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  • Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

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    Old 04-02-2007, 03:56 PM   #1
    yelden12
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    Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    i've been on 9 different antidepressants over the last two years, and nothing really worked. my doctor just recently said she believes i have bipolar II, which makes more sense really.

    anyway, just starting lamictal and i want to know everything about it.

    please, if you've taken it or been around those who do, tell me anything you can. thank you.

    can i take it at anytime of the day?
    can i take the pill in pieces or does it have to stay whole?
    will it make me tired?

    Last edited by yelden12; 04-02-2007 at 06:24 PM.

     
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    Old 04-02-2007, 04:06 PM   #2
    mentalmom
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    I've been on Lamictal since fall of last year as well as Lithium and Thorazine. I've done extremely well on the Lamictal and have had no side effects. I'm on 200 mg/day. I'm surprised that your doc put you on standard antidepressants. Most of the current research is against antidepressants for bipolar patients and is moving toward mood stabilizers with antidepressant side effects, like Lamictal. Lamictal seems like a great med with few side effects and I've been really happy with it. I wish you luck.

     
    Old 04-02-2007, 05:59 PM   #3
    yelden12
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    well, my doc thought i had just depression all that time, since i hadn't experienced any mania until recently. apparently bipolar can be preceeded by a long period of depression, thus making it even harder to diagnos. thats also the reason the antidepressants didnt work, because it wasnt really depression, just the beginning stages of bipolar.

     
    Old 04-02-2007, 07:36 PM   #4
    jujutsu1
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    My boyfriend has been on countless medications throughout his entire life, most recent one was Lamictal. He started to develop a skin rash so the doctor took him off. My boyfriend said that for temporary relief of depression yoga classes seemed to help him somewhat. Right now we're trying acupunture and meditation because so far, we've seemed to have run out of drug options that don't have serious long-term side effects (for example, if you're on Lithium for too long or too high of a dose you can expect to develop diabetes and/or damage to your thyroid).
    Besides alternative methods another option to try is to find several drugs that work for you and keep rotating those drug regimens so you won't have long-term side effects.
    As far as Lamictal goes, here's what I found in on-line drug references for health professionals: AHFS Drug Information 2007, Mosby's Drug Consult, and ACP's Pier -- The Physician's Information and Drug Resource.

    Brand Name: Lamictal
    Generic Name: Lamotrigine
    FDA Approval Date: 1994-12-01
    Drug Class: Anticonvulsants (most drugs used for bipolar nowdays are anticonvulsants)
    Pregnancy Category: C (means caution is advised when used by a pregnant woman. Best to avoid it if you can)
    Uses: bipolar affective disorder, partial seizures, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
    Off Label Uses: bipolar disorder, epilepsy
    *Please be advised that it has a boxed warning -- this medication may cause a serious rash, including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. If you're using this medication, and notice ANY signs of rash, immediately call your health care provider.*
    Dosage form: 1) Oral tablets: 25-mg (white color), 100-mg (peach), 150-mg (cream), and 200-mg (blue) tablets. Significant excipient: lactose
    2) Chewable dispersible tablets: 2 mg (white), 5 mg (white) or 25 mg (white)
    Mechanism of Action: unknown (they are not sure how this medication exerts its effect in people with bipolar disorder)
    Clearance: Valproate decreases clearance of Lamotrigine (this means that if you're taking Valproate and Lamotrigine at the same time, you should be getting a reduced dosage of Lamotrigine. AHFS recommends reducing the dose of lamotrigine by 50%).
    Carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, and primidone increase the clearance of Lamotrigine (this means if you're taking Lamotrigine with any of these drugs, you doctor should increase Lamotrigine dosage).
    Also tell your doctor if you're using oral contraceptives.

    Tell your doctor if you have kidney, liver, or heart disease.

    Usually the doctor will start you off on a low dosage and slowly work it up to the dosage where he/she wants you to be. This is in order to avoid the development of a skin rash. For this kind of treatment to succeed, it is crucial to adhere to the prescribed regimen and not miss any doses, especially in the beginning.

    Talked to your doctor about hypersensitivity reaction before starting the medication -- a rare but serious event. Symptoms may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, etc.

    For more information on standard dosage guidelines, common and rare side effects, how to take the medication and other information you can consult
    [url]WWW.EPOCRATES.COM[/url] Type in search box either lamictal or lamotrigine. The first half of the page that shows up is mainly for health professionals (indications on how to dose the medication and that sort of thing) but the second half of the page has a wealth of information that you might find of interest.

    Hope this helped.

