Lamictal, cymbalta and side effects

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_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 8/13/2007 10:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I started the Lamictal 10 weeks ago. I had a bit of an itch, but the mood effects were perfect, so I decided to "deal with it".  Over the last 10 weeks I have tried every home and OTC remedy for itching out there and it just gets worse.  Tomorrow I am going to call off work and see my family doc to see what to do for the itching.
Also, since starting the Cymbalta I have noticed increased brusing.  Again, as I continue to take it, it only gets worse.  I have 8 quarter sized marks, and 4 fist sized marks on my legs and stomach.  Scratching is causing brusing.
I had assumed that any side effects would "fade away" if I could only put up with them long enough.  This is the first time I have EVER felt "even" and not depressed my entire knon memory, so I don't want to give up on the med's "effects" just get rid of the "side effects" that are driving me crazy.
Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


Jamiedawn
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/14/2007 6:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I must agree that Lamictal has also been a succesful drug for me. I was on it for about a year with no problems, then my Doctor raised my dosage by 100mgs. at once. That is when I got a bad rash and started itching.  Most Docotrs inform you to tell them about it as it can be a serious.  I was taken off  Lamictal when this happened but have recently started treatment with the drug again in a lower dose. I still get benefits but without the itch and rash.  I would definately contact your Doctor and let them know you are having this side effect.  I hope it all works out for you!
 
Many Blessings, Jamiedawn
 
 
 

_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 8/14/2007 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   

When I first got the itch I went straight to a Dr at prompt care worried about a drug interation, allergy, or the rash associated with the drug.  The Dr there looked at me like I was an idiot and said I have hives.  He said that they would go away, but acted like he really didn't think I had anything at all.

I did not want to go to the phych with something that was probably nothing.  I don't like going to see him, so why would I go "extra"?


Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/14/2007 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Two words, Christina: New. Doctor.

If you hate talking to your doctor that much, he's not doing you any good, and we bps all need all the positive support we can get. There's no point in dealing with lousy docs when you have this condition. Time to find another one, if your insurance will allow it.

If you don't want to go in and see him, could you just call in and ask a question about drug interaction? Or how about to the pharmacist? They know a bunch about interactions too, and can at least tell you when a trip to the doc is in order.

serafena
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


_Christina
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 8/14/2007 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok this AM I called both my Fam Doc and my Phycitrist.  I left messages at both at 8 AM.  My fam doc opened at 9:00, so I called then too.  She said to see the phyc. 
I called the phyc at 10:00 when they opened.  I was promised that the phyc would call me right away.  At noon I had not gotten a call, so I walked over to the office and asked if there was another Dr I could speak to, preferably a woman.  The lady said that there wasn't a woman in that office, but gave me a number for a woman in town. 
At 1:30 the Phyc called me from his car.  He did not know what meds I was on, how long I had been taking them, did not know what was going on, and told me to take benadryl.
I told him I have already done that.  He thought aloud about what med to put me on, and decided on one.  (don't know what it is beyond the fact it is an antihistimine)  He said that if it didn't work I should go to my regular fam doc.  He didn't sound like he thought it would work, and said that the itchyness was really rare.  He did not say he would replace the lamictal with anything.
I don't think I trust anything he says at this point.  I don't want to take it.
I can't get into the woman phyc till Sept even IF she will take me.
The Fam Doc just called and said tht I could have an appt @ 10:00 tomorrow, or go to prompt care tonight.  I think I will go to prompt care tonight.  Now I am so upset I don't think I can work anymore.  I might as well go home.  I hate going to prompt care.
Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/14/2007 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I'd try to make an appt with the woman in Sept even while you continue to see this guy, just to see if you like her better. He sounds like an a**.

