Lamictal (lamotrigine) withdrawal from hell

lamictalFor a collection of links about Lamictal in general go here.

This post has become a longstanding most trafficked article on this blog. There are over 300 comments from readers as well. There would be many more if the comments had not been disabled.

Lamictal withdrawal is often a nightmare and there is very little official documentation of it. Please report problems to the FDA right here and make sure your doctors know about any troubles you have.

I started the second phase of my Lamictal withdrawal three days ago. I was on 400 mg of it for many years. Several months ago I went off 200 mg of it. It was rough, but only in that I was greatly fatigued. Today, three days after cutting 25 mg from my still remaining 200 mg I am going ape-shit. I went to Furious Seasons to look at the threads on Lamictal withdrawal there. I am cutting and pasting pieces of people’s comments that sound like what I’m going through below. First is a comment that Philip put in the body of his post discussing Lamictal withdrawal (all bolded italics are mine throughout this post):

More withdrawal symptoms….as I mentioned above, I am TRYING to come off of Lamictal and have decreased my dosage a little at a time. I have been taking 75mg, down from 150, then 100, for the past two weeks and tried going down to 50mg over the weekend. I became incredibly moody, impatient, and hostile towards my husband and felt completely out of control. Yesterday I popped another 25mg in the afternoon when I felt the rage building and it seemed to calm me down. Should I wait a little while before I try reducing to 50mg again or do you think this will pass in a few days? I got so depressed thinking that I can’t get off this drug without turning into a bitch…we really want a baby and in order to do so, I’ve got to get off this medication. I’m scared and hate to think I’m really this moody without medication!

Philip responded:

You likely aren’t that moody. My own experience coming off Lamictal this summer was that, as you get to lower doses, it does tend to make you really bitchy and snappy. What I also found is that you’ve got to just accept that this is going to happen for a while and deal for a few weeks in order to get off the med. Not fun, I know, but essential.

Later in comments the woman again made comment:

Philip, I am the woman who wrote the post at the beginning of this blog. I just logged on and came to the site to find more info because I feel like I’m going crazy. I’ve been taking 25mg for about three weeks now, I think…it’s all a blur. I didn’t take any Lamictal Saturday and felt okay, and then Sunday came and I was sick as a dog. I had “brain flashes” and nausea, my head felt like it weighed 200 pounds, my mind felt disconnected from the rest of my body, and I was oh so tired. I napped most of the afternoon, after popping a 25mg pill, and felt better by the evening. I took another pill yesterday, but didn’t today, thinking I might be able to skip a dose until I’m finally off this wretched medication. HOWEVER, I am feeling incredibly irritable, sad, angry, worthless, depressed and suicidial…..

……..Right now, I’m in that bad place that I hate. Philip, thank you for this website and for this particular blog. Without it, I would probably not have the courage to get off this drug.

Another piece of a comment that resonates with my experience today:

I’ll second what everyone is saying here: Lamictal has a very harsh withdrawal. I was taking 100mg for about a year for PTSD/Depression, and have since worked through those issues. As there was no reason for me to keep taking it, have been losing too much weight from its side effects, and worry about long term effects, I am (under my doc’s advice) gradually tapering off.

The withdrawal effects have been irritability, loss of focus, lethargy, and headaches. They seem to be strongest from days 3 to 5. I’m on day 8, at 75mg, and I still have symptoms towards the end of the day, about 8 hours after I take it.

The worst part of this drug’s withdrawal is that it seems to make me feel as if the effects were just me and not a drug withdrawal, just as others here have mentioned. I’ve successfully worked through Klonopin withdrawal and Lexapro; neither have had that particular effect.

I have felt like I’m going to lose it all day and I did think it was me until my neurologist alerted me what should have been obvious. It’s the Lamictal withdrawal.

These people seem to be cutting the Lamictal much faster and I’m losing it with just 25 mg in 3 days. I wish I could explain just how bad it is. It’s like nails on a chalkboard on steroids. All day long. Unremitting. I feel like I’m going to have a melt down, yell, scream, cry (well I’ve done that—cried and cried and cried in my husbands lap about an hour ago) It is insane. The only reassurance I take is in what the last commenter said—that Klonopin was easier for him. Maybe it will be for me too, because I’ve always been expecting that to be the worst. Maybe instead this will be. Though the Risperdal has been it’s own special kind of hell too. It’s hard to say which one wins really. When you’re in the midst of hell the nuances of each particular hell get lost.

In any case this shocked the hell out of me. I expected it to be a piece of cake after my Risperdal fiasco three months ago. Since the first 200 mg did nothing but fatigue the hell out of me I didn’t expect this raw, mean, cruel anguish.

I will continue. My husband is now calling this an endurance test. I’ve already proven I have a huge capacity for endurance, but I can’t say I relish the next many months and possibly a couple of years at all—sometimes I fantasize of suicide, but really, I’m just too damned determined to get through this for that to last too long. And the suffering remits long enough between my experiences of hell that I gain a bit of perspective.

I do know, anyway, that occasionally I feel good. I have a couple of weeks here and there between tapers where I regain perspective. But honestly? I truly would not wish this on my worst enemy. Though it would be nice if the doctors that put us on this shit had a clue about what they are doing—but if they did psychiatry as practiced would not exist. What is the answer? So much pain and abuse done in utter criminal ignorance. Shit. The information is available—what do we do to make them all wake up? I am sickened and feel hopeless. And I’m not sure it’s just the Lamictal withdrawal.

For a collection of links about Lamictal in general go here.

For information for safer withdrawal see: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

also see: New video: Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs: A Harm Reduction Approach | Will Hall

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Comments

  1. you husband is right. It is an endurance test. at least it was for me. It took me 5 years to get the worst antipsychotic drugs out of my system. i still take a few as needed, and still experience mood swings, but not half as bad as when i was taking the heavier meds. Hang in there, it will get better.

  2. Duane Sherry says:

    Gianna,

    As we get closer to the Holiday Season, I want to thank you for being such a good friend this year – the emails and support – it was much appreciated – more than you can know.

    Thank you for the information this site provides – for each of us who struggle – who wake up and face the challenge every day.

    My hope is that you will have a wonderful Holiday Season, and continue to get stronger – and that 2008 will be a wonderful year for you – full of love and hope. If anyone deserves it – YOU DO!

    To each member of this site – have a wonderful Holiday Season!

    Duane

  3. Hi Gianna,
    I posted for the first time last night about my experience tapering off Lamictal and I thank you for your response. Then I woke this morning to read your latest post about your experience and it sounds very similar to what I experienced trying to get off Zyprexa. It was torture and I feared that I’d never recover.

    I couldn’t go through that again without having a compounding pharmacist create a solution that would allow me to taper off over many many months. Any chance that Lamitcal can be prepared in a compounded solution and tapered precisely and very slowly? In less than 25 mg tapers?

    So far my Lamictal tapering is going well but I also have stopped working and I am totally focused on getting myself healthy and balanced and off the medication. I am lucky to be able to take time to do this for myself. If I had to face a structured schedule with lots of activities I would not be doing nearly as well. Hang in there and thanks again for your wonderful information and for sharing your experiences.

  4. Denise,
    I applaud you having had the patience to take five years. I’m so impatient I’m starting to be more reckless and not go as slowly since even when I go super slowly I seem to suffer anyway.

    Duane, thanks for all your support….you are a trooper.

    Luann,
    I think I should learn from you. But like I said to Denise, I’m so sick of this. I’ve been tapering for about 4 years already. I was on 6 drugs at that point. 7 at another. The last year and a half I’ve dedicated my life to withdrawing. Perhaps that is the wrong way to go, but my symptoms have demanded it. I did do a water titration for some of my Risperdal (a drug like Zyprexa)–the water titration is similar to using a compounding pharmacy because you can make a solution and control the amount of ml you get in a syringe. That was still rough—of course at the end I sped it up—so of course that was rough—but even before when I did it slow I suffered. I’m getting to the point where I figure I’m going to suffer while withdrawing no matter what. This may be reckless like I said. I do take 2 – 3 months breaks in between real rough periods until I feel good again—and I always do, assuring me that it’s the drugs and the withdrawals making me sick.

    I don’t really know what the answer is.

  5. You wrote about which withdrawal hell was worse–isn’t it awful that we all can relate to that statement? for myself, I say it was Prozac hands down, followed by Seroquel hell. Both were horrific, and Prozac withdrawal symptoms lasted 9 months. Right down to the last tiny bit of that capsule i would break open. Seroquel was rough, but nothing like Prozac. I think the fatigue appears to be a recurring symptom, along with crabbiness for all of these meds.

    Anyway, good luck, and I’m grateful you have a supportive person living with you while you endure this. I did not have that, and it might have helped. Maybe not.

    Happy Holiday season.

  6. Hey Stephany,
    Living with someone, even a loving someone, through this is a mixed bag. It’s extremely stressful on our relationship.

    I love him tremendously and he me, and I will be profoundly grateful if we make it through this intact.

    Sometimes all I want is to be alone and let my misery touch no one but me.

  7. Hang in there Gianna. It sucks but it will pass. Have as good a Christmas as you can and surely the New Year holds some pleasures in store, you certainly deserve them!

  8. some of these drugs should be outlawed. the Prolixin and Haldol were the absolute worst for me because they caused severe shaking and tardive dyskinesia. I don’t know how any of these psych drugs can still be forced on people against their will. It is outrageous.

  9. Duane Sherry says:

    Denise,

    You’re reading my mind – they should be outlawed – and the idea that they are forced – can’t go there in my mind very often – it’s too tough to even think about it – makes me too outraged……

    All I can do is hope – that people will wake up, and that there will be some more exposure on how well alternatives work – before more people get on psych drugs…..

    Also, that the US Attn General and state AG’s will go after these mfgrs for criminal charges – enough with the civil settlements – these drug makers clear 200 million a day – just on AD’s – never mind the others……

    These withdrawal symptoms – hell, I had flu-like symptoms for almost four months after coming off Geodon – unbelievable – common denominator seems to be chronic fatigue – it’s as if the body and brain were beaten into submission – and the feelings that come back – after they’ve been supressed – the agitation, anger , frustration – only one word can describe it – ‘hell’ – as noted here…..

    Lamictal was not too tough on me – it was the neuroleptics – particularly Geodon, but I’m not surprised that Lamictal is tough for many – I remember having double-vision as I started the damned drug – something tells me that we ought to trust our own bodies – if something causes double-vision going in – surely, there will be fallout when it is taken out of the body…..

    And yet, the mantra with the medical community – is ignore the side-effects – This ought to be all anyone needs to hear – when someone tells you to ignore your own body – run like hell – because if you ignore your own body, hell is where you will end up……

    I hope things change soon – especially for younger people – that they never get on these drugs – that’s all I can say.

    Duane

  10. Duane, maybe the doctors can require the parents to take the drugs first before they force them on their children. just an idea. Although i doubt if that will ever happen.

  11. well, to be fair…I’ve heard a lot of stories of parents that are threatened by the system if they refuse to give their children psych drugs. It’s horrific.

  12. Hi Gianna,
    I relate so much to your story. Pretty much all of it. I am going through Lamictal withdrawal and it is brutal. But I have faith. Thank you so much for your candidness in sharing what you are going through. It helps to know that others are experiencing the same thing.
    Just so you know, I have already gone through Klonopin/ benzo withdrawal. twice. It was excruciating but it was just OVER in like a month . ( The physical part anyway…) Antideppresants have been hell in comparison. because their effects are more subtle and abstract.
    Can you please tell me the name of the facility you are considering? or if you (or anyone) know of other inpatient or outpatient facilities that are similar and deal with mental health and/or addiction holistically?
    I do believe it can be dangerous to do this without supportive medical supervision. I have been on psych meds for 13 years and have A LOT of experience with all different kinds and their withdrawals.
    I am currently part of an outpatient program but they are zero supportive of people going off psych meds. They are actually the ones medicating people and think its great. I can’t believe all the money that we paid them when they are pretty much incapable of understanding where I am coming from on this. As this is a major part of my life right now. so this has been a major disconnect in my support system. Initially I signed up for the program because I didn’t know of any other resources and I figured – I’m crafty and can translate and take what I need from the outpatient program (which is geared for drug addiction) and A.A.too, to the withdrawal and type of addiction that I have. And I have been able to relate. Unfortunately, it has left me still suffering in silence to a degree since my fellows in these programs are not trying to go off their psych meds OR they don’t consider it a big deal compared with other drug withdrawals. I have gone off other drugs and it pales in comparison… for me.. I am well aware this is not the case for others.
    As for now, I am in the crossroads. I need to decide once and for all if I am going to go through with this (As there is never a convenient time). I am still on 1/2 the dose of lamictal and over the last 4 months, have gone off the other 7 medications (prescription & non.). Wow… actually, I hadn’t counted that until right now. (I guess I have come farther along than I give myself credit for.) But lamictal is the worst, and lexapro… (Lexapro took me almost 2 years to go off. Bad dizzy spells. but I did it.) I just – we all do- need to keep faith. Even when my own brain is going against me because the neural pathways are sprained and scrambling to find which way is up.
    If I live through this I am dedicated to helping others in this process and doing everything I can to raise awareness of the medicating of a society and especially of children. It has become a Brave New World.
    I think its great that you want to go to school for a career in holistic health. It could be a truly positive thing to come out of all this. I know for myself, I look forward to the time when I am actually present and healthy enough to give a hand to someone else.

    -B.E.

  13. wow. i didn’t realize coming off lamictal was that hard. it took me about year to get up to 250 mg of lamictal. my doctor and i are thinking that in the near future i might start tapering off of lamictal. man, but if side effects of coming off the medicine are so bad i better think abokt when i want to start tapering off the medicine!

  14. B.E. the facility if at clearmindservices.org
    I’ve written my reservations about it, but the bottom line in my deciding against it was that I’ve been on extremely high doses of multiple meds for a straight 15 years and an additional 5 years off and on before that. I felt my situation was simply too complex. I do think it’s probably a good place for some people.
    Good luck.

  15. bleuemoon,
    while lamictal withdrawal can certainly be hell and you should at least be prepared for that possibility not everyone has a difficult time of it. I’ve corresponded with at least two people who found it very easy.

    I wish you the best.

