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Bipolar II = Lamictal?


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Hi!!

So, my doctor has put me on Lamictal about a year ago.

The last time I was there we came to the conclusion that I am bipolar type II (we knew all along it was bipolar, mostly because of the spending sprees, long depressions and family history)

Anyway, so my doctor upped my dose from 200mg to 250mg a day.

And now I'm sitting here, and wondering, "I thought Lamictal a drug used for bipolar I? "

She also has me on cipralex 10 mg

And i take fish oil

so yeah, question being.. Why am I on Lamictal?

;)

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Yes Lamictal is a "mood stabilizer" and is used in treating both Bipolar I and II.

From a medical standpoint there are no hard lines where a drug may or may not be used to treat a psychiatric illness. Though, your medical/insurance system may have certains rules.

The same drugs that work on Bipolar I may work on BP II, such as Lithium, Depakote, Risperdal and the Antipsychotics (AP), and the antiseizure meds.

Lamictal has been shown to help both depression and be a mood stabilizer. Other meds could be combined with it like Lithium or possibly an antidepressant.

Welcome!

cheers, a.m.

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so yeah, question being.. Why am I on Lamictal?

first of all, welcome to CB anthea--

now to the confusing stuff ;)

like AM said, there aren't really any hard and fast rules when it comes to crazymeds-- it's still such a guessing-game/art to find the correct combination, and we still don't know what causes a good deal of mental illness, so pretty much we're at the point where "hey, if it works...why not?" is the general guideline.

for instance, Lamictal:

  • it's only FDA "approved" to treat Epilepsy and Bipolar I

    • that just means those are the only conditions that it has been thorougly tested and proven to treat/drug companies have jumped through all the hoops/patents/etc.

    [*]is really well known to help with depression symptoms (not just in BPI, but with BPII, unipolar depression (MDD), etc.), so oftentimes docs will prescribe it "off-label" (meaning, not for the FDA-approved uses) for people with different diagnoses

    • a good deal of the time it's not used by itself as 'monotherapy' but is used along with any number of different meds, depending on the person's symptoms/dx

    [*]ex: ME! I'm only officially dxed with depression, but along with wellbutrin xl, and zoloft (been on for almost two years), Lamictal was the 'magic' med that finally put my depression in remission for the most part, but along with the help of the other meds.

hope that helps a bit, am very tired and confuzzled/confused/exhausted so excuse me if my spelling is all over the place or it's a little rambly (am known for my rambling/babbling/book-like posts, lol)

if the lamictal is doing it's job, then don't worry about it-- you're actually lucky that you found a doctor to 'think outside of the (pill)box' and goes for the best results, not just what the government/insurance companies tell him to prescribe.

seeya around the boards,

meg

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so yeah, question being.. Why am I on Lamictal?

first of all, welcome to CB anthea--

for instance, Lamictal:

* it's only FDA "approved" to treat Epilepsy and Bipolar I

o that just means those are the only conditions that it has been thorougly tested and proven to treat/drug companies have jumped through all the hoops/patents/etc.

* is really well known to help with depression symptoms (not just in BPI, but with BPII, unipolar depression (MDD), etc.), so oftentimes docs will prescribe it "off-label" (meaning, not for the FDA-approved uses) for people with different diagnoses

o a good deal of the time it's not used by itself as 'monotherapy' but is used along with any number of different meds, depending on the person's symptoms/dx

* ex: ME! I'm only officially dxed with depression, but along with wellbutrin xl, and zoloft (been on for almost two years), Lamictal was the 'magic' med that finally put my depression in remission for the most part, but along with the help of the other meds.

you're actually lucky that you found a doctor to 'think outside of the (pill)box' and goes for the best results, not just what the government/insurance companies tell him to prescribe.

seeya around the boards,

meg

Hi and thank you to every one who replied! I am very glad to finally get some answers from people who have experienced things.

I dont feel like the lamictal is working, but I am only at 250 mg, I have heard of people on it up to 900mg (!)

O took blood to check my serum (?) levels.

The Lamictal was very low, and cipralex very high, so we put me on 10mg instead on 20mg of cipralex, and upped my lamital.

I dont have the huge manic attacks, but I have experienced a huge amount of side affects from the Lamictal

*weight gain (15kg / 40 lbs)

- this does NOT help my depression, I have never had a low selfesteem earlier and now I feel like I could just die

* Big time memory problems, I feel like I cant gain any new information. It all just passes by, and this is a huge problem considering I am go to the University here.

