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lamictal is the most important drug in my cocktail. i can't be happier with it. it controls both depression and mania in a way that is just magic. i feel delivered from all bipolar symptoms! yes, i need the wellbutrin and abilify still, but lamictal is by far the most powerful drug i take, and works the best.

do you feel that lamictal is stronger against your depressions or hypo/manias? what do you like most about it?

personally, while the word on the street is that it is stronger against depression, it is just as strong for me against the upswings. i love it because i can rely on it to steady me out!

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blah.

it's nice. i like it in terms of stabilization and anti-crap, but... more than 25mg and i'm completely out. even now i'm really groggy on a daily basis. i'd really like for it to make me feel good without completely sedating me.

relative to the other mood stabilizers, it's very nice. ;) thank god it's not akathisia or weight gain.

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personally, while the word on the street is that it is stronger against depression, it is just as strong for me against the upswings. i love it because i can rely on it to steady me out!

YMMV. In the Texas Bipolar Algorithm thingy, for instance, there are seven steps on the manic side. Step 6 is ECT. Step 7? Topamax, which is the best med I ever took. My pdoc was rather surprised I did so well on it; it so far has little reputation in the professional community as an effective antimanic. While there are cases on the outside or edge of the bell curve, the "word on the street" exists simply because time and numbers say so. One instance: for me (and many others), Zyprexa 10mg=non-functional or close to. For my fiance: Zyprexa 30mg="I still can't sleep."

YMMV.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's stabilized me quite a bit, although with a powerful enough trigger I will still veer off into a fit of inappropriate levels of anger, especially if my hormones are out of whack because of my cycle. Also, I've noticed that my default state is rather flat, maybe even a little bit depressed. But I'm only taking 100mg and it seems to me that a lot of people don't find that to be enough. I'm going to ask my pdoc about increasing it on my next visit, because I do like it and I hope it's just a matter of needing a slightly higher dose.

What I like most about it is that it isn't Cymbalta or Effexor. ;) I also like that it didn't slam me with side effects or a whiplash-inducing change of emotional state. The only side effect is that I have occasional mild rashes and I did have a few minor headaches when I started taking it.

I was hypomanic when I started taking it, and it got that under control pretty quickly. As I said, I've been mildly depressed for a while since I've been on it, but it's not the mixed kind that I'm used to, so at least there's that.

I like it a lot more than any other med I've tried, with the possible exception of Neurontin.

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Wow... I kind of hate lamictal, actually. But, it's just about my only option when I'm depressed, which is relatively rare, as AD's and I really do not get along, and it does reliably pull me out of a depression. But if my dosage gets too high, or if I stay on it too long, it has the potential to make me all kinds of unpleasantly hypomanic. And for me it's tended to be one of the more side effecty meds I've taken - cognitive issues, etc... But I know people who love it really do just love it. I'm on it right now & can't wait till I can d/c it again. I'm rarely depressed, pretty much just in the summer, because I'm just contrary that way, so hopefully I'll be able to go back off of it again in the fall.

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I'm not yet up to my therapeutic dose yet but am keeping my fingers crossed. No side effects other than a spaced out, flat feeling but I'm not sure if its from the lamictal. Has anyone else had this side effect?

Cat

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I'm not yet up to my therapeutic dose yet but am keeping my fingers crossed. No side effects other than a spaced out, flat feeling but I'm not sure if its from the lamictal. Has anyone else had this side effect?

Cat

The first time I took lamictal I remember feeling like I really, really just couldn't think correctly during titration, which maybe sounds like what you're describing? It got better over time, and, oddly, wasn't nearly as troublesome the next time I went back on lamictal.

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I'm not yet up to my therapeutic dose yet but am keeping my fingers crossed. No side effects other than a spaced out, flat feeling but I'm not sure if its from the lamictal. Has anyone else had this side effect?

Cat

The first time I took lamictal I remember feeling like I really, really just couldn't think correctly during titration, which maybe sounds like what you're describing? It got better over time, and, oddly, wasn't nearly as troublesome the next time I went back on lamictal.

Yes, it's like my brain is running at half speed. I'm not as depressed but I feel like my emotions are very blunted. Thanks for the feedback.

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But if my dosage gets too high, or if I stay on it too long, it has the potential to make me all kinds of unpleasantly hypomanic. ... I'm on it right now & can't wait till I can d/c it again. I'm rarely depressed, pretty much just in the summer, because I'm just contrary that way, so hopefully I'll be able to go back off of it again in the fall.

I'm curious...when you stop, do you start again at a certain time (say spring, to prepare for summer) or when you get depressy symptoms? Me, I'm not a big fan of starting/stopping/starting a med like lamictal, which takes some time to titrate up. As fot the hypomania,well, there are ways to take care of that. I know it sucks adding one med in to counteract some effects of another, but it is what it is. However, if the present way works, then yay, I guess.

