Lamictal Question

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Sassie and Sad
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 10/16/2005 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   

I am finishing up my first week of Lamictal....my question is how long does it take to start feeling its affects..................I am just curious.  I know with a lot of other meds. I have been on, it has taken 2-4 weeks to fully get in your system. I am just wondering if that is the case with this as welll.

There have been a few positive things that have happen over the week and I am just wondering am I just having a good week or is the medicine really working???  I have been able to come into my house after dark (stay by myself when my husband is at work) without being so full of fear.  I haven't been literally tip toeing around my house like there is someone outside watching me.  This paralyzing fear has been pretty intense for a while now.  I have even been able to sleep with my bedroom door open at night--normally I baracade myself in like I am in the middle of a war zone...It has been the most tremendous feeling to not be terrified to walk past windows and I have even been able to make myself leave my bathroom light on while I am in there....I know that sounds crazy, but I have a bathroom window without curtains--it is one of those thick bathroom windows that you can't see through--but I have been so freaked out that I won't even go in there with the light on to brush my teeth b/c I feel like someone is out there watching me......

 

I have also had a lot less irritability.  I am coming off the effexor, BUT he is has only lowered it 75mg.....he is taking me down slowly to try and avoid withdrawal effects.......Either way, I am very pleased with all of this, but I am just wondering if it will continue or I am just having a few good days.....................I haven't felt manic,,,,,,I have actually just felt kind of in the middle, no extremes either way right now......just enjoying it, but wondering if the meds have anything to do with it at this point.............

Just curious!

 

Jaime

 


Ellie 1
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 10/16/2005 7:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jamie
I've never taken Lamictal but I think its effectiveness would probably be a gradual increase. While it may not reach its full effectiveness for awhile, it would seem it would help some even after a week. Again, just a guess, but it sure sounds like its helping. I'm happy to hear you're feeling so much relief.
Have a good evening
Ellie

bdr1
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 10/16/2005 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Jamie,

One thing that you need to know is that Lamictal is a maintenance medication. It is not indicated for acute mania associated with Bipolar I Disorder (in fact, there have been a few failed studies for Lamictal as a medication to treat acute mania). As such, you might not feel any drastic improvements in your symptoms. Lamictal is only intended to prevent the relapse of acute mania ...

Hope this helps! Stay well!

best,
ckgMD

psychnurse
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/18/2005 5:13 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi, Jaime,

I also wanted to add that Lamictal is the first FDA approved therapy for use in specifically bipolar 1, like ckgMD said NOT for acute mania but for maintenence of symptoms, specifically bipolar depression, along with the standard treatment of mood stabilizers, etc. and they noted that it does a particularly good job of staving off the dreaded depression with leaden paralysis that we all love so much.   Yeah, being bedridden for weeks or months is so great.   

Last year I had an epidsode of the depression started on Thanksgiving (wow, thanks!) and was in bed for about a week thinking I'm sick, right, but nothing else is wrong, I want to do things but I physically can barely move, I'm sure you're familiar with this.  I even went for a full physical denying that's what it was.  When will I learn  eyes  .  Anyway I called my pdoc and she put me on Lamictal, it keeps you from going too low while the others keep you from going too high.  Though it is a slooooowwww process of titrating up, it works.   I went the rest of the winter without depression, which has never happened before.   It saved my life!  I think you will really love it, no side effects to speak of except the possible rash which if it's giong to happen, happens at first.

Strange how this was discovered; in the study for mood stabilization, many of the patients reported improvement in DEPRESSIVE symptoms, the acute mania treatment was a failure, like ckgMD said, this was an accident, but so many reported it, they looked into that and it was generally very successful in stabilizing mood, especially depression WITH standard treatment.   I am hearing more and more docs prescribing it without anything else for stabilization of mania, and I have to disagree with that, esp. with bipolar 1, although many just refuse to write it because they are concerned about the rash; that's very unfortunate because I thnk the  study said less than 1% of the study participants developed it.  But thank god we have it now, the depression is unbearable!  Give it some time, you will be very  happy you got it!

