New Here, Im starting Lamictal tonight and need advice PLEASE

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Zomese
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 4/9/2007 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
 
Im so glad I found this site. I'm starting Lamictal tonight. I will be taking 25mg every other day for 2 weeks and then work my way up from there. I have the Blue Starter Kit.
 
I was just wondering what to expect, when will it start to work, what does it feel like? Any input would be greatly appreciated. I have a hard time with medicine I get really freaked out about taking it. I've had it for a week but I keep putting it off when to start. But tonight Im starting for sure. Is there a better time of day to take it?
 
Let me give you some background. Im 28 years old & Ive just been diagnosed with Bipolar II. Ive also been told I have Panic disorder and OCD. I have weeks of depression & guilt and weeks of rage and then about a week where I feel ok-not great but just better than before.
 
How will the Lamictal affect my Panic attacks and OCD if at all? Will it be hard to sleep? By the way this is the only medicine I'm taking.
 
Just give me as much info/advice as you have-Thanks

gaz
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 4/9/2007 7:00 PM (GMT -7)   
hi zomese i too suffer from bipolar 2 since i was 15 30 now
ive take lamical for over 7 years i take 400mg at night thats the max dose.i normally have months of depression then go high for a short period been in this episode of depression for over a year although last month or so things have improved until the other day i stopped my lithium been taking it for 15 years,lamical has a good repution for treating bioplar depression there might also add another med to the lamical i take 3 different meds dont worry if things dont improve there are lots of combonations there can try.think of it this way for years youve been battling this problem now you no what the problem is take meds and your life could be tramsformed.the only real problem with lamical is a rash other than that side effects are few also it will take time to increase your dose so dont expect miracles overnight.good luck
    

Zomese
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 4/9/2007 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your response. I finally got up the courage to take it. I just took it about 30 minutes ago. So far so good.

UCreallySUCKS
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 4/9/2007 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, I'm normally on the Ulcerative Colitis board, but I saw you mention Lamictal, so I thought I would respond.  I'm not on it anymore, but the effects of it were ok for me.  The main reason it helped with me with the depression/anxiety is because it kind of 'blurred' my brain. That's about the only way to describe it.  It slowed my thinking down to the point that I wasn't worrying/being depressed about anything.  It didn't make me tired either.  The reason I stopped it is because it gave me a terrible memory.  I couldn't remember things that my wife would tell me 5 min. ago.  And this wasn't just every now and then, it was all the time, day and night.  So I guess if someone  really needed something, this would work, but with that side effect I had to stop.  As far as initial side effects, I had absolutely none.  I was taking 25mg a day, then worked up to I believe 200mg.  I did develop a rash at first, but after seeing a dermatologist, I found out it was just contact dermatitis, which had nothing to do with the Lamictal.  So I continued taking it until my memory loss got out of control.  Hope this information helps and I hope the Lamictal works for you.

---Nathan


Diagnosed May 2006 w/severe UC
2 400mg Asacol 3X day
20 mg Prednisone with moderate flare-up
1 multivitamin/day
2 grams calcium/day
50mg Imuran/day
100mg Tramadol/day
 


Zomese
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 4/10/2007 9:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I hope I don't get the memory problem. I've read a lot of people seem to get that. I wonder if it goes away with time. It's funny because my husband has a terrible memory, not induced by any medicine he just has a lot on his plate w/ his job and me. He is always forgetting things I tell him, I can't imagine how many repeated conversations we'll have if I start to lose my memory too.
 
This morning is the first morning since I took 25 mg of Lamictal last night. I didn't sleep great at all. I don't know if it was the anxiety from taking the medicine (I hate medicine-I get really freaked out to take it, I alway think I will experience every side effect) I woke up a little groggy but after that I feel great. I'm in a really good mood. I don't know if it's too soon to feel the medicine or if I'm just optimistic from not feeling bad.

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 4/17/2007 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Zomese,
 
I have taken Lamictal in the past for about 2 years, and have also had the brain freeze/blurs.  I also was taking 300mg, the higher the dose the worse it fealt.
 