The first time I took lamictal I remember feeling like I really, really just couldn't think correctly during titration, which maybe sounds like what you're describing? It got better over time, and, oddly, wasn't nearly as troublesome the next time I went back on lamictal.

This isn't "odd"--your body gets used to the stuff.. When I went on topamax the first time, I had issues all right--amongst them forgetting my name. However the second time I went on it, all I noticed was sweet, sweet levelness.

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Lamictal turned me from a raging jerk into a far less raging jerk. It took 400mg, but it did work.

I was told that if my brain damage-induced cognitive problems don't start reversing themselves after treatment, that I might have to consider stopping the stuff in order to let my synapses re-connect a little better. These days I have the approximate mental quickness of a llama tripping on acid, so every bit might help.

Nonetheless, the idea of quitting Lamictal is not something I'm looking forward to, and in addition, those around me aren't particularly looking forward to it either. ;)

(and yes, titration on Lamictal always sucks bigtime, so if anybody's going through it, just hang on and it'll be better soon.)

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(and yes, titration on Lamictal always sucks bigtime, so if anybody's going through it, just hang on and it'll be better soon.)

Which reminds me, yeah, I had to go off it once (hard to swallow a pill with a tube stuck down your throat, y'know) and MAN did that re-titration suck. Especially since I had got maybe halfway through the two-month supply I'd gotten a voucher for and *just* while I was in the hospital, I got my three-month supply from the asisted meds program.

So there I was, with like four months of Lamictal at 200 mg/day, and I was...titrating up from zero.

Gah.

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But if my dosage gets too high, or if I stay on it too long, it has the potential to make me all kinds of unpleasantly hypomanic. ... I'm on it right now & can't wait till I can d/c it again. I'm rarely depressed, pretty much just in the summer, because I'm just contrary that way, so hopefully I'll be able to go back off of it again in the fall.

I'm curious...when you stop, do you start again at a certain time (say spring, to prepare for summer) or when you get depressy symptoms? Me, I'm not a big fan of starting/stopping/starting a med like lamictal, which takes some time to titrate up. As fot the hypomania,well, there are ways to take care of that. I know it sucks adding one med in to counteract some effects of another, but it is what it is. However, if the present way works, then yay, I guess.

I'm not thrilled with the starting/stopping/starting thing either. And it's never really been part of the plan. The plan's been for me to d/c lamictal as part of various med changes. However, I've yet to find a cocktail that prevents the occasional depression, and I really can't do AD's I've tried an absurdly long list,( really everything but the MAOI's, I've never tried any of those), and no good's ever come of them, so for now, lamictal it is. Fortunately, the AD effects kick in pretty quickly for me. Unfortunately, I tend to have a hard time with anxiety and assorted mood wierdness during titration, so the present way is far from ideal. My pdoc's current idea is for me to get up to around 150 on the lamictal, and then (assuming I'm not having any hypo flip outs), start tapering my Keppra, and see how I do staying on lamictal with the rest of my current cocktail. I'm a little nervous about that plan, but willing to give it a try, I guess. I'm curious about some of the other atypical AP's that seem to have more AD properties than Seroquel, but I don't know much about them, and I don't know if my pdoc would go for that (and if she wouldn't, I'd tend to trust her that it's probably not a great idea, she's been pretty spot on with me and my meds, even though I'm unsure about the going off of Keppra). So... there you have it.

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  • 3 months later...

Lamictal is the only drug that ever actually made me happy. I had to quit it originally, because I developed severe post-nasal drip with a hacking cough. I've been very suicidal all summer, so I've been put back on it and I just reached 100 mg. 5 days ago. It's really starting to kick in now, and weirdly enough I've had no sinus problems this time, but I am having visual disturbances. I'm really hoping they go away as I get used to the drug, because I'm very happy with it otherwise.

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I love Lamictal because I now appreciate just how much it does for me... especially after a recent bout of Abilify-induced hellishness.

Thanks in no small part to Lamictal's help, I've been able to go out and be social a whopping two times this week, but that's twice as often as what I usually manage. And I enjoyed myself both times!

Lamictal may not be enough for monotherapy, but it's so much better than every other med I've ever tried. I <3 Lamictal!

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Lamictal is great for me! I've been on it since May-ish. Excellent almost side-effect free drug now that the original headaches from hell have passed. I've actually titrated off the other meds I was taking (depakote and crap can't remember the name of the AD - which reminds me I do have this annoying cog. prob. now ;) ). I'm starting to get signs of my traditional spring hypo/mania but it is relatively mild and I have zyprexa on hand to smack it into submission if it becomes necessary.

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Lamictal has been very effective for me, and I have had very few side effects after titration and adjustment to the med (aside from some forgetfulness that drives my wife crazy! ;) )

I've still had a couple of breakthrough depressions and hypomanic episodes, but when combined with my other meds I feel it has worked as well as I could expect any other mood stabilizer to work for me.

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