* brain zaps. Happen mostly at night when Im in bed trying to sleep. I have caught my self hitting my head to make it stop, hurts like hell. (ive read that most people get this because of withdrawal ? I dont see how that could be the reason.)

* Has not helped my depression. I have breakdowns at least once a week

* Aggression

* NEVER want sex, or even a kiss.

* hard to find the right word, I can say black when I mean pink. I use words in the same category, like animals, colors etc. But Keep using the wrong word. This happens when I type also

* every thing kinda goes slow.. I feel like I am getting dummer :) (nice word huh ;) )

So yeah... I really dont see how they help.. But I guess I could just be at the wrong dose..

-Anthea

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Hi There

I'm coming from the other end of BPII, but maybe my experience will give you some more insight.

Like you, I was put on Lamictal about a year ago. I had gotten new pdoc who declared that I was not really MDD with ADD and anxiety, but actually BPII (I'm not so sure about this now). He assured me that it was a wonder drug and it would change my life (hack).

A year later I am taking myself off of Lamictal without his blessing and shopping for a new pdoc. At 200 mg, it made me feel so flat that life had no meaning. The clincher for me was that I lost my ability to articulate, spell, and keep digits in their proper order. I can't handle a drug that makes me dumb. There has to be something better. My savior lately has been Lexapro (hope it lasts).

I do have more episodes of anxiety with less Lamictal in my system, but honestly, I'd much rather take my small dose of Klonopin occasonally to manage that.

Anyway, everyone's mileage will vary, that is true. But it helps to ask folks here -- I've gotten alot out of doing this.

-- B

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Hi There

I'm coming from the other end of BPII, but maybe my experience will give you some more insight.

Like you, I was put on Lamictal about a year ago. I had gotten new pdoc who declared that I was not really MDD with ADD and anxiety, but actually BPII (I'm not so sure about this now). He assured me that it was a wonder drug and it would change my life (hack).

A year later I am taking myself off of Lamictal without his blessing and shopping for a new pdoc. At 200 mg, it made me feel so flat that life had no meaning. The clincher for me was that I lost my ability to articulate, spell, and keep digits in their proper order. I can't handle a drug that makes me dumb. There has to be something better. My savior lately has been Lexapro (hope it lasts).

I do have more episodes of anxiety with less Lamictal in my system, but honestly, I'd much rather take my small dose of Klonopin occasonally to manage that.

Anyway, everyone's mileage will vary, that is true. But it helps to ask folks here -- I've gotten alot out of doing this.

-- B

Thanks for your info!

I feel the same way, and I am going to the doctor in March. I hope that she will understand my problem.

I know that I am smart, and intelligent, but damn do I feel stupid when Im on these drugs.. :/

Thank you all for your replies.

they are much appreciated

I will keep you posted on what she says ! (my doc that is ;) )

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest lostinthoughtandjaded

I've also run into mostly BPIIs that are on Lamictal/Lamotrigine...

Personally, Lamictal/Lamotrigine has prolonged my life AND improved the quality of it... I got on it after flipping through a variety of anti-Ds (effexor, prozac, celexa among others...) and and a few different anxiety meds (just the basics- clonazepam, ativan and such), and being just as miserably ready to end it all as I had been before starting drugs...

then one day, my psych wondered out loud how I'd do on Lamotrigine... we decided to try it, and thank Science, cause it's the ONLY thing that's had any real positive effect on me... it has MASSIVELY cut down on SI and suicidal urges, and it's really helped me relax enough to be able to sleep at all (without turning to sleep aids...). It's only negatives FOR ME are that every once in a while, I'll experience a mild version of the brain zaps that EffexorXR(evil) gave me- and when I say mild, I mean SUPER mild, comparatively speaking- and that I turn into Britney spears when I miss it, you know, laughing and crying hysterically at the same time... which I already did before I was on it, so surprise, surprise...

I have no idea how long I'll derive the benefits though, as I've barely been on it a year (several of those months just figuring out the right dosage) and I haven't seen any long term studies, just the opinions from people who've been using it for a while... and I'm CONFIDENT that coming off it would SUCK, as does any anti-convulsant med.....

That said, if my psych had told me that Lamotrigine was a "wonder drug", I probably wouldn't have taken it... aaaand I'd have probably started looking for another doctor, cause my doctor shouldn't act like my marketing firm......

(holy hannah that got long... my apologies if I made no sense... I really can't tell sometimes.....)

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