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Help, need advice on med change

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Old 11-30-2004, 03:25 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Utah, USA
Posts: 52
Nella985 HB User
Help, need advice on med change

I started taking Lamictal about 18 months ago. I went up slowly and was doing fine on 125mg daily, I became pregnant and had the dose increased as the pregnancy progressed (delivered a healthy boy almost 5 months ago) and am now up to 400mg daily. In the last two months I have been more and more tired and in a low mood, not depressed but not happy. If i'm not feeling "low" i'm agitated and blow up easily, I can't seem to control my emotions. Last month I noticed that I am losing much more hair than usual. None of this is unusual after having a baby so I wasn't very alarmed, kinda thinking that this time I was having the "baby-blues" and waiting for my body to get back to normal physically.
Well last friday I wasn't feeling well. I went to sleep and when I woke up I had very swollen glands in my neck. I am prone to swollen glands when I am sick but when the swelling moved to the glands between my jaw and ears I started to get worried. My husband immediately suspected that my dose was too high because of this, the fatigue and hair loss. I went to my family doctor yesterday and he diagnosed me with Suppurative Lymphadenitis and prescribed some meds. I wasn't able to get an appointment with my neurologist but I did speak to her and she wants a blood level check and wants me to change meds. She said that she has recently been getting more literature on swollen glands and Lamictal, apparently it's not as rare a side effect as previously thought. I get to see her on Friday and she wants my husband and I to give her our decision so she can start the change to Trileptal (sp). My concern is that I will change meds for the wrong reason and put my kids at risk of being alone with me after a GM, I am totally unresponsive for almost two hours on average. What do you guys think? My husband is supportive but wants me to decide and I am scared to death that I am going to make the wrong decision and it will have a negative effect on my family.
Have any of you had this reaction to Lamictal? What do you think about the symptoms, could it be that I am suddenly developing these reactions to Lamictal after this long?

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Old 11-30-2004, 07:07 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 34
TanyaWatson HB User
Re: Help, need advice on med change

Firstly, congratulations on the birth your child. Unfortunately I don't have any advice for you, but it was very interesting for me to read your Lamictal experience. I had quite a bad reaction to Lamictal in the first few weeks of taking it - had very bad flu like symptoms that didn't go away, and a
ended up with pleurisy. At the same time, I developed extremely swollen glands (which I am also prone to) but after being off Lamictal for over 2 months (now on Keppra) these have not yet gone down although I have been healthy otherwise since then. What is interesting to me is that my doctors won't attribute my glands being up to medication, and the fact that they haven't gone down tends to reinforce this for them. I guess my point is that who knows what would have happened if I had stayed on Lamictal, but unfortunately, taking Lamictal out of the equation didn't help my glands...

Best of luck to you and your beautiful baby.


Old 12-01-2004, 08:06 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Dayville, Ct. USA
Posts: 765
kayakmom HB User
Re: Help, need advice on med change

HI and Congratulations on your baby!! It is tough enough to decide on meds switches, but I totally understand your concern.

Did you call back your regular doc to discuss what the neuro said about lamictal?

Is there any way for you to get some more support for a few weeks if you do switch meds? I know chance of having a seizure is higher when you are changing sound like such a good mom! Is there a friend or family member who can help out some when hubby is at work?

I am also sorry I cannot tell you more on what to do. It is such a personal choice. Can you try the Doctor's meds for a time (for the swollen glands ) and see if that helps any? I do not know what time frame your neuro felt was important to drop the did he want you to drop it really soon? maybe even if you could reduce your dose with another med added on to see if the glands improve with less....

(((Hugs))))Hang in there
mom of 2 teens who have battled seiuzres.

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