Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lamictal

A lot of people have been arriving at this blog via the Lamictal keyword. So I thought it might be a good idea to re-assess my Lamictal (known as Lamictan in my home spot, South Africa) experience. I've been on it for 1 year and 9 months now, and the last time I think I spoke about Lamactil was when I'd crossed the one year mark. So here goes:

(by the way: please be sure to participate in the Lamictal poll at the bottom of this page (after this post))

Easing Depression
The best thing about Lamictal is that it has definitely taken the sting out of the bad downs. I'm told that whereas other stabilisers are more effective at controlling the ups, Lamactil is better where the predominant pole is depression. In fact a danger with BiPolar (I'm told) is that Lamictal can sometimes fuel the highs. Truth be told, I hit about 2 weeks of severe mania about 6 months after starting the medication, with occasional small flights into psychosis. (Man, would I have loved to chronicle those in this blog but unfortunately it was pre BiPolar Daily). Having said that, it was one of the most controlled (and enjoyable :) mania's I've had - I didn't even tell the Pdoc about it.

All been said, I can certianly say that the depressions before going onto Lamictal were worse. At certain points in the past I had even rationalised suicide. (see here) Nowadays the depressions are still there, but they're more marked by energy slumps than that knife-churning desperation. And no matter how bleak you get, there seems to be an underlying contentment holding everything up.

The "Fizzle Out" Factor
With me I've definitely experienced a "fizzle out" factor with Lamictal . "Fizzle out" meaning that the positive effect seems to wear off over time. I'm not sure that this is just a Lamictan thing though. I've experienced the same on the 3 occassions when I've started Prozac after a non-prozac spell. You get this kind of surge of positive energy for the first few months and then gradualy things seem to taper back to normal. Maybe your body developes some type of chemical immunity. And I'm sure some of it is psychological. You just acclimatize to a more positive level and that becomes the norm. Maybe it's just the sudden change of the medication regime that jolts you out of complacency. "A change is as good as holiday". About 2 months ago I instituted another slight change and split my dose over night and day (200mg in the morning and 50 mg at night, as opposed to all in the morning). This also gave me a positive boost for a month.

Andre Solomom, in his bestselling book "The Noonday Demon" spoke about the fizzle out with medications. Personally I find this the most worrying factor with BiPolar. What if every medication you try eventually fizzles out?? A soul-crushing prospect.

Side Effects
Although I've scoured the Net, and spent many discussions with my Psychiatrist, it seems that I am the only one that suffers from chronic shakes. I've never had rock-solid steady hands, but since starting Lamictan, there has undoubtedly been an increase in my hand tremor. And it's BAD, believe me - I've even stopped going to coffee shops as I've been known to spill my cup and am very aware of everyone staring at me thinking "Shame, poor alcoholic". And I DON'T drink. I stopped over a year ago to avoid the excruciating "hangover depressions".

I've cut my caffeine down to 2 cups a day, but it doesn't seem to have helped. Admittedly I'm on other medication too - 0.25mg Fluaxol (an old-style anti-psychotic) and 40mg Prozac (you know what). I even cut back on the Fluanxol two months ago (after much persuasion to Pdoc) because some scouting on the Neb revealed some horrible side effects with Fluanxol, inculding involuntary motor tremors and a contra-indication with Parkinson's Disease. The point is though that I've been on Fluanxol nigh on 10 years and the side effect was never as bad as when I started Lamactil. (BTW: this occassional misspelling of Lamictal is intentional as I aim to snare all those searchers that type the word wrong on Goggle. And Lamactin for South Africans.) (sneaky, huh). Maybe it's just the rare concoction of my particular medication cocktail that is the culprit.

I'm told that I could start another medication (beta-blockers) to chill the shaking, but I've opted not too. Sheesh, I'm on enough concoctions. Start beta-blockers and next thing you need something to cool those side effects. And, as embarrasing as the shakes are, they don't have any other health detriments. As a full-time recluse I don't have that many chances to get embarassed anyway...

