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    Old 02-11-2007, 10:47 AM   #1
    fallen_angel
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    more lamictal questions

    hi everyone
    sorry i havent posted in a while been rapid cycling a lot lately so havent felt good.
    thank you to those who replied to my previous thread about lamictal, i found it very helpful, particularly coffeegirl2, thank you so much.
    well im due to start the lamictal the end of this week and even though im hopeful, im still nervous.
    i just wanted to ask specifically, if any ladies who have taken this have experienced any hormonal effects, such as disruptions to menstrual cycle or breast tenderness, as i get this badly on some meds?
    also, has anyone had any weight gain? dont mean to sound vain but have lost nearly 2 stone recently and am keen to keep it off!
    and lastly, steven johnson's syndrome was mentioned which can apparently be deadly, does anyone know what the risks of developing this are?
    thanks everyone
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    Old 02-11-2007, 11:01 AM   #2
    coffeegirl2
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    Re: more lamictal questions

    Hi Fallen

    The Lamictal rash can occur 1 in 10 people who take the medication. I was one of the people who developed the rash. It wasn't that bad; however, I had to discontinue the medication. Most people who do take the medication, however, have success with it. My twin sister is one who takes it with much sucess as there are many others here on this forum who also who take it with sucess as well. It is a highly effective medication for depression.

    I was on it for about a month and it took me out of a mixed state that was horrible. It took the doctors two months to figure out that it was the Lamictal that was causing the rash for my situation.

    The SJS is rare. If it were to develop, you would know within the first week, and your pdoc 'should' go over those symptoms and issues with you before you take the medication. Also, is your pdoc putting you on a low dosage or the Lamictal starter kit? That helps ease ones body into the medication and the dosages.

    If you have any questions ever with this medication and your pdoc is not available, contact the local pharmacy, call the ER, or the contact person at your clinic. Any of these people can help answer your questions or can help you.

    If you ever do feel you have any questions about Lamictal, do not hesistate to ask. And, if you take it and feel that you are developing the rash, never wait to contact a doctor.

    Take care

    Hugs

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    Old 02-11-2007, 11:22 AM   #3
    goody2shuz
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    Re: more lamictal questions

    Dear Fallen ~ Although I do not take Lamictal myself, I will share what I know of my 15 year old daughter being on it. As far as whether it will cause weight gain, you are in luck there, because of all the meds out there, Lamictal is highly chosen (as I did so for my daughter) because of it being one of the very few that are weght neutral. Of course, everyone will have their own reactions to meds and I am sure that there have been some that will claim that they gained weight with Lamictal but from my daughter's experience she has not.

    Okay....breast tenderness and menstrual cycle...my daughter has not complained of any breast tenderness. And she is on the pill so her cycle is regular. She was on the pill before starting the Lamictal but I have heard that if you add the pill afterwards it will require more Lamictal to reach the same stability as somebody who is not on the pill. So you may wish to keep that in mind.

    The rash...oh was that something that I was scared of for my daughter, particularly since she has devleoped rashes and sensitivities to 4 other meds!! And so we went even slower on the increases than usual knowing that she is sensitive to many meds. It took us 5 or 6 months to get to the 150mgs that we are on now which is alot longer than the usual. That is because of my insistance with the pdoc because the way that I saw it, Lamictal was a med that I had pretty much hand picked for Erin because of it's wonderful side effect profile!!! And I didn't want anything to deny us the ability to stay on it, so if going slower meant being able to stay on it without getting the rash we were willing to do that.

    I heard the Steven Johnson Syndrome is quite rare in adults and more of a problem in adolescents/children. Erin developed some swollen lymph nodes which is what usually precedes the rash and when she did we went a step back on the med for a week and then back up on it just to be on the safe side. She did develop a rash and we stopped the med and had her evaluated by a dermatologist who determined that it was not the Steven Johnson type rash. And so we resumed the Lamictal and have been doing well ever since. One thing I have heard is that you can develop the rash at any time during an increase but once on the right dose it is very rare.

    I was also told that the rash to look for will be patches the size of a silver dollar coin and filled with fluid appering blister like which will burst and slough off like burned skin. When and if a rash occurs you should not take another dose until evaluated. So even if you do get a rash it may be something else so do not get too alarmed. Just remember, that if it is Steven Johnson the most important thing is not to feed it anymore Lamictal or it will become severe.....if looked into promptly it won't be bad. Most of all remember that it is very rare and the only real side effect that one has to worry about.

    Another thing that I wanted to share is that women in particular will see an increase in their bipolarity during that time of the month. Our pdoc did as I have read and that was allowed for an increase in the med during the week or Erin's period. In Erin's case he upped the Seroquel but I have heard that once you are at the right dose you can do the same with the Lamictal if you should run into that problem.

    Oh....and as far as each time you up the dose expect a few days or the first week to have some increased anxiety and/or agitation. It will eventually level off during the weeks that follow and then go up a little before you are due for your next increase. You will KNOW when you reach the right dose when you have no further dips when you are due for the usual increase. Lamictal works well sometimes all on it's own but at times it needs another med to balance things out. As I have shared here many a time it works well with those who are more on the depressed side of the bipolarity.

    I hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

    Oh and if you are sensitive to meds you may want to ask your pdoc if you could start at 12.5mgs the first week rather than the 25mgs....they say the slower that you introduce the med the less of a chance you will have of developing the rash.

    Good luck and know that I am here if you should need any more reassurance.

    ((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody

    Last edited by goody2shuz; 02-11-2007 at 11:40 AM.

     
    Old 02-11-2007, 11:38 AM   #4
    langlee
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    Re: more lamictal questions

    The other thing I will tell you about the rash is that it is more common in children. My son takes Lamictal and I, too, was concerned about the rash. Lamictal has a website and I found some honest information there. Good luck!

    Hope

     
    Old 02-11-2007, 11:58 AM   #5
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    Re: more lamictal questions

    Hi fallen,

    I just wanted to say that, for me, the exact opposite is true as far as PMS. Where I used to experience (for years) severe breat tenderness (right underneath my arms), I have found that it has almost completely gone away since being on the Lamictal. I do not know if the two are related or if my body is just changing, but for the past 3 periods, I have had no tenderness. In a way it's been a little confusing for me as it was an indicator that I was about to start and to beware of my emotions over the next week or so and be careful not to over-react to things in the interim. Now I'm sort of left in the dark not knowing exactly when to start looking out for the emotional changes that PMS bring.

     
    Old 02-12-2007, 03:50 AM   #6
    fallen_angel
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    Re: more lamictal questions

    Hi everyone
    thank you to all of you so much for your help with this, ive really found it so valuable.
    i know meds affect everyone differently but its great to hear other peoples experiences first hand, both from those taking it and those with loved ones taking it.
    It is so good to hear that so many of u have had good experiences with this drug too, i know gav u have found it to be really good for u and goody im so pleased its also worked well for Erin.
    i have my appointment with pdoc on thursday when i should be getting the prescription so will let u know how it goes
    thanks again everyone
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