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chapstick
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 3/23/2006 2:15 PM (GMT -7)   
My psychiatrist precribed me lamictal for mild bipolar, I am also on 100 mgs of zoloft for my panic attacks. The zoloft is working great for the anxiety and my question is how will the lamictal make me feel, and what is the deal with the possible life threating rash issue. Any advice will be very appreciated.
Michael.

Ashley C
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 3/23/2006 11:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I was just diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder today. I am starting my Lamactil tomorrow...VERY SLOWLY. My doc has me starting out at 25 mg and I won't increase to 100 mg per day until the 5th week. How much did your doc have you start out with? The doc gave me a sample pack, and that is how it is packaged...little doses increasing into larger doses. The doc said that he was starting me out small because of the risk of the skin rash. I have no idea what the crazy skin rash is about...my doc told me to watch closely for skin changes and not to change any detergent or skin products. I have no clue if and how it will help. I wish you luck! You said that you are being treated for Mild Bipolar. My doc didn't even tell me what type of Bipolar Disorder I had...just put me on medicine and said it should help. I hope it does!

chapstick
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 3/24/2006 4:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ashley, I am starting out at 25 mgs a day for 2 weeks and then 50 mgs there after. I did'nt hear about the detergent or skin products change, hmm. As far as having mild bipolar I am still figuring that one out, I told my doc that I am not enjoying things as I used to and I attributed to the zoloft. Keep in touch and I will let you know how it is working for me.

Ashley C
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 3/24/2006 5:03 AM (GMT -7)   
We are on the same dosage amount of the lamictal. What are your symptoms that made your doc diagnose you as mildly bipolar? I am constantly either way too up and fidgety...like a natural high, or I am very low, depressed, and suicidal. How have you been feeling...depressed, or do you ever get the highs that come with Bipolar Disorder?

chapstick
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 3/24/2006 7:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I guess I have most of your symptoms but not as strong and minus the suicidal feelings. I have the highs but I dont consider them overwhelming and I tend to sleep to much when im depresssed. I think I have had this all my life but when the panic attacks started it just amplified my condition and made it harder to control. I was very outgoing and a proffesional musician before my panics attacks stopped that part of my life. I am getting it back slowly after many years and I hope that this med will help me further.

Ashley C
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 3/24/2006 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope for the best for you and that you can begin to get back into music. I am starting to have problems with my career. I am graduating college with an associates degree in admin. office management next month...I had a great job that I loved! I was only at my job for 3 weeks and then I quit because of my emotional episodes were getting so bad. My husband and I are having problems financially and I need the job...I can't not work until the meds begin to work and my moods balance out. I hope that our meds help us and we can get back to life as "normal". I also hope that your meds help you so your bipolar symptoms don't get as severe as mine! WE CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THIS!

chapstick
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 3/24/2006 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Ashley for sharing your life on hold with me. I would like to give you something that helps myself out every day. As we know the mornings are very painfull sometimes and without sounding like a perv.. When I take my morning shower I stand in the warm spray and say to myself, dig deep. Dig deep means its inside us all to be the person we are and not the problem within the person. BTW this also works without the shower senerio. Dig deep and stay strong.

Ashley C
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 3/25/2006 4:01 AM (GMT -7)   
The diggin deep advice sounds good. My husband tells me that over and over. I am a strong christian and I believe that it God that has helped me get started on treatment as a way of healing. I often will pray and ask God to help me and realize that the problem IS NOT ME and that it can and will get better. Thank you for your helpful advice!

Ashley C
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 3/26/2006 5:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you noticed any changes in yourself since you started taking the lamictal? I am getting ready to take day 3 and I am starting to notice small changes...I feel alot more relaxed instead of tense and anxious all the time. I still have episodes daily...but I don't feel as bad as I was. Is the meds helping you yet?