Actually, I'm seriously thinking now that I might have early onset Parkinson's Disease. My grandfather had it and I'm definitely lacking other explanations. I must drag myself off to a Parkinson's specialist. Yay, nothing like another chronic condition to deal with!

The Psychological Factor
Invariably people are put on Lamictal at the same time they are "officialy" diagnosed with BiPolar Disorder. So besides going on new medication there is another profound (but often unacknowledged) shift that happens: Acceptance that you have a chronic condition. True acceptance has an extremely cathartic effect. Certainly this was the story in my case. In fact I would say that the psychological paradigm adjustment that TOTAL acceptance bought with it, to both me and those around me, was the biggest help in my journey; way bigger than any pill could be. In fact so huge is the acceptance factor that it really deserves a post of it's own one day. Which means I must drag myself down to my office round about now, to coax my demeanour into work mode...

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46 comments:

  1. Anonymous27 July, 2006

    Lamictal also caused hand tremors for me. They were fairly consistent and regular.

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  2. WillBeFine27 July, 2006

    I have started my Lamictal daily 3 days ago to coincide with my other form of cycling. In preparation of my cycling holiday I got 2 months of medication as I had "forgotton" to have any for the past 9 months. I found last year that cycling 6 hours a day can cause a tremendous uplift in your energy levels and overall persona. However, 1 day of rain causes a day slumped in a hotel sleeping. I need the routine to start each morning with the pill. Hopefully this time it will be engrained ! (Sorry, for the spelling mistakes as Word is not freely available in Poland)

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  3. fizzle out effect- happens with every medication I have ever taken. Usually if I get any effect at all its lasts like a month and then its gone :(

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  4. All these new-fangled meds boggle the mind. Before I was diagnosed or even in hospital I was prescribed Nozinan. After that Perphenazine and, while institutionalized, Haldol. I couldn't even think let alone function until I was on a daily dose of lithium several months later. It's the only medication that has ever allowed me to feel even halfway "normal". I haven't been on it for almost ten years now. Not even a twinge of nostalgia, by the way. Go ahead, ask me how I've coped!

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  5. Would you mind If I posted a link to your blog on mine?

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  6. Lamictal, my friend so far... I've been on it for eight months. I seem to be getting the shaky hands back. It was really bad when I was on the lithium/depakote mixture. I'm an oil painter, and trying to paint straight lines is a challenge. Other than that, I've started on 300mg lamictal to beef me up for the upcoming N. American winter. My deep dark sad time. Ya I'm a little early, but better now than too late.

    mt

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  7. I am taking lithium and Lamictal and started experiencing hand tremors at six months. They are not severe, but make writing with pen interesting.

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  8. I was diagnosed bipolar one years ago, after a suicide attempt. I take my lamictal to prevent bad depression, but it causes me confusion and tiredness, because of mi intolarance for drugs, and i can't continue to study at university. It causes me a deep sufference. I don't know what to do.

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  9. Anonymous30 May, 2007

    I started with a benign psychiatrist that loved Omega 3 and gabapentin.After switching over to the best psychiatrist I ever had, I learned the difference between Omega 3 and Omega Brite. I showed the new psych. the bottle of CVS Omega 3 and he told me to go to the Omega Brite web site and order it there. Omega Brite is the same Omega 3 used in the studies for Bipolar. Be sure you are taking the right omega. What I purchased at CVS was not helpful in treating bipolar.

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  10. I have been on lamictal since Jan. 07 I was committed by my husband, I had overdosed accidentially on klonipin and zoloft. I have visions and dreams some were real and some were stupid. I actually did a comedy show when I was picked up of Bugs bunny and Porky Pig. Hehehe.... Anyhow, I am on 50 mg a day and the doctor just moved me to 100 a day. He suggested lithium with it and vestaril at night. But I am afraid to get on anything else except the vestaril to help me sleep. he said I could treat the depression with lithium, but I have not started on it as I am leary of taking all this medicine. I feel fine now.... Just some tiredness and insomnia. And sometimes nausea. Since I understand what happened to me and that I am Bi-polar II....

