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Old 06-17-2004, 04:59 PM   #1
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Lamictal or Lithium?

I am in need of some advice. My doctor recently decided that rather than me being depressed, I have a mood disorder. Therefore, he weaned me off of Paxil, and has prescribed Lamictal and Lithium. My problem is that I am hypothyroid, (had 85% thryoid removed and am not on Synthroid, which has kept my thyroid level for over a year). I have a huge fear of gaining more weight, as I am quite overweight now. I have heard that Lithium can be very bad for a thyroid patient, but have also heard there are bad effects from both Lamictal and Lithium. My question to you all is who here have tried either of these products and which would you recommend and why? I don't quite understand why he wants me to take both, but right now I am only on the Lamictal, because of fear of the Lithium effect on my thyroid and weight. Can anyone let me know how they feel about this, good or bad? Thank you!

 
Old 06-17-2004, 08:06 PM   #2
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Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

Hi! I took Lamictal for about a month. That was after I had taken Neurontin for about a month and had negative reactions so I switched. Lamictal only had one negative effect, which was drowsiness, but also affected my eyes (sandy eyes); very annoying. Turns out that because I am hyper-sensitive due to auto-immune deficiency + mild allergies (pollen; bees, etc.), I got a reaction. So, discontinued the Lamictal, too. I hadn't noticed that it had any particular 'beneficial' effect but I guess it wasn't supposed to really; it's basically an anti-seizure med that is used to balance stimulant meds used for Inattentive ADD. Now I'm taking Wellbutrin (first 1x/da then 2x/da now 1x/da), which seems to have beneficial effects but no negative side-effects like the other meds. I know there are similar biochems involved in these reactions but I think my own personal biochems were unusually sensitive to either Neurontin or Lamictal, at least that's what I gather from my pdoc and others. Good luck on your change; it seems to me that WB might work out for you, since it's primarily used as an anti-depressant, but maybe the Lamictal is needed for the same anti-seizure protection. As for Lithium, I don't know about that. But you might check with Ruth6:11, who has a number of posts on this board.

 
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Old 06-23-2004, 01:53 PM   #3
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Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

I take Lamictal and have also taken lithium, and the lamictal did nt make me gain weight, and worked better than lithium, with less side effects. Hope that helps.

 
Old 06-25-2004, 03:15 PM   #4
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Smile Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

I've been on lithium for over 20 years with no problems. It totally controls my symptoms. I only have 50 percent of my thyroid and have been taking synthroid for over 6 years. I haven't gained any weight from either medicine. The only weight I have gained was when I quit smoking almost five years ago.

 
Old 06-26-2004, 01:52 PM   #5
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Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

I am in my 3rd week of Lamictal along with Depakote and Wellbutrin and several others. I have not experienced any side effects from the Lamictal. I have followed the dosage recommendations very closely since I am on Depakote. Since I am on Depakote, a very serious rash can develop if you go up on the dosage too fast. I do think I am starting to feel better except for the anxiety. My Dr' added the Lamictal because of a severe onset of severe depression after being dx. with fibromyalgia. With her help and the help of my counselor, I am making it through. I also must say my husband is the best support I have got. Thank goodness for him!

I was only on Lithium once and that was at the beginning of treatment 9 years ago. I was not as quite aware of my meds and such then. I was only 21 and quite the party-er.

 
Old 06-26-2004, 08:57 PM   #6
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Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

Everyone has a different opinion.

I too have been on lithium for over 20 years and it's great--no side effects at all, except maybe a little thirst, but that's no big deal. I highly recommend trying it.

Salty

 
Old 06-27-2004, 07:10 PM   #7
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Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

I'm a bit confused, Lamictal is for the treatment of depression, usually prescribed for people who are bi-polar 1. Lithium is for the mania mood.. it's a heavy (metal) tranquilizer/sedative.. People with thyroid issues can actually have the issue of depression and it pertains to the thyroid issue.. Please tell me this was all looked at, by at least one doctor... removal of a thyroid med. can cause depression itself or even oddball mood swings.. ( I have a family member that has thyroid issues, and a few weeks ago I asked this person about the thyroid issue of there's.. when hypo thyroid and the drug, which I think was/is Synthroid was removed the person fell into depression.. if there is any point to this post, I seem to have forgotten what it was.. sorry... I suppose that is the welbutrim... yes, 450mg of Welbutrim XL causes me memory issues and stuttering problems... and is a major frustration at times.. I am at 50mg of Lamictal and 450mg XL of wellbutrim... no changes and I actually feel worse than before, I am still cruising down hill and stuff is only getting worse, except I did go into a 48 hour period of being extremely hyper and ummmm... I couldn't sleep.. then I fell off and crashed and burned.... not fun.. the crying fits have increased and well not going to but a life story here.. Lamictal & Wellbutrim are anti-depressants and lithium is suppose to be used to oh i guess one could say, helps with equalizing the mania mood.
There are other drugs that can be used in place of litium, it is just an older more trusted drug.. it's not for everyone, it does what is needed.. Wellbutrim users, 95% will lose some weight, if u are under weight, speak with your doctor before taking, it also has the same drug in it that smokers use to quit smoking.. @300mg, I still fell into that 5% group that gained weight while on the drug At 450mg, I lost the food craving and sweat tooth, but gained other issues... my concentration has gone down the tube.. I can not connect words and speech together, or think str8, kinda losing what state of mind is the right state of mind, but I am not delusional... ( if I was delusional, I would be in politics.. ) (and no black helicopters after me, just the IRS.)
sooo, i dunno... also dunno about what I had in mind with this post either.... oh well