Right now I am taking Lithium, and have been on it about a year, and I def. have major brain blurs- Forget a lot of things, or just can't put a sentence together but it does not happen all the time (its even worse than Lamictal for me).  But I heard it is not a permanent thing and same with the Lamictal.
 
Lamictal is not bad overall, and the side effects are usually very minor.  It just wasn't the med for me.
 
Best Wishes! :-)
@~ Olivia

"What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a story,
And the greatest good is little enough:
for all life is a dream, and dreams themselves are only dreams."
~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Life is a Dream


Bipolar4Life
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/20/2007 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Zomese,

Hello I saw your post on starting Lamictal, I am a nurse and was just recently diagnosed with BP II myself they started me on Lamictal but at a much more rapid rate. I was taking 25mg a day in the morning and I have read the liturature on this medication and one of the side effects is insomnia. I initally started it at night but found I didn't sleep so changed to taking it in the am. My brain didn't like this medication at first and I was at first very happy and pleasant around. When I reached 100mg I started to become very irritable and was nasty to family and friends. One of my patients even made a comment to me about my negativity. So I approached my DR and said we have to try something else. I am now on a Drug called Treliptal. I really like it I have very few side effects and one thing you have to watch when taking mood stablizing drug is the have a tendancy to increase you appetite. If this is an issue for you then tell your doctor. The other thing about Lamictal is that there is an 8% chance you can develop a rash when taking this medication that can change into Steven Johonson Syndrome. This can be serious your doctor should have told you to tell him if you notice anything. Other than my own experience I have heard excellent reviews about this medication with minimal side effects. I would highly recommend you take it and give it a try and if you need some reassurance a mood stablizer is actually safer to take than an antidepressant. Mood stablizers are actually anti seizure medications. Some scientist just happend to notice that it also helps keep your mood even.

Go ahead and give it a try. Remember it is safer than an anti-depressant. Which I am sure if you have OCD you are on one.

Good Luck

Oldrocker
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/23/2007 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been on it for several months and I absolutely love it. It is not a cure by all means, but I am no longer  it the depths of depression that I was in. The only side effects I had were vivid dreams and itching. I didn't develop any rash, and wouldn't worry about that unless it happens. My memory might be a little fuzzy, but it beats the fog of depersonalization I was living in. Tom

Zomese
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 4/23/2007 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
 
I'm still on 25 mg every other day, but starting today I'm suppose to start taking 25 mg everyday. I haven't had any rage or any depression since I started taking this medicine. I feel completely different. My thoughts aren't negative like they were just a couple of weeks ago. And I'm not constantly crying. My husband said It's like I'm a different person. I'm very surprised since Im on such a low dose. I'm also more outgoing at my job & feel more confident.
 
At what dose did everyone start noticing the side effects? I haven't had any yet except a couple of headaches. I'm wondering if instead of increasing my dose I should just stay where Im at right now since I feel fine. Maybe take one a day. I get really bad panic attacks and if I start having side effects I know it will freak me out and then I will be to afraid to continue to take it. So I'm a little scared to take it every day since Im doing so good now.
 
What's everyones input? Is it possibe that such a low dose is helping so much or is it just a coincidence?
 
Thanks

Zomese
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 4/23/2007 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I forgot to mention that the Lamictal is the only medicine I'm taking. My doctors seem more concerned about the Bipolar II than anything else. They are apprehensive to prescribe an anti depressant because they think it would make the Bipolar worse. My dad also has bipolar and every anti depressant he tried he had a really bad reaction to. From Prozac to Paxil. They made him very angry and nervous.
 
The least amount of meds the better because I have a really hard time taking them. I took Risperadal for about 1 month about 2 years ago and It was horrible. I would stare at the medicine for hours before I took it & once I finally took it I thought I was having an allergic reaction and was convinced I couldn't breath and was having heart palpatations. It was such a bad experience I didn't go back to the doctor for 2 years because I was afraid they would prescribe me something.
 
Finally after a really bad bout of depression where I didn't want to leave the house and I was utterly miserable I finally got brave enough & went back a few weeks ago & they prescribed the Lamictal.
 
Sorry for such a long post, I thought I would give a litte back ground.
 
