Thank you so much for your input. I've not done this kind of thing online before, but thought I had to try something. I'm happy for you and your 3 year old daughter. It's important to hear the good stories just like the bad ones.
I've gotten off Lamictal 200 mg in the last 3 weeks because I've started fertility treatment and wanted to at least try being off it for when I get pregnant. I was also prescribed Zoloft 100mg/day and Dexedrine Spansules 10mg twice / day, and Ambien 10 mg(regular, not CR) at night. I'd also gotten off the Dexedrine.
Not the greatest of results. Cognitively and emotionally I've been declining. Can't make simple decisions like which dish to use, or where to write something down, and can't do basic math - i.e. figuring out that 20 weeks is abut 5 months took me way too long.
I'm worried I will lose my job before I can pay for the fertility treatment. That my husband will get sick of taking care of a rather needy, rather fluctuating woman-child.
I did find a good bit of information last night about Lamictal and other meds, their risks, and the risks of untreated depression in pregnant women. FDA has good stuff, as does OTIS. The latter compiles info about teteratogenic (sp?) effects of various meds- side effects often associated with low folate levels. There was also some good info about how meds are categorized - A, B,C,D and X. They don't mean good - to bad though - not like a 1-5 scale. C means there's no evidence of harm in humans, possibly in animals, and possibly jut not enough period
The week before last I asked to start taking Dexedrine again at least on the days between my period and ovulation. Both docs said okay. Earlier last week, we increased the Zoloft to 200 mg. (It seems pretty safe until between the 20th and 28th week from what I understand). Don't know if this increase in Zoloft will make much of a difference. I've had so much more anxiety in the last couple of weeks, however, that maybe it will help control that.
Re Dexedrine - category C - no evidence against it, but not enough known about it either - we're trying for me to just take it between my period and ovulation. It gets out of your system in less than 6 hours. And I'm on a low dose. The risks do seem to be dose related for Dexedrine.
The Ambien - category C also - the CR is bad for babies for sure. I'm not sure about this one yet. I've gone back and forth, and it seems like my doctors have also.
My OB and psychiatrist have been consulted all along the way for the last two year or more. In the last 3 months I've started seeing a fertility specialist that my OB referred me to. The OB naturally says no meds are best meds, but there has to be a risk benefit analysis too. My psych had advised me to get off of the Lamictal (3 1/2 weeks ago) b/c of something he'd recently read about increased chance for cleft pallett (related to decreased folic acid like you mentioned). Then when he saw me yesterday, he told me to go ahead and get back on the Lamictal b/c I can't function. He thinks I need the Dexedrine too - b/c historically the less organized, less competent, more scattered I become the more depressed I become about my inability to function.
I'm 35, been treated for depression, then ADHD and depression, ongoing sleep difficulties, and now possibly OCD or Bipolar. I've been on some type of meds since the end of undergrad - around age 21? And I've tried getting off and changing to the least dangerous, etc. I've had some success with that - was able to get on a safer sleep med, and I can always use Benedryl as needed.
I'm really thought hard and long about whether it is responsible of me to have a child. Someone said something about it being a sacrifice for me to go to this much effort - on and off meds in preparation for conception, and then whatever will come with the pregnancy. I think that it's more selfish, or at least doing what I want to get what I want - a child. ANd the more depressed I get, the less confident I am in my decision to be a mother - something I never doubted. The less confident I am in every facet of life.
Today, though, I am doing relatively well. No tears or mopiness. Still scattered - difficulty concentrating and completing tasks, difficulty w/ the math stuff, etc. Of course I'm not at work either, trying to accomplish tasks that I typically have no problem doing but lately cannot. This causes a lot of anxiety.
At this point, my husband and I are thinking that I will try and stay off the Lamictal for as long as I can, and if I start melting down worse, I'll get back on it. The data I did find on it was unclear as far as how relevant the dosing is to negative effects. You mentioned staying off for the first trimester and I have thought of it. I'll be surprised if I dont need it before then though, considering how the last two weeks have been, and how I was last fall before I started the Lamictal, and how I was two years ago after I miscarried....
So, is there more risk in my getting depressed during the first two weeks and its effect on my pregnancy - or do we go with the unknown risk of taking Lamictal from the get go to avoid the known risk of me depressed. I don't know whether waiting a couple of weeks to start the Lamictal would be any better than taking it from conception. Some say once you've been exposed, you've been exposed, so there's no real reason in stopping if you're already on it when you get pregnant. ? Since not much is known, then this is probably unknown too. ?
I know that was a lot. I'll try not to be as long winded in the future.
Thanks again for sharing your experience and for the encouragement. A friend of mine tells me to think of all the babies born to mothers on crack, alcohol, nicotene, etc. And some of the babies acutually come out just fine. Not that I want to take any of those kind of chances, but, it is a point. And like you said, the 3% chance of birth defects is within the normal range. What I read last night was that 3-5% of all women not on meds will have babies w/ birth defects.