Shannon :-)


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


hippieflower
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/19/2005 2:59 AM (GMT -6)   
 Hi- I have been on Lamictal for a couple of years now or more.  It has saved my life.  I am 52 yrs. old and have been depressed since I was 10 years old.  I have bipolar 2 with mostly depression and generalized anxiety disorder and ADD and PTSD.  My primary problem has been with having ongoing HORRID depression  for over 40 years. I am on 150 mg of Seroquel as a mood stabilizer and 300 mg of Wellbutrin and 425 mg of Lamictal.  I had a consultation with a very good psychopharmacologist and he said you can take up to 500mg. It took about a year and a half to get up to that high a dose.  My shrink was way too cautious in putting me up so slowly.  If you are going to get the deadly rash, you get it right in the beginning.  Once I got up to about 300 mg, I started feeling good for a couple of days and then depressed again until I got up to 425mg.  To not have depression after 40 years of surviving it is a MIRACLE! yeah   Lamictal is GREAT for treating bipolar 2 depression that is treatment resistant.  That is what my shrink recently told me and also people in my mood support group said the same thing.  Wellbutrin helps boost the effectiveness of the Lamictal.  Wellbutrin by itself didn't do much to help me.  I think that Lamictal is the "cat's meow".  I also love Seroquel.  The only thing with Seroquel is that it makes me dopey and sleep longer hours so I take it only before sleeping.  My shrink said that it can cause forgetfullness and foginess of thinking so I have reduced it from 200mg to 150mg. And I am more "with it" now and less spaced out. Seroquel is a mood stabilizer that reduces my anxiety and irritability.  Well, I hope that Lamictal WORKS for MANY people that have treatment resistant depression.  I wonder if you have to have bipolar illness for it to work.  I wonder if it works well too for people who are just unipolarly depressed (people who have depression without being bipolar)   Take Care,  Jeannie

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/19/2005 6:11 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi, Jeannie!

I'm so happy you are having such amazing response to Lamictal and you're right; if you are able to take wellbutrin wtih it, more the better.  I take the combo, wellbutrin was ok, but didn't work on the serious depression (with leaden paralysis) until we added Lamictal, knock wood havent had another depressive episode since last year before I took it.

Good question - so far studies show only BP patients benefit from the antidepressant effects of Lamictal, it doesn't affect unipolar or clinical depression.


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


purpletiger
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 10/20/2005 10:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been on Lamictal   (along with Lithium) now since June 23rd.  They slowly upped my dose from 25mg to 200mg, which is what I am on now.
 
I don't think I noticed any effect until about 100mg, but I did feel a bit "better:
 
I am going through a Depression stage right now and have been for the last 2 weeks.  But mixed in with that is paranoia and severe ax=nxiety - it really sucks.  My dr. (pshychiatrist) said I am rapid cycling - in a mixed stage right now because my mood changes several times a day.......it's really hard to get through the days right now.
 
I hope the Lamictal does you well,  I have read nothing but GOOD things about it!!!

wlw103
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/24/2007 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I am glad I came across this site...I have anxiety and depression and can't find anything that works well and without a ton of side effects.  I just started Lamictal and am so much praying that it works!!  I hope everyone starts feeling better, because feeling likes this sucks so much! 

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/25/2007 12:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wlw103,

Welcome to the forum. We're happy you're here. We love to have new members, so feel free to chime in any time. It would be great if you would write us a couple lines about yourself and tell you a bit about who you are and your bipolar, for example. Just go to the main bipolar page and click on "New Thread."