     
    Old 04-03-2007, 10:46 AM   #5
    Llama
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    Hello there. My pdoc said to take it at night in case it made me sleepy. Also I do cut my pills in half since adding depakote. I guess it messes with the lamictal somehow?

    I have never had a single side effect from lamictal. It's a nice med, which is refreshing for once.

    I hope that helped!

     
    Old 04-03-2007, 11:50 AM   #6
    BetsyAnn
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    My 9 year old son has been on Lamictal for about a year. It is a wonderful med. for him. It allows his very cute personality to shine through. He has not had any negative side effects. We have tried various dosing schedules. He has taken it at night. He has taken it in the morning. He has spilt the dose and taken it both morning and night. We have settled on morning because it works better with our routine. The pills can be split with no problem.

     
    Old 04-03-2007, 12:19 PM   #7
    tsohl
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    Hello jujutsui,

    Apparently your boyfriend does not have bipolar disorder. If he did you would realize that it is a biochemical disorder of the part of the brain that controls thought process and emotion. It can be thought of as a degenerative disease if left untreated.

    As far as concern over the side effects of the medications, the results of unmedicated bipolar disorder are far worse that any side effects from medication.

    Things like yoga, meditation and accupuncture can ease the effects of the symptoms of mania or depression, but they cannot keep episodes from occurring which is the goal of the use of neuropharmaceuticals.

     
    Old 04-03-2007, 05:38 PM   #8
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    There's not much to say about Lamictal as far as side effects. There is the rash you have to watch for but, since I never developed it, that wasn't an issue. I have been on it for about 3 years more or less. It is the best med I have EVER taken. It still works and no side effects AT ALL.
    Good luck- I hope it works well for you too.

     
    Old 04-04-2007, 12:59 AM   #9
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    I have been on Lamictal for almost 3 months and I love it. I began with the orange starter kit, which took me 5 weeks to get through in order to get to the therapeutic dose (100mg). After that, my dosage was increased to 150mg.....then 200mg, which is where I am at now. I take it in the morning and have absolutely no side effects. I was worried about weight gain, however as I understand, Lamictal is weight neutral. I had also been on many anti-depressants, none of which worked for me (now we know why.....because I was diagnosed as having bipolar). I am also taking 3 other meds along with the Lamictal.
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    Old 04-05-2007, 07:51 PM   #10
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    Hi,
    I began the Lamictal starter pack four days ago (currently @ 25 mg). I've been getting very sleepy every day--sleeping ten hours plus napping several more. Have gotten a couple of rough headaches, not quite migraines, but they still made me wince. I found this site by Googling on the side effects. It seems a lot of people experience the med as a stimulant.

     
    Old 04-07-2007, 11:17 PM   #11
    kwj001
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    I've been on lamictal for just over a month and am on 100mg daily. They make me sleepy too. Now am wondering if I can take at night. Seeing my pdoc in about a week, so will run this past her. During the dosage increase period, i would have a couple of days that I could say, "hey, I can see sunshine"! But, during the same time I had 2-3 evenings of being so sad and depressed and irritable...that I'm assuming 100mg may not be the perfect dosage for me. I understand, from reading other posts, that this trial and error period of getting the meds dosage right is frustrating.

    I just want to feel normal and stop being tired, depressed and irritable. I'm finally off of the Lexapro and only on Lamictal. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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    Old 04-08-2007, 02:30 AM   #12
    roz5
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    I used to take the Lamictal in the morning; but just started taking it at night. I also take Seroquel at night. Last night was my first night taking Lamictal in the evening and wow....it sure knocked me for a loop! I was asleep in a matter on 30 minutes. Slept soundly for a good 8 hours (not like me---I manage on 5-6 hours). I do like the Lamictal very much.
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    Old 06-01-2007, 04:51 PM   #13
    salty
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    Roz5, are you taking lithium as well? My dr. told me to discontinue the lithium when I began the Lamictal starter pack.

    I sure hope that was correct. I've been reading that people are on BOTH.

    Salty

     
    Old 06-01-2007, 05:00 PM   #14
    roz5
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    No, I am not taking Lithium with Lamictal. My "cocktail" consists of Lamictal, Abilify, Wellbutrin (instant release) and Seroquel at night (for sleep). I never tried the lithium. How did you do with that?
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    Old 06-01-2007, 05:08 PM   #15
    salty
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    Re: Lamictal.. i want to know everything.

    Roz5, I had been on it for 25 years and gradually the depressions kept getting worse. The lithium couldn't stop them (the dr. added AD's as well).

    He finally suggested lamictal--hoping it would boost my AD's and keep the depressions from returning.

    I just pray so hard it works! I'm on the low dose right now in the starter pack.

    Salty

     
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