Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Yes, Lamictal does cause tremors

Here's the results of a poll I put up a month or 2 ago. OK, so my PDoc was very quick to point out that a sample group of 53 is very far from drawing any scientific conclusions. But you know what Mrs PDoc - I trust these grassroots surveys way more than the drug company organised ones.

From the day I started taking Lamictal (aka Lamactil, Lamictan) 2 years ago - the hand tremmors started. But PDoc said NO, this particular side effect was not documented for Lamictal. My question is this though - how long do adverse side effects take to filter into the little accompanying drug info leaflets? No brainer - as long as possible if the drug co.s have any thing to do with it.

Indeed the whole Fckn irony of the thing is that the only reason us BiPolars are prescribed Lamictal is because curing BiPolar is a side effect of this anti-epileptic drug that was only discovered by accident way after the fact. But positive side-effects obviously get to press much quicker.

Man, I was so worried about these hand shakes that I even went to see a Neurologist a few months ago, fearing that I may have early onset Parkinsons. She did the whole barrage of knee-tapping and elbow-tapping tests on me and I was cleared (thank the gods!) of Parkinson's. When I told her about the Lamictan, she grabbed out her drug book (she's not a psychiatrist after all) and said "No, hand tremors is not listed here as a side-effect of Lamictal". Back to square fckn One.

She eventually diagnosed my condition as Essential Familial Tremor , which does, I suppose, have some credence as my Dad and Uncle have slight hand tremors too (although in your 70s whaddya expect??)

She said my tremors were likely to worsen with age. What was really weird is that she said there did happen to be one medication I could take to reduce the hand shake and that was... wait for it.....Topamax! Yeah, another former anti-epileptic now also used as a mood stabiliser. I mean how coincidental is that, especially seen as my Pdoc had once considered Topamax for my bipolar.

So I went back to PDoc with my story and she said i could switch to Topamax if I wanted to to. Or maybe even mix it into the daily routine.

But in the end I decided to put up with the friggin handshakes. As the neurologist said: "they're certainly not life threatening in any way." And I THINK Lamactil is helping my BiPolar (although I'll probably never know for certain) so I'm not gonna meddle with it. Maybe one day if my own biz doesn't work out and I'm forced to get a job I'll have to go the Topamax route, because as things stand shake now, I wouldn't even get past the first interview.

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  1. You know when I went to the doctor complaining of sensations of electrical jolts in my fingers from effexor nobody had heard of it. Not the doctors, not the pharmacist. Now its common knowledge. When I was put on Cymbalta, the side effects listed from the "drug company studies" included constipation. I got killer diarrhea. SO intense that I had every test known to mankind to find out what was causing it. Including hoses down my throat.They tried stopping cymbalta for a week- no help. I had to take opiates to slow the diarrhea down to just 6-8 times a day. I lost 18 pounds in 3 weeks. Next they were gonna run a hose up my butt. Then I went off the cymbalta again but stayed off for longer. Guess what? after 3 weeks I was cured. And when you see the commercial on TV it still say cymbalta may cause constipation but says nothing about that it might literally kill you with diarrhea, even tho my psychiatrist reported the incident to the company. I firmly believe in ask the patients. The drugs trials are short and sweet. Ask those who have taken it for 5 years instead of 5 months or those of us who have the unusual reactions that didnt come up in the study or those of who are of the type who were included in the study. THEN you find answers

  2. yeh so when you get over the bullshit that different drugs work differently for different people, i'll tell you the one side effect of lamictal you DO NOT REALIZE you're having.


    lemme spell it out for you bigger:

    A N X I E T Y

    you are freaking OUT daily because lamictal is amplifying your anxiety levels to the moon and the orionM42 pangalactic empire and further!

    but you don't see it.

    you sit there thinking it helped you STABILIZE YOUR MOODS and LIFT YOUR DEPRESSION.


    every time you freak out bordering on panic attack, it's lamictal bro!

    how should i know? well, because only 8 months after dropping it i can look back upon the 2 years i was on it and realize maybe i'm less anxious because i sit a lot, then again, maybe i started being less anxious for sure when i dumped the POS "latest wonder drug" and tralala.

    i sat here a year ago and told you to dump your friggin antipsychotix and i think you did, not that i told you, but you dropped it of your own accord.

    now i am telling you, 250mg of Lamictal HURTS YOU MORE than it helps you lift your depression.


    you are afraid to meet your old buddies for bbq because LAMICTAL!

    yes, and fuck this shit about i am not a psychiatrist to give advice and all that shit. i'm through with that bullshit.

    i've done 6 hard years of hardcore psychotropic drugs and bullshit mood stabilizers.

    now, start getting off lamictal wonder bullshit drug TODAY.

    taper off at the rate of 50 mg per month.

    that means tomorrow you start eating 200 mg per day till dec 8th, buddha's liberation day, when you start eating 150 mg per day.

    jan 8th 100 mg per day.

    then on feb 8th, you start eating 100 mg pill EVERY OTHER DAY. this is equivalent to 50 mg a day, but not really, it breaks down the daily habit, so like, you know, do it.

    then on mar 8th you start eating a 50 mg pill EVERY THIRD DAY.

    then apr 8th you go cold turkey.