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  11. Anonymous13 June, 2007

    I think I posted this before but I belief that Prozac is horrible for someone with BP.. Please check it out!

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  12. Anonymous20 June, 2007

    FYI: My daughter started Lamictal 6/7/07 as adjunct to Lithium for bipolar. Within 5 days she had a rash and was told to stop the med.

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  13. Anonymous04 July, 2007

    Lamictal has been my savior! I had to stop taking lithium in 1979 because it was so damaging to my kidneys. From that time many psychiatrists have tried giving me every anti-depressant on the market. These actions only helped all the pharmaceutical companies to make more money! Finally, a year ago my current psychiatrist asked me to try Lamictal due to the success that he had heard about a bipolar patient, who was having convulsions & he was treated with the anti-convulsant. To the doctor's surprise the medication cured his manic-depression also. I have been using the generic, lamotrigine, for about a year now. The doctor started me on 100mg and then he reduced the dosage, gradually, to the amount of 25 mg. I no longer have manic episodes & also I can sleep w/o taking any Lunesta at night. The only strange side-effect that I have had is the lost of body hair in the usual female places so I no longer have the need to shave. I guess that this effect is a positive one!

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  14. Anonymous07 July, 2007

    I've been a Lamictal for a month now and feel the best I ever have in my life. I have had a couple of hand tremors but not very often. I started on 25mg and am working my way up. Seems like every time I go up in strength the more jitters I get.

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  15. Does anybody get headaches or loss of concentration? I have slowly worked up to 200mg/day but am studying at a university and am having trouble concentrating and I get headaches severe enough to miss class. Since I've worked up to the full dose I feel really tired too.

    ???

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  16. SerpicoRabbit20 November, 2007

    I have definitely experienced a decrease in concentration. Sometimes someone will ask me a question and I just sit there, not knowing how to respond because I simply cannot remember the question. And the frustration of a lack of response only makes it worse. People look at me like I'm stupid. Sometimes I can't even make a simple decision like what flavor of ice cream to have, let alone "should I spend the money for meds or to take my truck to the shop?" This drops me straight into a hellish depression.

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  17. SerpicoRabbit20 November, 2007

    BTW, I'm taking 100mg a day.

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  18. Would you consider this to be a "tremor?" I have taken Lamictal along with Cymbalta for about 9 months. About 2 months ago, we increased my dose from 150mg / day to 200mg (still 60mg on Cymbalta.) Recently I have noticed that my legs shake from time to time like when driving my car which has a manual transmission. When I use the clutch my leg begins to shake as though it was really tired after a workout. It also happens when I am sitting and have my feet on tip toes. Is this the "tremor" from Lamictal?
    Also, I have an increased appetite and the weight loss I was having success with before starting Lamictal has stopped. Totally! Even when increasing my efforts!

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  19. serpicorabbit04 December, 2007

    The Lamictal hasn't given me any tremors, and I often wonder if it does anything at all. I knew when I was on Zoloft because it definitely gave me tremors, and lithium made me nauseous to the point of actually vomiting. I don't know about Cymbalta.

    However, I have had infrequent tingling or numbness in my legs, as though they were on an adrenaline rush of their own. It's hard to explain and the doctors haven't a clue. Fortunately, it doesn't happen often. If it has anything to do with Lamictal, I'd guess that I'm more relaxed now, and sitting for too long without moving makes your ass numb.

    It has been my experience that any new meds I've started had some strange side effects that mostly subsided with time. Lamictal has had the least noticeable effects of all the meds I've used. Pray you don't go on Depakote!

    Give the Lamictal time and you'll probably notice any side effects decrease.

