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tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 2/9/2010 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   
So if this stuff is supposed to take like 4 months so find out if it is working...  how do I manage in the meantime?!

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 2/10/2010 10:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi tortoise,

It takes 6-8 weeks I think, so not quite so long as all that. Did your doc give you anxiety meds also, something that can give you quick relief? You do need to hang in there in the meantime. Make a list of some things you can do to keep yourself calm and balanced: ie. watching your favorite tv show, walking the dog, reading a new book, painting. Whatever it is that makes you happy. We forget how to make ourselves happy when our mood's out of whack and then we start spending and making stupid decisions.

Good luck with the lamictal!
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


slz727
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 2/15/2010 1:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on limictal for over a year now and from what I remember it did not take long you just kind of wake up one day and know it is working maybe not all the way but it is working. If you do not see any improvement in 4 weeks I would tell you dr.

SLZ

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 2/23/2010 11:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm getting frequent and annoying spine-tingling sensations. Just like when you see a scary movie, patriotic display, or get a warm fuzzy. And then after a lot of them, my back feels itchy. It's mostly at night. This is new since I started taking Lamictal regularly.

Any thoughts? I can't find any reference to this as a side effect, but it's too wierd to be random coincidence.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 2/24/2010 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hmmmm.

Those are new effects to me. Have you talked to your doc? Could they be anxiety?

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 3/14/2010 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I think it's working.  I haven't had a mood swings lately.  The weather was beautiful today and I didn't go all hypomanic.  The insomnia is kicking my butt though!

Tainted
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 3/15/2010 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tortoise, I'm new to Lamictal too. I took my sixth dose at 25 mg this morning. I too have been experiencing rather unsettling side effects, I'm getting used to them I think and they may be fading a bit. It's so hard to sort out what could be from the medication and will fade vs. what is just me being more aware of the mood changes and symptoms I was already experienceing before I was diagnosed.
 
Unlike you I am more hypomanic than I was before. My physical symptoms are: accelerated leg and arm twitching (much more than I did before), mildly annoying headache that persists most the day, dry mouth, slightly swolen throat/several swolen lymphnoads, my tongue is getting really sore where it has started rubbing a tooth it never used to rub, so I'm assuming it is slightly swolen too, and very bad dry mouth/dry sinuses/dry eyes (This is probably due to the medication I am taking for sleep more than lamictal, not sure!).
 
On top of these my behaviour has been very strange. In some ways I feel better, if the problem persists at this level it might be worth it, but if it worsens as the dose increases it will be a major problem. Basically I am just more hypomanic than normal. My "happy mania" was very mild, I tend to be more aggressive/agitated when I'm manic. Since I started taking Lamictal this has reversed and become more severe. I'm a little more impulsive and I find my inhibitions to be slightly less. I'm also about twice as spacy as before.
 
I am only on the one week mark, and am about to call my doc and leave a message. I am a little more comfortable with this all now than I was a couple days ago, but I think I should let her know about the symptoms and ask her about anxiety meds before I increase my dose next week. In the end, I think sticking through these side effects to see if they persist is worth the risk. All in all, Lamictal seems to have a very good track record and far fewer side effects than other mood stabilizers. 
 
I live with people who I didn't think I could trust with all this, but decided to ask one of my roommates to watch me for changes or uncontrollable behavior, likewise I asked a co-worker who has been dealing with meds for PTSD a while to watch me when I'm at work. This might be a good idea for you too, I'm just worried that I'll go off the deep end without realizing it.
 