JustChattin
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 3/29/2006 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! My son is Bi-Polar and he is on lamictal they started him on 50mg a day in late Jan. and now on 250 mg per day and will go to 500mg in about a month and so far he has done very good. No rashes. Hope this helps.

Diagnosed dystonia 1982,COPD 1995,SLE(Lupus)2005,Subclinical hyperthyrod 2005,neuropathy 2004,mild spinal stenosis 2005, and the list goes on and on.....


NormaTN
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/30/2006 5:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been taking Lamictal since 01/05. It is the only med that has ever made a difference for me. The rash you're speaking of can be fatal. So that's the reason for the slow start.

I'm currently taking 200 mg in the morning and 100 mg at night. about 2 months ago, my dr. upped my night time dose to 200 mg at night. But I had to come back down to the 100 mg as I began to have muscle spasms/twitches in my hands and feet. After about a month of coming back down, the spasms went away.

chapstick
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 3/30/2006 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ashley,
I am on my 5th day and I am still here with no rash signs  :) I feel good but it could the ole mind thing that wants you to feel better. I have noticed one thing after only 5 days, I am sleeping better and the ambien is working a lot better to a point where I get to sleep a lot faster, joy... When my psych doc told me I have mild bipolar I was very confused as many people in this room have very real problems. My Father was in and out of mental hospitals all his life and I remember the episode's we went through when he had his breakdowns and the police comming to the house to subdue him in hand cuffs due to his mental state that he had no control over. My Dad was a very loving person and instilled the morals I cary to this day, it was not his fault that he and I and we have mental illness. I am 47 and back in the day mental illness had this stigma of crazy no matter what, and the treatments back then were learning curves for todays treatments and medicine's and to be frank, quite barbaric, my poor Dad. After many years of dealing with my panic/anxiety and my new found mild bipolar I have learned that mental illness is just like anything thing else, ie diabetes, high blood pressure, ect. It is an illness not a stigma.
Dig deep and hold fast.
 
 

Ashley C
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 3/31/2006 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Chapstick,

I totally agree that mental illness is like diabetes and other diseases...that it doesn't mean were crazy! It's good to know that Lamictal has been helping you as it has me. It has been helpig me with no signs of the rash; but, things have only gotten worse in my life and stress is VERY high right now. I feel like I can finally feel normal emotions. Before I started taking lamictal I felt like someone was pushing buttons in my brain and making me act either really upset or really hyper without any cause. Now that I have a reason to be REALLY stressed out..I have been stressed and upset...but not out of control like before. I am hoping that when my dosage increases I will feel much better with less stress and that I will not be upset like I was! I hope you continue to feel better!

Just Chattin,

Thanks for the info! I am glad that it has helped your son!

NormaTN,

Thanks for sharing your experience with Lamictal and I am glad that it has worked for you even though you have had to change your dosages a few times1

FibroBipoGal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 4/5/2006 5:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I love the "DIG DEEP" outlook!  Thanks to CHAPSTICK who originally said this!  I find that Lamictal IS helping me.  I stabilized at 200 mg/day but am now gradually going up to 300 mg/day.  It is always hard on us to change meds or dosages.  RE THE RASH:  My psychiatrist told me that it is VERY RARE, but you do need to keep a lookout for it.  In my experience and from what I've heard, chances are, if you don't get it in the first few weeks, you won't have it.  Just my opinion.  Besides the new self-talk, "DIG DEEP" ("It's inside us all to be the person we are and not the problem within the person."), I've always told myself when the going gets rough, "THIS IS ONLY TEMPORARY, THANK GOD.", and it has been.  Remember that it's a MEDICAL condition and that you are not crazy.  Trust your doctor, but always contact her/him if you have an inkling of  any problem at all!
 
