-doc who doesn't treat me like a neurotic imbecile, would it considered within the bounds of good patient etiquette to make that request?

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Recently, I decreased my dose for a short time and found that my irritability AND my anxiety both came back. But when I went back up, the irritability is much better and the anxiety has improved somewhat also. Abilify also helps with my depression.

I'm also taking Lamictal [along with other things]. Were you thinking of switching to Abilify or adding on? I wonder if adding on might help.

I would go ahead and talk to your doctor about Abilify. I would be ready to describe your specific symptoms that you want to address though, so you can plainly tell them why you want to try something else. Also be able to tell them why Abilify, in particular.

If they aren't interested in your input, maybe it would be a good idea to find someone else if you are able to. I would try though.

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Stepping in late, but....

Lamictal is well know for cognitive side effects.

It is also well known for causing rashes of the skin. Well, hair is part of the skin...., and so are the gums! I've always had excellent teeth and gums, till I started Lamictal. I've had major gum problems a couple times now.

IMO, like a lot of other drugs the longer I am on lamictal the less problem the side effects are.

good luck. a.m.

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Lamictal is well know for cognitive side effects.

Could i please, please, please get a link to a study or PI-sheet or article or whatever that mentions that?

Is it just empirical knowledge on the boards?

Damn, I have a doctor's appointment soon and I would love some kind of official proof of that.

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now I'm worried and confused. My Lamictal went down from 400 mg to 250, where it's holding, but the cognitive failure was extreme at the higher dose. Thing is, I was on Valproic (depakote) at the same time at 1500 mg so I didn't know who was doing what- or the combo. Pdoc said the Lamictal was likely the bigger problem.

but the memory is definitely poorer than before Lamictal. I used to have such an awesome memory that I could memorize a full-length one woman play, and now the rolodex in my brain is almost completely shot.

If this is the effect of Lamictal, I want it down or out. It's supposed to be effective for Bipolar depression says pdoc, and maybe it's doing it's job- suicide ideation is gone but depression is very frequent.

I'll try the mega B's though.

My tdoc thinks I should increase the Valproic because of extremely rapid cycling and so dysfunctional she can't do any work with me, and she says that THAt is the mood stabilizer, not the Lamictal. She's not a pdoc though. I think I'll reduce it on my own and see what happens.

Hair loss and receading gums don't seem any worse than before. I think It's just getting older and not flossing.

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My niece was having problems and we found that by dividing her dose throughout the day that it really helped her concentrate better in school.

She takes 25mg in the AM, then another 25mg in the afternoon and then 50mg at night. (around 8pm)

I don't know if that would help anyone else or if it just works for kids.

I know that I have to divide my Topamax throughout the day.

Maybe we're just weird.

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In the official study done for lamotrigine's PI sheet on use in bipolar disorder, cognitive disturbance isn't even listed as a significant side effect. However, in epilepsy treatment, it was found to affect 2% of patients (compared to 1% with placebo). Make your own judgements here.

I can't say personally that my cognitive issues matched up with those in the study -- I got as dumb as a brick when titrating up on dosage, and I'm probably a little stupider than I should be now, since I'm still on it.

I've been digging for articles on negative effects of Lamictal on concentration and thought, but all it looks like I can find is article upon article about how Lamictal compares favorably to Topamax in terms of cognitive profile. I'm not sure of the true clinical weight of those studies; IMO, the researchers first need to compare the cognitive effects of Topamax to those of being hit upside the head with a sledgehammer.

p < 0.001,

--fous

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