I've been on Lamictal for a couple of years and have had great luck with it. I hope it works for you too.
Thanks!
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/25/2007 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello to you also Hippieflower,

It's nice to have you also! I'm BP2 also, spend lots of time being depressed although recently I'm doing a lot of being mixed. Personally I think it's a side effect of being on Effexor which we're now taking me off of. I'm a fan of Lamictal as well, (like a cheerleader -- it's very goofy.) Welcome to the board. I hope you find some friendship and support here. Just as I asked of Wle103, hop onto the main page, click on "New topic" and introduce yourself so everyone will meet you.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/25/2007 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
SNS:

I realized no one actually answered you: yes, it takes the usual 4-6 weeks to get the Lamictal fully into your system. You could be just feeling positive because you're on something new OR it could be the lessening Effexor. I didn't feel paranoid, but it has made me hypomanic and given me vertigo and mixed episodes. We're in the process of slowly titrating me off of it as well, from 225 down to 75 now over the course of 3 weeks. I think next week my doc will let me off it for good. Not a pleasant drug for me.

BUT, I've really liked the lamictal -- it has kept me stable for long periods. We're just currently in the market for an antidepressant.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


olivia of course
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 10/25/2007 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
wlw103,

welcome to Hw, I was on Lamictal in the past and it helped me a lot with depression and anxiety at the time. I wish the best with it.
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder, PTSD
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Rocky Raccoon
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 10/30/2007 2:44 AM (GMT -6)   
One thing that I loved about Lamictal is that I never felt the effects kick in. With Geodon and Abilify, I quit after the first dose or two as they just made me feel so doped up. I have noticed that with Lamical, the paranoid and depression just gradually disapeared. I would compare my experience with it as taking a long-term version of ibuprofen that gets rid of your emotional elbow-tennis.
Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/30/2007 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I'd second that Rocky. It was quiet for me too.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


skecka37
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/1/2008 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
   Hello I Am Skecka 37 I am new to this whole blog and repond thing. I hope my answers will be found helpful for some.
 I have been taking lamictal yeah for a week now and I have noticed a profound positive difference. I am also taking Suboxone
 so there might be some kind of chemical reaction between the two, but before I started taking the lamictal I felt depressed
 and did not have much energy. Now I feel confident and powerful. I feel like I can successfully and positively meet the demands of
 this world in which we all inhabit. I hope this is helpful for some. Again I was diagnosed with a peronsality disorder which I am not so sure I agree
 with but either way the lamictal has worked wonders for me and my personal life. One thing my wife has noticed is I have a lot more energy
 almost to the point of being manic, I am just so darn optimistic about life. Whereas before I was anything but an optimist.
 This is the first thinng I have ever found that has had any kind of positive effect. And for any one out there taking SSRI's  devil I think you
 should reconsider those B.S. drugs. There have been studies shown that they are effective only like 54% of the time. I tried taking them
them being skull ( zoloft, effexor, paxil) nono   after returning home from Iraq for severe anxiety and all I found was that my inital problems were excacerbated
 by these fraudelent snake oil drugs. Taking them I felt crazy and my pupils got real dilated and it felt like some bad acid trip with my whole reality being numbed and distorted. Luckily I have found a Dr. who agrees with me about those awful bullcrap drugs.
I look forward to any feed back. Skecka37 signing out for now.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/1/2008 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Skecka37,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar board. We're glad you're here.

I'm glad to hear Lamictal is working well for you. You'll wanna give it a couple more weeks to let it reach it's full effect and you might find you calm down a bit more. You don't want to be manic. That feels good at first, but quickly gets out of hand, so if you stay that way for very long, let your doc know.

As to the SSRI's, as with every drug, it depends on the person. I'm sorry they didn't work for you, but there have been plenty of people on this board who have had decent luck with them, and it also depends on what you take them in combination with. Bipolars aren't supposed to take SSRI's alone because they can bring on mania, but in conjunction with mood stabilizers, they can help control depression. I had good luck with mine for a long time. So it just depends on the person.

Anyway, welcome, and jump right into the discussion.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


canam
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/5/2010 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
i have been on lamictal for depression 2 weeks now and do not notice any difference yet. I am also taking lexapro 20 mg
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