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Lamictal (lamotrigine) side effects


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Heya,

My (made-up, not in the DSM just yet) Intellectual Personality Disorder compels me.

There are *so many* threads about Lamictal and its side effects, not all of which are on the PI or monograph.

Seems to me that those of us on CB taking this weird and wild medication would wonder about a lot of them.

I *would* post a poll, but this free-form is better for now,and if it looks fairly consistent I'll think about a poll.

I'll start.

Sedation.

Acne.

Muscle pain.

Worsening rosacea.

Night sweats.

Breakthrough bleeding.

OK, now *you* go.

--ncc--

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Extreme muscle pain/tightness and horrendous headaches were the biggies for me, for about a month.

Breakthrough bleeding, again 1 month.

Continuing Qs re: hormonal interactions (I know, that's not a SE, but we wimmin folk sure seem to struggle with this).

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Restless feet when sitting.

At higher doses, problems with word finding/word order when speaking quickly (the "peanut jelly and butter sand, ah, sandwich") problem.

I did get a rash three times, once pretty extensively.  Avoiding alcohol seems to be helping this time.

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acne

cystic acne on my back (EW, that didn't go away even when i stopped it until i went on abx)

migraines

muscle pain crampey icks

shaky hands

extreme memory loss (couldn't remember the name of the med i was googling the side effects for unless i held the bottle in front of the keyboard)

and um, some neuro problems that i seem to be the only person in the world to have had... which is why i went off it, but my pdoc and neuro said they'd never seen someone have that reaction, so i should stop talking about it now.  man i babble.

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- migraines

-muscle aches

- shaky hands

- itching that comes and goes while going to sleep or waking in the middle of the night itching

- the feeling that "bugs" are crawling under my skin which then leads to the above

- WATER RETENTION that i am totally sick of

- bladder control problems

I'm pretty sure Lamictal is aging me at an astonishing rate...seriously - bladder contol problems??? ;) WTF???

aimee

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My rosacea has been worse, but I didn't think about attributing it to the Lamictal. It's always been bad (my dad used to ask me "who stepped on your nose?" but it's been awful lately.

Cognizant impairment which leads to the self-loathing during depressive episodes (I still get them, but they are not as severe)

Muscle aches, especially my neck.

Trouble falling asleep

Seeing wierd "things" out of the corner of my eye.

Acne at first, only appears mildly during recent titration.

Major problem with speaking.

Major problem with memory.

Like the rosacea, I didn't attribute breakthough bleeding with Lamictal. Also some night sweats.

Depersonalization (somewhat zombie-like).

Lots of rapid cycling, mixed states episodes at first. Not so much now.

Appetite loss at first. Not so much now.

Some dizziness.

There's probably more, I just can't remember...

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When I first started, but these have dissipated...

headaches

mouth sores

When I jumped up to 75 mg...

sore muscles (no more)

back pain (no more)

Eye twitching (has not gone away)

hot flashes (still have, but for the past few days not so bad)

intense craving for sweet foods (wish it would go away)

sleeping more - very hard to get up early in the morning

These side effects are nothing compared to the help it has given me.  While I'd rather not have any, I'll put up with it because of the benefits!  The hot flashes are probably the biggest pain; you never know when one will sneak up on you!

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Current Lamictal side effects for me: None.  BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

Side effects when I thought I could take it in the evening: Complete inability to sleep during any part of the night.

Side effects when I thought I didn't need my Neurontin alongside the Lamictal: Electric shock-like sensations, like those bugs, all over my skin.  Feels like what happens when you touch the electrical leads off of a 9 volt battery to your skin.  PDoc did not understand my analogy due to lack of a Y chromosome on her part.

So much for GABA agonist activity.

Side effects whenever titrating dosage upward (to 200 mg): Bouncing off the walls.  Not in the hyper or manic sense, but literally, bouncing off the walls while trying to walk.  Other ataxic issues too... typing speed would drop from 140wpm to 30wpm, which was very unnerving.

Side effects whenever purchasing the medication: a $150 bill for it every month.

But otherwise, you're talking to a happy camper here.  Sad thing is, I haven't seen any huge effects in stabilization or antidepressant effects, so I'll be getting a Lamictal plasma level done this week to see if I'm anywhere in the therapeutic range (God knows how they do that, since plasma clearance is so damn variable, even within the same individual). 

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Heya,

This is fun.

I love my Lamictal, but it *is* a weird one.

And I actually got levels done.

On 225mg at bedtime.

They had a reference range of 4-39 mmol/l.

On birth control, my level was 9.1.

Off birth control, it was 13.3.

Which is leading me to go off birth control.

Otherwise, no idea what raw levels tell me, if anything.

OK, let's keep going.

I never thought about the shaky hands re. Lamictal.  I just thought I got it from my dad.  Have to look at the timing there.

Tourette's eh?  Wow, that's a wild one.

--ncc--

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Yes to all above (except the tics).

Dont forget mania.

Extreme fatigue

Sleepiness w/out being able to go or stay asleep

Cough for no reason (almost a reflex- hard to explain)

Acne

Heart palpitaions

Irritability- major road rage

Loss of appetite (lost about 15lbs)

Stomach problems- all of them

I also chewed on my tongue alot

Anxiety- never had it before

Anger!

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Hmmm...well initially I had:

increased migraine frequency (I did get migraines before starting, though), which went away after a couple of weeks.

Around 50 mg:

restlessness, agitation- which went away around 75 mg??

Presently I'm at 150 mg. The entire time I've been taking it I've noticed:

mild sedation

acne- but I am not sure if this is hormonal or the Lamictal, though.

Also of interest to me, because I'm preggers:

I did not notice any truly effective mood stabilization until 100 mg. I think it took so long because of the increased hormone levels of pregnancy- I started it at around 12 weeks preg. I am curious about how this dosage will affect me postpartum, and whether its antidepressant properties will be able to put a dent on postpartum depression (which I have had after both of my other pregnancies) without an adjunct- stay tuned!

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