    LAMICTAL is a vicious drug, don't fuck with it and its withdrawal symptoms, blah.

    while you're doing this, increase your SITTING TIME from your paltry HALF HOUR to at least one hour morning and one hour evening.

    either that or tell me to shut the fuck up, because i'm not a psychiatrist and i'll check back with you in another year or two to hear you how lamictal is helping you and shit.

  3. hey, maybe TIP's newest guide will help you better than whatevah i said:

  4. You know, it raises an interesting question: How do we know when our bipolar is being treated?

    I've had a diagnosis for 20 years now, and have been taking meds for it just as long. Ten years ago I had my monster psychoses combo and was kept 6 months in a state (read: scary/criminal) hospital to 'get my meds right.'

    So how do I know my meds are right? And conversely, when do I know they are wrong? I get mood swings ALL THE TIME. Are they less than would they 'would' have been?

    When it comes right down to it, the public and psych community are making us in charge of it. What an enormous responsibility, as bipolars, for self-medication, always watching ourselves for who we are or what we are becoming. The fact that I am not hearing Every Day that some mental patient has done some heinous on the National news should be the miracle: we're all breathing, until we go to sleep each night, and again when starting each day.

    Aw, BPG, I hope you'll forgive me as I don't mean to froth up things, I just feel like I don't even know who I am, and besides knowing when to take 18 pills during the day - that is No Lie! - and trying to figure everything else out, I get like 'this' sometimes.:) At least I'm coherent, Thank the Lord.
    Yours in Perpitude,
    And I feel like I should apologize now,

  5. Oh, and one more thing.:)

    When a drug goes on the market, I don't know how long drug 'trials' are but the Making of the Drug, whatever it is Take YEARS. There is no excuse for nearly killing people, or most of all, having half-a_sed knowledge of what it Does, Doesn't Do, and Does on the side that you Didn't Want it to do.

    I say that for a simple thing called R&D - Research and Development. This 3 word phrase means Millions of Dollars sucked out of a drug company to MAKE ANY DRUG.

    So there cannot be a blaming of a 6 week trial of anything, there can be no blaming - we're supposed to a Federal oversight (forgot name briefly) here in the good ol US as well.

    So um, I call it lying, incompetency and an unbelievable blight that companies that make BILLIONS of dollar a year can get away with hurting A Lot of people with this bullshit.

    Xyprexa finally admitted that a person can gain weight on their 'product' at Alarming rates. Hmmm, I got off that shit myself when I gaining pounds and pounds a week! (Psych weighed me, too) But the scariest thing of all - Every Single Person Taking Xyprexa at the county day program got Diabetes - EVERY SINGLE ONE!

  6. And once, again, I'm sorry, cause It's a Mental Day!:)

  7. I got hand tremors when i took a high daily dose of Lithium. I also took Effexor which also might have been the cause. When mine first started, I thought I had Parkinsons. I'm trying to keep off everything now. Except for extreme highs and lows, It's down to me to discover what effects all these drugs have. Leave it to psychiatrists and you're doomed.

  8. I am on lamictal as well and my left hand is numb on the left side. Had MRI on brain yesterday everything fine. Went to emergency room today and they gave me a hand splint and said follow up with your doctor. Also on klonapin, trazadone and prozac. Diagnosed Bipolar one last week

  9. I have Essential Tremor, and I started Lamictal perhaps three months ago. On my last appt, I told the doctor that I thought the drug was causing my tremors to worsen, but she said nothing about it. A month ago, I could write my appointment on the calendar okay, but today, as relaxed as I ever get, I had trouble printing the first letter, then gave up.

    Incidentally, the lowest score on my recent MMPI is for hypomania, so it's very unlikely that I have any form of bipolar. No surprise to me. (Depression very high.) So Lamictal might not be the best thing even without the tremors.

  10. Thanks for this article. My hubby takes Lamictal and has noticed the hand tremors. And they are getting worse. He's been tested for all the Neuro stuff and came out negative. . He's a web designer and the tremors are making it very hard for him to do his job. He is going to talk to his Pdoc and see if he can switch meds. I'm so glad he now knows he isn't the only one having tremors.