  16. Duane Sherry says:

    bluemoon,

    ‘ditto’ on gianna’s comment -
    lamictal was pretty easy for me (the others were hell)….

    we’re all different – don’t let the experiences of others scare you from not tapering off of it – it’s worth it in the end…..

    once it’s out of your system, you’ll come back to life – that’s the good news (with all of it) -

    duane

  17. Thanks for your response Gianna. I will check it out.
    As for having medical supervision while going off, I just meant that one should have a doctor of some sort. Being in a treatment facility does not sound appealing to me at all. At this point I am totally sick of having to concentrate on this and myself. I just want to move on with my life already. But the reality is, I am scared right now and I am committed to finishing this. I am exploring options and setting up a plan so this can go more smoothly. I also went to a homeopathic doctor the other day which seems very hopeful.
    She mentioned klonadine as a temporary option too since I am having such a hard time. Has anyone taken this?
    I am happy to hear that the withdrawal process is easier for some people and that people have stayed off and actually feel better than before. Gives me a boost in hope.

  18. B.E.
    I understand being scared and wanting to move on with my life—I think that is all I talk about on this blog. Although I may not talk about how scary it is often. There is so much that is unknown.

    Boils down to having faith in ourselves and our power to heal.
    the best to you,
    G

  19. Last Friday my doctor had me cut my Lamictal dose in half, I’m slowly going off of it over a two week period, I’ve used it as a mood stabilizer for 12 years, I have to switch to a different one, because of the cost. I’ve been having horrid headaches, and I feel sick to my stomach with chills, eck :/

  20. Hi Lizzy,
    I would ask your doctor if you can slow down. It could get much worse, though there are people who don’t find it difficult at all. I’m having a really hard time and have been on it 8 years.

    Good luck. I hope you feel better soon.

  21. Thank God I found this site. I thought I was going crazy. Made a big mistake. Decided to half the amount of Lamictal I was taking. 200mgs to 100mgs until I could get my prescription refilled. Big mistake. I felt like running around in circles. I’ve been irritable, moody, on edge, depressed and all I want to do is sleep but find it difficult to do when my brain is thinking or acting illogical (brain flashes? as someone described above) It’s been horrible. I’ve learned my lesson.

    Thanks for all the input. Just have to keep telling myself that it’s the Lamictal withdrawal and that I’m not losing it.

  22. I have been taking Lamictal for the last 3 years for mood stabilization and remember feeling evil when I tried to get off of it on my own. I am starting to taper off again and it helps knowing that the intense irritability will pass – if it isn’t just me.

    One thing to consider – for the person that started this – really think through everything that you have been through and what you think you can handle for the rest of your life before you decide to have kids. Children are amazing and they can add so much joy to your life, but it is a lifetime committment and it requires all of you most of the time. Is there a possibility that we will pass on our “issues” to our children? Are we going to be able to give a child stability and consistency? Children do not ask to be brought in to chaos, so we have to consider the innocent before we think of ourselves and what we want…

  23. I (we) have started a website to address the issue of doctors subscribing these “mind-altering drugs” to women. It is Girl Talk Page. I wish that all of you would go to the forum, after reading the stories, of course. The stories are about tragedies in our lives, but the jest of our site is to give women, men are welcome too, a place to meet and get support for life and its hardships without the use of these drugs that don’t seem to have any benefit except to those who prescribe them. Please go to girltalkpage.com and comment at (on) the forum. We have been getting a lot of flack about it because of the legal issues it raises, but we are determined, as you all seem to be, to make women aware of the dangers of these drugs. Cindy have written some articles, such as “Women and Depression or Beauty and The Beast” for ezine and you would not believe the hate she received!!

    Lamictal, which is just one of many, Lexapro is another, is the devil in disguise. Masquarding as an angel to save but destroying its taker. Please, we are new and need your support to survive. Log on, talk, and educate your sisters!

    Thanks,
    Cindy, Sadie, Charlie, and Tanya

  24. i am just getting over the lamictal rash. I was fine until they up the dose and then the rash came. Not only that but even while taking it I felt very irritable and bitchy. I wish they would find a drug that helps with bi polar and doesnt have the side effects or make you feel like you are a zombie. I have been bi polar since i was 16 and still at 35 have not found a med that works without causing all kinds of stuff that i really hate dealing with. All i can say is thank goodness there are sites like this one to vent about meds and side effects.

  25. Hello everyone. I just found this website and it has answered alot of questions for me, made me feel better about some things, and helped me make some decisions. I have been on lamictal for about 4 months now. 100 mg daily. I know it doesnt sound like much in compairison to some of you. It was working nicely for the Bipolar all the while up until lately. I was having some joint pain, headaches, and bad dreams all along. I felt it was worth the side effects for the benifits of stabilizing my moods and dulling the depression. That is, until about a week and a half ago, when i broke out with a rash on the upper parts of both of my legs and some on my stomach. It itched like there was no tomorrow, and my skin crawled all over. I stopped taking the medication cold turkey, 3 days ago. Cant get ahold of my doc until tomorrow. I have noticed my skin is not so crawly anymore since i stopped taking it, and the itch is slowly getting less. I am a little worried about what side effects i may have, but i figure, its better than what COULD happen if i keep taking it?? All I can say is, I have decided no matter what, im done with the lamictal. Ive read too many bad things about the side effects. Good luck to all of you, and i wish you all the best in your journey. I hope we all itch our way through it, and get it out of our systems for good.

  26. This is my first post. I have been off of the Lamictal for over a month. My regular dosage was 150mg. I had split that for a couple of weeks. And stopped altogether. So it’s been a month; from 75mg to nothing (cold).

    I have fought through tears, and anger, but it wasn’t until tonight that I said to myself, “I NEED A DOSE NOW”. I feel like I’m going to fall to pieces (and I have, just a few times over the month), and I feel like I want to hurt myself or someone; BADLY!

    Anyway, I just swallowed one 150mg dose to hopefully ease me through what I’m feeling at this very moment. Then what? What do I do now? I took the first 150mg dose that I’ve had in months, today; after NONE for a month.

    Do I continue with none for another month, only to reach the edge, and gulp another 150mg?

    Has anyone had a similar experience?

  27. Roman,
    It’s not a good idea to take a large dose of Lamictal without titrating up slowly. Stephen Johnson’s Syndrome (the deadly rash) happens most often when not titrating slowly up.

    As far as long term care—you probably need additional supports. Diet, exercise, meditation, nutrients, peer support, therapy and time to heal.

    A month after a cold turkey withdrawal is not a long time and you may also have underlying issues on top of withdrawal issues if you haven’t addressed issues that got you on the drug in the first place so that is why I talk about additional supports.

    I suggest trying to find an orthomolecular psychiatrist and support your body and mind as much as possible.

  28. I’m glad to have stumbled across this website to read about other Lamictal users going through withdrawals and some of their side effects.

    I was forced to go on Abilify and Lamictal (court order). I’m slowly titrating down on both (decreasing mg’s one month at a time). I’m at 2mg of Abilify and 50mg of Lamictal currently. So far, during the weaning process, I’ve had no problems of bad withdrawals or flu like symptoms mentioned. I’m afraid that once I am off for good that problems will start up then??? I realize that everyone is different but I’d like to hear stories of successful weaning processes and people being okay.

    The regular daily side effects I’ve noticed through this whole journey are: forgetting how to do my job at work, severe depression, just wanting to sleep and even forcing myself to sleep when I’m not tired, bad nightmares/insomnia at times, becoming anti-social (I was very social in the past), lack of motivation to do anything and losing interest in the things I once enjoyed doing and a few other minor things.

    Please tell me that there is hope to get off of these meds and get back to the girl that I once was (social, loved scrapbooking and ATVing, in a good mood all the time, etc.)

    Thanks in advance,

    Jess

  29. MC,
    I haven’t done it yet, but many have. Lots of my readers have successfully come off all sorts of drugs and are doing very well and even better than ever.

    Some people DON”T have a hard time with Lamictal as well. I’ve communicated with a number of people for whom it was the easiest drug to get off of.

    Hang in there.

    Are you doing other things to support yourself? Eating well, exercise, meditation, meaningful work?

  30. Muddychick says:

    giannakali,

    I should be but haven’t been doing anything good to support myself. I’ve been eating poorly, not exercising, haven’t meditated like I once did or anything. The depression has really gotten the best of me. I can just lay around and cry at the drop of a hat these days.

    I am hoping to successfully wean off these meds and be my normal self again (that is my personal goal). My normal self is on the borderline manic side but I’d rather have that than the depression.

    The docs think I’m Bipolar II but I do not buy it one bit. I was fine for years until I wound up on these forced meds and it really sucks.

    Any tips for trying to stay positive and overcome depression?

  31. MC,
    read the last two things I posted:

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/more-on-recovery/

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/neuroplasticity-of-the-brain/

    both uplifting and both have good advice…(I”m needing that advice at the moment myself)

  32. I tried to get off Lamictal but had similar experiences – dizziness, increased depression, unable to focus and horrible mood swings. I have a couple of things going on. We are trying to get pregnant. Decided that side-effects from Lamictal (& risperdal) were less than being out of my mind for 8 mos. Now, I realize that over the year I have been on Lamictal & risperdal I have gained 15 lbs. It just seems unfair. Here, we are trying to get healthy and the pounds just come on. Any thoughts?

  33. democrat,
    I can only suggest you try altering your lifestyle for the better if there is room for that (there usually is). Radical lifestyle changes including but not necessarily limited to diet, exercise, meditation/yoga etc can help many peoples mental health. If you make those changes you might find you feel more stable and you may be able to cut down on some of the meds which could potentially cause problems in pregnancy. It’s a tough call. I’ve struggled with not having children because of the meds I’ve been on. It’s a very individual and intimate decision. I wish you the best.

  34. Dylan Halevi says:

    Hey everyone.

    Firstly, I must say how refreshing it is to have such a wealth of information at hand, especially in such a dark time. It’s terrible that people are going, or have been, through this, but as we all know, misery loves company.

    I have been on every damb drug out there, Risperdal, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, and currently Lamictin (Lamictal), just to name a few. None of them have really worked and I usually stay on a drug for a few months and then go cold turkey.

    As far as Lamictin is concerned, I am going off the right way. I have been on 150 mg’s a day for a little over 7 months and I feel like it has killed my soul, I have no desire to better myself nor do I wish to aspire to anything. I used to be the most passionate person, although it was somewhat a manic passion. Anyways, I prefer the mania and depression as opposed to feeling nothing.

    I have decreased my dosage by 25 mg’s every two weeks and suprisingly, its been fine, up until yesterday. Saturday saw my decreasing to 75 mg’s a day, and its hit me hard. I feel suicidal most of the time, but it has intensified like mad, and as per the usual symptoms, I am angry, lashing out at the people I love and trying desperately to figure out what is going on with me and why I have lost all control. I feel like a wild animal, although it passes somewhat every few hours. Its almost like I am cycling rapidly between depression, anger, fear and absolute helplessness. Anyways, I have faith that it will pass, and hopefully soon, I cant afford to put my life on hold like this, I am a University student and am seriously pissed off at having to continuously reaffirm my faith in everything that makes me want to live.

  35. goodluck Dylan,
    I’m hanging in right there with you. I made three decreases of 25 mg once a week about a month ago now. The fallout didn’t start until a couple of weeks later. It’s been hell. I’m just holding for now. I still have 100 mg to go. But I did recover since I first wrote this post…I just resumed and am now back in hell!!

    Try not to force it….be gentle and if need be reinstate a little and come off more slowly.

    here’s to your health returning quickly (and mine too!)

    (edit: many people need to reduce using the pediatric pills which come in 2 mg, I finished my taper by cutting down in micro doses)

  36. God, sometimes I really hate being married. My wife and I both have depression and anxiety, as well as other unclassified problems. Reading through all of this it just reminds me of how whenever we’ve needed to come off of something, or change something, we make each other miserable.

    Yeah I am mainly thinking in selfish terms, though. I’m tired of feeling her pain as she’s withdrawing off of valluum (and all meds all together; I don’t believe I could function up to my standards that way). But also, reading all of this has sparked these feelings in me as I want to lower my dose of Lamictal, or go off of it all together. It’ll be a nightmare. Not just for her, but her presence will impede my own ability to cope with lowing the dose. I may end up giving up just due to the fights it will undoubtably cause, and the inevitable bitching from her. I know despite it all she’ll really just care and it’ll only be a natural, human emotional reaction that in honesty I can nor wont fault her for, but it doesn’t matter ultimately as the emotion damage it inflicts isn’t softened by fact. It’ll be fight after incessant fight, and bitch after incessant bitch. But how would I blame her? I couldn’t in fairness but part of me will.

    I love her to death but some times I wonder if it’s all worth it. With simple girlfriends and boyfriends (who come and go), or close friends, we (like us) can/could go away for a while, come back to them when we’re in a better frame of mind. When you’re married you’re emotionally LOCKED together. Your feelings become hers visa versa. It’s why I’ve stated I’m never having kids, and she shares my sentiments although I think it’s sad deep down.

    Perhaps it isn’t so much a selfishness as it is: I don’t want to inflict what I’m going through on others, and I want to have the power and liberty to distance myself from others until I’m better company.

    Anyway, if you read through this far then I appreciate it. I just stumbled across this randomly, looking for info on Lamictal withdrawal to prepare myself. Thank you for allowing me to vent.

    Best Wishes and Best of Luck,
    Jeff

  37. Jeff,
    Venting is fine…
    Just to give you some hope—there are people who withdraw easily from Lamictal. They probably don’t find this web page or look for it either, but I’ve talked to people who’ve had no problem coming off Lamictal and other drugs as well.

    I wish I was a poster child for it being a piece of cake—I would’ve been very happy to be such an example—but this blog has turned into a marathon of waiting things out and taking years to get off of many drugs.

    This is to you—that it may not cause you the pain you’re thinking it will, okay? Try not to expect the worst.

  38. Muddychick says:

    Just wanted to say that I’m now off of Abilify for 5 days and have had no withdrawal problems other than being super emotional (crying jags over everything). In another week I will be tapering down the lamictal from 25mg to 12.5mg then to nothing.

    I’ll keep you posted on my progress. So far so good (fingers crossed). I’ve had no issues with weaning down from 100mg (I cut down about once every couple of weeks in Mg’s.

  39. Muddychick,
    No need to rush. On Feb 10th you were on 2 mg of Abilify and 50 mg Lamictal. Thats moving really fast, especially if you’re not supporting your health in other ways as you’ve indicated.

    Please take care of yourself. I imagine something happened if you were forced to take these drugs. Take care of yourself so something like that does not happen again.