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  20. LadyMaggie197617 December, 2007

    I am a 31 yr old female who has a STRONG family history of bipolar disorder( my uncle has been hospitalized at least 4 times, my paternal grandmother has it, and my father was also diagnosed BP earlier this year). After years of incorrect diagnosis( and nearly ruining my life as a result) I was FINALLY correctly diagnosed this past march with Bipolar I.I was in a depressive phase, lying constantly about every aspect of my life, and was totally out of control, barely able to function. I was started on 25 miligrams of Seroquel( quiatipine) but I has such severe side effects( including constant stomach trouble) that after 6 months with no visible psychatric improvement, I was taken off it. I got a new Pdoc, who suggested trying Lamical. I have been on it for close to 2 months, beginning with the starter pace, going successivly from 25 milligrams to 100 milligrams, and aside from somewhat itchy skin, there have been NO side effects whatsoever. For the first time in my life I feel in control and feel as though I have a shot at actually conquoring this thing, and I think the lamictal has played an part in this( I also have anxiety disorder, PDSD and am suspected of being ADHA.. lol the whole coctail!) In addition to the Lamictal I also take 10 mg of Lexapro for the anxiety and PTSD

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  21. After reading all these posts, I am truly afraid Lamictal is not going to work for me. I have been on it for six weeks now and am up to 200mg. four days ago I had the most manic, psychotic episode I have ever had in my life. It was horrible and I am terrified its going to happen again. I have epilepsy as well as bipolar so I really thought this would be the answer, seeing how almost all other antidepressants actually induce seizures. Im scared. I just want to be normal

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  22. After reading all these posts, I am truly afraid Lamictal is not going to work for me. I have been on it for six weeks now and am up to 200mg. four days ago I had the most manic, psychotic episode I have ever had in my life. It was horrible and I am terrified its going to happen again. I have epilepsy as well as bipolar so I really thought this would be the answer, seeing how almost all other antidepressants actually induce seizures. Im scared. I just want to be normal

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  23. After reading all these posts, I am truly afraid Lamictal is not going to work for me. I have been on it for six weeks now and am up to 200mg. four days ago I had the most manic, psychotic episode I have ever had in my life. It was horrible and I am terrified its going to happen again. I have epilepsy as well as bipolar so I really thought this would be the answer, seeing how almost all other antidepressants actually induce seizures. Im scared. I just want to be normal

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  24. Even two cups of coffee a day can cause significant nervousness and shakes, especially in bipolar people. We should avoid it at all costs. I stopped caffeine and feel 75% better.
    Never underestimate the power of this substance. I sleep better too. I also quit marijuana, which was making me very depressed, it turned out, agitated, and paranoid.

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  25. Hi. I am in the US and Lamictal just went generic, thank Goddess. I've been on 25 mg for two weeks and starting to feel a change. For two and a half years docs have said I had generalized anxiety disorder, borderline bi-polar, and I have tried Prozac, Lexapro, and Celexa, and others I cannot recall. Lamictal is the only one that works with consistency. I lost my insurance June 2007 and went almost two years without meds until now. That would explain the two years of HELL that I experienced with stress, anxiety, excessive worry, and feelings of guilt and worthlessness. I also take lorazepam as needed and I find I need about .5 mg a day for anxiety. The only side effect with Lamictal some extreme nausea almost daily. I was taking my med in the morning but today I am thinking of switching to afternoon to avoid morning nausea. Anyone else have time-of-day issues?

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    1. I am having issues abut when is the best time of day for me to tale it. I have been taking it at night but I wake up feeling like i have the worst hangover. Then about an hour before I am suppose to take it..I feel normal. Debating whether to take it mid day.

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  26. baapaa199719 March, 2009

    I have been taking Lamictal for about 6 months and I hate it, but my pdoc says let's not rock the boat. I have been rapid cycling something terrible. My eye has been twitching and my hands and feet keep feeling like they are falling asleep. I hate these stupid pills!!!

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  27. tracey bradley13 May, 2009

    Ok now im really nervous. I suffer with epilepsy and depression and have been on tegretol since the age of 15 - now 46 years old. The depression ive had for years and been on loads of different types of anti depressants which actually i decided to kick in the head in december as nothing seemed to work and i was starting to feel like a guinea pig. Since december ive been feeling ok and excited about my new venture but sadly im going downhill again and after a visit to the neurologist yesterday have been advised to change my anti epileptic medicine to LAMICTAN as not only will it be good for my epilepsy but for my depression too as apparently tegretol causes depression. I havent started yet and not even sure if i can get back onto this website to read further feedback but am keen to know more about this medicine - LAMICTAN. My email address is traceytb@hotmail.com if anybody can reply to me please if be most greatful. Im just so over this depression thing as its ruling and ruining my life!!
    Tracey Bradley

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  28. Not that I wish this on any of you either..but I am so glad not to be alone. I just want to know that there are other people with this out there who are successful..I just want to feel healthy..I just want to live my life(and on some days I just want to WANT to live my life). I'm glad blogs like this exist.