Hope it helps!
Tainted

32flavors
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 3/15/2010 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,
 
I was started on the lowest dose of Lamictal and didn't notice any particulary bothersome side effects.  However, when it was increased to the target dose of 150, I had a bit of a very WEIRD side effect.  All the taste buds in my mouth became swollen.  It was excruciating and they feared it might be the allergic reaction they warn you about.  Turns out it wasn't, but it was irritating nonetheless.  I didn't stop taking it, and am now at the maximum dose.  Every time the dose increased, that same taste bud thing happened.  But that was the only side effect I experienced, and have been on it for about 2 years.  It has helped immensely.
"...i am 32 flavors and then some..." ~ ani difranco


tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 3/15/2010 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow - that is a STRANGE side effect.  I hope I don't get that.  I think 150 is next for me.

fiftyman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/16/2010 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
4 to six weeks is about right since it must be ramped up over the initial several weeks. It depends on your ultimate blood levels which your Dr. should check after you reach the proscribed level of medication. It depends on how your body absorbs the medication.
It's not a magic bullet, but remember that it could be much worse without it. I'm up to 400 mg with really no side effects other than libido issues.
In my case the absence of the ups and downs was unsettling at first. I missed the high highs, but the low lows were less sever. You must watch out for these signs and learn to adapt. In my case drugs have been resistant due to temporal lobe epilepsy issues on top of this. Chicken or the egg....? who knows.
I also recently went on Abilify for depression. Been three weeks at 5 mg and I see no real differance.
 
Hang in.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 3/16/2010 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi fiftyman,

Welcome to HealingWell and the bipolar board. Hope you're well. Thanks for joining us.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 3/19/2010 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm not sure I'll go up to a higher dose. This is working for me! (If you don't count the insomnia.)
Bipolar 2
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder


fiftyman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/19/2010 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
There are days, and there are days I doubt anything will help. I tend to blame everything on BP II, but eventually come to the conclusion it was just a bad day. I think even BP II people have them like everyone else.
I read Carrie Fisher's book also.
Made me feel not so alone.

Tainted
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 3/19/2010 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
As a starwars nerd that still has a crush on Carrie Fisher, I had probably better get that book. It's been hard for me to sort out what is "normal" and what isn't. It gets even more confusing to think about the fine line between a symptom of bi-polar and a contributing comorbid condition. This brings me to insomnia.

Tortoise you mentioned that you are having wicked insomnia, be careful with it! I have, like many of you, struggled hard with insomnia all my life and it is a critical factor in your overall health and mood that is not to be overlooked. A little sleep goes a long way. A little sleep deprivation goes a long way too. I waited so long to get help for insomnia and am still trying to find something that really works, but just the somewhat steady five hours a night I've been getting this last week and a half has helped improve my mood immensly.

Glad to hear Lamictal is going well for you! I am about to take my 10th dose at 25 mg. I'm not sure but I don't really think it has had much therapeutic effect yet. It does seem to help me think rationally, but I've been doing so much research and exploration of my fealings that it's hard to say. I did feel really extra good, certainly more euphoric than my normal dysphoric mania, for the first week and now I'm a little down. Keep feeling great, and if you have a bad day, remember that the drug should keep working better with time! That's what I'm trying to do, anyways!

Tainted

fiftyman
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/19/2010 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Sleep is double important for me becasue I have also been blessed with temporal lobe epilepsy. (TLE) They tell me it has a direct effect on my mood, but without sleep this trigger can bring on seizure issues. Sleep is IMPORTANT so I watch it carefully.
They tell me Lamicatal also controls seizures but has also been used for mood. I'm up to 450 mg/ day and my moods still swings out there but not as pronounced. No magic bullet for me I assure you. They added Abilify which I take .5 mg/ day which I've been on for about three weeks for depression. I feel like a Lab Rat.
I've tried Wellbutrin 8 years ago and was at one point up to 600 mg which brought on a massive grand mal. (Before the TLE diagnosis) Seriquil (sp) for about two weeks which brought on another seizure, Lithium (more seizures. Until i had a PET scan that found seizure points on both lobes of my brain.
I think its a "chicken or egg' situation, but makes sense it's the chicken becasue this condition is pretty much hard to treat with drugs. I'm also anxious at times during debilitative deja vu (more seizure symptom fun) so I take Zanex at times to calm the heck down and sleep.
I'd say Carrie Fisher's treatment with ECT is a possibility, however seizure focus (TLE) rules that OUT.
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