    I’m worried about you.

  40. So i was prescribed Lamictal in November 2007 by a quack of a Dr. First I took the most ridiculous test and was immediately diagnosed Bi-Polar. I told the Dr. that I was still breast feeding and he prescribed it anyway. My son has been sickly ever since, now it could be the weather or some other outside source (baby gym, etc.) but after talking to my pediatrician he told me about a rating scale (L-1 through L-5) regarding breast-feeding and/or pregnant women. Lamictal is a L-3 which is somewhat unknown wether it is expressed through breast milk and can cause harmful effects to your child. Now, I went into the Dr. (aka the drug pusher) and told him about what my pediatrician had said and he gave me a blank stare and told me he had no idea what this rating scale was and I must have misunderstood and that he’d never heard of it. Well that was scary. He then told me to discontinue the meds….just stop taking them. Now I’m on 200 mg and that didn’t sound right. He wouldn’t write a prescription for coming down from the meds. Luckily I decided with my remaining pills that I would try to decrease on my own (i really had no other choice) and it’s been terrible. I’m tired, uncaring toward my child and husband and have thought that the world would just be better without me. I’m trying to stay positive and push through for the sake of my family. I just wanted to post to tell my story to people who can understand. my husband thinks I’m even crazier and I can’t even bring myself to try to talk to him about it. thanks for listening….. -Jen

  41. Jen,
    Maybe you pediatrician can help you cut down slowly. You can get pills as small as 25 mg and cut those if you need too. Your baby needs you—you don’t want to withdraw too quickly if you’re such an emotional wreck.

    Also, I don’t know why the pdoc thought you were bipolar but I imagine you described to him something going on. Are you getting support for whatever that was in some other way?

    There are many ways you can learn to support your body and soul through natural means. I don’t suggest you do nothing else right now. Withdrawal really drains ours bodies and there is also usually a need to address whatever we were put on the drugs for.

    my best to you Jennifer.

  42. Hi,

    I just wanted to say that Lamictal has been a godsend for me. For the first time in my life, I am capable of accomplishing things, and I haven’t had a major mood episode in almost 2 years! Since I’ve been taking Lamictal, I have also been able to completely stop taking Lithium (horrible side effects, feeling all creativity sucked out of me, feeling like a zombie, constant thirst and thyroid issues), which had previously been the only medication that worked for any length of time.

    However, the process of going on Lamictal was terrible. I was going up very slowly, 25mg at a time, every 2 weeks, but I was exhausted, slurring my speech, having bouts of trembling, and generally feeling “knocked out” for 15 hours after I took it- basically half of every day was a total wash. Under the close supervision of my doctor, I decided to just up the dose by 150 mg up to my target of 300, all at once.

    What followed was a hellish 3-4 weeks, but after I had adjusted, wow, the difference was incredible. I have never been so productive. I have gone back to school, and I have a 3.9 GPA!

    I am really scared of having to go off it eventually, because I would ideally like to have kids, and I know about the birth defects/deformities that are linked to Lamictal.

    Once, my prescription ran out, and my doctor was out of town, and I was without my meds for 2 days. Horrific withdrawal symptoms, and I ended up having a small seizure. Irritability, partially because there was that “nails on a blackboard” feeling someone else described constantly in the background. I felt like something was crawling under my skin, or like there was an itch I could not scratch. I also began to have (unpleasant) manic symptoms. No thanks, I think I’ll stay on it until I absolutely have to stop.

    I am so glad that the patent on Lamictal runs out this July, so hopefully I will be able to get a generic version. It is way too expensive, even with my copays.

    I wish all of you guys luck!

  43. Thank you so much. I do have mood swings and have for years although now I have a family and need to be in control of myself. I am seeing a psychologist and things are working very well with her. I’ve always been one to do things naturally (i.e.. water-drug free birth, naturopathic doctors, acupuncture etc.) but I really felt I was tearing my family apart with my mood swings but just learning how to deal with my past and my present and future within myself is the best way. I just feel so sorry for what these psychiatrists are prescribing without any knowledge of side effect or withdrawal. thank you again, it means so much for someone just to listen and take the time to do their best to help as you have done.

    my best to you,
    Jen

  44. Jen,
    You’re very welcome and I absolutely believe that much of the work we need to do is, indeed, internal. I’m on that journey with you now.

    Peace to you and your family.

    Kate,
    thanks for sharing. I too thought Lamictal was great but it didn’t stay that way, but I’m glad you’re doing well.

    I really hope that you never have to go through what I’m going through.

    My best wishes to you.

  45. Boy, am I glad I found you guys…..I have been taking 75
    mg-About two weeks ago I decided to cut in half..

    Weepy, bad cold and cough symptoms, rapid heart beat, little sleep. I could not figure out what the hell was wrong-THEN I realized I started into withdrawal. I do not have as much vitality on the drug, but at least I corrected the symtoms of withdrawal.

    I also felt that manic agiatated behavior returning..So back to 75mg a day!

    Better rug than most of the other ones, anyone have weight gain???

    Thanks, Carol

  46. Muddychick says:

    Carol,

    I’ve had some weight gain. Been eating like crazy (even if I’m not really hungry). I cut down to 12.5mg 2 days ago and so far, so good yet.

    Jess

  47. I’m just wondering…I realize some of you have had the rash, so that’s why you’re getting off the Lamictal. To those who aren’t getting off b/c of the rash, why are you trying to get off? I’m new to Lamictal, currently progressing through the 5 wk. pack and experiencing nausea for approximately one day, and that has taken place twice (once 3 days after starting the pack, once 3 days after increase to 50 mg).

  48. CiCi,
    People have all sort of reasons to go off psych meds. Everything from various side effects being intolerable to wanting to live without chemical intervention.

    In my case I decided the multitude of side effects of all the drugs combined were not worth it. I also realized that I had been inappropriately diagnosed.

    Lamictal, in particular, always made me nauseous—it never went away, but it does for many people.

    I hated living with the nausea. Now that I’m down to a much lower dose the nausea is finally gone, but I still want to get off the rest because I feel like I’m discovering who I really am.

    I don’t suggest everyone do what I do.

    You need to decide what is right for you. Information pro-drug and critical of drugs is available if you look for it. Knowing what you are putting in your body and making an informed choice is what is most important.

    We all have a right to decide what we put in our bodies.

  49. Yes, I totally understand about each of us having the right to decide what we put into our bodies. I was just curious as to the number people having difficulties dealing with the side effects versus those simply not wanting to be medicated. Please don’t infer that I was trying to judge anyone. I’m just trying to get a feel for others’ point of view relating to the medication.

    I know that meds can work differently in different people; we all don’t have the same responses to a particular medication. And, I have been one who definitely does not like the idea of having to take medication, but I have learned (the hard way) that I definitely need something to keep me on an even keel. Without meds, or on the wrong meds, I can be very difficult to deal with, even to the point that I get frustrated with myself for being unable to control my behaviors, thoughts, and attitude.

    Like I stated earlier, I’m still on a pretty low dose and working my way up to maintenance level, whatever that might turn out to be. I fully realize that I ultimately have to decide for myself what is working and what isn’t. Fortunately, my side effects with Lamictal have been few; I can only hope that it stays that way!

  50. CiCi,
    I did not at all think you were judging at all.
    I wish you the best with you health and that you may find the right solution for yourself.

  51. kpodracky says:

    This is my first time to the site. Discovered it when I did a search on weaning times for Lamictal. I have been on Lamictal for about a year now. My husband and I want to have another child and are scared of the birth defects associated with Lamictal, primarily cleft pallete (spelling?). I was on a dose of 150mg twice a day. I am currently on day 5 of quitting cold turkey. So far, I have not seized and I am praying that I will not. I know I should taper, but at this point I am just going to go with it and see what happens. I am taking 4mg of folic acid and a prenatal vitamin. I am also reading The Food-Mood Solution by Jack Challem. I have found that if I keep my blood sugar as even as possible it helps with my mood/anger/irritablity. This is a great site and will be a valuable resource in the days ahead. Any recommendations for reading materials or websites that help to locate doctors that discourage prescription medications?

  52. kpodracky,
    for a resource directing you to listings of alternative practitioners go to:

    http://discoverandrecover.wordpress.com/

    Look in the side bar of that blog—there are lots of links to various organizations where you can do searches for health care practitioners of various kinds…

    good luck.

  53. Glimpse Inside says:

    First of all, thanks for a wonderful site, with lots of information from personal experiences about Lamictal withdrawal.

    I am at the crossroads with Lamictal now, not sure whether to continue giving it a try, or continue tapering off it. I have been prescribed it about 3 weeks ago, and started upping the dosage very slowly, fearing the rash. Started with 12.5mg for the first week, then took 25mg for about two weeks. I was not even sure whether I am bipolar. My primary symtoms were lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, feeling tired and fatigued most of the time, unrefreshing sleep, kind of a dreamy unfocused mental state. I didn’t have any noticeable manic-depressive mood swings, but after reading about the condition called Bipolar Spectrum , I though I may have some bipolar in me. However, judging from response to 25mg Lamictal, I am starting to think I may need more of an anxiety medication. Lamictal helped a little with motivation and dreamy (manic) feeling, but I became very anxious, actually crying a lot, which I would not normally. It kind of started to bring a lot of emotional issues from the past, and made me very tense. I started having tension headaches, and panic attacks, worrying about everything, so I thought I would go off it and give a try to anxiety med instead.

    And then it began. Eventhough I was just on 25mg, after skipping it for a couple of days, I suddenly woke extremelly tired, excessivelly anxious to the point I did not understand why I am anxious, not being able to trace a thought that could have started anxiety. I felt as if my head was splitting in half, as if I was be going insane. Very tormenting experience. And thats just from going off 25mg. I am scared even to think what it would feel to go off 200mg, which is a standard dosage. But yet, as I begin to shift into my totally unproductive, oversleeping, dreamy-manic state; I begin to feel bad I didn’t give it a full try. Its interesting, that I didn’t have withdrawal effects going off Prozac, Celexa or Paxil; but this thing totally messes me up.

  54. unproductive, oversleeping, dreamy-manic state;

    that doesn’t sound manic. people do not oversleep when manic—they hardly sleep at all.

    If you are having an adverse effect to the medication listen to your body. I can’t tell you what you are feeling though.

    I can also tell you taking anti-anxiety meds is a very slippery road. There are lots of alternatives to treating anxiety including various therapies and nutritional regimens as well as lots of exercise.

    You’re lucky you didn’t have a hard time with the anti-depressants…in coming off them. I actually didn’t either really—not compared to other stuff I’ve been on….but a word of caution—some people experience ease coming off of them the first few times and then it becomes ugly.

    All I can say is be careful and do some research. You do have options— something that is rarely shared with us. Inform yourself and then choose from an arsenal of options.

    check out my “about” page (top left corner)

    The book “Depression Free Naturally” is good for anxiety too.

    I wish you the best.

  55. Glimpse Inside says:

    I know, people with manic, or ADHD should have trouble falling asleep, and not with oversleeping. But then there are things like bipolar spectrum, or cyclothymia (mild bipolar); and both of them have oversleeping as their symtoms. I think I have some difficulty falling asleep when I have to, but once I am asleep, I sleep long, usually about 12 hours. And after that I still wake up non refreshed. First, I thought I may be depressed, but anti-depressants did not work and I don’t feel this typical sadness associated with depression. I once had a depressive episode when my condition started, so I kind of know how depression feels. The major benefit of Lamictal or antidepressants I think is that they brought up my anxiety to the top, making me more aware of it, which I didn’t identify as a major problem before.

    And thanks so much for your advices. I will look into the book about getting rid of depression naturally, but I am kind of sceptical since I tried yoga, acupuncture, various vitamins and herbs, fish oil, taking long vacations, but they did not do much. Maybe thats because I don’t have typical depression, I don’t know.

    5th day off Lamictal, I am actually starting to feel better. No more headache, and everything started to fall into places where they were before Lamictal. I took 12.5mg yesterday, and today, to smoothen the transition, so that may also be the reason.

  56. The major benefit of Lamictal or antidepressants I think is that they brought up my anxiety to the top, making me more aware of it, which I didn’t identify as a major problem before.

    those sound like adverse effects of the drugs to me…not underlying problems brought to light.

    drug induced symptoms of illness or “iatrogenic illness”

    be careful–drugs do sometime send people on a spiral of worse and worse symptoms. they are by no means always helpful.

  57. Proxilin / Fluphenazine or Moditen
    Antipsychotic drug withdrawal.
    Jenny from the U.K. here:

    Hi… any other people withdrawing from any Antipsychotic drugs called Proxilin / Fluphenazine or Moditen

    This is the first time for me on this site. I am coming off a drug called Fluphenazine or Moditen in the U.K. and Prolixin and various other names in the U.S.
    Fluphenazine has the most horrendous withdrawal effects coming off them, having been on them for 30 years. I was wrongly put on them for post natal depression. The only way to come off for me and others on a similar drug and withdraw safely is by reducing by 1 milligram per month to six weeks in my case, and even this is fraught with difficulties. People over here in the U.K. who have not managed to get enough stock of this pill, as Sanofi Aventis U.K. have run into manufacturing problems so they say, and they are being discontinued in June 2008. People who have stopped abruptly have experienced many side affects like Tardive Dyskinesia (involuntary mouth and body movements and drug induced Parkinsons) when the medication is stopped abruptly.

    I have been tapering off now for two years and will take me another year or two to get off it as I can’t risk the horrendous and irreversible side effects discontinuation would cause.

    I purchased very accurate laboratory milligram scales which for me have been a life saver, as they are twice the price over here in the U.K. and worth their weight in gold. The scales have enabled me to grind the pills down and reduce the dosage by 1 milligram per month to six weks. Any other way is impossible with a drug of this potency to reduce accurately. I am, down from 75mg to 19 mg (pill weight not drug content) as of the 30th March 2008.

    I can not emphasize enough the importance of withdrawing slowly by weight on this particular drug called: Proxilin / Fluphenazine or Moditen in the U.K. Look in Wikipedia for other names.

    If you require any help or information please email me at:
    phillipathomas49@hotmail.com

    Good luck if you decide to withdraw from the medication you are on but be careful and do it very slowly. I know from experience, it has been far from pleasant!

    Best wishes to every one going through withdrawal from any prescription drugs.
    Please feel free to contact me through this site or email address above if you would like to.

