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I have been on 175mg lamotrigine for a week (on the way up) and feel I am getting stupider by the day. Lots of things are just beyond me. Unfortunately I can't think of any examples right now, because I am too stupid. I was already feeling stupid on 150mg which I was on for over a month, but this is worse.

What is the chance this is just a temporary side effect or a long term problem? Or, how long will I have to wait to determine if it is short term?

I am nowhere near a stabilizing dose right now. My pdoc thinks I need to go up to 250mg but I am starting to get concerned about that idea.

Yes, I will talk to her about this problem when I see her next.

(And I know there are a lot of Lamictal stupidity posts already, but didn't want to bump up the last one which had accumulated some tiresome anti-medication arguments.)

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For some people it goes away. For some people it gets worse. I don't know if there is any way to tell which it will do, and I don't think there is a standard time frame. I have heard of people feeling better after a month or so on a dose, but I know I got progressively worse with time and with increasing dose. I think Lamictal is even more individual in terms of side effects than most meds. Given this, I think you have to try to keep an open mind about the whole situation and see what happens.

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It seems to get better over time for most, though certainly not all, people. My advice would probably be to try to get up to a stabilizing dosage, and then give it a little while. It's incredibly frustrating though, I know.

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It is an individual-dependent basis. For me, I was like you, at 200 in my case, and feeling incredibly dumb, not able to function at all really. And, I had been at that dose nearing a year. My pdoc decided to push to 300 since my symptoms were not better. This just made things far worse, and introduced a new side-effect: Dypsnea (not getting a full breath upon inhalation). I decided to discontinue. SInce then, I have found more effective solutions on other medication combinations.

I offer my story just to show that it IS possible your body isn't right for Lamotrigine, even though most people agree with it.

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Thanks all. Yes it's hard to function at this new low of stupidity.

Also hard to figure out how stupid I really am. The more stupid I get, the less I can figure that out. Is there some kind of test out there to evaluate from week to week how much stupider I am getting?

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I was wondering what other meds are you on besides Lamictal? I haven't haven't gotten the "stupid" side effect although I understand the breathing side effect. After about a month after being on the dose I'm on now the breathing tightness went away. I would suggest trying it for a while and seeing if the symptoms go away because your alternative are medications that can have even stronger side effects than Lamictal. Lithium needs to have regular blood work and can have the side effects of diarrhea, tremor and nausea (sometimes lithium needs to have another medication to stop the tremor). Lithium works very well for most people. The other alternative to Lamictal is Depakote and if you don't mind the possibility of gaining a lot of weight then this could be good for you, it is very effective for a lot of people (Also hair loss is another side effect of this medication).

Of course you have several other options Tegretol, Zyprexa, Seroquel and I'm on Trileptal in conjunction with my Lamictal. Everything is going to have side effects. Read up on the different mood stabilizers that are available and see which ones would seem to work best for you and then of course you will have to try them and see if they will actually work for you...

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I was wondering what other meds are you on besides Lamictal?

Nothing but the lamotrigine at this time. Have been on lamotrigine for four months and had cognitive effects at the beginning too, but thought they were going away. My pdoc says I am "sensitive." Haven't tried the other ACs. Gave lithium a brief trial, but pdoc took me off it after it made my mind unacceptably slower (could not drive, take care of my kids). Tried Abilify also, but it gave me tremors and pdoc said "no more APs for you." I am about to quit the classes I am taking because I am not smart enough to follow them (and these should actually be easy for me). Yes I will keep trying but this side effect is very discouraging.

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I was wondering what other meds are you on besides Lamictal?

Nothing but the lamotrigine at this time. Have been on lamotrigine for four months and had cognitive effects at the beginning too, but thought they were going away. My pdoc says I am "sensitive." Haven't tried the other ACs. Gave lithium a brief trial, but pdoc took me off it after it made my mind unacceptably slower (could not drive, take care of my kids). Tried Abilify also, but it gave me tremors and pdoc said "no more APs for you." I am about to quit the classes I am taking because I am not smart enough to follow them (and these should actually be easy for me). Yes I will keep trying but this side effect is very discouraging.

OK, I'm obviously not a doctor, but if abilify is the only AAP you've tried, it's really not ok for your pdoc to have eliminated the whole category of meds from your future, because of tremors. Abilify is probably the AAP most likely to cause that kind of issue. Its having done so in no way means any other AAP would have a similar effect. Should tremors prove to be a lasting side effect, which isn't always the case, they can often be managed with something like beta blockers. In the grand scheme of things, there are plenty of people who decide tremors aren't reason enough to discontinue a med that's working.

The thing with titrating up on a med, is that, as you seem to have already noticed, some side effects will come and go. If you've already experienced that somewhat with lamictal, odds are you won't have serious lasting effects, once you're at a stable dose. But you won't really know, until you've been at a stable dose for a while.

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It is an individual-dependent basis. For me, I was like you, at 200 in my case, and feeling incredibly dumb, not able to function at all really. And, I had been at that dose nearing a year. My pdoc decided to push to 300 since my symptoms were not better. This just made things far worse, and introduced a new side-effect: Dypsnea (not getting a full breath upon inhalation). I decided to discontinue. SInce then, I have found more effective solutions on other medication combinations.

I offer my story just to show that it IS possible your body isn't right for Lamotrigine, even though most people agree with it.

I'm all for giving a med a fair trial, both for its efficacy, and to allow side effects to mellow out. But in this instance... There's no way I'd have stayed on a med that wasn't working well, and was causing serious side effects, for a year. Nor can I imagine my pdoc expecting me to do so. Maybe it seemed to your doctor to be more effective than it did to you?

