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Me: Also it turns out that lamotrigine causes cognitive impairment, more the more you increase your dose. So my feeling stupid and confused all the time is a side-effect, thank god.

Friend: Sorry does it cause... cognitive impairment... 
Friend: and skin death...

Me: Yes.

Friend: So...
Friend: It causes zombies.
Friend: You're taking zombie pills.

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  • 7 months later...

I am currently on Lamotrogine 400 mg and I have turned into the stupidest person on the planet!!  I am very upset about it.  My words won't come and I can't get my head wrapped around the simplest of tasks.  Lamotrogine has helped me so very much, but I can't stand this stupidity.  I can't think.  I can't remember simple grammar rules, names, what I watched on television 10 minutes ago.  My independent thought is gone.  I no longer have an opinion about anything.  When asked my opinion on something I can't even put my thoughts together.  I don't even know what my opinion is anymore!   Lamotrogine has rendered me a moron.  Any suggestions anyone?  Is there an alternative med other than Lithium?

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I haven't experienced any cognitive impairment (at least if i take no more than 150mg) Years ago when i was at 300mg I had some difficulty "word finding" spaciness, and some small balance issues, but nothing extreme. It's something I'm wiling to deal with because other mood stabilizers (Depakote, Lithium) I've found to be much worse (causing major sedation/zombie feeling, liver/kidney problems/toxicity, thyroid disorders, massive weight gain, etc)

I've read numerous reports about Topamax causing much more extreme cognitive effects. Hence the name "Dopamax"

Maybe OP you can reduce your dose to see if it helps?

Edited by cloudmonger
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10 hours ago, nmk1226 said:

I am currently on Lamotrogine 400 mg and I have turned into the stupidest person on the planet!!  I am very upset about it.  My words won't come and I can't get my head wrapped around the simplest of tasks.  Lamotrogine has helped me so very much, but I can't stand this stupidity.  I can't think.  I can't remember simple grammar rules, names, what I watched on television 10 minutes ago.  My independent thought is gone.  I no longer have an opinion about anything.  When asked my opinion on something I can't even put my thoughts together.  I don't even know what my opinion is anymore!   Lamotrogine has rendered me a moron.  Any suggestions anyone?  Is there an alternative med other than Lithium?

I know I wrote this somewhere else in more detail on CB ... but I noticed you are on topamax, which can make some people feel "dopey."  Might be worth checking into.  It might not be the lamotrigine.

4 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

I've read numerous reports about Topamax causing much more extreme cognitive effects. Hence the name "Dopamax"

I have read this too.

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I've been on 425 mg of lamotrigine for a few years now. I do find that it causes some impairment, and I get presque vu a lot - that "tip of the tongue" feeling when you can't remember a word. It drives me crazy because I was an avid writer for years and can't remember even simple words sometimes. My spelling has suffered as well. That being said, I've gotten pretty used to it and thanks to smartphones and Thesauruses (Thesauri?), I can cheat my way past it. 

The other weird thing I noticed with lamotrigine is occasional word salad. I'd say a sentence that made sense in my head but came out all scrambled and nonsensical. It's embarrassing when it happens when I'm talking to management at work.

I do have problems with memory that I didn't have before. But I will happily take all those side effects over those of some other medications. I don't feel dopey, I didn't gain any weight (lost weight, actually), and it hasn't caused ataxia or tardive dyskinesia, which is a scary risk. I am meeting with my pdoc tomorrow to revise my medications, but honestly lamotrigine has probably been the only mood stabilizer that has actually worked for me in the 15 years that I've been on and off psych meds (started when I was 12). 

I did NOT know about skin death (omgwtf)... but LOVE the "zombie pills" quote. :lol:

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5 minutes ago, crazy_cat_lady said:

I've been on 425 mg of lamotrigine for a few years now. 

I will happily take all those side effects over those of some other medications. I don't feel dopey, I didn't gain any weight (lost weight, actually), and it hasn't caused ataxia or tardive dyskinesia, which is a scary risk. I am meeting with my pdoc tomorrow to revise my medications, but honestly lamotrigine has probably been the only mood stabilizer that has actually worked for me in the 15 years that I've been on and off psych meds (started when I was 12). 

I did NOT know about skin death (omgwtf)... but LOVE the "zombie pills" quote. :lol:

Agreed. Seems like Lamictal causes way less side effects compared to other meds (of other classes and same class)

One question crazy_cat_lady: Have you had to increase the dose to 425mg because it wasn't having an effect at lower doses? I just ask because I've read multiple sources stating that if you go above the target therapeutic dose (100-200mg) Lamictal does not add much benefit, it just possibly adds more of the cognitive side effects. I guess in some cases, depending on metabolism/weight, people need a higher dose, but anyone else have thoughts on this?