    Jenny – from the U.K.

  58. thank you Jenny,
    Prolixin is a neuroleptic — it is one of the older kinds, but I’m reducing a neuroleptic too (a newer one) and it sounds about the same. It sounds like you are doing it wisely. I wish you the best of luck.

    If you read this blog you will find others who are withdrawing from various neuroleptics both old and new as well as other drugs…

  59. Hi all–
    I posted my drug withdrawal story part I somewhere else on this site and can’t figure out how to move it here. It’s so helpful hearing from all of you. Even with all my expertise with drugs at this point, I forget why I’m feeling so nuts. Monday I tapered down another 25mg of Lamictal (started at 400 and am going down 25 mg every two weeks.) Yesterday was hell. I was hanging on minute by minute–someone said nails on a chalkboard. A kind of itchy, jumpy, panicky feeling mixed with inability to focus, headache, insomnia, skincrawling sensations, a feeling of tightness and burning around my head, nightmares and some very odd thoughts–last night when a small plane went over, first it sounded like a giant didgeridoo–a Native Australian instrument with a resonant sort of hum–and then like a large grumbling voice, and then it seemed like it was going to fly into my bedroom—at which point I laughed out loud, got up and turned on the lights and said OK this is lamictal withdrawal, and it’s getting scary, and went and took 25 mg. But thank God that we have these networks so we can tell each other “that’s the drug,” and not think we’re spontaneously combusting!

    I’ve just moved my mental “withdrawal done” date from late November to maybe by my late February birthday.

    When a doctor addicted me to codeine (which I didn’t realize is actually a form of morphine!) I had to detox inpatient and it was truly terrible, but there was someone monitoring me, and if it got bad they had some medication to get me through. It took five days full time, but I didn’t feel normal for a year. However, my naturopath recommended a tincture of calamus root, which is used in Australia in drug addiction programs. I don’t know if it’s helpful for anything other than opiates–I have a call in to find out. One thing I noticed is that at each step down, I show signs of detoxification–especially my urine has a very strong odor. It’s odd to me that coming down a step makes this happen, but I’m trying to help the process along by doing standard body cleansing thngs–lots of water, cleansing herb teas, and gut cleansers like psyllum husks. My favorite so far is something called Tri-Cleanse that is both fiber and a classic indian herbal formula used to cleanse the gut. Tastes and feels better.

    I’m a little discouraged that even 25 every two weeks seems to be more than I can handle well. Because I’m on it for epilepsy,and too fast withdrawal of any drug can trigger seizures, II have to pay close attention to anything that feellike seizure risk–which I can only sometimes identify in time. And with all this fog in my head…!
    Anyway, thanks for being here. I feel a lot less alone.
    Aurora

  60. Hi Aurora…
    I’m actually using pediatric Lamictal now and cutting down by 2.5 – 5 mg every two weeks…for some of us it’s just really hard and 25 mg cuts are too big.

    Also even people without seizure disorders can seize if they go off an antiseizure med quickly…(many are used for mood stabilizers)

    I’m feeling better now that I’ve slowed down to a seemingly ridiculously slow pace. If you’re suffering too much you might consider it…we’ll get off eventually…I figure I’d rather suffer less.

  61. Thank you. For the suggestion and the encouragement. I hadn’t considered that there must be pediatric doses. I have, however, started using my naturopath’s suggested herbal tinctures. Three times a day, 15 drops each of calamus root and oat seed tinctures, plus ginger tincture to taste because calamus can cause nausea. So far it’s helping a LOT.

  62. How is the calamus root and oat seed tinctures helping? what withdrawal effects do they calm?

  63. I quit taking Lamital 7 days ago after tapering over a few weeks. 150, 75, 37.5 and then nothing. Did under the supervision of a doc and cut my 150 pills into quarters. It has not been horrible, but it has not been great. Headaches. very irritable, exhausted, not sleeping well. I even feel like my eyesite is blurred. It is helping that I keep reminding myself that my brain is in a major state of flux and am just trying to keep my mouth shut as much as possible to protect my loved ones! Though a benefit is that in lieu of my nice ‘let me do it all persona’, everyone is scurrying around the house putting away clothes, toys, papers etc. In retrospect, I could have tapered more slowly (though as I said, this was doc agreed upon plan.)

    When I cut from 15 to 75 to 37.5 it seemed like it was about 5 days of YUCK and it would get better. It has been a week since I have taken none. Anyone have any comments on how until the YUCK I am currently experiencing will pass. Will say that I am hoping the extreme irritatbility I am experiencing is due to withdrawal and not me post lamictal!!!

    The point of this post is though I have described ill effects, it has not been an insurmountable fight to get off of this. It’s not great, but it has not stopped my life because of it. I am just looking forward to being done.

  64. Marcy, I too had a tough time withdrawing from Lamictal. Wish I could help you with the details. It’s amazing how unique each of our brains is. I stay very busy all the time & that was my best distraction whenever I changed meds. Follow your heart & do what’s best for you till the feeling passes. It definitely will! I suffered from manic depression (correctly diagnosed) but at age 62 I’ve been med-free & symptom-free for 4 years. Click on my website & you can watch a YouTube video of me located the third line from the top, I believe. May your recovery be easy!!!

  65. Ruth,

    Your support group is funded by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, makers of Risperdal, a neuroleptic, one of the most dangerous groups of drug in use in medicine today.

    You acknowledge that you receive “generous” BigPharma funding, but what exactly does BigPharma get in return?

    What does the Janssen cash mean for the editorial freedom of your group’s newsletter, leaflets and other publications?

    Is BigPharma influence overt, or is it more subtle?

    Are the BigPharma grants conditional?

    Might future grants to your group depend on your continued support for Janssen products including Risperdal, and psychotropics in general?

    Eileen

  66. Not to interrupt but I would love anyone willing, to answer how long it took them to feel better after Lamictal withdrawals. I have been on son many medications for depression/anxiety, that haven’t worked, only made things worse, that I’m done with the medication route. But Lamictal was my last hope and it actually was seeming to work. The problem was that it made me have such terrible nausea that I couldn’t do anything…couldn’t drive, couldn’t look down when I was walking, couldn’t watch tv even. The only thing I could do was lie flat on my back for the nausea to, for the most part, subside. I took only 25 mg with that bad of an effect. I was on my back most of that time, but mentally felt good. It got to where I knew even THAT wasn’t worth not moving for, so after three weeks on 25 mg, I stopped taking it.

    My symptoms were just as I believe Giana’s were, the woman who began this blog. The first day without Lamictal was absolutely astounding. I still mentally felt great, but didn’t have the side effect of feeling morbidly nauseous. I hadn’t felt so good in such a long time. But then, the next day, a Sunday, I started feeling absolutely the same nausea as I had throughout the Lamictal period. And, in addition, these crazy brain zaps would happen and progressively got more and more numerous as the day went on. I couldn’t move around without being nauseous or having several brain zaps in a row, repeating like that every two minutes or so, all day.

    Today is Monday, my third day off Lamictal, and its hard to even look at the screen as I type this because of how bad the nausea is. I’m in no way pregnant, and have no other reason to believe my nausea is anything but Lamictal, but didn’t expect it during withdrawals as well. Can anyone please help me to understand how long this may take? Because I’m beginning to question that I may have a serious stomach issue completely having nothing to do with Lamictal, though, as I said before, I have nothing else to attribute it to BUT the Lamictal. Please help,

    Sincerely,

    Terisa

  67. Terisa,
    I’m really sorry but there is no real answer for your question. We are all so different.

    I find it odd that you’re having withdrawals at all being on only 25 mg for a couple of weeks…on the other hand it doesn’t surprise me either…it’s a very common phenomena with benzos…the problem is we know so much less about Lamictal because there simply isn’t as many people who have come off of it.

    I can only suggest you hang in there—it might be a good idea to go back on half a tablet of Lamictal and taper more slowly too.

    Oh, I was also wondering if you’d gone off an SSRI any time recently…the brain zaps are usually associated with SSRI’s, but I’ve now heard it from a couple of Lamictal users…it just makes me wonder if SSRI’s are in the mix…

    also withdrawing from SSRI’s can make one extremely nauseated…

    good luck…

  68. Gianna,

    Yes, I just got off of Zoloft recently, being at 150 mg, of which I was very careful to taper off gradually from. It was naive of me not to mention it in the previous post, but for the fact that it never gave me the dehabilitating nausea, as Lamictal has, and of which is my worst symptom. Its been several days now since writing and I have still combated the nausea with simply not eating…but then, I get it even when I don’t eat too…

    So yes, anyways, I think you’re right that the SSRI withdrawals are producing the brain zaps…and I believe you that SSRI’s, during their withdrawal, can make you nauseated, but lamictal from the beginning did this to me, so I keep thinking it’s that. I really will keep in mind that it may still be the Zoloft withdrawals continuing on through. Thank you so much for writing back so promptly!

    -Terisa

  69. Hello, I had been taking Lamictal for a year and decided I wanted to feel again. Since taking Lamictal, I haven’t had any desire to do anything and my depression hasn’t lessened. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar and have been my entire life. I have been put on every medication and nothing has helped me in finding that inner happiness. I don’t really take very good care of my body so I just decided to cut my 150mg in half for a week and then just stop taking it. This was a month ago. Well, I got the brain zaps so bad I wanted to bash my head in and I was so incoherent so I had my boyfriend drive me to the pharmacy to refill my prescription. I started to take it immediately and it took a couple of days for the withdrawls to stop. I was determined to stop taking it because I need my life back. I have been so lazy and zombie-like this whole year and I have gained so much weight because I just have no desire to do anything. I am not a lazy person and I have always been cocerned about how I look and my weight but for the last year I haven’t really had the desire to take care of myself. I took 2 weeks off of work and so I cut my dose in half again and then stopped taking it. This time I didn’t get the brain zaps but I don’t feel like I want to live either. I am so extremely depressed, can’t go to work because my brain is so messed up and just recently I have the worst headaches cold sweats and extreme naseau. It has been 3 weeks that I have completely stopped taking the medication and I’m going to work through this but it is extremely hard. I don’t know how to go to work. I have a very physical job and I feel like I’m going to pass out when I go to work. I also started shaking extremely bad and had to go home. I have called in sick for the last week and I have to go back in two days and I just don’t know how I’m going to do it. I can’t believe this drug is making me feel so terrible. How do I go to work and act normal when I feel anything but normal? I just want this to be over. I want my life back. I want my body back. Torie

  70. Torie,
    hate to say it, but before you can get your body and life back you have to take care of it….

    If I were you I would reinstate the Lamictal and follow a protocol of this nature:

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2007/03/15/psychiatric-drug-withdrawal-for-beginners/

    Look at the About page on the blog:

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/about/

    there you can learn about nutrition and alternative care and bring the info to your doc so that you can taper responsibly.

    I’ve been working on tapering lamictal for two years. Currently I don’t make tapers bigger than 5 mg at a time. (I got some pediatric lamictal)

    What you’ve done is potentially dangerous, please take care of yourself.

  71. Hi again! The one thing that I don’t understand is if you do taper off really slowly, you still have the same side effects as you do when you quit. why not just stop taking them and just get it over with because you will feel horrible anyway. I don’t want to start taking it again. What about the people who has to stop taking it because they get the rash. They have to stop it completely because of the horrible side effects. I just am wondering what difference it really makes. Why put myself through this for longer than I have to? I’m just so angry that my doctor just prescribes me all this medication all the time. I really don’t want to call my doctor. I just am so tired of feeling this way. I was tired of feeling the way I did on the medication. Why is it so dangerous?

  72. most people if the taper is done properly from the get go won’t have horrible symptoms…it’s possible to go slow enough to avoid a lot of the horrible symptoms…

    most of the people having a horrible time are moving too quickly…

    I’m not horribly sick anymore…and I’m cutting down by 5 mg at time no faster than my body tolerates.

  73. I just want to thank you for this website. Reading all these stories help alot and thank you for all the information. I really do appreciate it. You take care too, Torie

  74. thanks for this website, it has been helpful. i’ve been on lamictal for seven years and am with the help from my dr. weaning off of it. i was at 150 and now i’m down to my last 25mg. so far i’ve been ok. a little edgy, restless and a little emotional, but nothing like going off of paxil. what scares me though is it possible to have some kind of backlash a few weeks down the road? and how do you know if you are having just withdrawl depression and the real thing. how long do you wait to make sure that it “will just pass” and that you are not backsliding. i’ve been strangely calm and in a good mood which has me a little apprehensive. any thoughts from anyone?

  75. Vic,
    the best way to avoid problems is to have better self-care practices in place.

    The ones I recommend are religiously healthy diet, meditation, and exercise—-I’m particular to Eastern forms of movement medtitations such as Tai Chi and Yoga…

    Supplements are a huge part of my program as well.

    Commitment to a different lifestyle and loving self-care are necessary substitutes to psych meds in my opinion.

  76. thanks for your input. i do exercise a little bit, i don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. i eat relatively ok, maybe a little too many carbs and sugar. i do take a multi-vitamin and i drink tons of water. i am just soo scared that this calm is misleading and a major crash is right around the corner. i actually feel better not being on such a high dosage. going down to 25mg three days ago is now starting to give me a light headache and a little restless, but that is it. paxil was unbelievably hard, that is why i’m still a little skeptical that this has been ok so far. doesn’t it take a really long time for the drug to leave your system? i’m a massage therapist, so i don’t have health insurance which is really frustrating. i’ve been doing some research and i definitely have symptoms of ppmd and am wondering if i should try working on my anxiety/depression from a hormonal standpoint and try one of those birth control pills. i tried a mostly estrogen based one in the past and was ok, but then tried a progesterone one and was suicidal in days. do you have any info on bc’s or heard and testimonials?

  77. I’m not one to talk to about hormones…they have all been awful for me.

    Your diet does not sound particularly good and your supplementation is not nearly enough for what you need if you hope to go natural.

    Also you really have tapered dangerously fast so you do have reason to be concerned.

    I would start doing some serious research if you want to stay balanced. Most people once they’ve been on psych meds need to heal their bodies and mind in other ways..

    you can look at my “about” page for ideas on how to get started and you can join some of the alternative mental health care support groups that I have listed on that page….lots of people to share stories with on those groups..

    this is a decision you have to make to stay healthy naturally—

    the information is out there if you look for it…good luck….I do hope this blog can be an inspiration for you. There is a ton of info on it.

