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Old 12-06-2006, 12:15 PM   #1
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coffeegirl2 HB User
Question manic-need some support and advice

Yesterday I went to my appointment scheduled with the pdoc. Due to the symptoms I've been having, etc., he placed me on a new drug; Lamictal. There are many here who take this drug. It would be fantastic if those who do take this drug could help me out by sharing some information about the pros/cons of it. I'm very frightened of the 'rash', and scared to death of it. Today was the first day of taking it. So far, so good.

As for the forum, I am limiting my posting for quite some time. It is just best that I do that. Lurking/reading through the bb's is one thing, but I need to stop posting becuase it has done a number on me. Emotionally- I went overboard, and I don't want to go there again. Staying in control of ones self is the best way to keep status quo.

One thing, I am aware this drug is weight neutral. Have any of you lost any weight with this drug? If it doesn't work for me, I'll be end up taking Risperderal. So, I hope and pray it works. No more weight gaining meds. I am tired of the weight gain.

Thank you for your help.

Coffeegirl
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Old 12-06-2006, 01:14 PM   #2
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langlee HB User
Re: manic-need some support and advice

Dear Coffeegirl,

My son is on Lamictal. We, too, were terrified of the rash, but so far he has been toleratiing it well. According to my research, the rash is definitely a bigger side effect for younger patients.

Good luck with it.

Hope

 
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Old 12-06-2006, 01:48 PM   #3
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Llama HB User
Re: manic-need some support and advice

Hi coffeegirl! I just wanted to let you know that I too am taking lamictal! Just start the lamictal at a low dose (I started at 25mg for a week) and just slowly add more (the next week I started taking 50mg). This way you can lessen your chances of getting "the rash." I was sort of nervous too! Try not to worry so much about it though! All you can do is take it slow and watch for any signs of rashes. Good luck I hope this med helps you!

Oh and about the weight thing, I've been on it for only a month but I haven't noticed any weight gain. In fact, I think I've lost a few lbs maybe even? I have heard good things regarding this med and being weight neutral. I too will not take any more meds that cause weight gain. Not a fun thing, and why should we have to put up with that crap you know?

 
Old 12-07-2006, 12:11 PM   #4
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Re: manic-need some support and advice

Hi Coffeegirl,
My 25-year old son takes lamictal. He has been on many different meds through the years and now has been on lamictal for about 18 months. Of the many he has been on, he likes this one about the best. He has not gained any weight on it, nor does it make him hungry. I think most pdocs now use the "starter pack" when they begin this drug, so you slowly build up the amount. If followed correctly I think most people adjust well to this medication without developing the dreaded rash. Good luck and glad to see you're posting again!! Tsohl

 
Old 12-07-2006, 05:37 PM   #5
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Re: manic-need some support and advice

Hi sweetie....oh I am so glad you are back even if you are lurking and am glad that you came to seek advice about the Lamictal. PLEASE do not worry about the Lamictal....as you know Erin has had hypersensitivity to many meds and I was extremely concerned about the rash. The others have given you great information.

I hand picked this med for Erin because of it's wonderful side effect profile!! I know, that nasty rash is scary, but if the med is given properly you shouldn't even delvelop it. And....it only really gets bad if you continue taking it when the first signs of a rash come out so PLEASE don't allow the rash to keep you from such a wonderful drug.

Okay....the important thing is to go slowly with this drug. Erin started on 10mgs for 2 weeks. We then went to 25mgs for another two weeks. We went to 50mgs for a month and then 75mgs for a week and then up to 100mgs for 3 weeks. We just had our pdoc appointment today and we are increasing to 125mgs for this month. So it has taken us 3 months to get to the 125mgs but it is far slower than usual because of Erin's drug sensitivities. In other words, if your pdoc increases you a little quicker please don't worry....we went extremely slow with Erin because she had developed rashes to amoxicillin and tripleptal that were pretty significant so they wanted to be sure to go slower than the usual to avoid the rash. Also, as you have already been informed, the rash is more common in adolescents than adults.