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  29. I also have Parkinsonian Symptoms since starting Lamictal. If more detail is requested please let me know and I will elaborate.

    Just had an MRI. Results 8/20.

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  30. @anonymous - thanks for posting. It would be great if you could elaborate. - bpg

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  31. Since starting Lamictal I have noticed a heavyness in my right arm and slowness in moving my right hand, particularly noticeable when typing. Also tend to drag my right leg rather than extend. Someone asked me why I was limping. Also have difficulty writing.

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  32. Was on Lamictal (200 mg/day) for a few years, about 5 years ago. It worked for my BP depression. Have re-started treatment with Lamictal and now on 150 mg/day with bothersome headaches. I also have panic disorder and OCD for which I take klonopin. I'm concerned about the headaches because I know from past experience that Lamictal is as close to a wonder drug as there is for BP depression. Any suggestionsd appreciated.

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  33. Start taking Lamaictin after i was allergic to Seroquel. Hope it works better.

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  34. I have been on Lamictal since August 2007 to great effect. For years, my wife and I joked that I was bipolar, but without the - seemingly enjoyable - mania. Almost every aspect of my life was a misery. After a serious wake up call (my wife left me), I first gave up the drink. Then I saw my GP, who prescribed Effexor, which only exacerbated my problems. Within ten minutes of meeting my pdoc she had me diagnosed bpii, taken me off the Effexor (the "brain zaps" were awful), and prescribed Lamictal. The tipoff? The fact that I never had a manic episode, but rather cycled between depression and severe irritability, with a healthy dose of anxiety thrown in for good measure.

    I underwent the usual titration to avoid the dreaded "rash." It took a few weeks, but the Lamictal eventually - and suddenly - kicked in. Out of the blue one day I had the strangest sensation: things might not be so bad after all. For the first time in many, many years I again came to experience hope and peace.

    I have experienced a few relatively minor side effects: muscle soreness (this is apparently due to Lamictal's anti-seizure properties, which tend to keep your muscles rigid), blurred vision (this can be quite severe on occasion), loss of balance (could no longer fence). The worst side effect has been CRAFT syndrome (Can't Remember A F'ing Thing). My short-term memory is like a sieve. I also have great difficulty finding the proper word when writing or speaking. I can often visualize the first letter and approximate length of the word and think of many synonyms, but it takes me awhile to come up with the right word.

    In short, Lamictal has worked - and continues - to work wonders for me. No matter how stressed or anxious I become, I always have that little extra reserve of patience, which has made my life run quite a bit smoother.

    During one of my darkest moments someone asked me why I don't "just go to that little peaceful place in your head." After a few weeks on Lamictal, I decided that there actually is such a place.

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  35. I'm a little shaky too, and was hoping to find someone else with that issue. I've only been on it for about 4 months, but my doc upped it to 200 mg in the morning and 250 at night.

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  36. I've only just begun taking Lamictal, after I suggested to Pdoc I might be bipolar instead of depressed, since I'd learned of the existence of bipolar sans mania and felt some resonance with the descriptions.

    Even though I only just increased to 50mg am and 50mg pm I am itching. I have a frequent, nearly chronic rash on my neck that I've had for ages for which I have never determined the cause, but not it is around the back of my neck. I am nervous about the Lamictal rash. I am surprised as I read the forums how many of the side effects I already appear to have. Blurred, double vision, shaking hands, difficulty finding words (although this began before the Lamictal), headaches (again, started before, but this was under control)

    I'm very tempted to back down to 50mg daily for another week and then 75mg etc. I can handle the side effects as long as the rash does not turn into the life-threatening rarity of which I've read. I am pleased by this feeling that my depression has a bottom now, and that the bottom is not so desperately and dangerously low. I feared a loss of emotions, but I have found I am still capable of getting quite angry LOL and I feel very alive.

