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Lamicatal and side effects?

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Old 07-06-2008, 06:27 AM   #1
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Lamicatal and side effects?

I am going bonkers this summer with new symptoms I've never had before and i"m wondering if others who are taking this drug are also having problems?

I was on Zoloft to stablize my moods because I wouldn't take any of the other drugs rx'd for bipolar due to horrible side effects.
I started getting weirded out again and becoming aggitated and nervous all the time on the zoloft and realized it wasnt' working as well as it did when I first took it. so we increased it.
Plus my dr. also told me there is a drug called lamictal that's used to treat epilepsy but also works to treat bipolar. I have both general anxiety disorder and bipolar and traumatic stress disorder.
I then gained a matter of 15 or more pounds in a matter of a month and I told my dr.
she had my thyroid checked and had me see a neurolgoist due to my increasing short term memory loss. I couldnt' even carry on conversations anymore with people due to the fact I forgot my vocabulary. I'd stop in mid sentance trying to catch the words I wanted to say, but it wouldnt' come out. NO one understands the frustration of memory loss until they go through it. people will say it's only because we're trying so hard to remember that it's the reason we do forget.
give me a break!
I'm forgetting words I 'learned in grade school? so my dr sent me to a neruologist, read an MRI report I had a year ago, told me the front cortex shows no disease, made me touch my finger to her finger, she checked my reflex and told me that she too suffers with memory loss and (she's alot older than I am mind you )aand she sent me on my merry way.
The entire visit took a whole 15 minutes.
my memory loss started back in 2000 but I'd never listen to my family dr to see a neuro. Not until this year did I decide I couldn't take it anymore. I felt I had maybe the begging of alzheimers which really doesn't begin till age 60.
I told my psychiatrist about the neuro visit and she was disturbed by the way I'd been treated. the neuro also told me she deals with strokes and cancers of the brain and that I should go to a major city I live near and visit a place that deals specifically for memory loss.
I didn't go if you're wondering.

I am suffering horrible, drenching sweats I've never had before. It's during the day, all day at any given moment, it's all night and I can't stand to have the sun touch my skin and not even the recessed lights above my head when I sit in the living room to read my books. I live in a basement apartment and the ceilings aren't as high as a regular ceiling. The bulbs that go into these lights are very strong and remind me of stage lights. I am having such heat sensitivity. we tested the thyroid gland and that's not the cause.
I don't know how I will be able to survive the summer until cooler weather comes in the Fall.
The summer has never ever effected me like this since I am taking the lamictal so I"m beginning to assume it may be the drug. I used to be a sun worshiper but no more. I"m white as a ghost now. the symptoms are just not worth having a tan.
I am also mortifed about my weight gain and can NOT fit into anymore of my clothes that I was wearing since 2003. I weighted 115 lbs and now weight 136 without even changing my diet. I was able to eat anything I wanted without even exercising and the ladies I worked with all commented on my body and the amount of food I was able to eat and asked me how I did it.
I didn't even know how.
I don't know if it was the increase of the zoloft that changed my metabolism or is it the increase of the lamictal. we had to go very slowly on the increase of the lamictal so I wouldnt' get that life threatening rash they say can kill you.
I finally find a medication that I thought was working for me and now may have to stop taking it due to the uncomfortable symptoms I am having.
I"m going brain dead, resembling a baby whale and melting away from the heat like the wicked witch of the north in "The wizard of Oz".
PLUS I talk non stop which is driving my husband nuts and everyone else for that matter and not even making any sense when I do talk.

Oh, and not to mention lack of libido. what other pleasures are going to be taken away from me?

does anyone out there suffer the same symptoms I am?
I know it's not the surgical menopause I had back in 2005 because i"ve been on hormone patches ever since then.
I did read that hormone replacement drugs do interact with lamictal, but it actually DECREASES the strength of the lamictal and doesn't effect the strength of the hormone replacement drugs.
it's the other way around from what I origainally thought.

