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Can lamictal worsen depression?


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I take lexapro for my anxiety and depression. To augment the lex. the doc suggested adding lamictal, which I have done. I am now on about week 6 and have reached 50 mg. I can almost be certain my depression has worsened. This is not what I have been reading to be expected.

The cognitive impairment is not helping, but that is a separate issue from this worsening depression. My mind feels as if it is in a straightjacket. Has anyone else experienced this? Everyone posts positive on lamictal, so I feel alone with this. Thank you in advance.

p.s. Does the cognitive impairment/memory problem improve? Holding a coherent conversation is a major challenge.

Leopard

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50mg of Lamictal is such a low dose that it very well might not be doing much of anything at this point. My guess would be that your depression has simply continued to worsen on its own, and the Lamictal hasn't started helping yet.

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Just started lamictal couple of months ago......and like you, I was titrating real slow, since I didn't want any itches or headaches or....whatever. First time I took 12.5 (breaking 25mgs) a day. and that tiny amount had me speedy.

Then it seemed to make me tired alot so I went for 25s......it was around 50-100 that another upsurge happened, and finally? one day when the nearly chronic depression fled. A perfect day.......

Since then, there are days when I feel dumped, and a bad ass Dp kicks in. Maybe its the lamictal, maybe not.....but I notice its a bit unpredictable. More importantly? Any drug that works as an antidepressant makes me more depressed (hellishly so) till the AntiDep properties kick in.

Give it a little time. I recommend it but it isn't an uphill surge and suddenly everythings fine.....you'll probably hit the sweet spot and realize its worth it, but at what dosage varies so much. Not to discount anyones pdoc, but its BP help seems to not improve over 200mg a day, according to what I've been able to research. On a day you don't have work? Try fifty in the morning and fifty at night and see if you feel a change. Or 75, if you can split the pill....25 at night in case it gives you the speedy sensation I sometimes get.

Btw.....six weeks is going even slower than I did....which may account for you not feeling it. Unless you are told explicity to follow this slow route? I think titrating up will help. My docs schedule was usual, four weeks bringing me to 200mg a day. I took more like two months to hit 200 and realized 150 was the right amount for now. Also, there are those lamictal moments when you just forget words, or space out. Weird shit like "Hey, if you're going to the .....uh......the......uh......store. Could you pick me up a pack of.....a .....uh......pack of .......um.....yeah, cigarettes. Thats right. Cigarettes. Store. In a sick way I'm enjoying the lamictal brain farts and the xanax destruction of my short term memory.......but thats just me....

Hang in there, I'm hoping it does the trick for you soon.

cheers

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hi,

did your pdoc discuss the tiration schedule for lamictal? some pdocs (like mine) give out a nifty 5 week starter pack and then go up as needed.

i started it this feb and now its may and i think im starting to see all the goodness lamictal offers. its certainly not going to give you anything (minus severe reactions) this early in the process. it takes a while.

as for the cognitive issues...i had a little before lamictal. but now its worsened a little bit. for example - i have asked my brothers to "vaccuum" the yard when i meant to say "mow." one of the brothers was talking about additional gardening things that need to be done. and i asked "do you mean that thing that cuts weeds?" brother's reply: "a weed whacker?" duh!

db

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Hi and thank you for the replies. I guess the titration has been a bit slow, but another increase will come soon. Will discuss with doc.

My dx is not bp, but rather an anxious type of depresssion. From what I have studied, going beyond 125mg of Lamictal is approximately where it becomes less of an AD and more of a mood stabilizer. (I'm clueless with links, sorry).

My question is, can lamictal be used alone to treat depression of unipolar type, or does it need to be used with another ssri or ad. The side effects of ssri's are beginning to wear thin. Thank you again for the help, and if anyone has suggestions as to counteract the cognitive/memory problems, I would love to hear it.