    20+ years of treatment for depression and this is the first time I have felt there was a floor beneath my feet.

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  37. I have been taking lamictal for about 3 years with alot of success and a few bearable side-effects. I too have the memeory problems, my husband lovingly calls it my goldfish memery:) I at times have coordination issues, and find I will spill a whole drink or plate of food without knowing what happened. I also have difficulty finding the proper words at times, which can be very aggrivating. It makes me feel stupid at times, and afraid to take on things at work, like giving presentations cause I'm so afraid I will lose my train of thought or won't be able to think of the words I'm trying to say.

    But the benefits I have seen from Lamictal have greatly outweighed these side effects. I no longer want to hide away at home all day, sleep endlessly or have the daily angry outbursts that were ruining my life before. I have held the same job for the last 3 years, and actually am happy with what I'm doing. My kids are happy and family life is good. I still have my struggles with the winter blues at times...but I have learned to cope & know that it will pass. My doc has also increased my dose from 150 to 200 to try to reduce these. We'll see if it does, but either way I finally feel "normal" again, something I hadn't felt since I was a kid.

    My only regret is staying with my GP and trying every depression med. out there with no relief for so long. I feel like I spent 10+ yrs suffering (and my family suffering). My advice to anyone who feels like they have tried everything and nothing works, find a Dr. that takes time to listen. My old one didn't, just wrote a Rx for something else and said "keep trying" as if it was a lack of effort that was making me sick. When I finally found a new GP and he saw all that I had tried with no improvement he said you have to go see a Psychiatrist, and he was so right. My new doc spent an hour asking questions about every facet of my life, and then immediately diagnosed me as bi-polar II, and ever since I've been getting better thanks to lamictal. It took a while to get to a place where I was sleeping regularly, I have to take it at bed time because it makes me sleepy. At first I would wake in the middle of the night & couldn't get back to sleep. But after a few months that went away, making sure I go to bed at a regular time (I have to fight the night owl urge) and exercising, and eating well also has helped me. I too take alot of high quality Omega 3's and vitamins. Where I live we have long, cold winter's and I have found without the vitamins the winter blues get worse. I don't expect any drug will work for everyone, but there is hope out there for everyone. I was at the bottom too for a long time and now know it can get better

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  38. i started limactal about 3 weeks ago. my pdoc told me im bipolar but for some reason, i dont believe it to be true. i was so emotional after i stopped taking prozac, then i went a little manic, thus my pdoc gave me geodon which made me completely manic for 3 days and insomnia for approx 2 weeks..then i was swtiched to lamictal..the thing here is, i think this whole thing started when i stopped taking prozac, thus maybe im not bipolar after all? can anyone relate to me? if anyone have any question or comment pls dont hesitate.

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  39. Anonymous22 June, 2011

    been on lamictal about 6 weeks, now on 100mg and have found I get a MAJOR energy burt about 2 hours after taking it and it lasts 4-5 hours. I have bipolar disorder mixed. Have had to serious bouts of mania in last 6 months, likely due to wellbutrin my Pdoc says, so off the wellbutrin. I'm just a little worried about the energy thing, almost like hypomania that lasts only a few hours. I like the lamictal for it's lack of other side effects and no wt. gain, I do have some itching but that i can deal with. I just afraid it won't work and i'll get manic again. If that happens I know Pdoc will make me go to hospital this time and another med change, this was #5 since Dec. Has anyone else had the energy thing happen? I do take it in the morning so it helps somewhat. Also fear that doc will see it as a stress problem as I started back to work at the same time as dose increase. I know I have to tell her about this, but it also worries me somewhat to do so.

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  40. This was good to read. I've just started Lamictal, and even after a few days I feel like it's working (my official condition is "refractory unipolar depression with psychotic features). SSRI's were not a good thing. Tricyclics did nothing. The less said about Wellbutrin the better.

