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The ring is fantastic!

I have heard that it doesn't interfear with any other medications because its not absorbed through your liver like oral bc pills.

It has done nothing but good for me.

It's easy to use and just an all around good product.

They hardest part is remembering to take it in/out. The box comes with stickers you can put on you calendar to help with that.

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Heya JooolzRooolz,

Thanks for the quick reply!

This is the kind of feedback I'm looking for, good and bad.

(You're not a drug rep right?  Just kidding.  ;) )

I'm leaning towards the ring for exactly those reasons, med interactions.

How (if at all) has it affected your periods?

--ncc--

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Wish I knew what to tell you on this. I'm attempting to get my doc and gyno to actually speak with one another about this! Also, my situation is complicated by the fact that I'm on the threshold of menopause.

You've probably already looked throught the 57-page Lamictal complete prescribing info. Describes the interaction but, not helpful in a practical way. If you haven't looked at it you can get it here: http://www.lamictal.com or here is the direct link: http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_lamictal.pdf

Something you mentioned ncc1701 has brought to mind another Q. You wrote about testing Lamictal blood levels. I've yet to have this done. Is there actually a target range on the results for which they are looking? If so, what is it?

Thanks.

revlow

PS - Wish I could have been more help. Never had an IUD or the ring. Another thing to consider, I suppose, would be a OCP that has a more consistent dose throughout the month. (I'm on Mircette.)

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Heya revlow,

I don't envy you the perimenopausal stuff.

In terms of blood levels, my psych (and what I've read) says there's really no specific therapeutic level and it's not routinely monitored.

In our chat, he said that absolute numbers wouldn't help us, but if the level *changed* a lot between on- and off-OCP, that might help us figure it out.

Seems pretty nebulous.

Also, we're (in Canada) depending on US data for this (Lamictal in BP) because it's been generic in Canada forever.

It's never been approved here for BP, although it's used off-label first- or second-line, based on US data.

Noone here is going to spend all their R&D money paying for approval for BP if it's generic.

The downside of generics.

Thanks revlow.  And I reiterate:  I don't envy you the perimenopausal thing.  I'm *not* looking forward to *that,* except for the no periods thing that you're on the verge of.

--ncc--

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LOL. Thanks for the sympathy! I'm sure it will be good once I'm through it, but at present there sure are times when I miss my regular and uncomplicated "womanhood" of my younger years.

Please keep us posted on what you and your doc find out, okay? I think it's cool that he is actually paying attention to this and willing to work with you on it.

revlow

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No not a drug rep!

I'm just a VERY happy ring user.

The ring is AMAZING!

I rarely get cramps and my period lasts about three days. The flow is SOOOOOOOOO light as well.

I think the only part i notice is a little more pms symptoms.

I get a bit bitchy and scarf the chocolate down. (that rarely happened to me before.)

It's easy to deal with though. Especially when you barely have a period and no cramps!

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Guest luli2545

I'm way past a pretty early menapause. This thread is great...I'm going up on lamictal, at 50mg per day now. I used to be on hormone replacement til they said to not use it a couple years ago. I'd love to go back on hormone replacement because I felt better on it. But now being on lamictal and not wanting to complicate lamictal's effects....dunno...hmmm. And the therapeutic dose for lamictal seems to vary widely. Maybe there's another lamictal over 50 thread...or for women on hormone replacement and lamictal...

I'm liking lamictal pretty much, but it's a little energizing...also on 225 effexor...

Sorry if I'm off topic; liking your comments.Thanks.

Luli

ps. I had very slight "spotting" the first two weeks on low dose lamictal. That worried me, as it's probably been a decade since that has happened. I mean, how complicated IS this drug? I hope it's not too important. How long has this drug been around? (mebbe I'm lazy; actually my brain is a bit scattered since starting it, so I can't follow the drug info as well as I might have before)(that's weird too).

But, no horrible dips into depression, so that is good.

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Heya,

OK, so this is what I can tell you Luli without looking anything up, because I've promised myself I'm not looking things up while on vacation ;)

Lamictal seems to have some sort of effect on our hormones.

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Ah, back to the mysteries of Lamictal and hormones! I wish I knew more. I see my doc on Monday; by then I am hoping he will have talked with my gyn. (I wrote my doc a letter last week asking him to please do so.)

I wasn't aware of the info on post-menopausal women. (Thanks, ncc1701!) I just did a search in the 57-page Lamictal complete prescribing info (link in post #4 above). I couldn't find anything.

I did experience a lot of break-through bleeding the 1st couple months after I started Lamictal. But in my case, I'm perimenopausal and still taking OCP. So, not the same situation.

