Lamictal/Neurontin Just Diagnosed Bi Polar

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/14/2006 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone,
I am 33 years old and have a family history of bi polar and chemical
dependency. Always a happy girl growing up, so everyone thought,
but had my own darkness, with extreme creativity. Sometimes very
difficult to concentrate and follow through with things although
being just about a straight A student. At age 27 had a kidney stone
and was introduced to opiates, mainly vidodin and was able to
focus and concentrate although depressed a lot in a lonely marriage
to a man 12 years older with a son 8.5 years younger whom he had
full custody of. We had 2 daughters now 9 and 12. I found solice
in opiates, then put on Zoloft, Klonopin, and Ambien. I became
addicted to the Klonopin and Ambien, and all other benzos through
the years. Tried many SSRI's to no avail. Didn't know if the depression caused the drug use or if the drug use caused the depression!! Then being hospitalized a doctor diagnosed me bi polar
after talking to my current husband (an angel) and interviewing me,
put my on Abilify, I could not see clearly and  could not function.
Never took it again.
Fall time went on Wellbutrin and Strattera. Not sure if it worked due
to dependency on Vicodin and other scripts. Finally went into treatment and detoxed off all addictive drugs in January. Came
home hopeful but in a state of mania, soon the worse depression
of my life, no function, no hope, dying inside for about 10 days.
Then the mania hit again, not sleeping, full of energy, creativity,
calling everyone, cooking, cleaning etc., not really focusing due
to racing thoughts. My husband told me I needed to call a doctor.
Finally I accepted the bi polar diagnosis and went to a very insightful psychiatrist yesterday who talked to me for 45 minutes.
She put me on Lamictal, the starter pak and Neurontin which
also acts as a mood stabilizer. I was on Neurontin in treatment
and found it to calm my nerves and help me sleep. I am hopeful.
Anyone with experience on either drug? Took 2 doses of Lamictal,
feel a slight headache and achey but alright so far.
Thanks for all the great info on these boards.

Ellie 1
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 2/14/2006 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't taken either drug Boomer, but wanted to welcome you to healingwell.
I'm currently on Abilify and Klonopin. Abilify seems to be one of those all or none drugs. It's either a miracle or a disaster. There doesn't seem to be much in between. I haven't ever heard anyone say it helped a little. Thankfully it works well for me.
I've heard alot of good things about Lamictal and I believe Wotan has posted about using Neurontin. You might want to check some of his posts on that.
Again welcome to the group
Take Care
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 2/17/2006 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on both medications. Lamictal gave me a rash, and neurontin made me very sick (as did its new cousin Lyrica, but that ones for pain only). Neurontin hasn't ever been shown to have effectiveness with bipolar disorder, and pfizer got into hot water over its marketing practices because of neurontin. If I were you, I'd talk to the doc about finding something else for a mood stabilizer, perhaps something thats approved for that use.

Neurontin will make you tired, but tired isn't the same as stabilized.



By the way, I have a history of seeking solace in opiates too (now needing them for pain management, however). If you want to talk, feel free to email or IM me. On AIM i am smirnoff4capt and my email is
Hammilton aka mat

Ulnar Neuropathy in both arms :(

Meditation, 40mg Methadone daily, nothing for breakthrough

Aren't doctors supposed to be looking for ways to help their patients? Because I feel like I'm definitely the only one on my team lately sad

Well, I hope you're all having great, pain-free days

Post Edited (hammilton) : 2/17/2006 3:28:35 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 2/18/2006 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Boomer---I'm bipolar----& after trying other mood stabilizers
---I'm now on Neurontin---Aside from a little acid, it's working pretty well.    Everyone reacts differently to meds----only way is to try it.   Just because it didn't work for someone else---doesn't mean it won't work for you----Let me know----Regards --Wotan (Robert)

Ellie 1
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 2/18/2006 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Absolutely Robert.
I too have heard some rumors about Neurontin being prescribed offlabel for bipolar but what it comes down to is if it works and your doctor and you both come to the decision to continue it then that is your decision to make.
In the beginning Abilify (which I take) was considered a drug primarily for schizophrenics (SP!) but was prescribed for bipolar just the same and is now approved for both.
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/20/2006 4:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Again!!
Feeling good on the Lamictal, still at side effects, I hope no rash appears like I have
been hearing and reading about. The doctor told me that Neurontin has been a success in some
of her patients so I am hopeful. I have no side effects with it. I have been on the upper side
of the bi polar spectrum but not nearly as bad as one I had in September. I have a question, and
it is also my husband's question....when stabilized on a med/meds should we expect these
horrible episodes, I really don't mind the manic side so much due to getting so much done and I
love the energy. On the flip I don't even want to get out of bed or off the couch or talk to
anyone at all --- feel like I want to die, so that is when I usually found a way to numb myself or
bring back the energy with the painkillers. I live in MI so the winter gets to me with lack of light
and cold weather, do not enjoy it at all. Thanx Wotan (Robert) for the info on your experience
with Neurontin, how long have you been on it?? I guess I did not give the Abilify a chance, I
could not focus to write or just focus correctly and being a decorative painter I can't have
that side effect, maybe it would have passed but I decided against the drug, plus it had
the label of being an anti-psychotic and that scared me.
Thanks all!!

Ellie 1
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 2/20/2006 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I flipped out on the fact that the Abilify was an atypical anti-psychotic as well. Didn't want the stigma of being on something like that. It took me three tries before I just gave up the fight and stayed on it. It REALLY worked for me but everyone is different.
No, you should not have the extreme episodes once you are stable. IMHO I think we tend to have more dramatic mood swings than other people even when stable, but the really awful stuff should disappear. Should it return, you'd need to get with your doctor. It usually means you need a med adjustment.
I believe the rash with lamictal happens right at the beginning if it's going to happen, so you probably don't have anything to worry about on that score. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think thats how it works.
Anyway, it's good to hear you're feeling better. Keep us posted!
God Bless
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
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