  78. Thank you for this website. I have been constantly searching for the past few days about this.

    I started taking Lamictal in December and I started feeling panicky and anxious so I decided to get off of it. I couldn’t get a hold of my dr. so I just wanted to do it myself. I went from 100mg to 50mg. I stayed at 50mg for two weeks and now I’m at 25mg. I’ve been at this for 3 weeks now. Just this sunday I’ve been feeling anxious, scared of dying of living of loving. I cried, I was dizzy, I was shakey. It was a wreck.

    Yesterday I went to a therapist and got a lot off my chest and at the end of the session I mentioned that I was getting off of Lamictal. She told me to see a dr to be supervised. I realized I was a bit rash, but I wanted to get off of it asap. When you are always anxious you’ll do anything to feel better. I felt much better last night. Exhausted too.

    I woke up with the same symptoms again. I am desperate to see a doctor about this just for some mental relief. It feels great that you have shared your stories. I guess I think about how maybe I’ll never be right again. I need some assurance that I won’t be crazy forever.

  79. Hi bee,
    I can only say what I say again and again on this blog…you’ve tapered too fast and it’s probably a good idea to reinstate and get some cooperation from a doctor…

    What you are doing can be dangerous…

    go to my “about” page for direction to get started looking at resources that might help you. (go to top of this page—there are tabs there)

    You do not have to suffer…when it comes to withdrawal a lot of how much you suffer boils down to being responsible with your body and your health.

    I wish you the best.

  80. Actually I just came from the doctor. He said that I did fine and I could go off completely.

    *shrug* BUT he DID say that what I was feeling didn’t have to do with lamictal and wanted me to start with another drug. I got angry.

    He said I should be okay in the next couple of weeks. I just pray I do.

  81. I can pretty much guarantee your doctor is wrong and what you’re feeling has everything to do with withdrawal…this is when doctors really piss me off..

    In any case what you do and how you choose to advocate for yourself is up to you.

    I would still reinstate and try to get healthy. But that is me.

  82. giannakali,

    If I don’t reinstate and continue withdrawl, would I still recover? I feel like I’m almost done with this now.

  83. Sorry bee,
    there is no way I can answer that…I have simply learned by lots of observation and in my own life that being conservative with withdrawals and taking special care of one’s body with diet and nutrition and exercise and meditation has the best out comes for people.

    there are always a few people who do alright even while being reckless…

    my opinion is that you’re taking a gamble…I’ll be out the rest of the night…

    good luck

  84. Withdrawal sounds horrendous. You are courageous!
    I landed here cuz my teeth are a mess, and Lamictal is the cause.

    I’m Bipolar I. I just had my first delusion last week, so ditching meds is not possible, though I fantasize about it, lol.

    My post is to commend those who can do this. It takes guts and willpower. These are drugs after all. You are suffering from an addiction. This cannot be named any other way. Truly hard.

    However, I do want to STOP those who are severely incapacitated by mental illness to think that they can just abandon meds, and can do yoga instead. Messing w/ it = hospital. Or underground. So, those of you who know ICUs, near catatonia, racing thoughts that make you want to DIE, etc. curb your enthusiasm. I know I sadly, sadly, just had to.

  85. November,
    No one here says to go off drugs precipitously. Also no one ever recommends any given individual go off drugs at all.

    One must prepare their body and no, yoga may not be enough. But diet, nutrition, yoga, meditation and other forms of self care can be enough even for the worst of us.

    Read the recovery stories. All sorts of people recover. (tab on top of page)

    But you are right to warn people…it should never be done quickly or without careful research…

    Since I wrote this piece I’ve found a doctor who knows what she is doing and I’m doing great…almost off everything…a few months a way most likely…

    it’s possible

  86. I have been “lurking” for quite a while on this website, and let me tell you this is an amazing help/support/everything. All of you are my heroes. I have been looking for somewhere where people think like me and want to live without drugs.

    I have been on Lamictal for about 4 1/2 years. I was diagnosed Bipolar II after a freaky reaction to prozac. They put me on heavy duty anti-psychotics that zombied me out. What a freaking nightmare. Finally, lamictal was the drug that I could function best, and it really never occurred to me to question any of it. The thing that started my decision to go off meds is to have a baby. I wanted to make sure I could function off them before I was responsible for another life. I am so very glad I made the decision, even if I never have kids. The more I read, the more angry I get.

    I have a lot to say, but really I don’t have the words to say it all. I am extremely pissed off at doctors and pharmaceutical companies. For my job, which I am not going to elaborate one, I come in contact with children that are wards of the state, due to either being in foster care or the court system. 99% are on more than one medication. from 3year olds to adults. Heavy duty stuff. It really makes me sick. Really really sick. To see a 10 year old hopped up on Seraquel. They do that. Zyprexa too, mostly seraquel. Every one is Bipolar. So what if they were beaten to a pulp every day by their mothers boyfriend and raped by their uncle. That obviously makes them bipolar and clearly medication will take care of all the problems. How do you spell seraquel anyway?

    And really, I am on 25 mg of lamictal, until Saturday. I was going to do it slower, but I just want to be done, even if I have to cry for a few days. F^^^ GSK. I think I have permanent brain damage. I guess I did find some words, sorry to rant on…. You guys all rock!

  87. Hi K,
    It’s a pleasure to be made aware of you!

    Don’t know how long you’ve been on Lamictal…but please try to be patient and split up the 25 mg and take a while to get off…

    I’m tired…in the middle of moving, so not gonna say much more…just best wishes and I hope to see more of you around here!

    and it’s Seroquel…

    oh, and yeah, the foster child system is a travesty…absolutely sickening….

    trauma gets labeled mentally ill all the time…

  88. Hey
    Ive just discoverd this site and cant believe all this stuff. I came off lamotrogine and it was hell on wheels. i ended up having a CT scan and and an MRI because I was hearing voices, became photophobic, my balance was way off and I was unable to string a sentence together. I was also forgetting things like putting my clothes on so it was getting out of control. I was told I had brain tumor or a series of small strokes. The MRI came back clear. I came off the drug because it was too activating and kept me awake and the cost was prohibitive. My psychiatrist woudn’t give me an authority script so I stopped the drug. i also developed tics. Now Im trying to come of seroquel which I had to increase to counteract the activating effect of the other. what a nightmare.

  89. hi carly,
    good luck with your journey…

    I hope you find something that can be of help here.

  90. wife2dean says:

    Muddychick,
    I have been watching your post because I seem to be having the same symptoms and feelings as you since I stopped taking lamictal. I haven’t had any for at least a month and was doing great. Now I am feeling sad and overwhelmed, I’m unable to sleep well, my joints feel like they have jumping beans in them and I think I’m going crazy!!
    I am determined not to start the medicine back unless I just can’t do anything.
    Does this sound like normal behavior to anyone on this board?
    Any encouragement would be helpful.
    Thanks,
    Sherry

  91. wife2dean,
    without knowing whether or not you are taking care of your body, mind and spirit in other ways—diet, nutrition, meditation, exercise, etc—-and also without knowing how quickly you withdrew from drugs there is no telling what you are going through….

    I do recommend you go to the About page at the top of this page and get resources there to help you take care of yourself in natural, holistic, healthy ways so that you can recover…

    In general having a “relapse” a month after withdrawing too quickly is very normal….especially if you’ve not prepared your body and continued supporting it in alternative ways.

    I wish you the best.

  92. hey thanks for the reply. Im confident im going to find exactly what i need here.

    cheers

  93. Little Ellie says:

    I just finished reading this thread. I’m a little late, but hey I might spark a sudden resurgence of activity (I don’t mean manic activity:-) I’m so glad this blog is here. I learned of it through the alt therapies 4 bipolar yahoo group. Thanks Gianna.

    It’s been fascinating to read what others have experienced with Lamictal. I have wondered if I was taking the same drug. I’m a freak though. I have told my ex heroin addict friend that if I was ever hooked even on heroin I’d go cold turkey and just be done with it by force of will. Because I refuse to let drugs have that much power over me. That might not be so true anymore…and I’ve never had to kick anything that strong. You can’t confuse and ignore those symptoms.

    I want to say that I have a lot to learn from and I respect other’s commitment to their own healing, who are cautious, respect their bodies and most of all know their bodies well enough to listen to them.

    I’ve been taking Lamictal off and on for a few years. The last year I don’t think I’ve missed a dose. I have fought taking psych meds for 13 years. I kept having manic episode after episode every year in the Springtime. This past year was the last straw when I thought I had gathered enough self control to stay well, I got manic again and couldn’t calm down on my own. I decided to take Lamictal and stay on it. I have gone off of it cold turkey a few times. Looking back that wasn’t too smart. But my internal chaos level at that time was such that I couldn’t single out side effects from my other swirling emotions. The posts here have given me a road map of what to look for should I choose to withdraw responsibly

    Most of the reason I had been off and on was because I was sure it wasn’t doing anything for me. I’m currently taking 200mg and have no side effects. Maybe I do. I thought I knew myself pretty well, but I can’t tell if it does anything for me or to me. My moods are stable now for the most part. But I still do feel things, get angry sometimes. My thinking is clear, clearer than on any other drug. I am not sad anymore. I don’t know if that’s because of all the emotional and spiritual work I’ve been doing or it’s the drug.

    In the first few months taking it regularly at 100mg, the doctor wanted to make sure I was stable. So we played a game like “I dare you to take more.” I said fine give me 200mg. It was like doubling up playing blackjack. No difference. I really thought it was a placebo! I’m taking it to be taking something, not that I believe in it. In order to get trust from the people around me and give a little security to myself, I have to be on something. I just happen to be doing well.

    As an aside, I have stopped seeing that doctor because he was really out of touch with me and irresponsible enough to fling around dosages like a game. I said “what the heck” but shouldn’t he have been more cautious? or knowledgeable? I took 100mg right off the bat and then 200mg with no change since.

    My main point to make here is, there are some people like me who don’t think Lamictal does much. I have so little respect for the choices doctors make about which drugs to use and what dosages. It all seems so arbitrary and experimental to me, that I don’t treat it as real, just something to be avoided as potentially dangerous.

    That said, I really do think Lamictal helps me not get so depressed. I got glimpses of that back when I wasn’t so consistent taking it.

    I know well that reckless, self-destructive behavior is a part of me to be healed not something to be proud of. But it’s my truth as I know it and thanks to God, it’s changing for the better everyday.

    Good luck and good health everyone!

  94. thanks for sharing you story Ellie.
    Let me know how you fare.
    be well.

  95. I went off Lamictal full of fear, and all sorts of antipsychotics etc at the same time. slowly, and alone…looking at a picture of an angel.

    I felt less anxious the less Lamictal I took.

    I was on it for YEARS. It has affected my eyesight permanently. (there are three moons, for example)

    In the years I was on this stuff I felt crazier than I do now. I am so grateful to be free of the strangeness of living-having to cover so many side effects, and the feeling of “rip-van-winkle” since I was out of it so long, that the world has changed.

    This is a very dangerous tract. Make sure you get a couple of opinions before embarking on the drug thing. All people are ignorant, unless they have been on it. Even doctors.

  96. geoara,
    thanks for sharing your story. I’m so glad you feel better now.

  97. For those of you who have kicked lamictal, how long did it take for the extreme fatigue to go away (if you had it) I am so exhausted I feel like I could sleep though the night after being awake for 5 hours. I force myself to stay up because one thing I have done that has tremendously helped my life is keep a sleep-wake routine. I don’t want to throw that off. I have so many things that need to be done, but I just sit and stare at the wall. I am too tired to do my normal work-outs or even walk the dog. It’s only been a week I guess…It feels longer though.

  98. K—have you ever gone to my “about” page—tab at top of the page?

    There you can learn about ways to support your body and mind…recovery takes healing with diet, nutrition and meditation and movement for a lot of people…

    length of time for recovery can be anything from a few months to a few years…most people say it’s 18 – 24 months for psych drugs in general…but you gotta take care of yourself and that is just a generalization…it could go much better for you…

    please take good care…

  99. Wow! Please tell me it isn’t so–that last post. I’m trying to go off lamictal right now and I also have type 2 diabetes and I decided today that I must be hypoglycemic because I have felt like h*ll on and off for two weeks now. I can’t even work.

  100. Anyone having panic attacks going off this? I am. After reading this, I’m afraid to go to bed tonight. I may have to go to the ER to get something for panic.

  101. Colleen,
    there is no crystal ball…all one must do is commit to taking good care of themselves and healing potentially can be spontaneous…

    the generalizations are just that…

    the best thing you can do is taper very slowly…

    that generalization really applies more to people who have been on many drugs or been on drugs for years and years too…

    so it depends on length of time, quantity and age….

    youth makes things much easier in general too…

  102. Colleen…I guess you posted before I posted the last comment…

    How fast are you tapering? Consider increasing your dose if you’ve tapered quickly…that might make you feel better until you stabilize then you can taper once that happens.

    BREATHE….try these:

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2008/05/23/energy-breaths/

  103. Linda Fugate says:

    Lamictal withdrawal from hell – that happened to me. I spent 6 months tapering off from 200 mg, stepping down 25 mg at a time. The symptoms are a hell beyond description; there’s just not anything else like them. One aspect is irritability. The slightest irritation, such as noise or a computer glitch, was amplified beyond toleration. All the worst memories of my life, from early childhood to the present, popped up spontaneously day in and day out. I felt disconnected from my visual input, as if I were watching a video game instead of the environment around me. I was dizzy, nauseated, and tired, with muscle aches and migraines. My eyes hurt. My teeth hurt.

    I still have all these symptoms, just not as intense, 2 months after my last dose of Lamictal. It’s a very slow recovery. I took Lamictal 200 mg per day for 7 years. I started when I got divorced and wanted help recovering. My doctor convinced me that Lamictal was mild, safe, and beneficial for long-term use. I could use a long string of cuss words to describe my response, but they would not be adequate. I was deceived and betrayed. I was poisoned.

  104. What are you referring to when you say “brain zaps”? Is it momentary lapse of reason, or is it pain?

  105. It’s an electrical sensation…as though one were being mildly electrocuted…but the mildly is making it sound like it’s not hell…and it is hell for some people…it tends to vary in severity from person to person.

