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I have taken up to 350mg in combination with Effexor and/or Abilify. I definitely find utility from it at the higher dose, though I saw a slight increase in side effects (as is typical) - which is to say, I've been a little sleepy. Otherwise it works and I like it.

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That's good to know Geek.  I know they use higher doses for seizures (which is reason #1 for it for me), but I wasn't sure if anyone was using it psychiatrically above 200mg.  Wellbutrin is a god send, and I'd LOVE to increase the dose... but the exponential risk of seizures obviously makes Lamictal worth pursuing first in my case... but the whole thing is an uphill battle sometimes (or all the time).

 

Lamictal isn't magical like Wellbutrin, but maybe it could help me... I'm going to give a higher dose a trial and see how I do.  I don't know what else to do... the SSRI's cause unacceptable side effects and never even touched the depression.  Atypical antipsychotics don't touch it.  SNRI's just make me crazy.  I've heard of these new things, like Brintilix or whatever that targets weird receptors I've never even heard of, but the studies I've seen on that don't look so great... like you have a 40% chance you could feel *slightly* better, and that's after they manipulate the study.

 

Obviously I'm frustrated, but I'm going to try a higher dose of Lamictal and see what happens.  Still interested to hear some positives from people taking doses >200mg/day.

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I am on 250 and I have been on 250 for nearly 2 years.  I find it a good dose - I started on 100 mg as my original target and bumped by 25-50 every time I would have an episode and at 250 I stopped having them and I've been fairly not-depressed for 2 years now, which is a record for me.

 

I've had a lot of therapy in that time too, though, so who knows.

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My doc told me it's intended to be taken twice a day.  But that some people take it once a day and do fine.  I don't know that it matters morning or night, except if you find it activating or sedating.  I find it a bit activating personally.

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Well, I increased it from 200mg/day to 300mg/day and I don't feel any different.  I don't feel less depressed or more groggy, or fuzzy or anything at all.  Granted I've been on Lamictal for years, but it feels like I'm taking aspirin.  And when I miss doses completely I don't feel different either.

 

For that matter, none of the psychiatric drugs seem to make a difference for me anymore.  I remember the first psychiatric drug I tried was Prozac... for maybe 6 months, then I was violent and my mom took me off it.  Years and years later, I went to a psychiatrist and started 10mg of Lexapro and I felt COMPLETELY different.  Now, I feel like I'm on 50 different drugs, and no matter what strength of any of them, I feel the same.

 

None of these depression meds work.  Opiates work when I use them, maybe once every 6 months - 1 year.  Sometimes I get really desperate and depressed and take a Percocet or something, and I feel good for a few hours.  If I use it for more than a few days, it doesn't do much of anything.  Adderall can help in a pinch too.  But these things only work in emergencies, not day in and day out.

 

Maybe I'll just keep pushing Lamictal until some terrible side effect stops me from pushing it any further.  It's the only drug I have left to push up.  I've never experienced Lamictal at a high dose... I guess I could do it slowly.  Just kind of frustrated, that's all.  I'll give 300mg some more time.

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I'm on 400mg a day as of about 2 weeks ago after a very slow titration that took a couple of months.  This is the second time I've been on the med as a BP mood stabiliser - I was previously on it for quite a while a few years ago (I'm terrible at recalling precise timelines).  To be honest, at the moment I'm mostly feeling unpleasant cognitive side effects, but I do remember it being helpful in the past, I think mostly for depressive episodes.  I take it twice a day. 

 

This is not a fast acting med, as far as I can judge, and I think you need to hang in there a little longer to see how it's going to affect you personally on a psychiatric level.

 

eta I'm sorry to ask, but 200 to 300mg in one go is a bit of a leap.  Are you doing this with the help of your pdoc?  You're speaking as if you're doing this on your own, which concerns me a bit.

Edited by MiaB
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I agree, that is a bit of a leap. Though it is probably safer and easier once you've established that 200 mg dosage you are already on... I would think. Anyway, I have heard that its anti-depressant effect (in Bipolar Disorder, I know) caps around 200 mg. I don't know about that. Reaching 200 mg helped me more than what I am currently doing, though. Which is 400 mg/ daily. 

 

It can definitely take weeks to see if this med is working though. Such a process. 

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Thanks for your experiences.  I guess all I can do is give it some time and see how it goes.  I wish there were some sort of brain scan that could tell you exactly what you need to be on to be "normal"... but somebody here said that's only a setting on a washing machine ;)

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I won't ask why or how, but I will say that you're taking a hell of a risk in self medicating like this, particularly with an anticonvulsant. CB doesn't encourage or support this kind of behaviour, and I think you've abused our trust in using us to decide how to prescibe a med change for yourself.

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I won't ask why or how, but I will say that you're taking a hell of a risk in self medicating like this, particularly with an anticonvulsant. CB doesn't encourage or support this kind of behaviour, and I think you've abused our trust in using us to decide how to prescibe a med change for yourself.

 

I don't think it's a huge risk... I think it's possible it won't help.  My question isn't whether it's safe or not to increase from 200mg to 300mg, but rather if there is any antidepressant effect beyond the 200mg, which I don't really know the answer to.  In the week I've been at 300mg, I can't say I've noticed any difference.

 

In any event, the person prescribing meds for depression is different than the person prescribing Lamictal for seizures.  I can't exactly ask my neurologist what dose of Lamictal is good for depression, because that's not his specialty, nor does he treat that problem.  And the doctor that prescribes meds for depression doesn't know anything about Lamictal.  They both know what meds I'm on though, and why I take them.  And, if I went to my neurologist and told him, "Oh I'm taking 300mg lamictal now", he'd probably just say "okay" and that would be the end of it.

 

I can't afford a psychiatrist.  I would never trust an internet forum for anything really important... I already know it's fine to take 300mg and jumping from 200mg to 300mg is something people do all the time.  The only thing I don't know is the difference in antidepressant effect (if any) above 200mg.

 

MiaB, are you suggesting I should ask my neurologist about depression?  How should he know?

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I did not find any difference going from 250 to 300 and even to 400 mg with regard to depression. I found the most antidepressant effect around 250 mg BUT I take carbamazepine which cuts the blood level of lamotrigine by 50-60%.

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