FROM FIBROBIPOGAL.....Just reiterating my question:  I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE WHO HAS BOTH FIBROMYALGIA AND BIPOLAR DISORDER, WHAT YOUR PROBLEMS WERE AND ARE, HOW YOU COPE, ANYTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY.  I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL, JUST A WRITER WITH BOTH BIPOLAR DISORDER AND FIBROMYALGIA.  BOTH WERE DIAGNOSED WITHIN A YEAR OF EACH OTHER.  PLEASE DO NOT REPLY UNLESS YOU HAVE BOTH CONDITIONS.  THANK YOU!
 
"One of the most valuable things we can do to heal each other is listen to each other's stories."       Rebecca Falls
 

Post Edited (FibroBipoGal) : 4/5/2006 7:12:20 AM (GMT-6)


chapstick
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 4/7/2006 5:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello again,
Thanks for the post Fibro... I am on week two with lamictol taking one 25mg a day and will be starting to go to 50mg monday. As I stated in my last post I still think it too early to judge the effects but I am feeling so much better. My anger issues are less and my creativity is getting back to what I consider normal, as in every day practise. When my psych doc told me I might have mild bipolar I was very sceptical, but as I have researched this condition I am starting to understand.
Dig Deep and Hold Fast.

FibroBipoGal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 4/7/2006 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chapstick,
Thanks for your post. I have taken 200 mg/day for a few mos. after starting off w/ 25 mg and am now needing to gradually go up to 300 mg/day. Right now I'm on 250. For me it has really worked and if you're feeling better, that's sure a good sign. Depression is my main problem, BPD Type II. Whenever I feel good, I stop and wonder if I am manic - ridiculous to have to wonder that if I just feel good and get excited about something! Expect the very best results! Good luck and keep posting. Hope to communicate with you again.
FibroBipoGal.
 
"One of the most valuable things we can do to heal each other is listen to each other's stories."       Rebecca Falls
 
<!-- Edit -->

Post Edited (FibroBipoGal) : 4/7/2006 8:17:03 AM (GMT-6)


melmac
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 4/10/2006 12:18 AM (GMT -7)   
 hi! 
     I have read that the weather can effct your moods.  Winter months your depresed and summer months your manic! I am currently on 200mg a day its helping but not enough yet. I still get mager mood swings but they are not as bad as they were. By reading this sight it has helped me. Thank You for posting it! Good luck to all of you,and may God bless you all!
                                            melisa

FibroBipoGal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 4/10/2006 9:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, Melisa. Weather CAN affect our moods, but I think that we can be manic or depressed at ANY old time, depending on our meds or stress level; there is no hard and fast rule about the seasons. If you are having any problem, contact your doctor right away. Dosages can make a difference.
God Bless You!
FibroBipoGal

"One of the most valuable things we can do to heal each other is listen to each other's stories." Rebecca Falls

Ashley C
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 4/11/2006 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Melisa!

I am glad that this site has been as helpful to you as it has to me! about weather affecting our moods...it affects me greatly! You may want to check out my post on Seasonal Affective Disorder and being Bipolar...it talks more about weather affecting those of us who are bipolar. Enjoy the site and remember that it is like a family here...everyone likes to help!

Ashley

lizajane
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/11/2006 10:25 PM (GMT -7)   
i was diagnosed recently with bi-polar disorder and placed on 100 mg. a day of lamictal. i have only been taking it for 3 days and i can tell the depression is lifting already. my skin was a little itchy the first day....like dry skin, but no rash. what i have noticed is a constant headache that is very annoying. my symptoms were very deep, disabling depression....the kind that would keep me from getting out of bed in the morning and i never got real happy, or went on spending sprees or anything, but i would call my boyfriend up and scream at him and call him names. my daughter hasn't spoken to me for 2.5 months because i reacted badly to a situation she was in. i have run off more friends and alienated more people than i can tell you and i am glad i've been properly diagnosed and i hope this is the medication that will straighten me out.