  106. hi guys Linda here only took lamictal 12.5 mgs for 6 days then quit because i didnt care for headache ,nausea, and feeling hyper so i stopped specifically asked doc before i started and he said sure well i lasted 14 days started out withheadache and nausea then went into panic attacks then crying jags uncontrollable I didnt know anything about withdrawal I went back on again now day 5 This is an OUTRAGE It is HORRENDOUS worse then Paxil withdrawal ive been thru that CALLED Pdoc and he doesnt believe in theory of lamictal withdrawal this is horrendous gsk SHOULD BE OUT OF BUSINESS THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT NOONE AT FIRST BELIEVED IN PAXIL WITHDRAWAL NOW IT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE

  107. Linda,
    I’m not sure you’re having withdrawal or just a really nasty negative reaction to the drug….you’ve been on it such a short time…

    Whatever is going on though it’s clear Lamictal is bad news for you.

    And I have heard of people getting hooked on benzos in a weeks time, so it’s by no means impossible that you ARE having withdrawals…

    I’m really sorry you’re having such a hard time.

    Peace to you.

  108. Linda,

    My husband believes a class action is in order….I have to say I am not one for suing, but all this crap needs to be public knowledge.

    Gianna,

    Brain zaps describes so well what I have been suffering through since 2 days after my last pill. I didn’t know what to call it. It feels like my brain is looking for the drug. I am having a very bad week. Exhaustion is taking over again, I thought I was coming out of it. **sigh**

  109. K,
    brain zaps are usually a result of ssri or snri withdrawal…have you withdrawn from one of those…if so I would reinstate and slowly come off…many of these symptoms can be avoided…

    as always I direct you back to my “about” page….

    or join one of the support groups on the “about’ page…most notably Withdrawal and Recovery which can also be found on the side bar to the right of the blog.

  110. WOW I have been detoxing feeling like hell, anxious, worried, paranoid, freaking out, nausas, gorophobic, doing weird stuff that i dont usually do ,suicidal thoughts, freak out on people, and i had no idea it was this lam till today. I have been on it for a month and off of it for 2 weeks , would i still be detoxing?? i went off of it cold turkey after a month, so is it possible this is a detox? it has to be , im going crazy and i pray to god im ok. this med is evil….

    again does anyone know if i would be detoxing this long , in that short of time period of taking it??? i really hope that this is not long term….

  111. yes, I have heard of situations such as yours…it’s likely withdrawal…

    if you want help and are READY to commit to life changes I suggest you try Withdrawal and Recovery yahoo group…

    you can find the link in my side bar under support groups…

    otherwise if a group is not for you look at my “about” page at the top of the blog…lots of info and resources of what your might do to heal your body and mind…

    the best to you…I know it’s truly hell…it will pass, but much more easily if you commit to some changes in diet, nutrition and lifestyle…

    the drugs really do a number and we need to work to heal.

  112. omg thank you so much , i feel alot better , i was starting to think my friends were setting me up just crazy stuff

  113. i feel betrayed by my dr , he said theres no side effects or bad ones at least. yeah right! thats why he gave me 300 xanax a month and valium 120 and provigil im off lam, provigil, val, barely taking zanax the withraw is prolly a mix

  114. ill check the site out thankyou so much

  115. Mason,
    If you’ve withdrawn from multiple meds all very quickly you could be at risk of getting very sick…

    don’t hesitate to go back on some of your cocktail until you learn how to take better care of yourself…

    the goal is that we stay healthy and sometimes that means SLOWING down…and taking drugs a while longer…withdrawal is not something you want to mess with…it can make you very very sick…

  116. no no no im easing off the xannax and val .. i stopped the lamictal and provigil cause it was to expensive 300 for both a month, crazy but anyway i did not think i was going to with draw off the lamictal at all, i started having all those feelings and whathave you and subcon’lead me right to this site, and im reading how horrible lam is… and the with drawl , … so i was taking for a month it just barely started coming out of my sytem i guess really hard , i wasnt paying attention to how i was feeling i thought it was just me it was nuts, and now i know bout lam, i have a dif oppinion bout my dr specialist or any dr who believs in any ssri snri period…

    my head is pounding and i owe it to my 4k a half day dr,

  117. Gianna,
    I’m really glad to have found this site, and have been able to read your posts. You sound like you def know what you are talking about and have put alot of time and effort and energy into research which alot of us don’t do because we simply don’t have the energy when either depressed or going through withdrawals. By the time I get home from work all I want to do is lay down in bed and rest until I have to get up in the morning and do it all over again.
    I am tapering off of lamictal slowly and am down to about 15 mg’s or so I would guess. I have 150 mg pills and have been cutting smaller and smaller pieces off. Although a new doctor I saw recommened that I just completely stopped taking it, until I mentioned the withdrawal symptoms, he than said go down slowly within two weeks. Easy for him to say because he has no clue what it feels like. He gave me Cymbalta which had really bad side effects for me, so I stopped, he than gave me Pristiq. After 6 days I don’t feel depressed but I am more axnious and out of it, and can not at all concentrate or stay focused and have HORRIBLE headaches and by night time am so dizzy and nauseous. During the day at work it’s very hard to deal with being so dizzy and unable to focus and concentrate and find myself making many mistakes ( I do accounting) so NOT good!!!!!! Aside from that my blurred vision is so bad, I am not sure if this is still from the Lamictal or from the Pristiq or both. I have been SO tired although anxious and just want to go to bed, and than my mind races until I fall asleep and I don’t want to get up in the morning I feel like I haven’t slept in days, but I have! I think what is the hardest part and most difficult for me right now is the blurred vision because I can’t keep working this way! Any ideas???? I’d really appreciate some advice from someone!!!!

  118. hey Teresa,
    It sounds to me like you’re having multiple adverse reactions…

    personally I wouldn’t have taken an additional drug while still withdrawing from Lamictal and now Pristiq is likely to cause withdrawal symptoms too…

    I don’t have advice or suggestions…besides suggesting you read all you can on these meds and make an informed choice about taking them….

    for support on healing your body naturally check out the email support groups on the right hand side bar of this blog..

    and read the “about” page on this blog (tab on top of this page)….

    I’m simply not in a position to give out individualized advice though.

    the best to you…

  119. Gianna,
    Thank you for responding! I agree with you about starting a new med before being completely off of, and having withdrawals from another. Against my better judgement, I did what my doctor told me to do. I don’t like the doctor at all, he didn’t even really listening to what I was telling him when I went in to see him for the first time, and just told me to stop the lamictal and start Cymbalta. I’m glad that I didn’t just STOP lamictal, because I knew better from the withdrawals I already had! These doctors amaze me with the way they hand out these meds like candy without even really knowing what is wrong with you!
    I’m not sure at this point what to do, I’m just tired and tired of feeling so bad, mentally and physically! It’s so hard to pretend like you are ok, when you are barely making it through the day! I am making so many mistakes at work and can not concentrate, and if this continues and the lack of concentration and memory continues I don’t know how I will deal with it.
    The headaches and dizziness and blurred vision are just overwhelming!!!!
    Thanks again!!!!

  120. Gianna,
    One more question, have you ever taken Pristiq or know anyone that has????

  121. No I don’t …it’s new, but it’s simply just another SNRI (like Effexor and Cymbalta) so you can expect nasty ass withdrawals from it most likely since Effexor and Cymbalta are both really bad…

    good luck—I hope you find your way out of the maze…don’t give up…

  122. Thanks Gianna,
    I just wish I had some clarity!! If I could actually think straight that would be half the battle!!!!!

  123. Gianna,
    Well I decided to stop the Pristiq because I didn’t like the way it was making me feel. I am still taking a small dose of the lamictal because the withdrawal is just too much. SO I am more dizzy and moody because of stopping the Pristiq, but I don’t feel as out of it as I did. I was in bed for two days with a headache that was so bad I couldn’t even get up!!! No matter how much advil or tylenol I took it just would not go away!! I am hoping that because I only took it for 6 days, after another few days it will get better and I can just focus on weaning down more on the lamictal. Although I am soooo moody and bitchy I can’t even stand myself, and feel so sick I am hoping that it will only get better!!!!

  124. Teresa,
    If you were on the Pristiq only six days jumping off it should be fine…I’m worried about you though…you need to think about how you’re going to care for yourself without meds…

    most people need to find alternatives…I don’t know enough about your history to make suggestions…please take care of yourself…

    I’m gonna send you an email.

  125. Gianna,
    I responded to your email. Not sure what I am going to do. I made an appt with a new Psychiatrist for next Monday, NOT soon enough! I feel that I can not do this on my own! I am TOO sick and I really can’t continue to work like this. All I want to do is go home. I am so sick today, SO dizzy, neauseous, anxious, disoriented. I can’t stand it!!!!!!

  126. Ok, so I feel as though I take one step forward and two steps back.
    I cut down my Lamictal and had to up it again because I can’t function at work, I still feel like crap, but better than I did I guess.
    I don’t know what to do… How do I manage to keep a job and function this way???? DESPERATE!!!!

  127. Teresa,
    I made suggestions to you in an email.
    The best you can do right now is take one step at a time and educate yourself. I gave you some means to do that.

    Don’t taper anymore if you haven’t made other changes in your life. You’ve made no indications to me that you have made any changes that will support your drug withdrawal.

    You are probably having withdrawal symptoms from previous tapers and need to make some decisions about how you’re going to care for yourself in another way if you arent’ going to choose meds.

    Until you’ve made those healthy changes, it’s best not to continue withdrawing and give yourself a chance to stabilize.

    the best to you.

  128. Gianna,
    Sorry, I didn’t mention to you that I had started doing some research. I’m trying ot figure out what my best option is, it’s just difficult because by the time I get home from work, all I want to do is rest. I’m going to get Peter Breggins book as you suggested, I also plan to go this weekend and get the supplements that you recommened, and have already cut out the caffeine, and let me tell you, it’s not easy, I feel like I’m going to fall asleep on my desk! Doesn’t help that the withdrawals are already making me so fatigued. I have also tried to start cutting out sugar as well. I am going to a new Psych on Saturday to see if he can give me 25mg tablets of lamictal so that I can stay at that for a while, until I stabilize more and decide what else is going to work for me. Again, it’s just really hard because I need to feel better now, I can’t function at work this way, and I really can’t afford to lose my job! I find your site the most helpful compared the others you suggested. Thank you again!!!

  129. Teresa,

    I know this goes against what really is the right thing to do, but I just wanted to tell you that I am trying to cut the sugar and the caffeine at the same time while I was/am withdrawing from lamictal. I drive for my job, and like you, cannot afford to lose it. I have decided to postpone cutting the caffeine, and I honest to God feel a million times better, and I really think my life (back to the driving for a job thing–important to be alert) depends on it. I will wait another month or two at least before I try to quit the caffeine. It is another drug and to do them all at once is difficult. To do the lamictal and caffeine at the same time is brutal…again, just what is working for me. I try to stick to unsweetened teas, such as green and black.

    Gianna,

    I hope it’s okay that I posted this. If it’s not just delete it :)

  130. K,
    I don’t mind your posting it…

    I would do things differently…that is I would stabilize, get off the caffeine and then do the lamictal…making oneself as healthy as possible before withdrawal is how I suggest things…one gets used to no caffeine in time, whether they are still on drugs or not.

    in any case caffeine is truly poison for me…and I just had a really bad experience with it (am actually in the middle of it)

    I normally still have occasional cups of decaf and that has been fine and yesterday was one of those days….

    well they served me a regular cup or coffee INSTEAD of decaf….I was out of my mind wired yesterday and late into the night…then I was unconscious for 12 hours and now I’m the biggest basket case I’ve been since this whole thing started, except when i cold turkey’d of course…

    coffee can be a very dangerous drug, but not everyone is as sensitive as me…the thing is it’s very destabilizing and that is why I would get rid of the stuff like coffee, sugar and refined foods first because ultimately the drug withdrawal is potentially more destabilizing…

    anyway…people have to figure out what they need to do to survive, but I also think if survival means doing self-destructive things you have to be aware of that…

    not suggesting you are doing anything self-destructive, but for some people it might be…so honesty at looking at oneself is important.

  131. K,
    Thanks for your advice! I have found that once I am actually showered and ready for work in the morning, and than at work I start to get a little bit anxious as is, although still tired, anxious. Kind of sounds strange I know, so I have really tried to cut out caffeine, and I’m still trying. I’ve been on and off with it. Like Gianna, I am sensitive to it, so even though I am REALLY tired and want to have some I know it will wake me up, but also make me nutso and want to come out of my skin!!!! Amazing considering I used to drink a latte from Starbucks twice a day, strong of the strong coffees/espressos!!! I had to go back up on the Lamictal for now, I was just WAY too sick and I am trying to work, and am going to be moving on Friday, so I need to be functional. At least as much as I can be… I plan to stay this way for another week and once settled in my new place I want to cut down again, but slower this time. I like Gianna, have realized that I think 5 mg’s a time is what is going to work best for me!! My body seems to be VERY sensitive… Again, once in my own place again I plan to buy healthy foods and try to improve my overall health, and try to get up enough energy to exercise, and I think it will help with coming off of the Lamictal. I also start therapy on Wednesday and really PRAY that I like the lady!!!! I HAVE to really focus on getting healthy, because in the past I have always let myself get off track because of LIFE…. Well I have realized I will never really have a life, at least not a meaningful one if I don’t get healthy and put 100% into it. Sorry for babbling!!!!!!
    Thanks again!!!!

  132. Gianna,
    I have a silly question:
    What is the difference between and SNRI and an SSRI?
    What category does Lexapro fall into, and Lamictal??

  133. SSRI are the drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Paxil, etc…

    they are serotonin reuptake inhibitors…

    SNRI are very similar except they also mess with norepinephrine, that is they inhibit reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine.

    They both have very similar side effect and withdrawal symptoms…

    Lamical is an anti-convulsant drug used in psychiatry as a mood stabilizer. Fact is it’s not much of mood stabilizer in studies, though it often lifts depression, usually temporarily….

    anyway, that’s extremely basic info and about all I”m up for right now…

    you can google SSRI and SNRI to learn more…

  134. Thanks Gianna,
    As you can see I am not as educated as I probably should be, but am trying. The only thing that I can say about Lamictal is yes, I believe it does help to relieve depression (temporarily) as you stated, I also notice that since I have stabilized again I can think clearer, however the headaches are still horrendous, and intolerable!!! I’m just trying to stay stabilized for the next couple of weeks until I am more situated and in my new home, than I want to wean down again.
    Thanks again for all of your help!!!!

