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chest pain for almost a month now


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I get chest pains too, mostly in the morning and at night.  I never connected it to the Lamictal, I just thought it was whatever I ate for dinner clogging up my arteries.  One morning it was so bad I thought it was a heart attack.  I haven't gone to the doctor, because they'll just tell me to lose weight, which I'm doing.  If you find a solution, please let me know.

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Just winging it here, but chest pain is never anything to take lightly. My immediate reaction is get thee to a doctor and pronto! Maybe it isn't anything, but geez...why take that chance?

If you can't get in to see your own doc sooner than your appointment, then how about an urgent care center or an ER?

Any doc worth his or her salt will run some tests. Probably they'll start with an EKG and a treadmill stress test. There are also different types of the stress tests, so you might ask about this. I emailed my mother about these differences in the past year, so I'm sorting through my emails now to see if I can find it; so far no luck. I can't remember the details myself at the moment, but if I can find this email I'll pass the info along.

Maybe ncc1701 can chime in here?

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tallulah (and beth, too):

I've done a thorough search of my email and I can't find it. I think I must have talked with my mother over the phone about this.

Again, maybe someone with real medical expertise will chime in here...but here's what I remember. Some background: my internist deals with a lot of CFIDS patients (Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome). I'm not CFIDS myself, but I've met a lot of them in the waiting room.

Now I'd been given an exercise (on the treadmill) stess test myself, by this same doctor. Since it was my first stress test, I never thought anything of it, I'd just assumed these tests were all the same. (BTW, in my case I'd had it done due to shortness of breath; everything turned out okay.)

Anyway, one of these times in the waiting room, I got to talking with one of the the CFIDS patients. She told me how she gone for years being misdiagnosed, and that she'd been stress tested over and over again, everytime saying she was okay. Finally she got to my doc's, and they stress tested her again. However, because the stress test my doc does is one that includes more detail on how someone processes oxygen, C02, etc., they were able to tell this woman a great deal more than the previous stress tests, including the fact that she was only getting a small percent of the normal amount of oxygen into her lungs. (The treatment she received subsequently has helped a great deal, and her oxygen levels went up substantially.)

Long story, sorry. Probably TMI. But the bottom line is I don't think you should ignore this symptom. It's possible that it might be something like anxiety. It's also possible it might be something more serious. Get to a doctor. 

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Hi, tallulah...

I just read your last post, which came in as I was writing my last post.

Hmm...this is interesting. I just did a search of the 57-page Complete Prescribing Information for Lamictal, available for download here: http://www.lamictal.com. I searched using "chest" and got 3 results in the document for chest pain. Looks like it's pretty rare from what I've read so far.

The document is a PDF file. If you download it, you can search it in the Adobe Reader application.

Good luck. Hope it subsides soon.

revlow

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My aches and pains seem to be magnified by the Lamictal, but they are always from some sort of physical activity.  If you are having pain without having done something to cause it, that is probably not a good thing.  I would agree that you should probably not wait two weeks to see your GP.  Better safe than sorry and all that.

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If you're a woman, which I think you are  ;) the symptoms of a heart attack don't really include chest pain anyway (that is if you read about it on the internet anyway), and if your doc thought it was really anything serious, he'd have you in the office pronto!  Don't worry too much  :)

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Heya tallulah,

OK, this does NOT sound like heart pain but of course, get an ECG.

This sounds more like (1) anxiety while sleeping or (2) the wrong mattress/pillows.

OK, I read that over and it sounds silly, but as a family doc, it's my job to think of everything, and I have trouble leaving my job at work.

By all means, **please** get checked out.  It's true that women have signs/symptoms for heart problems that don't always add up -- but you're 25 and healthy, so musculoskeletal or emotional problems are the most likely causes.

And, as you say, if your family doc thought it was something nasty, he would have turfed you to emerg faster than you can think.

--ncc--

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Just something else to check with your doctor, Tallulah:  acid reflux and/or hiatal hernia?

I mention it only because it bothers you when you've been lying down and goes away when you're upright for a couple of hours.  Also, you drink coffee and smoke---both things can aggravate it.

Just a test---try not eating for at least three hours before you go to bed.  See if that makes the pain less in the morning.  Also, sleeping while sitting up may ease it, if my little theory is correct.

If the pain is "at the top of your chest,"  that could be your esophagus.  Just a thought!  It's easy enough to treat and important that you control it if this is what you have.

olga

PS  Dontcha  love having all of us amateurs diagnosing you---all except nc1701, of course!

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I am definitely going to the doctor Monday.  Then I'll probably end up going again once I get back to school in a week.

I don't know what's causing it cause it only began a couple months ago, and all my other health problems have been around for years.  I have been having bad problems with asthma this winter, and was put on 3 additional meds for it - perhaps they're contributing to the chest pains.  I'll have to check the PIs for all my meds - at least I'll have something to do tonight. ;)

And thanks for the info about the chest pains being a rare side effect of the Lamictal.  I probably would have never noticed it in the PI.

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I second the stomach problem suggestion.  You could have esophagitis and not really feel like it's reflux.  I have terrible chest pain when my GERD flares up, and there's no acid burps or anything.  Sitting up makes it better; lying down makes it worse.  When it flared up last summer I slept propped up on pillows for weeks.  That kept me from sleeping on my side and kept all the stomach stuff where it's supposed to be.

Eating very lightly at night, no food for 2 hours before bed, and antacids would help.  Over-the-counter ulcer meds like tagamet and others will also tell you if that's the problem, and will save you a visit to a specialist and the cost of a prescription if it's not a severe problem.

Any way, by now you've been to the doc.  Any ideas?

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