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Heya Sam,

Well, I just logout at the wrong times for all the fun.

I can scare up some resources on the hormone end of things, but this is really such a totally unknown area, b/c nobody did the freaking research.

Not to hammer it in, but can you recall what OCP you were on before?  That'll help me/us to figure out where the s/e came from, and *if* there's one that won't be so nasty.

The idea I think of hormones for you would be something continuous, where you would get the same dose every day, to try to (as I see it) mess up the Lamictal in exactly the same way every day.

But they pretty much *all* kill your sex drive, I'm not gonna lie to you.

Let us know what your psych says.  Mine said, "Good question."  Really.  You can check it back on page 1 of this thread.

Go Lamictal Chicks!


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The idea I think of hormones for you would be something continuous, where you would get the same dose every day, to try to (as I see it) mess up the Lamictal in exactly the same way every day.



Messing up the Lamictal the same way every day! That is hysterical! But, also something that I could see being helpful. At least then maybe I would be stable...er.

Thanks for your help, ncc. I think I get the hormone stuff as much as I need to right now. Tell me if I have this straight. So, my problem is my hormones jack up the Lamictal by making it less effective. Otherwise, I am all good.

For people on birth control, it makes it less effective all the way around because you guys are getting a higher amount of these particular hormones from the BC, which makes the Lamictal less effective than it would be if you were not on BC. Plus, the Lamictal jacks with the effectiveness of the BC. Um, that's all I got so far!

The last time I took BC was over eight years ago, and I took the Ortho something or another, that came in a pretty purple sort of case. Ortho-Novum rings a bell.

So, pdoc...sigh. Basically I told him that AGAIN, my PMS/PMDD symptoms made me crazy and I told him for the last two days I have doubled up on my Lexapro. So, he gave me a script for double Lex. Told me to take two 20mg pills around PMS week, and then 30mg the rest of the time, as I think I am still having depression issues. But GEEZ, how many super doses of ADs can you take? He's worried about me having more side effects if we go up on the Lamictal. I tried at one point and I was mixed-state anxiety girl.

And get this. So I told him I really thought I was depressed, because I used to be mindful of the consequences of just not doing things I should be, and now I just flat out don't care at all. He went off on some tangent about folic acid, vitamin B complex, fish oil, etc. Then he said, "Or we can just increase your Lexapro." Hee hee! I actually have a multivitamin I usually take and I have some fish oil. I could try that, too. It just cracked me up. I have actually referred three of my friends to him, and I swear, I think he just gets up in the morning and decides how wacky he is going to be that day. He is just a total goober! Of course, my friends would all rather be uninformed, and let him do whatever he wants. I actually suggest things to him from here and he is willing to let me give it a try. I think that is why we get along so well.

Anyway, I actually had a stressful day but handled it gracefully...well, I didn't get upset or irritated or anxious. I wasn't particularly graceful but that is mostly because I am a klutz. So maybe the extra Lex will work. We shall see as the dreaded PMS week continues to its INEVITABLE CONCLUSION!!!

Yeah, one more thing I have to say. I know many, many women who hate it when they are having their period. To me, it is the most wonderful thing ever. It seems like a REAL physical sensation that the bad stuff is evaporating. And I literally have to go back over the feelings I had over the past week and re-evaluate them. Oh! My co-worker really isn't from hell. I was just PMSing and out of control. Must go apologize!!! And I feel like such a dofus afterwards!

See, it is almost midnight and I am becoming incoherent. I have a feeling that this post is a little disjointed. But I don't think I can actually fix it at this point! Sorry!


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Heya Sam,

1.  Better summary than mine re. Lamictal and OCP:  The Story So Far.

Whoa.  Admitting that must be progress for me ;)

2.  Fish oils, blah blah, might help, have other benefits, we think, maybe, I take them, but so what, you're depressed.

3.  Doubling up Lexapro during PMS is not a terrible idea; there are patients who are "only" depressed during PMS and taking Paxil/Prozac/Celexa/Lexapro for one week a month actually helps.  Or, is a good placebo.  Which *also* works.

