Taking Lamictal for depression -- Questions

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singasong11
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/19/2007 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I just got my prescription for lamictal. I took zoloft before but it didn't work for me at all even though i didn't take it for a long time. I'm glad people have posted or updated cause I am going to try this in hopes that I wont have side effects that will inhibit my daily life. I got scared when I saw on the label that its for seizure and epilepsy because I'm ONLY TAKING it for depression.

does anyone know the long term effects of this medication? Even though its good for 18months or so it says on the label I wonder what are the withdrawal effects? I'm scared of taking it because I don't want to be completely dependent on it. I got a trial sample from my psychiatrist but how much is the pack for everyone?
 
Reason for edit:
 
All I have done is added a subject onto the thread for you. That way you are more likely to get more responses. Darren

Post Edited By Moderator (djdaz_1985) : 9/20/2007 2:12:05 AM (GMT-6)


olivia of course
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Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 9/19/2007 7:08 PM (GMT -7)   

singasong,

First, I would like to welcome you to the HW forums.

I was on lamictal as a mood stabilizer/anti-depressant for over a 1 1/2 years in the past.  I barely had any side effects when I was on it, but everyone is different.  I don't do well on SSRIs, but lamictal really lifted my depression, it was the best I fealt in a long time.

I quit taking it because after 1 1/2 years of being on it, it quit working for my depression.  That is the only downside of lamictal.  The $$ of lamictal depends how much your dose is, and if you have insurance or not.  I didn't have insurance, so it was very $$$$ expensive for me to get a month supply.  I hope this answers some of your questions.



Olivia
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Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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Post Edited (olivia of course) : 9/19/2007 8:10:22 PM (GMT-6)


djdaz_1985
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   Posted 9/20/2007 1:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,
 
I have no experience in Lamictal as an AD, but my mum took Lamictal for Epilepsy for a number of years. Withdrawl was pretty much trouble free as it was done gradually. I know if you stop taking it suddenly or if you forget 4-5 doses and then go straight back onto the normal dose, it can be very hard. There have been no long term effects that I am aware of. (Me and my mum tell each other everything!) As for cost, I live in the UK so we have the NHS which makes meds free (Except prescription charges: £6 or ~$3) so I cannot help you on that score. 
 
Let us know how you get on
 
Darren
Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
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faithfully4you
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Date Joined Jan 2007
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   Posted 9/20/2007 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I just started taking Lamictal for my depression.  My doctor says that it has been shown to be successful for lifting depression when combined with another antid.  I am surprised that when you started taking it, it was not given to you in a dose pack and they are usually given to you in the office.  It actually isa a month prescriptiom in which you are gradually increasing your dose weekly.
 
I am excited about the outcome, I trust my docs for a change so we will see.  Besides the Lamictal I take several other drugs as well.
 
Good luck to you and welcome.
Teresa
 
 The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.


singasong11
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/20/2007 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I am not taking any other medication since I am still relatively new to it all. I am crossing my fingers since I am a student and I have found it affecting my grades. I actually did get a dose pack that should last me for a little more than a month and its only my first day. thanks again for the feedback I really appreciate it. Also I will update and please let me know how your progress is!

wen4003
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 9/21/2007 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Singasong,
 
I actually am starting Lamictal today - a med change had to be made.  The one thing the psychiatrist stresses to me is if you develop a rash and don't do anything about it, it can be fatal.  So if you develop a rash stop taking the med immediately and call your doctor immediately.  He said other than that, should I experience any of the other side effects are minor and should go away.  But I wanted to share the rash thing with you.
 
Good luck.
 
Wen
I have Bipolar Disorder, Panic/Anxiety Disorders, Agoraphobia, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Severe Acid Reflux, Barrett's Esophagus, Sleep Apnea, and Narcolepsy
 

A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.

Benjamin Franklin

 


lyndeesings
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/21/2007 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   
hello...i just started taking lamictal.  be sure to follow the directions/your shrink's perscription very carefully.  if you take it too quickly, you can develop a serious skin rash, however, this is very very rare.  i just looked down and saw that wen has already posted on this so i guess i am being repetitive.  but i agree that its an important thing to talk about.  the disease it can lead to is called stephens johnsons disease.  a number of other drugs are linked to it as well, including antibiotics.  but, if you take lamictal correctly, you should be just fine!!!! :)

faithfully4you
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 870
   Posted 9/22/2007 7:59 AM (GMT -7)   
My face did break out pretty bad.  Rashes with this med are very rare and the symptoms are about like all the others.
 
