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Hello,

I apologize if I have been or will be posting frequently. My psychiatrist just started me on lamictal, and she will be on maternity leave until December. I'm seeing my family physician in the meantime. I'm only on 25 mg of lamictal for the past week, and it has basically made my dance lessons and any type of exercise hell. These activities usually help me cope with my depression and anxiety. I dance nearly everyday of the week, it has been a big part of my life for years. It is one of my main emotional outlets that I feel passionate about, one of the few things that makes me feel alive again for a at least two hours of the day. But since I started lamictal, it has just been downright depressing and anxiety provoking itself. I get extremely lightheaded and dizzy once my heart rate becomes elevated, experience tunnel vision, feel really off balance and muscles feel weak, like i'm going to pass out or something. I have to sit down and rest periodically. Feeling like this also makes my movement sloppy, could lead to incorrect muscle conditioning and injury. I eat regular meals throughout the day and then a 1/4 cup of peanut butter before dance class to help keep me going, so I don't think has much to do with diet.

Will these side effects eventually go away? Is it dose related?

I'm also on Wellbutrin XL 300 mg, which I take along with lamictal in the morning. I usually have lessons during the late afternoons or early evenings, I don't know if it would help to taking the lamictal at bedtime instead (after classes are over)?

I was also wondering:

-Can you get extrapyramidal side effects on this lamictal?

-I know it can cause a very serious rash, which could even show up in your mouth. A couple days ago I noticed these yellowish patches on either side of the back of my throat (kind of behind my tonsils). No pain but it sometimes feels like my throat is dry on one side when I swallow, but no matter how much fluids I drink it stays that way for few hours (Note I also had post nasal drip from allergies and a tonsil stone 2 months ago, the swelling in my right tonsil is still trying to de-puff itself). I had really bad experiences with side effects in the past and i'm probably just overreacting now, but I just want to make sure that the stuff at the back of my throat could or could not be lamictal related?

-Has anyone else been on the combination of Wellbutrin XL and Lamictal? I feel more jittery on now that i'm on both. What were your experiences with it? Is an anti-depressant usually not necessary once you reach a theraputic dose of lamictal?

I really appriciate any thoughts or info you could share.

Thank you so much.

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I mean, again I apologize for my frequent posting lately. I try to get most information from search engines and my family physician, but psychiatric conditions and drugs aren't her expertise (hence she suggested to me maybe I'd be better off without them, but there are so many other options and medications worth a try). I've just had high anxiety lately about starting a new medication, just really worried due to past experiences with side effects. I assure that it wont be like, every other topic or each few topics on this forum will have my username attached to it. :unsure:

Meep.

Thanks guys :)

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I take 200 mg of Lamictal and 150 mg of Wellbutrin SR among other meds. I've been on Lamictal since February, and I do not have any side effects from the Lamictal. Once you reach your target dose and stay there for more than a couple of weeks, you will find that most of the side effects will go away.

About your throat, I think you should show it to your doctor to make sure that it is not a rash. I'm sure that it isn't though. Just ask your doctor to put your mind at ease.

The best advice I can give is be patient and give it time, and you will find that most if not all of the side effects will go away. I have zero side effects related to the Lamictal.

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All the symptoms you list are common, dizzy, HA, stiffness, often emotional fluctuation (Ok let's be honest bitchiness or anger) (I almost started a fight in the public library over some guy using a cellphone!)

Lamictal does not cause extrapyramidal symptoms.

The SJS rash would be a raw reddish rash accompanyed by flu like symptoms and cough, (it varies)

Most people find the worst side effects occur upon starting or titrating dosages, and that they wear off with time

Lamictal has a variable half life but roughly it takes almost 7 days for any dosage change to take effect in the bloodstream. So figure that you have to wait a week just for the meds to settle before you expect the side effects to drop off.

Lamictal is a subtle drug that will gradually have more effect over many weeks. Be patient with the med and patient with yourself. You may notice other side effects; try to have a sense of humor.

best, a.m. p.s. Maybe this would be a good time to try out the "loose jointed strawman" routine. :)

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I start it tonight, so we can be partners in....whatever happens. I'm a member of an Orchestra (viola), and look forward to the weekly rehearsal outlet as well.

I don't know if this helps at all, but he has me taking it at bedtime to (hopefully) avoid the worst of the drowsiness, dizziness, etc.

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I went to see my general physician yesterday, and the yellow stuff (I thought it was yellow but it appeared to be raised area of skin, or bump) at the back of my throat is actually a normal occurance and will go away in time, but just as well may reappear every once in a while. My tonsil is just going to take a long time to shrink back into its pocket. Was told that I should not have fished the stone out of it with a plastic spoon.

I found out I do better by taking lamictal at night now too, for some reason taking it in the morning made me wake up frequently in the middle of the night.