I will tell you something....this is such a great drug from what I have read in terms of helping with the depressive side of the Bipolar but also with the mania as well. It is weight neutral....Erin has not gained any weight on it (she has with the Risperdal and Seroquel but not a tremendous amount by any means but the Lamictal has been fine).

Erin developed some swollen lymph nodes under her chin and on the back of the head......this usually precedes the rash and we got a little scared. The doctor knowing of her sensitivity and her exhausting most meds chose to back up on her dosage a little for a few weeks and then went back to that dose and it worked out wonderfully. She has had no problems with any of the other increases.

IF you get a sore throat or any sores in your mouth, eyes, or genital area OR a rash of any kind it is very important to stop the med until you are evaluated by the pdoc and preferably a dermatologist before continuing with the med. Often a doctor after getting the clearance from a dermatologist will back up some and them go foreward again.....you have two days to determine this without affecting the levels in you and not start all over again. I am not saying that this will happen with you....just educating you of what you should do IF you run into any problems.

I have heard that Lamictal has been the wonder drug for many people once they reach the right levels. At times another mood stabilizer may be necessary but often it works well all on it's own which is wonderful.

Another thing is....each time that Erin was increased she became more irritable but that leveled out after a few days. It is said that when you are increased and have a leveling out in which you feel good throughout the entire time of the increase that you have found the right dosage. Often as it levels off it will drop again and indicate that you need to increase the dosage.

I hope this doesn't scare you in any way....I feel that knowledge is power and the more you know about something the better things will go.

Please keep us posted with how things go. I am so happy that you are trying another med....I know that the Lithium wasn't the med for you and the other good thing about the Lamictal is that there is no need to worry about checking blood levels or the liver enzymes. Like I said.....it has a GREAT side effect profile and from what I read if it is the right med it works wonderfully.

(((((HUGS))))) ~ Goody

PS ~ How are the boys??? Hopefully things are going well for them too!!

Last edited by goody2shuz; 12-07-2006 at 05:47 PM.

 
Old 12-08-2006, 07:42 AM   #6
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coffeegirl2 HB User
Re: manic-need some support and advice

Hopealways, Llama, Tshol, and Goody:

Thank you gals for your dear responses. You don't know how much it means to me that you took time out of your day to respond to my questions, and to share about your own situations in regards to the medication Lamictal.

Luckily, the pdoc did place me out on the starter pack. So, that is good news to hear from what you all have stated. A relief. Also, reading how some of your children have done on the medication makes me feel more at ease with taking the medication as well, realizing I should not fear it, but be more reluctant to embrace it with the fact it will help me.

The only thing I've seen so far with side effects is: nausea and terrible taste after eating and drinking coffee/soda. So, very lack of appetite. That I won't complain too much about because I could tend to lose some weight. Not that that is healthy. I drink plenty of water and tea's and eat lots of fruit.

My sons are doing well. They are excited about the holidays coming up. We visited Santa. Santa even read their letters they brought to give him. It was really cute, and special. They are so curious about Santa. I just will be so sad when the day comes they will stop believing in Santa.

Yoga. More yoga to do today. Second round. Yoga twice a day for a while. It really works to calm one down when manic or mixed state. Then cookie baking for the holidays!!!

Thank you ladies and have a wonderful day!

Hugs

Coffeegirl
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:26 AM   #7
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Re: manic-need some support and advice

Good morning Coffeegirl,
Sounds like you have a good plan in place and that you're doing well. We'll keep our fingers crossed that this will be the med that works well for you. My son has been on just about everything out there in combination with everything else and it was the addition of lamictal that finally allowed him to start feeling actually good...so I hope you have the same reaction. I think he complained of a couple side effects for a week or two, but they went away and he now praises it.

Yoga is a great activity for you if you enjoy it. My son really enjoyed it and thought it was very helpful, but isn't doing it at the moment. I'm glad you can enjoy the holiday season. Maybe you won't be tempted by the cookies that you're baking if the med is affecting your taste! That would be a good thing in my case!! Cheers, Tsohl.

 
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