  11. I have been on Lamictal for about 3-4 years 200 mg at night for bipolar. It seems to be a great mood stabalizer combined with 50mg of seroquel for sleep. I do have left hand tremors sometimes if I nap during the day but when I get up from the nap it goes away.

    As far as bipolar is concerned there is no telling if a barrage of SSRI's over many years and coming off some of them abruptly mixed with pot smoking, cocaine and alcohol caused the bipolar disorder. Some of the SSRIs I came off abruptly I was convinced caused damage to my brain from the side effects I experienced..not fun.

  12. Anonymous05 May, 2011

    I actuay just looked in the drug index and it says that with lamictal there is a 4%-10% chance of hand tremors which really sucks because I have them really bad. At least I figured out it was not my new medication. I just switched from cymbalta. I use to nearly faint on it.

  13. Anonymous08 May, 2011

    My name is jenny. I am Bipolar II. I was diagnosed in 1987. I've taken scores of meds. Been hospilize more times than I can remember. I've had 8 ECTs, which made my memory laughable. Maybe I should be glad I don't remember, because I attempted commited suicide twice. Really close.

    Here I am 24 years later. I'm on 4 pych meds, and a few others for side effects. Why have me on extra pills to kill side effects from my regular meds???

    Not too long ago, my PDoc put me on Lamictal for depression. I hate it. Because I blame my tremors on this med, because I didn't have them before.

    It has changed the way I live my life and I'm always embarrassed when my hands and head shake out in public. I can't even drink a cup of frigin can get pretty burnt.

    My PDoc was evasive when I asked her about the tremors. NO HELP!

    I know its the Lamical OR Essential Grandmother had it. I lite her cigarettes for her. I'm scared to see me that way!

    Don't know what.

  14. i have tremors where half body shakes. been on lamictal for FOUR years ALMOST..3.5 to be precise. was diagnosed ADHD 1 year after being on lamictal for bipolar..never had attention problems before. does anyone here get whole body [or at least entire upper body above the waist] tremors.i am on 150mg lamotrigine.weigh

  15. Anonymous09 May, 2012

    Does somebody force you to take lamictal or any other medication? Last I heard you could say "I don't want to be on this particular medication anymore. Could I try something else?" The drug companies make a medication, tell you what it may do to help you and what the most reported side effects are. If you don't want to take it, don't take it. Geez.

  16. having a really hard time right now...and um on lamectal and seroquil...but i feel worse or maybe its not working. i shake from my insides...i am so anxious every time i have to go somewhere i end up crying and its driving me crazy. im detatching frim loved ones..i dont want to be touched...i need help and do jot know what to do...all day every day all i do is visualize my suicide..and i only consider suicide because i feel so crazy...ive ruined my while life and i am freaking out

  17. Nicci 8118 - BE STRONG! Get Help! It looks bad now but theres better times ahead. PLEASE!

  18. How long does this medicine take to work???

  19. It can vary from person to person. Ride it out.

  20. I take 300mg/day Lamictal for bipolar II and it is very well tolerated. For me, the only sure side effects I have noticed are a lack of coordination which causes clumsiness, and poor balance. I took Lithium for about 2 months and it the side effects were too severe for me to continue. I did have a resting tremor which is a hallmark side effect of Lithium. After I discontinued Lithium, the tremor persisted—not as bad, but a mild tremor nonetheless. It's worse when I drink caffeine. I am thinking that it may be from Lamictal, but I never noticed it before I tried Lithium which is strange to me. It's been about 6 months since I stopped Lithium and I was only on it for 2 months, so the drug should be well out of my system.

    Your doctor is correct. 53 respondents is not enough to draw any conclusions. From where did you draw your sample? Why don't you trust a drug company statistical analyses? These corporations may be corrupt in a lot of ways, but I wouldn't judge the surveys without reading them first. The studies are all available online and if you want to be thorough I would suggest reading through them. Studies like these are trustworthy in a lot of ways because statisticians account for margin of error and have experience using effective sampling methods. A "grassroots survey" accounts for nothing of the sort.

    If the drug is intolerable to you, talk to your doctor and taper off of it. It is tremendously important that you don't discontinue the drug yourself, as discontinuation symptoms will occur. Lamictal specifically, when stopped without tapering slowly can result in a serious rash that can lead to hospitalization and/or death.

    It is important to stress the variability of effects exhibited person to person. I have yet to meet two people who respond exactly the same way to a drug. You can collect all the data in the world, but the only way to find your answer is by stopping the drug and seeing if the tremor goes away.
    Ultimately, you and only you have to decide whether the negative side effects of a drug outweigh the benefits.


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