My dose was increased quickly because of the severity of my depression. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Teresa
 
 The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.


olivia of course
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 9/22/2007 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Actually, developing a (general) rash/hives is pretty normal on Lamictal, it is one of the side effects. Especially if you are over heated or have a sun exposure.

But the Stevens-Johnson rash is not that common, about 1% of people who take it develop it. Also most of the time the rash appears within 2 weeks of first taking it. I just thought I would share.


Olivia
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Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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MLynn
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/27/2007 9:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, Im new to this site.

I have had Depression for about the last 4 years or so and was given Zoloft which I started out on 50 mg a day. That didnt seem to help so they raised it to 100 mg which after about a month worked wonders for me. Well about a month ago I started to have the same symptoms I had before I started meds. (racing thoughts, thoughts of death, i couldnt stand to be around my boyfriend almost like i hated him and I definitely do not, we have been together almost 6 years and he is a wonderful man, felt nervous, hopeless, worthless etc...) So I contacted the nurse practitioner that gives me my scripts and she raised my Zoloft to 150 mg. She told me if that didnt help to call her in a week and we would try something else. It didnt do anything so of course I called her and she gave me an appointment for the next day and I went in. When I got in there she had me take a test so I did and after I was finished I handed it to her and she went over the results and asked if anyone had ever told me that I may have a mild case of Bipolar, and of course I answered no. So she decided the best choice for me would to go back down to the 100 mg of Zoloft and she also prescribed me with Lamictal, starting with 25 mg once a day for 2 weeks, then 50 mg a day for 2 weeks, then 100 mg by week 5. Wednesday will be a week that I have been taking the Zoloft and Lamictal together and so far I seem to feel a bit better but I do have moments when I feel blah all over again. Would this be because the Lamictal hasnt really had a chance to work yet? Anyone else on something similar to this with good results? Im just hoping and praying that this will be a good combo for me and I can stop thinking so negatively and get back to loving my boyfriend, this is not fair to him as well.

I just want my life back!!! sad

Anyone with ANY feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! confused

schbeebs
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/28/2007 12:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I hate to be the party pooper but I suppose that you might want to hear the negative stories as well. I was taking Zoloft for 2 years or so but stopped taking it because of the side effects. shortly after I started on Lamictal, I took it for almost 4 months and it was making my moods and depression worse so I titrated off of it.
On a side note regarding Stevens-Johnson syndrome I discovered i had it when i got a very bad reaction to a sulfa antibiotic, I actually didn't have any rash, but my throat and tongue swelled up and I had to make a trip to the hospital. So yes please be very careful if you develop any rashes, swelling in your mouth, or ulcers in your mouth.
"Evil will always triumph because good is dumb"


singasong11
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/28/2007 1:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Its been 8 days since I've taken the medication and I don't feel anything still feel sluggish if anything more but I cannot tell because of my hectic school schedule and not sleeping right. But so far no symptoms very easy to take and pretty soon I should be from 25mg to 50mg. please post yr experience.

Has anyone else have any success with any other meds? I just want to know just in case I find lamictal not working for me. thanks everyone I really appreciate the response.

Also I found that therapy really helps in conjunction to meds.

ShynSassy
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 9/28/2007 5:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Singasong

I have never taken lamictal,but I want to remind you of something. Most antidepressants can take 4-6 weeks to take full effect. If after that time you don't feel like the med is helping you then contact your doctor right away.
It took my doctor 4-5 tries to get me on the right meds. So don't give up hope yet.

Also, antidepressants can just help with the symptons of depression. In order to really start healing from it,you have got to deal with what triggered the depression in the first place.
That is why I always say that going to some type of counselor is a very good idea.

Please keep us posted and stay strong.

Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Lexapro,Zyban,Buspar,Clonazepam

Have been med free for 2 years now.

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faithfully4you
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 870
   Posted 9/28/2007 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   
As I stated in another post, there is positive resources that lamictal combined with a mood stabilizer has been shown to give some patients a year or two depression free!
 
That is the reason I let my doc prescribe them for me, I figured at that %, I would take my chance.  It has been about a month and I am still waiting for any change.
 
I am trying to keep my faith.
Teresa
 
 The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.


djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 9/29/2007 1:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Teresa,

Its well worth keeping the faith. As im sure you know, AD's take 4-6 weeks to work and you should JUST be starting to feel the effects. I would give it another 4 weeks before contacting your doctor. As I have said, I have no experience with it as an AD but my mum took it as an AED. I hope it starts to work for you.

Darren


Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
Help support the forums so we can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 


olivia of course
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 9/29/2007 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Also, Mood Stabilizers like Lamictal can take 6-8 weeks to work.
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
Support HealingWell:
 
http://www.healingwell.com/donate
"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"

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