Leopard

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i kind of felt that way on lamictal "in a strait jacket" type thing. the first couple of weeks i started on it last year i felt a whole lot calmer, but also like the excitability part of my brain was gone too. and that's what i counted on to get me out of depression. i went on a trip with my friend to LA, and i was debating for a couple of days whether to stay on the lamictal, or not take it on the trip so i could have 'fun'. i didn't want to go on a trip and just feel bored, unexcited by what i saw. i ended up not taking it. it didn't have any disastrous impact, but i probably had more anxiety during the trip than if i had stayed on the lamictal. i think its a tough decision to make. with the lexapro all the extra serotonin is probably squashing some of the pleasure seeking/pleasure feeling part of your brain, and the lamictal is only going to synergize with that effect.

that's my theory anyway. i'm not advising stopping lamictal or anything, just trying to explain maybe why you feel more depressed. i think the medicine can eventually stop the overactive parts of your brain that plunge you into deep depression, but they're also not going to magically lift your depression and make you feel super good right away either.

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Personally SSRIs and I don't get along........theyre like bad acid , no sedative property at all.....one of the reasons for my dx as a BP. Have had good experience with the old tried but true Tricyclics and have been using Elavil for years without problems.....an option besides SSRIs for DP...........

cheers

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I was on Lexapro and added Lamictal (100mg). I gained almost 30 pounds in just a few months. Despite what I've seen in some posts, the pdoc still swears Lamictal is weight neutral. Was it the combination that caused the weight gain? Pdoc switched me to Pristiq and raised the Lamictal to 200mg.

It's been about 5 weeks (?) and no change in my weight. We'll give it a couple more months...

Anyway, as you can tell from all the above posts, Lamictal works well for some and not so for others. Hmmm... where have I heard that before... Oh, every post in this area of CB! My pdoc also talked about the range of effective doses for Lamictal: 100-200mg.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Guest_denise_*

I have gained 23 pounds, feel more depressed than ever, have NO lust for life or pleasure, zero motivation.

I think I better get off Lamictal. Any one else have ALL these issues with Lamictal?

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denise-

I haven't had those issues with Lamictal, but if you are more depressed and feeling dull, you should really talk to your doctor. It sounds like [since you have gained that much weight] you have given it a fighting chance, and really can let it go. If a medication isn't doing anything for you after 4-6 weeks, there's no reason to stay on it. Talk to your doctor about other options if you are really feeling miserable, ok?

Luna.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest polliwog_1

denise-

I haven't had those issues with Lamictal, but if you are more depressed and feeling dull, you should really talk to your doctor. It sounds like [since you have gained that much weight] you have given it a fighting chance, and really can let it go. If a medication isn't doing anything for you after 4-6 weeks, there's no reason to stay on it. Talk to your doctor about other options if you are really feeling miserable, ok?

Luna.

Thanks for the response. I have gone off Lamictal and actually have feeling for things again. I don't feel "flatlined" and unemotional and not as depressed.

Now on Wellbutrin and so far so good./

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Guest polliwog_1

denise-

I haven't had those issues with Lamictal, but if you are more depressed and feeling dull, you should really talk to your doctor. It sounds like [since you have gained that much weight] you have given it a fighting chance, and really can let it go. If a medication isn't doing anything for you after 4-6 weeks, there's no reason to stay on it. Talk to your doctor about other options if you are really feeling miserable, ok?

Luna.

Thanks for the response. I have gone off Lamictal and actually have feeling for things again. I don't feel "flatlined" and unemotional and not as depressed.

Now on Wellbutrin and so far so good./

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I too was given one of the starter packs....25mg for 2 weeks, 50mg for 2 weeks, then 100mg for a week, then a recheck with the doc and I got a script for 100mg. I too have heard the target dose is 100-200 mg. There are other threads on here where people on lower doses titrating up feel like crap. I know I did. I felt more manic/anxious/not knowing what to do with myself then ever before. But now that I am on 100mg, I don't have that anymore. So my unprofessional advice would be to give it a chance, especially until you are on a higher dose for a while. Your titration rate seems awfully slow.