I know that NARS (also in perimenopause...sorry NARS, tmi?) is going to be meeting with a doc who she believes has a good understanding of all this hormone/Lamictal interaction. I'm looking forward to hearing what she finds out.

luli2545: I'm with ncc1701 -- get yourself checked out just to make sure nothing bad. Please let us know what happens. And if you find out anything re: Lamictal and hormones, please by all means *share*. We are all sisters in this together! ;)

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Guest luli2545

Thanks Ncc, Rev,

Hmmm. ok. I'll call obgyn on the 27th or 28th. It's time anyway for annual stuff. No other weirdness in hormonal/menses history. Hmmmm.

Luli, of course will share, not sure where, maybe start with a new topic...

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The ring is fantastic!

I have heard that it doesn't interfear with any other medications because its not absorbed through your liver like oral bc pills.

It has done nothing but good for me.

It's easy to use and just an all around good product.

They hardest part is remembering to take it in/out. The box comes with stickers you can put on you calendar to help with that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

(Another satisfied NuvaRing user here).  They're website, http://www.nuvaring.com, has a timer that some doctors used to give out, but they ran out I guess because I never got one, for FREE.  It counts down the days and beeps when you need to take it out or put a new one in.  Makes it alot easier to remember.

The link for the NuvaTime is under Patient Support to the right.

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I am very interested in the info about Lamictal and girly hormones.

I don't have anything to add, other than that often get hypomanic before or during my period.  A continuous level of hormones sounds like the best plan all around for mood stability and reducing med interactions, but I think I'd better finish titrating before messing with it.

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Heya,

OK seriously considering the ring.

Worried a bit though about losing the apparent mood-stabilizing effects of my OCP.

But I can always titrate medications, I guess.

Tomorrow (30th) I go get my blood drawn, then off OCP, and redrawn a week later.

Thanks for the interest and support!

--ncc--

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Bit of a threadjack here, but we did mention it in passing above.

My doc order a bunch of tests the other day, including a Lamictal level. I was surprised to find out it was a urine test. Thought it was a blood level they were looking for. The lab tech called to check (the lab in the local hospital in a collecting station for the lab company my insurance uses, so it's sent out). So he called the lab in Q and showed me what they faxed back, that indeed it was a urine sample they wanted for Lamictal.

Anyone know about this? Should I be insisting on a blood test?

Thanks.

<end of threadjack>

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Heya revlow,

(edited to obsessively fix typos)

Not a threadjack BTW, Lamictal is a weird and wild friend.

From what I've gathered, chatting with my lab, there are *no* actual blood *or* urine levels for Lamictal.

My veins *suck,* so I was wondering in fact ;) if maybe this *was* a pee test, but then again I have a phobia about public washrooms so maybe not.

This drug is so variable -- noone seems to know how long it takes to clear our systems, what's a therapeutic level, what's a toxic level, blabla.

All we really seem to know is it's very very safe, mostly, except for SJS, which we can't predict.

The whole reason I'm doing two levels is to compare A to B and, if there's a *fair-sized* difference, to change management based on that.

Psych says this is important b/c otherwise, one level alone is not *useful* (unlike, say, lithium or epival).

So, IMHO, looks like urine or blood levels are just as useful as each other.

I'll see what the lab tech does tomorrow.

Accounting for our dosages, it *would* be fun to see what our respective levels are.

I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

Of course, all these other people are watching.

Great, now I can't pee.

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Heya,

So, FWIW, this is the first period I've had in ... I guess three or four months, since shortly after starting my wonder drug of choice.

I took pill 21 on Thursday night and had my blood drawn Friday am, and again tomorrow, then I'll start the next pack and wait for results when I see my psychiatrist on the 17th.

But, I can say this.

How I feel is I think better.

Slept so hard the last few nights.

Laughing more.

Get depressed or angry but feling like I have more say in the matter and can get some control over the thoughts/feelings before they get really nasty.

Still goddamn anxious but handling it by "sucking it up."

Of course, for as long as I've been on OCP I've felt better on that week off.  Physically, emotionally, mentally.

Before I went on, I had horrid mood swings and cramps and everything nasty, except for the week of my period, whenever that happened to be.  That week was not as bad.

But I wonder this time how much of this (relative) stability is (1) placebo effect -- if so, yay placebos!! or (2) huge burst of Lamictal level effect versus (3) the same old hormones being better balanced during my period.

If there's an actual big difference in my levels from last week to this, then dammit I'm switching to the ring, because a correlation is good enough for me.

Just had to write that down, I need something to distract me from the not-good day I've had so far.

--ncc--

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