4.  Re. doubling up Lexapro (in Canada, BTW, Cipralex) for a week out of four:  YMMV.  Likely worth a try?  Discontinuation syndrome sucks, buit isn't life-threatening (unless you become suicidal, which can happen but is unlikely except with Paxil).

5.  I was always better/stable on my period.  That's why I'm not convinced about the effects of my hormones on Lamictal.  Do I just feel better on my period, or is is *because of* the increased Lamictal levels during my pill-free week???

6.  Good to be a partner/team member in your care, and important.  Keep it up.  You, he, and his other patients all benefit, really.

Let us know (please, not just the SSRI or PMS threads!) how the new med regimen works out.



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ncc my friend,

Here is my take on the period week. I don't think it has anything to do with the Lamictal kicking back in at all. I mean, I have always felt better that week, even pre-meds, pre-complete and total meltdown. I just think you give your body a rest from all of those crazy hormones. And even on the pill that is the case.

I would have to say that the doubling up is working well right now, and I am smack-dab in the middle of PMS week. Other than being a total bitch to my poor boyfriend the other night, I have been doing quite well. I was planning on taking the double dose all the time.

I don't know. I mean, I just feel like all we do is go up and up and up and up on all of these ADs. I am starting to think that if I wasn't on them, I would be flat out on the floor, comatose or something. Catatonic. They say that ADs can crap out on you. I hope not. I like mine.

Ha, you are a good information-giver. I am just a good summer-upper!

I used to take a form of Prozac just around PMS week and it helped me. NOT a placebo affect!! Seriously.

It wasn't great, but I could function. I aim high!

Oh, but here is the kicker. Pdoc dude told me I could go off the Lexapro for several days when I go see my boyfriend, which will be in about 1 1/2 weeks. All things period-related will be over, and I really WANT to be somewhat normal in that dept. Pdoc said that it's the...oh hell. I guess the risidual effects will still be there, but the side effects will be gone for a couple of days. I tested it a few weekends ago and it worked, but I think I was so worried about it that maybe my mood changed some. I will bring it with me and see how I do. Sometimes I get tired of me and my chemicals/hormones/meds/etc. BUT, we must press on!

So have you come to any conclusion about you? Lamictal is all you take, right? What dose are you on?

Ooh, 20 questions!

Thanks for your input, my dear. Very sage.


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OT, but what the heck? Just to say that I'm the exact opposite of both of you. Much, much worse during that week. Could hardly wait till I would start taking my OCP and start feeling better. This has always been the case, Lamictal or no Lamictal.

Continuous hormone therapy? Am anxious to see how stable I get now, without that week of dumb-as-a-rock bitchy hell.

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Heya ladies,

LOL not sage, just IPD again.

I'm on 225 of Lamictal right now.

And this ring-thing.

After I start the next ring, I'll get a new blood req and see what my levels are on and off it.

Frankly, I'm leaning towards going on nothing but condoms/symptothermal and seeing what my own hormones do to/for me.

But, we'll see.

Revlow, I hope the continuous hormones work!  They should mess up the Lamictal the same every day, if our IPD hypotheses bear out.  I hope you feel more stable.


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  • 1 month later...

Reviving this topic.

Maybe I should start a new topic in Menopause thread, but hell...I've talked about this here before. So, here's my update:


Twenty-one days into super-duper hormone replacement therapy, and there's been a little bit of hair growing back for almost a week. So far, it's in the area where my hairline had been receding the most, where my part met my hairline. It's like little fuzz growing on a baby's head. I love it!

What I don't love: the idiot OB-GYN I'd dealt with. What a jerk! I finally got his notes he'd written to my internist. What a plethora of bullshit! So many factual errors, I lost count.

I've dealt many times with notes/letters from busy professionals like doctors, lawyers, CEOs, etc. I can accept a few insignificant errors; that's the nature of the beast. But this guy was way off on important shit.