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OK, I'm obviously not a doctor, but if abilify is the only AAP you've tried, it's really not ok for your pdoc to have eliminated the whole category of meds from your future, because of tremors.

I agree that my pdoc is a little overly cautious about things like that. Abilify wasn't effective for me when I tried it, but I didn't think the tremors were that bad.

were you getting any sx relief at lower doses of lamictal? It might be worth trying to drop the dose.... Anna

It's hard to say, but I don't think so, because I've had cycling all along. Especially this week. Nothing like being both depressed and stupid. Probably why I'm complaining so much. Sorry everyone for my whiny attitude.

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I had a fair amount of trouble with 'word-finding' when I got up to an effective dose of Lamictal. For instance, I couldn't recall my coworker's name, someone that I have worked with for years, but then it would come to me a little later. The good news is that the side effect has either gone away, or my brain has figured a work-around, since it rarely happens now. It now happens about as much as it does for the average person, and doesn't hinder my ability to carry on a conversation, as it did at the beginning. I'm on 200 mg. Other than a bit of a rocky start, it's been a great drug for me.

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They used Abilify when I was first at the mental hospital to stabilize me and the first month after I got out. Lamictal needs a titration period and is slow to start working and Abilify worked immediately to stabilize me and made me feel a lot better. The reason why I didn't stay on Abilify was because it was really expensive and because I has weird vision problems with it. Also I tended to get more dizzy with it and I actually fell over once while on it which I haven't done since I stopped taking it. I don't think you are going to find any other ACs that are going to help for mood stabilization that helps towards depression. Maybe try another AP called Risperdal, it might not (probably not) give you the same side effect as Abilify. I have been on Trileptal for a while and it has worked well for my mania and you could maybe try this also but its probably not going to help depression symptoms out that much.

Or try Depakote or Seroquel but nether one of them have great side effects either....

I was wondering what other meds are you on besides Lamictal?

Nothing but the lamotrigine at this time. Have been on lamotrigine for four months and had cognitive effects at the beginning too, but thought they were going away. My pdoc says I am "sensitive." Haven't tried the other ACs. Gave lithium a brief trial, but pdoc took me off it after it made my mind unacceptably slower (could not drive, take care of my kids). Tried Abilify also, but it gave me tremors and pdoc said "no more APs for you." I am about to quit the classes I am taking because I am not smart enough to follow them (and these should actually be easy for me). Yes I will keep trying but this side effect is very discouraging.

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Some of the other ACs can have mood stabilizing properties in both directions although none of them are considered the gold standard like lamictal is.... depakote is getting more and more data in that direction and I definitely notice a difference in my depression on it vs off it.

Also, lithium is always an option it certainly shouldn't give you the same kind of stupids. As unfortunately, all the Acs can also have some word finding, stupefying effects as well.

That being said, each and every Ac is different so it may just be a matter of finding the right one for you that will manage sx, stablize you, and not give you brain dumbness...

Anna

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Also, lithium is always an option it certainly shouldn't give you the same kind of stupids. As unfortunately, all the Acs can also have some word finding, stupefying effects as well.

Lithium gave me an even worse case of the stupids when I tried it before, but it did seem to help stability. So after seeing pdoc yesterday, I am going back on lithium, and we will probably keep raising Lamictal too. I have been cycling lately, and stability comes first. I'm prepared to be stupid for a while. I just hope the stupid wears off eventually or we can compensate for it.

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I do not particularly respond the Anticonvulsants and Lithium. They make me foggy, "stupid", and don't even really help. You have tried Abilify, but perhaps you and your pdoc could investigate another atypical antipsychotic. There are at least 5 very popular ones out there! I have tried all 5. They all work for me- except one- Abilify! And, that is the one you have tried. I suggest either Geodon or Seroquel to "test the waters" with this class. Try asking your pdoc.

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etkearne, your sig says you are currently on lithium? It doesn't work for you?

I do indeed take 600mg of Lithium daily. However, this is down from the 1500mg I once took before my doctor and I decided that it wasn't working, and that it issued a price too high to pay for its results. I plan to taper to 0mg within the next few months, but my doctor prefers to take things slow, which is reasonable.

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etkearne, your sig says you are currently on lithium? It doesn't work for you?

I do indeed take 600mg of Lithium daily. However, this is down from the 1500mg I once took before my doctor and I decided that it wasn't working, and that it issued a price too high to pay for its results. I plan to taper to 0mg within the next few months, but my doctor prefers to take things slow, which is reasonable.

If it's not working, I'm not seeing what the point of all the waiting is.

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etkearne, your sig says you are currently on lithium? It doesn't work for you?

I do indeed take 600mg of Lithium daily. However, this is down from the 1500mg I once took before my doctor and I decided that it wasn't working, and that it issued a price too high to pay for its results. I plan to taper to 0mg within the next few months, but my doctor prefers to take things slow, which is reasonable.

If it's not working, I'm not seeing what the point of all the waiting is.

Sasha, you must be having a bad day, as I actually had to WAIT for the server to let me respond to THIS post of yours after just replying to another mean spirited post of yours. I am sorry if you are indeed not doing well. But, the reason my doctor has me on the medicine is because he likes to go very slow with things. I am experiencing no side effects at 600mg, and no positive effects, but, I ALSO was switched from Adderall to Concerta- a big switch, so he did not want to make two major shifts at once.

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