Just for contrast, my pdoc may not call me back instantly (she sees a lot of patients), but she would have a nurse call me back quick-like, assess the situation for her, and then call me back when she could. She would obviously look at my file before calling me, (which your doc obviously didn't do,) and she would remember my name if she saw me in the supermarket. Good docs are hard to come by, but they're worth looking for.
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 8/15/2007 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
The phyc did NOT call in the med he said he would. I went to go pick it up and it wasn't called in. This was a Walgreens, so even if he had called the wrong location it would still be in the computer. I was LIVID.
My hubby says I should wait for the Fam Doc appt rather than go to prompt care. He thinks I am being mean and should just ignore the things he does. I don't feel like I am overreacting, but then I have been off of the mood meds for 3 days now. I can FEEL my emotions skyrocket and collapse every few minutes.
Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


CatBP
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/15/2007 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Christina -- I'm new to HealingWell.com, but I feel I need to respond to your posts. First of all, did you ramp up SLOWLY when you started taking lamictal? If your psy didn't have you do this, switch docs IMMEDIATELY. It should be common knowledge among psychiatrists that starting a patient on a predicted therapeutic dose puts them in danger of a VERY serious condition called Stevens-Johnson symdrome -- a very dangerous rash. He should have started ramping you up to a therapeutic dose, e.g., 25mg first week, 50mg 2nd week, etc. NOT doing this has been clinically proven to put patients at greater risk for Stevens-Johnson. Some people who ramp up slowly get this anyway, but far fewer.

The problem with going to a prompt care facility is that they will know even less about you and about bipolar disorder and about this Stevens-Johnson syndrome. I would go to your primary care doc and ask her to look up this syndrome to see if your skin disorders match its symptoms. She may take you off lamictal immediately, but in any case, she'll likely know what to do.

I take 150mg of Lamictal and it works great for me. I ramped up slowly as described above. I have bipolar II disorder, and for me, lamictal particularly addresses the depression part of the cycle which has always been the most difficult and longest-lasting for me. I am able to manage the manic part of the cycle with HUGE doses of fish oil and being very careful about the when and how-much of sleeping.

If you're concerned about a drug interaction between lamictal and cymbalta (I'm not familiar with that), look this up on the internet on one of the many drug interaction sites, e.g., http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php. Also, here's what Wikipedia has to say about Lamictal, dosing, and Stevens-Johnson syndrom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamotrigine#Dosing

Good luck!

CatBP
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/15/2007 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
A bit more about my personal experience with ramping up on lamictal: I started taking it on December 12 and it wasn't until late February that I was at my therapeutic dose of 150mg. I started to feel better along the way, but I remember waking up one morning in late February thinking, "this just isn't a problem anymore" about a family problem I had been worrying about/gnawing on for about 10 years. No kidding! And for a long time prior to lamictal being effective, I'd had a very difficult time getting along with one of my adult daughters. We seemed to argue pretty much everytime we talked on the phone. I felt like I was always defensive, always walking on eggshells. I visited her in May, 2006, and it was a disaster. I visited again this last April, and we had a GREAT time: no arguing at all, and it wasn't just because I was being careful about what I said. I wasn't. My knee-jerk reactivity and being quick to get my feelings hurt had disappeared; it wasn't a change she made. It was absolutely amazing to both of us.

I am late to a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder. I am 60 years old! But when I reflect on my life, I can see that it's had an effect on my work life and personal relationships ever since my late teens. It wasn't until I was under a LOT of stress in my late 50s that the depression and hypomanic symptoms kicked in so strongly that two counselors independently suggested that I might have bipolar II and that I should see a psychiatrist for a diagnosis. Prior to that, another psychiatrist had diagnosed me with ADD and depression (some symptoms are similar to those of bipolar II), but neither the ADD drugs nor standard anti-depressants did anything for me. In fact, it's possible that quitting my Lexapro along with several cross-country red-eye flights might have triggered the hypomania and deep depression in 2006. That happens to some people.

So, I encourage you to find a good psychiatrist, do your own research about the drugs prescribed, take a look at bipolarhappens.com, and know that the right drugs CAN definitely help. You just need a psychiatrist who's willing to be thoughtful in working with you to find the right one(s). If lamictal is causing this rash, it **may** be that you can start over with it IF you titrate slowly.

Hang in there!

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 8/16/2007 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
CatBP,

I would like welcome you to the HW family, I hope you find the support you are looking for here
Olivia
Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar 1, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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http://www.healingwell.com/donate
"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"

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