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From Tegretol to Lamictal

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I am having a difficult time choosing between two mood stabilizers.

As of now, the Tegretol does this for me:

calmness, evenness, alleviation of physical tension

But some of the side affects have been blunted emotion, apathy, and complete lethargy. Last night I was enduring a painful depression and I took two 200mg of Tegretol and I immediately felt better.

I don't like how Tegretol makes me anhedonic. People around me have noticed that I am subdued, foggy, and just too damn mellow. On Tegretol, I retreat into my head a lot and I am enjoying the inner richness. Music sounds better and life seems more simple. But, I notice that my symptoms are beginning to mimic a Schizoid personality. A catch-22 they say.

On Lamictal, I feel happier, able to concentrate and sociable. But, since I have begun it, it hasnt done anything for my physical tension and things seem to bother me a little more. Then again I am just starting on it.

My doctor wants me to get off of Tegretol and simply take Lamictal, but I am vascillating so much between the both of them. I believe its possible that they may be a good combination together. The blunted feelings of Tegretol plus the ability to appreciate being on my own helps me, but I don't want to retreat into myself all the of the time. The Lamictal does help me in little ways too, but I just wonder if I'll be able to approach things just as calmly on it with the Tegretol.

Should I ask my pdoc that I want to stay on both? Will Lamictal work for me better than Tegretol?

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Well, you know everyone responds differently to meds.

Do you have past experience of being on a therapeutic dose of Lamictal, or is this your first time on it?

I don't know much about Tegretol, but you obviously have both good and bad effects from it. Ask your doctor if you can be on both at low doses or something, play with it. Perhaps a low dose of the Tegretol will prevent the negative side effects from occuring, while the Lamictal will help in its own way.

I'm sure someone who knows more will come on here and say something.


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Lamictal often has a bumpy titration until you get to a therapeutic level. I had back pain, nightmares, aches and pains, headaches, mood bobbles. It smoothed out once I got to a therapeutic dose, and now I really like it. I just had it bumped up to 350mg, and it has very few side effects.

It is hard for me to say anything for sure about the tegretol, because it didn't really work for me, but when I was on it, that was what was available. Tegretol is related to Tri-leptal, which is supposed to be an updated better version of it.

Maybe you could titrate up to a certain point on the Lamictal, and see what titrating off the tegretol does at that point, and then make a decision. Assuming your pdoc is okay with that.

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