Also, my pdoc told me that lamictal is the best mood stabilizer/AD for BP depression. He told me that Abilify tends to make people gain weight. So he chose lamictal for me for both those reasons. I have lost 30 lbs, I feel mostly due to the ritalin and just stress in general, but IDK. I haven't heard of lamictal being used for an anti-anxiety alone?

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I was on Lexapro and added Lamictal (100mg). I gained almost 30 pounds in just a few months. Despite what I've seen in some posts, the pdoc still swears Lamictal is weight neutral. Was it the combination that caused the weight gain? Pdoc switched me to Pristiq and raised the Lamictal to 200mg.

It's been about 5 weeks (?) and no change in my weight. We'll give it a couple more months...

Anyway, as you can tell from all the above posts, Lamictal works well for some and not so for others. Hmmm... where have I heard that before... Oh, every post in this area of CB! My pdoc also talked about the range of effective doses for Lamictal: 100-200mg.

When I

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  • 1 year later...

I have gained 23 pounds, feel more depressed than ever, have NO lust for life or pleasure, zero motivation.

I think I better get off Lamictal. Any one else have ALL these issues with Lamictal?

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I just uped to 100mg of Lamictal on monday, from 50mg, and feel worse. Although a small dose 50 cut my depression in half, and made me concentrate more; now i'm angry, irritable, and super depressed. been in a slump since i uped my meds. Should i get on something else? Also, quit smoking herb before i got on meds, and was not having thoughts about it until i uped my dose.. it has been 1month and half since i quit. :/

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  • 3 months later...
Guest Anonymous

After being on Geodon and Depakote (following two hospitalizations), I experienced Geodon withdrawal (namely severe anxiety). My psychiatrist put me on Lamictal (increasing from 25 mg after two weeks to 50mg up to 100 mg), which immediately eliminated the anxiety. My anxiety was replaced with tearfulness, headaches and depression: *constant* hopelessness. I also got severe headaches from normal daylight unless I wore sunglasses. I got pregnant on Lamictal and ended up losing the baby, but if I hadn't gotten pregnant while taking Lamictal my doctor probably never would have taken me off it. As soon as I got off Lamictal I felt a LOT better. Even still, I was somewhat depressed for a while, but the level of depression I had felt on Geodon/Depakote and then Lamictal was indescribable. So, to answer your question, YES, I strongly believe that Lamictal can worsen depression. Obviously, you need to work with your doctors rather than making unilateral decisions. If you want to be off meds and healthy badly enough, you can make it happen. You will need more self-discipline than ever and sleep medication (I recommend Unisom Sleep Tabs) for if you can't sleep. Make sure you exercise frequently, eat right, take your vitamins and keep on trucking when life seems overwhelming. My medications seem to have permanently changed my brain (for instance, persistent sadness is my new normal, but I have a simultaneous deep sense of well-being that I never had on Lamictal or Geodon/Depakote). Hang in there!

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I had the starter pack that others have mentioned (two weeks each 25/50/100) then we stayed at 100 an extra week-- went to 150 for 3 and just got to 200. I had a HORRIBLE time in the 50 range-- crying and feeling worse-- not sleeping etc... when I went in to the tdoc and was talking she immediately called the pdoc (I have after hours with tdoc) and they added rispidone-- on that for a week of HELL then put on Seroquel-- when I went up to 100 was about the time the Seroquel was added so I don't know if that helped with pull the depression a bit or if it was going up on the Lamictal---

on the down side pdoc told me this week (when I went up to 200) that they look at the stability properties for BP long range-- 3-4 months out!!! I told her if she had told me that in the beginning I would have never started.

I say talk to pdoc and see if you can titrate up a little faster and see if these things improve.... if not start the downhill process to get off it!

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