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How to up the Lamictal and banish the Depakote?


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I'm bipolar and currently on DepakoteER 1000mg, Abilify 10mg, and Lamictal 25mg.

I've had it with the Depakote.  I went into a suicidal depression when they raised it from 500mg.  Went inpatient where they added the other two meds.  I feel great now, but for the weight gain and bloating, oh and the runs and stomach pains.  I want off the damned Depakote!

I will be seeing my pdoc soon, but in the meantime, I was hoping someone might have some experience switching from Depakote to Lamictal.  Thanks.

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I'm bipolar and currently on DepakoteER 1000mg, Abilify 10mg, and Lamictal 25mg.

I've had it with the Depakote.  I went into a suicidal depression when they raised it from 500mg.  Went inpatient where they added the other two meds.  I feel great now, but for the weight gain and bloating, oh and the runs and stomach pains.  I want off the damned Depakote!

I will be seeing my pdoc soon, but in the meantime, I was hoping someone might have some experience switching from Depakote to Lamictal.  Thanks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Lamictal PI sheet says that "LAMICTAL is indicated for conversion to monotherapy in adults with partial seizures who are receiving treatment with a single EIAED or valproate."

Somehow, I don't think Lamictal is going to care whether or not you're taking this for partial seizures.

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I switched from 2500mg of Depakote to Lamictal. Titrating down on the Depakote while titrating up on the Lamictal. Yes, titrating up on the Lamictal does take a while but it is worth it, or at least it has been for me. I noticed results at 100mg, even better results at 200mg. Some people I have talked to have noticed results at even smaller doses. I eventually titrated up to 400mg, my present dose, and have been free of any moderate to severe depression. Lamictal for me has been weight neutral. I did suffer from some headaches at first. I have far fewer cognitive side effects on the Lamictal than I did on the Depakote which was making into an idjit. I will add that for me coming off the Depakote was a tough ride even while adding the Lamictal but I had been on the Depakote for years and I was going through a very tough time in my life on top of the depression. But that was me, YMMV.

Good luck with whatever you and your pdoc decide and remember you feel great now because your current cocktail is working.

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Check out the lamictal PI sheet's instructions for switching from depakote here.  It's towards the end, but well worth reading.

The PI sheet says that depakote effectively doubles the availability of lamictal in your system.  This means that if you alter both of them at once you have to be careful.  The PI sheet actually recommends staying on depakote while you titrate up on lamictal so you can predict the changes you'll have.  It also means that you titrate up at half the dose of the rest of us for the same effect, and go only to 100, then start dropping the depakote, and only then increase the lamictal. 

If all of this is too much, ask the pdoc.  They often "bah, humbug" that part of the PI sheet.  For instance, mine is completely clueless that, completely opposite of depakote, the tegretol I'm taking is halving the effectiveness of my lamictal dose.  I'm trying to convince him to increase my lamictal and get me completely off tegretol, but he is resisting it like crazy.

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There are two types of starter packs for Lamictal, one that is for people on Depakote or another valporate and another for people who are just beginning Lamictal. I trust you pdoc has you on the right formula. But as always it pays to educate yourself as well.

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There are two types of starter packs for Lamictal, one that is for people on Depakote or another valporate and another for people who are just beginning Lamictal. I trust you pdoc has you on the right formula. But as always it pays to educate yourself as well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Pdoc started me at 25mg every other day for two weeks.  I am now up to 25mg every day.  I do not know what comes next.  And my three year old is screaming right now so I can't finish writing!

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