I can feel when the heat attacks are going to start if I'm sitting still, which is practically every 1/2 hour.
The drenching sweats also occur at night that make my entire body wet, not to mention the sheets and pillows and having to get up in the middle of the night to rip off what ever I"m sleeping in and get my towel to wipe myself off. I feel like I"m going to lose my mind. there is no comfortable zone anymore and I"m truly suffering.

I can't sleep to begin with due to horrible vivid nightmares which makes me feel like I"m dreaming in the first stage of sleep and not the R.E.M. stage.

I talk in my sleep as if i'm wide awake, while my husband is awake watching t.v. wide awake. I feel I can watch my dreams and hear them as if I"m watching them like you would a movie.
Does anyone else go thru this? It's down right weird.

I can't find anywhere on the websites or the long paper that comes along with the prescription telling me that gain weight on this drug. it says some have lost weight on it.
I'm so confused and hope I explained this well enough so others understand it.
I jump from subject to subject because I don't want to leave out anything.

I'd really appreciate it if others would share their stories if taking Lamictal.

thanks so much,



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Old 07-06-2008, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: Lamicatal and side effects?


I'm on Lamictal, and it's been a wonder drug for me. No weight gain at all, some agitation, vivid dreams, yes, but that lessened as I was on it longer. And dreams are nothing compared to the horrible depressions and migraines I've had most of my life. I can't take most meds, but this one has been surprisingly without side effects for me - but that's me, not you.

Your sweats do sound hormonal. Can you get to a very good gyno and neuro? You got a nimbus for a neuro, it sounds like.

If you want to check out your symptoms re the Lamictal, there are medication sites on the Internet (I'd give you one, but I don't think that's allowed on the board) that list pretty much all the side effects. You can ask your pharmacist for the long flimsy paperl, the package insert, and read through it. Everyone reacts differently to a medication.

But did you say that your memory loss began in 2000? Before the Lamictal? Was that after the Zoloft?

How much Lamictal are you taking?

Gosh, I'm sorry you're so miserable. It sounds as though you really need good, competent, immediate medical help for this. Please try to get it, and keep posting. AT least you won't be all alone with it that way.


Old 07-07-2008, 07:40 AM   #3
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Re: Lamicatal and side effects?

Thanks for you reply Seaturtle,
you are so lucky that you're not having any side effects from the lamictal.

I tried other websites
\to see about the side effects.

Its' not adding up to these horrible symptoms. I do have to find a reliant doctor who listens and will take the time to talk to me to find out exactly what i"m going through.
because it is so difficult for me to find the words when I"m talking, it takes me twice as long to talk than others. I can FEEL when I"m beginning to aggrivate the person I"m talking to becasue they're in a rush to get on to the next person that's waiting in the other waiting room.
I used to think my family dr was good until his buisness started to grow. he doest' have any associates to help him.

so you think the same thing I do about the neurologist I saw? thanks for agreeing with me. Now I know it's not just my mind over reacting.

funny she said that to me that neuro's only deal with stroke and parkinsons and brain cancers, because just yesterday I was doing a google on the symptoms I'm having and I found a neurologists site that specifically said what exactly this type of doctor does and they DO work with patients who are having memory problems and other problems i"m having.

A neurologist is the type of doctor I do need to see.

I'm on 300 mgs. of the lamictal. 150 mg in a,m and 1 at night.

I dont' feel like I"m any different than before. so maybe this medicaiton isn't doing anything for me?
once I stop it, I"ll finally find out if it's causing all these problems with me.

I'm meeting with my psych dr. to go over this in 2 weeks, so until then, I just have to do what I have to do to feel comfortable. there isn't much I can do otherwise.
I just can't imagine having to live life permantly like this.

I didn't think I'd need to see a gyno because I've been on the hormone replacment therapy patches at the highest level since 2005. there's no change in the way I"ve been taking it. But I guess this type of dr. can check all the different types of hormones and hormone problems.
I'll consider this option too.

thanks for your help seaturtle. it was kind of you to help out.