Thanks everyone! Your posts really helped me. I feel less worried now, and I think these side effects have slowly been subsiding. Please keep me updated, jamesmb113! I hope this drug does well for you too. I have my fingers crossed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mostly "Mr. Narcoleptic" every time I sit down for more than a few seconds. But that's getting better this second week.

Otherwise, calmer. Posts are shorter, and more concise. Here and elsewhere.

Though, I have had some degree of the bitchiness Airmarshall mentioned.

No desire to start a fight with obnoxious cell phone guy. Just muttering "Oh for fuck's sake" under my breath.

Well, relatively speaking, that IS acting out, FOR ME. Usually I'd just roll my eyes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

First- I don't think you're overposting. I just started lamictal, too, so I've been reading along and finding it useful.

Second- Airmarshall, starting a fight with someone using a cell phone in the library is totally reasonable behavior. You have my permission to throw down. ;)

When does the appetite suppressant effect kick in? I'm totally hungry all the time, and I want sugar. I'm on day # 5 now, so I know I'm not seeing the full effect of the drug yet.

I have big crashes, I've noticed. One in the afternoon and usually one in the evening. Still not as bad as the "real" depression, but they're sudden and kind of disconcerting. I'm on a low dose now and go up in 10 days. Does that get better when the dosage is upped?

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Lamictal isn't known for suppressing appetite, per se. It just tends to be a weight neutral drug for BP which is fairly unusual in itself. That said, anyone can have almost any weird s.e. on meds, so it's possible that it is in fact INCREASING your appetite. Unlikely, but possible.

Anna

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Okay, I think it's starting to work. I feel dumb for typing this out loud, but- no sh**- it's like it's stabilizing my mood. The lows are coming up a little. It's also making it obvious how manic I really was. I never realized it before. Jeez, I was pretty squirrilly. ;)

Still eating everything that doesn't run away. My weight is the same. I feel really bloated, and yet I've lost an inch in my waist. Not sure how that's working. I'm also awake like clockwork every morning at 3:00. That kind of sucks. I fall asleep eventually, but I'm not getting a good night's sleep. That sound familiar to anyone?

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It does *something* with sleep, because people (myself included) have incredibly vivid dreams, at least while titrating. I always have been a vivid dreamer, but that was nuts. Plus, usually if a med is sedating, there is a part of the population who have the opposite effect, and it is activating (not quite the right word, but you know what I mean). And vice versa.

If you are bloating, it usually means you need to drink more water. Sorry, you knew that, but these meds often suck water right out of you, so it is even more true.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't been sleeping well either on any dose higher than 50mg of lamictal! :( it's really frustrating, so I know what you mean. When I wake up in the middle of the night feeling wired, I get up and make some tea and read something boring (like my history textbook) until I get sleepy again. It seriously makes me mad when I just lay there and toss and turn and can't go back to sleep, and being pissed makes me feel even more wired, so I try to get up and do something non stimulating until my eyes get heavy again. I noticed i'm getting the appetite suppressing side effect after the first few days on 25 mg. Whenever 12:00 came around I'd get really excited and think, "Lunch time, yay!" but now I sometimes forget to eat and I dont realize that I need food until I start feeling shakey and light headed. I used to wake up in the morning and first thing get real excited for breakfast, but now it's hard to get out of bed in the AM because I dont feel the same about food :/ The thought of french toast used to be more effective than the most obnoxious alarm clock. Maybe you'll start feeling less hungry on a higher dose? If your taking an anti-psychotic in addition, that can make you hungry no matter what.

Those crashes you're getting, could they be perhaps from lack of sleep?

I feel fine on 50 mg of Lamictal, but I have been resisting increasing it again because of the insomnia.

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It's funny you say that. I never had problems with appetite or insomnia on Lamictal. In fact the higher in dosage I've gotten, the more difficult it is to stay awake after I take my meds at night. I take my meds and I'll still be trying to study yet I will inevitably just pass out on my textbook. But its always interesting how meds affect people differently.

I'm sure if you expressed your concerns with your doctor they would treat your side effects. I know Lamictal gave me god awful, terrible nightmares. My pdoc gave me a rx for Topamax and I've never had a problem since then.

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Thats really interesting, because I usualy get drowsy on 50 mg, but when I first increased to 50 mg of Lamictal I had trouble sleeping for a week. I wonder if the body adjusts eventually? I'd try to go up to 75 mg again, but I have midterms coming soon, and I can't afford to be sleep deprived right now.

You can take topamax and lamictal together? What is your dose of topamax, treklexa? I occasionally get teeth grinding nightmares in which I grind my teeth out of my sockets in my dream. It hurts during the dream and I'm afraid of dislocating my jaw or breaking a tooth or something.

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