 
Old 07-19-2004, 08:59 AM   #8
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5alive HB User5alive HB User5alive HB User
Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

Hi,
I'm Bipolar 1,rapid cycle.I had heard lithium was for bipolar 2.I have great mood success with lamictal,trileptal,and seroquel.also a patient family.Don't know how they made it this far.Stable 7months.I also have ADD,still working on that one.
Good luck all,glad to meet you.
__________________
5alive

 
Old 07-21-2004, 08:34 AM   #9
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Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

Lithium worked great for me for three years. But then it kind of faded out. A lot of doctors lately are hesitant to prescribe lithium long term, because of its long term effects on your kidneys and liver. It's a salt, and after taking it for long amounts of time, it can cause organ problems. It doesn't always, but it does a lot of the time. It's usually used now a days, as a suicide prevention pill. High dose of lithium at first, while other new meds kick in, then weaned off the lith. I would reccommend the lamictal being that its newer, and probably comes with less side effects. I don't see the neccesity of both, as they do the same thing. Lithium does work, but a lot of doctors don't like to prescribe it for use longer than a year max.

I've got bipolar 2, and been on med after med after med. And while the lithium worked wonders for me ( I went from trying to kill myself 11 times a day every few days, to barely having passing thoughts of it) I have found better solutions. I am currently med free (in a manic episode for the time being, and was when I quit my meds for my several problems, managed to cycle twice without meds, but it wasnt neccesarily the best idea) Anyways, I recommend trying the Lamictal, and if your doctor insists on putting you on another mood stabilizer, that you request something other than lithium. There are thousands of combinations, Im sure he can find something other than the lithium to work with the lamictal.

 
Old 07-22-2004, 09:07 AM   #10
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Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

I'm Bipolar I, with no episodes of mania or depression for almost 20 years now.
I'm 5'3" and weigh 125 lbs.
Lithium has been good to me....

(By the way, lithium is not a sedative, tranquilizer or heavy metal! Honest! Here's some general info:

Lithium carbonate--a salt--came to be regularly used to control manic depression in this country in the 1970's. Today it is the second most commonly used medication to treat bipolar disorder (manic depression). Lithium is helpful in 70 percent to 80 percent of people with bipolar disorder, making it one of the most effective psychiatric medications available.

Lithium has been most frequently and effectively used to control and prevent manic episodes in persons with bipolar disorder. Lithium has been successful in treating depression as well. )

 
Old 07-26-2004, 12:00 AM   #11
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Cool Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

I have been on Lamictal for almost 4 months. I took depakote for 6 years and a huge weight problem with that one. But since being on Lamictal I have lost almost 30 pounds. I am not hungry all the time. I think it is a good medication. And the drowsiness goes a way after a little while. SO I have had nothing but good luck with it. But I would not touch lithium with a ten foot pole. But thats just me! Good luck.

 
Old 08-21-2004, 07:20 PM   #12
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Exclamation Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

It isn't always an And or, but for the most part, lithium is prescribed concurrent to an Anti-depressant. It is up to your doctor if he/she wants to prescribe Lithium with thyroid issues. The drug does have a warning on that, plus I am sure of what you really are not suppose to eat drink and not.. It is a fairly old, true tried drug... but it is also a heavy metal.. I know there are others that can be used in it's place, but sometimes the older stuff works the best.. And you SHOULD be given lots of blood tests..

Thyroid issues themselves can cause depression... If u find your doctor's opinion odd, find another one for a second opinion, partically someone who specializes in thyroid issues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberlyV
I am in need of some advice. My doctor recently decided that rather than me being depressed, I have a mood disorder. Therefore, he weaned me off of Paxil, and has prescribed Lamictal and Lithium. My problem is that I am hypothyroid, (had 85% thryoid removed and am not on Synthroid, which has kept my thyroid level for over a year). I have a huge fear of gaining more weight, as I am quite overweight now. I have heard that Lithium can be very bad for a thyroid patient, but have also heard there are bad effects from both Lamictal and Lithium. My question to you all is who here have tried either of these products and which would you recommend and why? I don't quite understand why he wants me to take both, but right now I am only on the Lamictal, because of fear of the Lithium effect on my thyroid and weight. Can anyone let me know how they feel about this, good or bad? Thank you!

 
Old 08-22-2004, 05:58 AM   #13
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Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: Lamictal or Lithium?

I did a little checking on the "heavy metal" issue: Does this explain where that belief comes from?
"Any competent chemist knows that lithium isn't a heavy metal (nor is it particularly toxic, in fact its salts are used therapeutically as a treatment for depression). So far as its status as a heavy metal is concerned: well it just doesn't stand a chance; its atomic number is 3, its atomic mass is just short of 7 (only hydrogen's and helium's are less) and with a relative density of 0.585 it floats in water; according to Chambers' Dictionary of Science and Technology (1974) it is the 'least dense solid'. Where do the people therefore get the idea that lithium is a heavy metal from? Well I suppose their reasoning went: lithium is a toxic metal, heavy metals are toxic, and therefore lithium is a heavy metal."

For me it's sad to see a very good med for many people suffer slings and arrows...
But I'll absolutely admit to the thirst, tremor & lots of trips to the restroom!
Respectfully,
Ruth

 
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