Ashley C
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 4/12/2006 11:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Lizajane,

I am glad that the medicine has started working for you! I am going on day 20 of just 50 mg right now then increasing to 100. It has helped not only my depression, but my mania as well. I still have occasional episodes and I am almost sure I won't have any when I am on the full dose! It sounds like you have been through a lot with your depression and I hope that these things will get better for you, hang in there!

kickledee
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/13/2006 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   

Lizajane,

I'm surprised that your doc started you on 100 mg right away. Lamictal is a medication that should be started at a low dose and slowly increased over time. I've been on it for 1 1/2 years and it took a few months before I was up to 100mg. I'm now at 200 mg a day after coming down from 300 slowly after the birth of my daughter. I had to increase during pregnancy due to increased blood volume. Prior to me pregnancy, Lamictal was the first medication that really worked for me. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and have been on Zyprexa (serious weight gain), Depakote, Lithium, Topamax, Seroquel and even had ECT (though I stopped treatments before results could be seen.) Just watch the itchy skin and I hope it works for you!

Kickledee


Bipolar disorder...diagnosed 2003, Chronic Urticaria/Angioedema, Chronic Backpain...undiagnosed as of4/2006
Meds: Lamictal, Effexor, Trazodone, Ativan


chapstick
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 4/13/2006 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I am on my 3rd week and taking 50mgs. I am starting to feel different in a good way, my concentration level is a lot better and I am having less anxiety. I had to take a detour driving the other day through a questionable part of town and started to freak as in I have to turn around and right now! I have to laugh as my passenger had no idea that every cell in my body is screaming to turn the car around. Well anywhose, I made the decision that come h*ll or high water I will not give in to my anxiety and I let it go. I could have not had the clear head to do this before going on lamictal I believe. I am glad I am over my med fears and the bad thoughts that I was broken cause I needed them. I see this post has quite a few reads and I thank all of you who care.
Dig Deep and Hold Fast.

FibroBipoGal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 4/16/2006 7:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Kickledee, re your back pain, you may want to get checked out by a Rheumatologist to see if you have Fibromyalgia. I have chronic back pain and have both Fibromyalgia and Bipolar Disorder. I'm taking Sulfasalazine and Plaquenil for Fibro and it's made a big difference.

Am now having trouble with my Lamictal dosage, not sure it is right for me. I have just realized that I've become slowly waaay overmedicated the last few weeks and especially the last few days. I just had to lower the dosage until I see Dr. this coming week. I could not get through to talk to the Dr., tried twice and was told to WAIT until I see her. Yeah, sure. So I called my pharmacist and he told me how to lower the med until I see her. I was totally doped up and in a fog, falling back into depression, had no energy and was unable to do ANYTHING. Unacceptable! Pharmacists are better than nothing! They are also M.D.s and know about the drugs. It was an emergency, the weekend,  and the only reason I did this, NOT my usual way of getting help.  I have found that my local E.R. is no help, and the crisis line here would just refer me to the E.R.

I would like to hear from anyone who has both Fibromyalgia and Bipolar Disorder. Please email me if you can. Find my email address in the Members list.  Am writing a book about having both of these conditions and offering offering hope. If you have any idea for issues to include, please let me know.  Thank you.
FibroBipoGal

Post Edited (FibroBipoGal) : 4/16/2006 8:51:20 AM (GMT-6)


FibroBipoGal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 4/17/2006 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I broke out in the infamous "Lamictal RASH" last night, called my Dr. this AM and was told to stop taking the drug. They are very upset because the pharmacist told me to lower the dosage because I was overmedicated said, "He's not a psychiatrist!" Well, Duh. At least he was available. Also I was in BAD shape.
The medical people who were not there for me are now going to call the pharmacist and give him a bad time for helping me. 
nono  
FibroBipoGal
 
P.S. FYI, first sign of the rash for me was a burning feeling, like needles sticking me.  I looked at the area, on my side above my waist, and saw very small red spots.  To see "Lamictal rash photos", just type it in on your browser.

Post Edited (FibroBipoGal) : 4/17/2006 1:56:18 PM (GMT-6)

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