  135. hi guys im taking 12.5 mgs back on now 5 wks when will withdrawal symptoms go away I still have on and off noise sensitivity and a feeling that im separated from environment however i can drive again did’nt drive all of 09/08 what else can i do its frustrating because i cant make it better or just snap out of it

  136. no, Linda,
    there is no snapping out of it…

    are you doing wellness things, diet etc??

    it takes time to heal, and we have to help the healing process.

    glad you’re driving again…I can only drive some of the time.

  137. Please check this very important update on Lamictal withdrawal

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/lamictal-withdrawal/

  138. Gianna and Teresa:

    Teresa:
    Couldn’t find the other postings to you and Teresa that we had kept going; it’s a bit difficult doing this through the work computer. Anyway, I just wanted to see how you were doing, Teresa. I think of you often and hope you are healing more every day.

    Gianna:

    I’ve noticed that my panic/hot flash attacks have diminished greatly, and I believe that one thing that has needed to heal in all of this are the adrenal glands. I still struggle BIG time with anxiety, depression and some racing thoughts. Is that still a very “normal” part of this withdrawal process? (Have been off of all meds 14 weeks, and you had mentioned I came off of them way too fast). Also, one amazing thing is that I am now able to tolerate a probiotic. That is the only supplement my body can handle right now.

    Thanks,

    Jan

  139. Hi Jan,
    Thank you so much for your concern. It means alot. I am still on 37.5 mg’s, and still not feeling great, although I do feel better. It seems that any time I try to get lower than 37.5 I get SOOOO sick that I can’t tolerate it, and have to go back up. Now is just not a good time for me with everything going on to be that sick. I actually feel like I am getting sick as is right now, and I mean actually sick!
    So at this point, today I can not tell how I am feeling from the Lamictal other than dizzy and blurred vision which I can’t stand!!!!!!
    I have still been sleeping alot, and haven’t had any energy although this weekend I pushed myself to do things. It was nice to get out, and actually enjoy the day!!!!!!
    However it was cold, and I think that’s why I feel like I’m getting sick :(
    I hope you are doing well.
    Gianna-
    I read your update- it still amazes me how these doctors try to tell you it should only take you a few weeks to get off of Lamictal!!!!

  140. probiotics are a great place to start…they help heal the gut and allow for better absorption and possibly tolerance of other nutrients down the road…

    as for the rest of it, yeah, it’s normal…especially if you came off too fast…

    it can take a couple of years to really start feeling better ( that doesn’t mean you’ll feel really shitty all the time) just that the body takes time to heal and I would make sure that if you do want to heal that you find someone who can help treat you with nutrients…those will help a lot…

    adrenals are a factor for me too…I’ve got adrenal fatigue…again treatment for adrenals pretty much demand at least some supplements (though don’t let anyone tell you you need cortisol–it can be dangerous for people with our sensitivities…it can be appropriate for others…)

    adrenals themselves take a year or two to heal once they’ve crashed…

    best to you.

  141. Gianna and Teresa:

    Gianna:

    Thanks once again for your advice. And it just stinks that the brain seems like the “last frontier” in terms of feeling better when the other systems are trying to come around. I hate how this manifests itself in the mental/emotional arena. I realize I could be doing a tremendous amount of healing on the inside but I would never know it based on the horrible thoughts, anxiety and depression. But reading you tell me it’s normal helps TREMENDOUSLY! I will continue with the probiotics in hopes that the neurotransmitters in my gut will balance out soon.

    Teresa:

    I’m glad you are feeling a little better. And I sure do know how the last few mg’s can be a real bear to come off of; that seems to be when the sh*t hits the fan! But you have come so far already, and when you know you’re ready to reduce the dose some more, your body will let you know. I do hope you don’t get sick on top of this. If you do and have any congestion or infection, anti-biotics are horrible, esp. on our sensitive systems. You might want to give liquid garlic a whirl; it has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic properties. Persevere – it will be worth it!

    Jan

  142. Jan,
    Thanks for the info! I knew that antibiotics weren’t good for you, but I didn’t realize how bad they were, and I used to be on them ALL of the time for chronic Tonsilitis and Sinusitis. Less than a year ago I had my tonsils out finally, what a nightmare that was at 29 years old!
    Talk about pain!!!!!
    A couple of months ago I was on antibiotis several times for a sinus infection. Well I took three rounds of diff antibiotics until I went to the specialist and told him they werent working, well he did a CT scan and said my sinuses were clear!!! I now know that it was the withdrawals from the Lamictal that was making me feel so sick and like I had a sinus infection when I didn’t!!! So there I was on three cycles of different antibiotics for nothing, which in turn caused a serious feminine problem!!! Gotta love it!!!!
    Thanks again for your support, right now I just want to sleep!!!!! How are you feeling today?

  143. Teresa,
    anyone who has ever been on antibiotics should take probiotics…we mentioned them the other day…

    what you talk about above makes it clear you could benefit greatly even if your gut seems to be working okay….

  144. Teresa:

    I feel horrible with the depression and anxiety and some racing thoughts. It seems that could be one of the last things to clear up as the body heals. I still have a horrible night’s sleep, too, although I don’t sweat all through the night like I used to, which means the adrenals are healing. I wake up every day before I ever want to, and I believe it’s probably the adrenals giving my body a good shot of cortisol at the wrong time. That’s where a lot of anxiety and dread comes from – the body and brain are always perceiving things as threats even when there is none.

    I am glad you found out about the anti-biotics. I had been on them when I was a teenager for acne, and I believe they screwed me up royally, including gynecologically.

    We will all keep persevering and pushing through, and one day the cloud will lift, and we’ll be amazed! I have to keep telling myself that – I constantly feel like I’ll never get better.

    Take care,

    Jan

  145. Gianna:

    Another questions for you: I have an extremely difficult time putting order in my days or even weeks for that matter. I also can’t seem to be at peace with having an evening “open” – an evening where I don’t have anything planned with anyone for fear I might be stuck in my apartment by myself. I was never like this before. I feel so alone all the time. Is this also a very common symptom of this horrible withdrawal? This is one of the symptoms that bothers me the most.

    Thanks,

    Jan

  146. Jan,
    most of us do have spiritual and psychological problems that need attending to as well.

    there are lots of different modalities to help oneself spiritually and psychologically…

    I have no idea what might be appropriate for you.

    Meditation is a good thing to do if you can manage it….sit with yourself and experience your fear and discomfort….not easy but basically we are all alone and need to deal with the existential reality of being human and there are thousands of ways to do that….

    I really don’t know enough about you to suggest a place to start…

    do you have spiritual and/or psychological interests?

    if so all I can say is pursue them.

    In any case, I do understand the pain of being alone….though I’m married I spend a lot of time alone. I am much better with being alone than I used to be…

    I’ve also spent a lot of time studying buddhist like teachings…I’m not a buddhist but I find the philosophy very helpful…..

    If any of what I say triggers anything for you—I might be able to suggest something…i’ve worked with psychology and spirituality for two decades and am aware of many many forms of therapy and spiritual practices…if you give me some clues I might be able to make some suggestions.

  147. Hi Jan and Gianna,
    Yes, I know that the antibiotics have screwed with me alot! I hate to have to go on them now for anything.
    Gianna-
    I am definitely going to get the Probiotics. I am having a hard time trying to keep track of everything, I keep writing things down and forgetting- Jan- like you I have a hard time keeping order in my days. I get confused alot, and have to keep thinking about what I have to do over and over or I forget!!!
    I don’t feel as bad today mentally, although I am tired and don’t feel well physically, so that is making me really not care what I have to do right now!!! I just want to go home and lay down. I have been making sure that I write down everything, I have a constant list, and sometimes things are on there two and three times, but I am so paranoid of not remembering!! I figure having it written down three times is better than forgetting! Since I am in an office behind a desk all day, I constantly think, and write things downs as they keep giong through my head :-) I have no problems sleeping accept not wanting to wake up!!! I slept about 9 or so hours last night and I’ve still been tired all day!!! I would love to wake up refreshed! I feel like my immune system is suffering! I feel like I am costantly getting sick, although I’m sure alot of that is the withdrawals making me think I am getting the flu or a cold. I am going to get some Emergen C tonight.. I’m sure you’ve both heard of that. Gianna- have you heard of that, and do you know if it truely works if you are starting to get sick??? I wrote down the website you said you get your Omega-3 from, is this where you get all of your supplements and does it matter what form or brand? I will go back on your About page once I get all of them to see what dosages to take!!!!! Thanks again to the both of you and I hope you both feel better!
    Oh, one more thing- I go to the new Psych tomorrow after work. I am going to ask him to give me 25 mg Lamictal and 5 mg’s since I am on 37.5, I’d like to take 30 so if he can give me 25 and 5, I can take 30 for a few weeks and go from there!
    Since I am feeling a bit better mentally I am going to try to get to the gym in hopes that with the supplements and gym I will be able to drop down a bit in a few weeks or a month! I have learned however that like Gianna I am very sensitive to the meds and have to go VERY slow!!!!! I do not plan to make myself nutso again while doing so because not only do I suffer but I am horrible to be around, and turn into a very MEAN person!!!!

  148. Hey Teresa,
    Emergen C is just vitamin C (but expensive)…if you want to push vitamin C it’s best to get a Vitamin C powder and just take a tsp every couple of hours…some people use it to bowel tolerance when they are fighting something….

    pills will make you feel bloated that is why the powder is good if you’re taking high doses…no fillers…

    Just mix the powder in water or juice…

    vitacost is where i get a lot but not all of my supplements…very good prices.

  149. I have been on Lamictal for a little less than three years. I am down to 50 mg and forgot to take it one day. It gave me these horrible joint aches. Has anyone else ever had this happen before?

  150. Hi Katie,
    I don’t have a specific recollection of joint aches being associated with Lamictal withdrawal, but I have heard of it with benzo withdrawals and I’ve also observed that most potential side effects are common to all psych drugs….it just takes the right individual to experience them…

    anyway…it’s entirely possible and likely that it was related but there is no way you’ll know for sure unless you repeat the experiment and that is probably not such a good idea! :-)

  151. Gianna:

    I have great support spiritually with my church family and my friends. I believe in the power of prayer and I do meditate often. I also see a counselor weekly, and am not shy at all about talking about the issues and all of the physical and emotional stuff surrounding this. I do allow myself to feel the fears (I have no choice as I can’t stop it), so I am doing what you have recommended. And I do appreciate your advice – it is something we all can benefit from. What I force myself to do whenever I do have some random periods of relief (mentally and physically) is to think on the same things that just go over and over again in my mind all the time, and when I feel better, these things do not bother me! To me, this sounds like these issues are not the true problem, but the physical first and foremost which then manifests itself in this fashion. Does that sound accurate? And of course, when the relief is gone, the horrible thoughts, dread and terror come back.

    Jan

  152. Teresa:

    I’m glad you are feeling a little better mentally; just remember that even a little bit is better than none or feeling worse. Do you journal how you feel each day and what you’ve eaten and taken re: meds and supplements? I do that and it helps to see if you have a pattern going that is either helping you or hurting you. If you haven’t done this yet, you might want to start. I think you could benefit greatly from it. It’s shown me some patterns re: eating that were hurting me and blocking the healing.

    Hope today is even better for you.

    Jan

  153. Gianna-
    Thanks, I figured the Emergen-C was good since it comes in powder form, but you are right, it is pretty expensive.
    I am going to go on vitacost and order a bunch of stuff! Waiting for payday Friday!!!
    Jan-
    Thank you! I feel a bit better, buta little cranky. I think it’s just because I’m not feeling great. I feel myself trying to get sick so I took some medicine last night and went to sleep early and rested… I plan to do the same tonight! I have a busy weekend ahead of me so I can’t be sick!!!!
    Next week is going to be great, it will be less hectic, and I will be able to focus strictly on me and my getting better! I’m really looking forward to it.
    I go to the new Psych tonight, so hopefully next week I can wean a little more again!
    I hope you both have a good and happy day :-)

  154. Well I went to the new Psych last night, and guess what? I didn’t like him!!!! Are there any good Psychiatrists or do these people get there License from a Cracker Jack box? I am over it!
    Not to mention my throat hurts, and I am trying hard to fight getting really sick with all that I have to do this weekend!
    Well he believe me that I a, extremely sensitive to meds, yet he basically about told me I was lying about how hard it was to get off of Lamictal, and couldn’t believe how I could be having such bad withdrawals on such a low does, and than proceeded to tell me well you have to get off of it anyway! I said well it’s easy for you to say because you aren’t the one going through it and having to function at work going through it!!!
    He than gave me a script for 25 mg’s, which I wanted and told me to take 25 for a week, than 12.5 for a week and stop, and gave me a script for Buspar… He said that he has had success with patients who are very sensitive to meds with that. I read up on it and it seems to have alot of bad side effects as well, not to mention it is for anxiety. My problem isn’t anxiety, I have Klonopin for that if I need it, my problem is my mood swings, and the anxiety is worsening from the Lamictal withdrawals. Not only that, but he was asking me what was wrong with me, what my diagnosis is basically! HELLO- who’s the doctor here, and why am I paying you!!!! Ugh, I am very frustrated!!!!!!! Gianna- have you heard anything about Buspar?
    He than told me that my last doctor sounded right about the A-Typical Depression…. Nice guess Buddy! What an IDIOT!!!!!!

  155. Hi Teresa,
    I actually don’t know a whole lot about buspar, except when I worked in Social Work with psychiatrists I was taught it didn’t really work and it was my own personal experience too when I tried it…

    Not that many people take it in my experience and I imagine that is because it did lose favor with psychiatrists…

    I do hear of people taking it from time to time but have not heard about withdrawals or typical negative side effects…

  156. I am wondering what would make him give it to me. He knows that I am on Klonopin still, very little. Also, from what I’ve read it is strictly for anxiety. I obviously have mood issues here, so I’m just blank at this point.

  157. Teresa:

    So sorry to hear about your experience with the new psych. I pretty much have little to no regard for them at this point after what I’ve been through. I do know of someone who was on the Buspar, and his cousin saw the negative effects he was going through with it. They “affectionately” nick-named the med Buzzpar because that’s what it was causing – a bit of manic behavior (or maybe a lot) and anxiety. It does make you wonder who the doctor is when they ask you their idiotic questions. The one time when I was sitting in the ER because I was so anxious, and they wanted to know what it was like that I was going through, I told them about the repetitive thoughts. I said it’s like a needle on a record in the groove, playing the same thing over and over again. The psych nurse asked, “Do you actually think you have a needle in your head?” I wanted to kick her down the hall! And I have more stories. Stay strong, Teresa. Persevere. And remember – it’s the withdrawal, no you.