The worst one? Well, my regular doc (internist) had first sent me to the GYN because my estrogen levels were way down. Here were the results my first test, which were taken while I was on Ortho Tri-Cyclen, and ordered by my regular doc:

Estroldiol:  5    Normal Values:  17 - 184 pg/ml

Estrone:  19    Normal Values:  These vary; anything under 55 shows as postmenopausal.

Total Estrogens:  24    Normal Values:   35 - 297 pg/ml

As you can see, very low.

So, off I go to this supposedly great OB-GYN. Of course he says that tests done while on OCP will show lower estrogen levels. Makes sense. Wants me to stop taking OCP, then redo tests in about 3-4 weeks of being off OCP. I do this. Actually, due to scheduling issues, it's more like 5+ weeks.

When I see him the next time, GYN says the test results show that I'm in the early phase of perimenopause. Keeps telling me that I couldn't possibly be having hot flashes, since I am on OCP. After much pleading and begging, he seems to finally think about it and say, okay...lets try you on a low-dose OCP, one which has a more steady amount of hormones (only two days inactive, instead of 7). Prescribes Mircette.

Mircette was great for hot flashes -- virtually eliminated them. But my hair starts falling out. Since I'd started Lamictal about the same time, I figured that's what was causing it. Regular doc doesn't think so. He redoes the estrogen tests. This time they've even bottomed out more. Don't have the test results here, but remember he'd told me that the test which previously showed 5 was now down to 1. He's very concerned, and insisted that I talk with the GYN again.

I resisted, saying I don't want to go to that jerk again; this is the guy who kept saying over and over again "You can't be having hot flashes." Doc says this is something that you should be able to handle over the phone with GYN. I tell doc, I'm sure they will insist I go down there (an hour drive in ice and snow in a borrowed car) and, moreover, I don't want to deal with him.

Of course, he will not deal with it over the phone; will only have nurse tell me that the estrogen levels are low because you are on OCP. Have to go see the idiot. Have written much about that f***ed up visit. Jerk. Asshole. You name it. But he finally relents and puts me on HRT.

So, now I finally get his notes to my doc. The worst error? Here are the test results after I'd been off of OCP for 5+ weeks:

Estroldiol:  5    Normal Values:  17 - 184 pg/ml

Estrone:  19    Normal Values:  These vary; anything under 55 shows as postmenopausal.

(He didn't report Total Estrogens in his notes)

In other words, exactly the same as when I'd been on Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Exactly the same as when he said my estrogen levels were being suppressed by OCP. Extremely low, menopausal.

However, what does he write in his notes to my doc?

These were done while patient was taking Mircette.

No, idiot! You didn't even prescribe Mircette until weeks after I'd taken the test! Until I saw you for the follow-up appointment!

In other words this jerk-off didn't even read his own test results correctly. So much for "Dr. Science"!!!

Almost everytime I've seen my regular doc, I have told him what a jerk I think this guy is. Supposedly, he is the best in the area. There has got to be someone better.

At my next appt with regular doc, I intend to go over these test results, to point out the egregious error this guy made. I really want to get through to doc, please don't put another woman through this!

My hair may be growing back, and in other ways I think the hormones are making me more stable. But I lost 2/3 of my hair. And it's long. My hairline may be growing back in (thank god!), but how long is it going to take for it all to grow back?

Enough said.

Anyone else with some updates? The ring working okay for those who switched? Any other thoughts re: this crazy world of hormones and being crazy and on Lamictal?

Thanks for letting me rant. (Maybe I will cut and paste this over to Menopause, in case some woman may benefit from this experience.)

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Heya revlow,

I responded a minute ago to your other post.

Yay!  Likely take a few months to grow back if it's long.  Less time with Lamictal on board, according to some other thread around here.

For here:

On NuvaRing.

Not thrilled with it actually.

No periods on it.  Constantly doing preg tests during the no-ring week.

That's expensive and stressful. ;)

Waiting for Lamictal blood levels.

Most likely will just go off hormones altogether and do the condom thing.


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