I really appreciate everyones advice and input.

ladubug77
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/24/2007 5:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I started about a year ago. I was on Depakote before and I had to start with a low dose of Lamictal. It has been working good with me. I am now taking 100mg in the morning and 100mg at bedtime. I also take about 4 other ones. I was diagnosed as BiPolar 1, when I went in the hospital last month for depression. I take the medicines faithfully now.

Bipolar4Life
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/24/2007 5:29 PM (GMT -7)   
 Zomese,
 
  All I can tell you is that if you have read anything about BP it is a progressive disorder.  The thing is this drug is new to your brain and you need to be following your MD's advise and take it as he/she directs you too.  You will see you will start to feel better and better. 
 
Since BP is progressive just when you think you may be at a managing dose then your brain desides to have a hickup and lets you know that it is trying to overpower you medicine.  The first couple of weeks I was on lamictal I felt awesome and then I started feeling as if my BP mind was coming back.  I know it is hard but try to be patient with your medicine and your doctor. 
 
 You also have to remember that often anti-depressants are used to help control OCD.  So hang in there and be honest with your doctor about how you are feeling on this medication.  I have read in my Nursing Drug Guide that some people are well managed with 100mg dose daily.  So educate yourself about your medicine and then when you go to see your doctor you can tell him about what you have read and make him put his education to good use.  He
 has to answer the questions that you have.  Make a list of questions before you go to your next appointment and set some realistic goals for your self. Don't let him rush you or let him tell you something because he thinks is going to make you happy for the moment. 
 
 I know you are probably feeling a little insecure with your new diagnosis, but I will tell you from personal experience that the patient is their own best advocate.  So remember the Doctor has the pen but you ultimatly have the final say about what happens to you. It is ok to question what his/her plans are for you care.  Be kind to yourself and do the research it can only benifit you.  The more you know about your illness the better prepaired you will be to deal with it.  Remember knowing is half the battle.  BP people are extremely intellegent and bright.  Might as well use it.  Check out Bipolar.com at this site there is info on the majority of medications that are currently being used to treat our lovely condition.  This is a good resource for you and it was created by a pharmicutical (SP?) company. 
 
Take care and Good Luck
From One BP to another
Leslie  tongue
 

Bipolar4Life
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/24/2007 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Zomese,

Have to add something, your Dr. is probably not worried about your OCD because he might want to see how many of your behaviors go away with your BP medication in place. To get an accurate picture you need to make sure you take your pill so you can see the pro's and con's from taking it. If it will help, make a symtom journal you can share with your doctor or therapist. At the end of the day take notes of how you felt what you liked or disliked about your mood, any side effects you couldn't deal with? Remember the longer you are on a medication at the right dose for you the symptoms will get less and less. Your body gets used to the medicine the side effects eventually disapear.

I just read something you wrote about your husbands memory. Did you say his memory is terrible? If you did that is one of the most noticable symptoms of untreated depression. He may be depressed due to his high level of stress at work. He should go in and be evaluated if it is as bad as I read. It may make him feel better. Please understand that I am not qualified to make any diagnosis but I would highly recommend him stopping by the doctors office and let your doctor know how he is feeling.

Zomese
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 4/24/2007 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the advice. This board is so great, it's very reassuring to be able to talk with people who can actually relate to what I'm going though instead of just having a doctor stare at me listening to my symptoms.
 
My husband does have a bad memory but it's not as bad as I make it sound, I always exaggerate it to joke with him. I actually have a great memory so in comparison to mine his is bad.
 
Fortunately he has no depression or "mental issues" like I do, and neither does anyone in his family. Sometimes it's frusterating because he can't relate to anything I go through. I'm always buying books and printing out information from the internet because I feel like I have to validate what I'm feeling, like I have to prove that I'm not the only one who goes through these things.
 
I will continue my Lamictal as prescribed. I really don't have any side effects except headaches. Does anyone get headaches from it? It seems I get a headache on the day that I'm not taking it (since I'm on 25 mg every other day). My headache won't even go away w/ Advil.
 
Thanks for all the info.  
 
 
28 Years Old - Suffering from Panic Attacks since I was 18
Diagnosed w/ Panic Disorder, OCD & Bipolar II
Prescribed 25mg Lamictal every other day - will increase dose gradually

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