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1 hour ago, cloudmonger said:

I've read multiple sources stating that if you go above the target therapeutic dose (100-200mg) Lamictal does not add much benefit, it just possibly adds more of the cognitive side effects. I guess in some cases, depending on metabolism/weight, people need a higher dose, but anyone else have thoughts on this?

I am on 600 mg/day (ODT kind) and covers me.  I think being in a higher dose is because I metabolize meds quickly.  Cognitive side effects are I think from the combo of meds I take.

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40 minutes ago, melissaw72 said:

I am on 600 mg/day (ODT kind) and covers me.  I think being in a higher dose is because I metabolize meds quickly.  Cognitive side effects are I think from the combo of meds I take.

Do you take the 600mg all at once? Or split the dose? just wondering, I'm only at 75mg and I seem to be having some breakthrough depressive mood in the evenings.

I'm not sure if this is happening because I have not yet reached the target dose or if the dose is wearing off by the evening?

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2 minutes ago, cloudmonger said:

Do you take the 600mg all at once? Or split the dose? just wondering, I'm only at 75mg and I seem to be having some breakthrough depressive mood in the evenings.

I'm not sure if this is happening because I have not yet reached the target dose or if the dose is wearing off by the evening?

No, not all once ... the doses are split 200mg/ 200mg/ 200 mg.

I'm not sure of the answer about the reason/s for the breakthrough depressive moods in the evenings. 

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2 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

Do you take the 600mg all at once? Or split the dose? just wondering, I'm only at 75mg and I seem to be having some breakthrough depressive mood in the evenings.

I'm not sure if this is happening because I have not yet reached the target dose or if the dose is wearing off by the evening?

It is common to have all sorts of mood blips when you are titrating up on Lamictal. My guess would be that it will get better as you raise your dose. I take 400mg. I'd say it took me a couple of years to go up that high. But blood tests show I don't absorb Lamictal well, so I can go up to 600mg if I need to. It worked, and then stopped working, so that is why we kept raising it. I have been fine at this dosage.

My husband is on Lamictal for seizures, and takes 300mg twice a day.

There are members here who have had trouble with Lamictal if they don't split their dose. I actually split my dose just to keep the number of pills I take AM/PM about the same.

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Agreed. Seems like Lamictal causes way less side effects compared to other meds (of other classes and same class)

One question crazy_cat_lady: Have you had to increase the dose to 425mg because it wasn't having an effect at lower doses? I just ask because I've read multiple sources stating that if you go above the target therapeutic dose (100-200mg) Lamictal does not add much benefit, it just possibly adds more of the cognitive side effects. I guess in some cases, depending on metabolism/weight, people need a higher dose, but anyone else have thoughts on this?

I take 425 mg split during the day (225 in the AM/200 at bed) combined with clonazepam. I metabolize medication pretty quickly and it takes a higher dosage to feel the effects. It took over a year to titrate to that dosage. It is also the only medication that has caused any lasting positive changes for me, and I've taken a lot of different meds over the years. As for cognitive effects, they didn't increase with the doses. Everyone reacts to meds differently. 

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23 hours ago, nmk1226 said:

I am currently on Lamotrogine 400 mg and I have turned into the stupidest person on the planet!!  I am very upset about it.  My words won't come and I can't get my head wrapped around the simplest of tasks.  Lamotrogine has helped me so very much, but I can't stand this stupidity.  I can't think.  I can't remember simple grammar rules, names, what I watched on television 10 minutes ago.  My independent thought is gone.  I no longer have an opinion about anything.  When asked my opinion on something I can't even put my thoughts together.  I don't even know what my pinion is anymore!   Lamotrogine has rendered me a moron.  Any suggestions anyone?  Is there an alternative med other than Lithium?

How long have you been on it? Maybe over time it will improve. I remember taking Lamictal and having some word-find issues but I'm pretty sure it went away. Quite a few years ago. Another option might be to ask your pdoc whether the dose could be reduced.

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  • 1 month later...

I have been on Lamictal since in the late 90s, and I haven't had any times with cognitive effects ... it wasn't until about 10 years later that things started to go south.  I was still on it then, but I am pretty sure it was the clozaril that started it in 2006.  When I went off of clozaril, the side effects didn't go away except for the sedation.

Then I had major surgery for a bunch of things between 2007-2011, and each time I came out of the anesthesia, I lost part of my memory and thinking.  It was ok the first time, but as the number of surgeries kept going on, my memory, recall of words, just thinking, etc ... all went downhill.  At least for me, anesthesia does this every time, and every time my thought process (etc) just gets worse. 

Point being, it wasn't the lamictal that was the problem.  I've been fine on it ... it was other factors in my life that made me feel "stupid".

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