Old 07-07-2008, 06:30 PM   #4
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Re: Lamicatal and side effects?

Hi Lintek,

I have been on Lamictal for a while. I am weaning off of it now, because I want to try a homeopathic approach to this. I won't go into all the reasons. ANYWAY, it really isn't because of the side affects, but here is a list of things I have noticed since I have been on it. These things may or may not be due to the meds, but I think most of them are.

1. Hair loss (not listed, but through internet searches, I have found I am not alone)

2. Fumbling my speech.....lose track mid-sentence and mixing up words. Kind of embarrassing

3. Clumsiness

4. Extreme sensitivity to cold, and HORRIBLE circulation (limbs "fall asleep" ALL the time)

5. Sweating when I am not freezing (drenching sweat, my husband asks me if I have just showered or if its sweat before he gets too close)

I have been able to tolerate them, but I do hope that I can be pharma- free.

oh, fyi, 150mg at night, no other meds except nuva ring (birth control)
down to 75mg so far

Old 07-07-2008, 09:35 PM   #5
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Re: Lamicatal and side effects?

Lamictal is helping me. After a few months of being on it, I noticed that it has started tasting bitter when I took it with water. Don't know why.

Old 07-08-2008, 07:35 AM   #6
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Re: Lamicatal and side effects?

I'm begining to think too that just because the side effects are not listed for Lamictal, that they are side effects of the drug.

I too am having hair loss and it's getting worst than before.
I have thin hair to begin with but now its' getting to the point where you can see the scalp through my hair. it was thicker before.

I have to stop taking this drug. there's too many bad things rather than good happening with me. I just hope there's something else I can handle.
I wish I could do it the homeopathic way.

I'll bet you the pharmacuetical industry wouldn't like it if there was a more natural alternative to treating bipolar.

I've read recently that the foods we eat is what causes imbalances in our body and brain too. Too much acidity which is in foods, is what breaks down the bodies cells and then disease sets in. It's proven, yet I do nothing to change my diet. I am used to being raised eating the typical american diet rich in fats and yucky additives and only God knows what else goes into the process of getting the food to super markets.

It's difficult to change something we've been doing all our lives.
Green leafy vegetable, tofu, beans, etc, is one way to begin changing our health, incorporating exercise is very important too to get the lymphatic system moving and to rid the body of harmful toxins.
it takes steps and it's not easy to just cut out all bad things in our diet.
so you start small, and add things gradually. it's better to add something than none at all, right?
God I wish it was this easy to get balanced mentally and emotionally, but I've never tried this method before.

so much is turning to diet and more people are willing to try alternative living over western medicine.
I'm finding that the pills they say to take that will help our lives are only making us sick. Not all of us, but a good majority.

It's just my opinion and I know this would probably get some people's feathers ruffled by stating my opinion.

I agree too about the lamictal tasting bitter after awhile of taking it.
I think it's because the shape of it makes it get stuck in the back of my throat even though I'm taking it with water, but if you dont' get it down right away, it stays there for a few seconds and enough to make it bitter.
I can't stand the taste of it. I thought it was just me not being able to handle the shape of it and the dimension of the pill. they should've made it round so it slips down easier.

Old 07-08-2008, 05:35 PM   #7
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Re: Lamicatal and side effects?

I hear what you are saying about difficulty changing lifestyle. I am doing my best. I started making changes a year and a half ago, because I wanted to start making them while I was still on medication, so the transition may be easier, although I am finding my sugar addiction the toughest to fight.

Yoga and other excercise I find makes me crave better foods, so I really think they go hand in hand. I have also found that a really good multi vitamin makes a HUGE difference, which again leads me to believe I was mis diagnosed. Doctor sees no reason to check for vitamin deficienies though...interesting huh? so quick to write a prescription, but no need to check for a cause, of course.

I hope you find something that works well for you, as I hope I can figure out an alternative.

Happy Trails!

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