    The interwebs is full of so many lamictal horror stories (all my hair fell out! all my skin fell off! I got meningitis! I got The Ras!) that it's nice to read of someone who's had a GOOD experience.

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  41. Anonymous19 July, 2011

    48 years old female bipolar disorder
    I went off my meds for 4 months. I was on tegratol for about 2 years, I felt like shit, gained weight and then became depressed, wanted to die. I have been on Lamictol for 6 or 8 months and I am still crying and started taking ambien to sleep. I am having both symptoms now mania and depression its embarassing. I feel so needy and it makes family feel very uncomfortable to be around me. I am on 150mg. I just got a job for 2 days week and joined the gym, that helps alot.
    I have been feeling alone in my state and its good to hear others understand and can relate.

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  42. First off i want to compliment on your witty blog. I too have been diagnosed with bi polar disorder and have been taking Lamictal recentley. I must say after the profuse amount of medication i have been through Lamictal has been the most kind to me. Initially i was put on Welbutrin in the beginings of my diagnosis, wich gave me the side effects you first experienced with Lamictal. Just within the first few days I was sky rocketed into super mania and of course I loved it since i had been so depressed just before. After sharing this with my doctor I was imidiately taking off of it. At first I was confused because I hadn't grasped the terms that i was bi polar I thought I was getting treatment for depression. Bummed as I was for my doc to tell me I am not supposed to feel like the superman state i was put in. I was then perscribed Depakote which let me tell you was absolute hell. I always heard of these phyciatrict medications that can put people in these zombie like states and I quickly found that I was experiencing it first hand. My thoughts stopped completely as well as any emotion. On top of that i was perscribed clonazepam which mixed with depakote it sent me in(fiquretively speaking) comatose. After long I begged my doctor to switch me to something else. I do feel that medication will help me with this daily rapid cycling but I also feel that its apart of who I am. I love being this crazy, life of the party, in your face, outrageous, creative, impulsive person even if it is followed with guilt and the realization that I will soon fall down from my high horse and crash into a burning mess of depression. So after coming to the realization that these extreme highs and lows and rapid thoughts still needed to be treated even if after dealing with it throughout my life i did indeed need to be treated but correctly. I didn't want to loose who I was in medication but I knew that the spectrum of highs and loose needed to be reduced. That is where Lamictal comes into play. I have little to no side effects and although my doctor thinks my spectrum should still be minimize to this miniscule scale. I do realize that my highs and lows aren't as varied as they are without medication. As a closing note I know medication reacts differently with each individual but I am glad to say that Lamictal has suppressed my mania and downfalls without suppressing my persona. I also can say that clonazepam is another great aid in my panic attacks and racing thoughts. Hope this was a help as was yours to me.

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  43. Thanks for the comment Brianne. I like your attitude about not letting the meds rob you completely of who you are. Agreed. These PDocs often have an extreme lack of subtlety.

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  44. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar II for 2 years now and since then have been on Lamactin. I am currently on 150mgs daily. This has honestly been the wonder drug for me. For the first time since forever I havent put on any weight. And the racing thoughts, they are no more. I appreciate so much more of life while on this medication. And the depression is just a fleeting moments in between all the other good ones. I get over it whereas before I just couldnt seem to dig myself out of this hole. I am so glad to chat to others who have had similar experiences. I am not alone after all.

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  45. You are not the only one that is experiencing chronic shakes. I am from the South Central portion of the United States (Arkansas). I am experiencing the shakes (tremors) as well. I am a DJ part-time and I work on computers, etc. When I was Djing my cousins wedding on September first of this month it was at one point that I couldn't use the mixer correctly. I grandfather had Parkinsons before he died and I don't know if this is related but my hands have shaked a very unnoticable amount before. Now I am getting the same looks. I have never done any drugs (besides medicine and I don't like to take that, I don't drink anymore and when I did it was one every few months. So I am glad to know I am not the only one. If you get anymore info email me at jayandquita@hotmail.com. BTW I have been on Lamictal for Bipolar II for 3 months.

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