    Jan

  158. Im so confused I was doing better for about a few days was driving again then i went back to noises being to loud wasnt even on computer for 3 days because I couldnt attach to anything separated from environment couldnt concentrate just stared into space Im back on Lamictal 6 weeks I still cant work Everyweek I say Im going to return next week and I cant I hadnt taken sick day in 9 yrs and Im out 6 1/2 weeks since I took Lamictal for 6 days stopped went 14 days started again It feels like 6 yrs to me not 6 weeks Does anybody know if you take 2 steps forward and 3 steps back and My Doc says theres no withdrawal from Lamictal and I asked doc if i could stop it if i didnt like it and he said it wouldnt be problem before i started it WHAT AN OUTRAGE and since he gave me starter pack there was no instructions on tapering off over several weeks or side effects to look out for Ive been having problems with urinating when i got follow up to starter pack it tells me to notify doctor if you are having this side effect also clay colored stools which i have had on and off since im on nice to LET ME KNOW P.S. sorry to get gross

  159. Linda,
    I’m so sorry.
    You might want to try to find a doctor who listens to you and respects your experience…

    It sounds like you could use some support. If need be look into alternative practitioners…they much more commonly hear our stories because it’s people like us who dump the western docs….and go over to them…

    for alternative practitioners in your area you can try here:

    http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/directory/search.asp

    You still need to use your discrimination with these folks…anyone can request to be put on the list.

    best to you.

  160. Jan-
    Sorry to take so long to get back to you. I thought I sent a message yesterday, but I guess it didn’t go through.
    I have to say you gave me a good laugh when you said you wanted to kick her down the hall. I have definitely felt that way, as matter of face that’s how I felt with this new pdoc I saw the other night…. I wondered what he was thinking, and if he was even listening to a word I was saying!
    Yes, I wanted to pour a bottle of Lamictal down his throat and say now let me know what you feel like, and what the withdrawals feels like Ahole!
    Needless to say I’ve decided to NOT take the Buspar. I took it yesterday once and I felt way more dizzy than I already was! I also was VERY anxious last night! I have so much on my mind with moving this weekend and all I have to do! My mind is going in a million different directions and I am so stressed and anxious… I keep thinking over and over about EVERYTHING I have to do!!! Even the little stupid things because I am afraid I will forget, even though I’ve written them down over and over!!! I am down to 25 mg’s of Lamictal. I’m sure once I stabilize on that I will feel better again and hopefully after this weekend once I’m moved into my new place, even though I’ll still have a million things to do, I can relax a little bit. The hard part will be over!!!! I can come home and enjoy my new place with Peace and Quiet!!!!!! Thank you again for listening and caring!!!!!

  161. Finding humour where I can. :} Jan wrote:
    The one time when I was sitting in the ER because I was so anxious, and they wanted to know what it was like that I was going through, I told them about the repetitive thoughts. I said it’s like a needle on a record in the groove, playing the same thing over and over again. The psych nurse asked, “Do you actually think you have a needle in your head?”

    This reminded me of a moment in one of my favourite movies, Firefly. There’s a character named River who occasionally becomes psychotic because of torturously intrusive ‘medical’ experiments she was subjected to for military applications. She’s been rescued by her brother, a medical doctor, who is trying to ‘cure’ her. In one scene, after another psychotic break, she tries to tell him about the flashes of knowledge implanted in her mind that were coming to the surface, something to do with Miranda. Her brother anxiously asks her, “and am I talking to Miranda now?”

    The look she gives him is priceless.

    Jan, I wish I could have seen the look you gave that nurse.

  162. Teresa and Froscha:

    I’m glad you both enjoyed my ER visit and my reaction. It didn’t seem funny at the time, but when I look back, I can giggle about it. Another moment you might enjoy – I was sitting in front of a new psych at one of the psychiatric hospitals, and he told me that he saw I had a particular habit of always trying to land on my left foot whenever I got either to the top or bottom of a staircase. Don’t know why – I just do it for some odd reason. Anyway, he asked, “And what happens when you don’t land on the left foot, Jan?” to which I leaned in real close and said, in a kind of secretive voice, “I land on the right foot!” What an AH! Thought you two would enjoy that.

    Teresa – I hope your move goes smoothly this weekend and I sure hope you will be enjoying that peace and quiet. I wish I could say that is something I could do, but I am in the throes of not being able to be by myself. I’m going through hell and it doesn’t look like it will end soon. Right now I feel as though I’ll be this way for the rest of my life!

    Froscha – Some day I’ll have to rent that movie so that I can see the look on the girl’s face. Thanks for the humor!

    Jan

  163. Jan-
    That is really funny!!! I think they think that we are really crazy! I’ve been asked stupid questions before too!
    The move was rough, but I got through it! The hardest part was driving 5 1/2 hours back from Georgia going through withdrawals!!! That was the hardest part. Didn’t sleep much all weekend, and still not done. I wish I had taken today off of work!! I am so exhausted and I do not want to be here. I’m having a rough day today. Depressed, blurred vision, can’t think straight, and so tired. Horrible heart burn for days now as well. Down to 25 mg’s of Lamictal, and because I am so tired and cranky, thinking of that stupid Psych I went to last week that said, well being on that low of a dose you shouldn’t have a problem, you have to get off it one way or another eventually anyway. AHOLE!!! I feel like kicking him in the face right now!
    I read your post on one of Gianna’s other topics, I’m sorry you are having such a hard time, hang in there! I know how you feel, I feel hopeless at this point too. Today is one of those days when I feel the same exact way, I don’t think it is ever going to get better and feel I may very well have to be on meds the rest of my life, but I’m trying to be strong and struggle through it. I just want to be home on my couch, enjoying the peace and quiet in my own house with noone around. I like to be alone when I’m depressed. Well my boyfriend being around makes me feel better just knowing he is there. I just can’t concentrate or think straight right now, and when I get this way I get VERY cranky and don’t want to be around or talk to anyone. I feel like telling everyone to leave me alone, here at work!!!!! I’m hoping that by the weekend I will feel better again and have some clarity! Hang in there!!!!

  164. Teresa:

    It’s good we have this site to come to, especially on days like today. I’m so sorry you are going through this, and sorry you have to go through it at all. This hopelessness is just awful, but knowing someone else gets it and has it is a big help, if only for that brief moment when I read it. Wish reading it would make it go away altogether but it doesn’t. I hate the idea that I’m even thinking I could be better on the things (meds) that were so awful for me! Nothing worked and yet here I am, struggling so horribly, trying so desperately and feeling as anxious, depressed and lost as ever. And I do understand that wanting to be alone; I have the desire to not be alone at all with the wanting to be alone at the same time. Having two opposites going on at the same time is horrendous!

    You hang in there, too. It HAS to get better.

    Jan

  165. Jan-
    Yes, I agree however I wish that I could be NORMAL, whatever that is!
    If I could just go home and sleep right now I would be happy! I am SO tired! I do not feel anxious today, although my chest does hurt. I think I am just too tired to feel it! The blurred vision is SO awful, I can barely see the screen right now!
    Also the headaches are back and I have horrible heart burn!!! I am hoping that when I stabilize again I will feel better. It stinks because being on meds may help with one thing, but cause something else, yet being off of them isn’t good either, so I don’t know at this point what to do!!!
    I just hope that it gets better soon. I’m tired of having no life! I have moments where I feel good, I just wish there were more of them!
    I don’t remember what all you went off of besides Lamictal? How old are you if you don’t mind my asking, and what was your DX? How long have you been dealing with this? I am 29 and been on and off (moreso on) meds since I was 18, and it feels like forever!!!!

  166. Yes Jan, I did enjoy that!

    Serenity is an excellent movie if you like sci-fi. Very well written, very well imagined, great cast and dialogue, the works. It was spun off from the one-season tv series Firefly but you don’t need to have seen that at all, the movie is kind of self-contained.

    What you wrote: “I have the desire to not be alone at all with the wanting to be alone at the same time. Having two opposites going on at the same time is horrendous!” How I relate. It’s like throwing off the blankets at night because you’re too warm, but then you pull up the blanket because now you’re too cold, next you’re too warm again, too cold, too warm… all the while, you can’t settle to sleep.

  167. I feel the same way right now. I’m having a depressed day, and I want to just go home and be alone and sleep, and at the same time I feel very lonely and don’t want to be alone. I also don’t want to be stuck here at work though, because I don’t feel like doing anything and I can’t concentrate, and am just tired! :(

  168. Linda Fugate says:

    I reported my Lamictal withdrawal symptoms to the FDA on their MedWatch web site, http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm. I encourage everyone else to do the same. If you have a doctor willing to help, you can ask him/her to do the report. Otherwise, just do it yourself. It’s easy enough. And I would like to see the FDA require a black box warning on every drug that causes these withdrawal symptoms from hell.

  169. thanks Linda,
    and certainly all adverse reactions to drugs can and should be reported through this site….

    it probably does add credibility if a doc can do it for you, but as we know many docs deny our experience…

    I’ve reported my adverse reactions to several drugs…

    thanks for the link…I don’t believe I’ve ever posted it before…

    I think I’ll put it on my “About” page…

  170. Sloopy Cowbell says:

    If you are in the UK, you can file adverse drug reaction reports through MIND, the mental health charity. They statistically collate the data to prevent it from getting flushed down the memory hole by the goons in Whitehall.

  171. Hello I started taking lamictal about 4 years ago. The medicine did not seem to work so my doctor kept increasing my dose more and more. He had me taking 400 mg of it. About 10 months ago I moved out of state and decidided to cut back on my medicine because I did not think it was working. I cut myself back slowly from 25 mg incremints. I did not have any side affects from that. I stayed off the medicine for a month and started to get moody again so I thought I would go back on. I only went up to 200 mg this time and of course did not feel like it was working. Bad news is that because I moved out of state i did not have a job and I am still struggling to find one. Needless to say my medicine is almost out so I decided to cut back to 100 mg to make it last longer. Well I am not able to cut back and lower then 100 mg because I can not cut those pills in half. I also do not have money to go to a dr to get more medicine or lower doses. Here I am I had to cut myself off completely on the medicine. I have been off of it for 7 days now and let me tell you it has been hell. My head feels dizzy, I get the shakes, I feel sick in the stomache and of course I cry alot. Little things set me off. Finally my head is starting to feel a little better but I still get the shakes and cry alot. I feel guilty that I have to be like this with my 6 yr old daughter. I just keep telling myself it is not fair to her. I have no other choice right now so I have to live with it. The only thing I know for sure is my daughter is the only thing that keeps me in this world because I know she would be lost without me.

  172. Hi Jen,
    It’s not unusual for people who are on one drug or people who have not been on drugs for many years to be able to taper off very easily the first time around…that is why so many of us that have problems are not believed.

    I’m so sorry you’re finding the difficult side of things now. I highly recommend you find a doc to help you. You really need to be on Lamictal and taper off slowly.

    Go to a public clinic if you need to. And then use slow and responsible tapering methods if you still wish to come off of the drugs…

    My about page has lots of info and resources to come off safely…also it directs you to various book, support groups etc, which can help you learn to support your body in such a way so as not to feel the need for the drug.

    I wish you the best…and I highly encourage you find some lamictal anyway you can…if not for you then for your daughter.

  173. Over the weekend I was trying to find some kind of alternative to medicine that will help my bi-polar. If any of you are willing to try herbal smoke ( this is completely legal) I tried something that is called “Spice” and there is also “Spice Gold” this is a natural smoke better for you then ciggs if you smoke them. I found this to completely help relax me. I was not moody all the time and I was not crying all the time. I finally felt like myself. The effect of the smoke can last up to 6 hours

  174. yeah, apparently this stuff is legal, but it also makes you HIGH. I would be very wary about using any mind-altering substances while withdrawing from psychiatric drugs.

  175. Actually I did not feel high when I smoked it. I just felt relaxed. I guess if you were too smoke too much then you would feel high. I just use enough to get my emotions under control.

  176. well…do whatever you want, from what I’ve read, it simply seems that these herbs are psychoactive…and that seems to be reason for caution…

    just because it’s a herb doesn’t make it safe….but frankly I don’t know enough about it…

    the people talking about it on the web though, are pot heads on forums looking for a legal high…that does not mean it’s bad for you but it does suggest it’s psychoactive.

    I only took a few minutes looking into it and it’s all I care to do…if anyone is interesting in something like this I recommend careful research…there is no telling whether or not these herbs could lead to dependency.

  177. You are right I will have to do more research on it. I just know at the time it helped me over come my extreme down feeling. I think one of the main reasons it is on most of the pot head forums is because it is considered to be an herbal remedy, and most of the herbal vitamins and what not are found on the smoke sites. I actually spoke with a friend of mine about wishing I could just find an alternative to medicine for my illness that will help control my moods. She told me there was this thing on the news called salivia and I should try it. But I did read up on that and from what I saw that particular smoke causes hallucinations. I know I definiately do not need that. I will do more research on this particular one though.
    I also did other reasearch on alternative medicine for bi-polar and there was a few sites that talk about herbal remedies. not necesseary smoke but pills and drinks. kind of like the energy drinks.

  178. there are lots of safe, tried and true vitamins and minerals and things like fish oil that generally have no side effects (unless one is allergic) and do not cause unnatural shifts in consciousness…

    on my about page are support groups and books full of this sort of information….

    herbs need to be treated differently than nutrients because they are more like drugs…

    diet and nutrients and meditation can heal on a foundational level…herbs in general are for short term use and are more often problematic…though they certainly have their place and I do use them from time to time.

  179. How do I go to your page to learn about these different vitamins and minerals.. Quite frankly I would rather take something like that. I just tried the smoke because I was in a very bad depressed stage and it helped to bring me up. But I know that it is gonna get old.

  180. Jen,
    go to my about page and scan the links…there is lots of info or direction to info there…

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/about/

    if you join the groups I recommend info on natural healing is routinely talked about in the groups…

    look for the link that says “Email Support Lists”

    take your time on the about page…it’s got a ton of info…buy some of the books if they speak to you…you can look at reviews on Amazon…

    and read what I’ve written…

    I think that page can be overwhelming, but if you use it as the resource it’s intended to be you can go back again and again…

    best to you.

  181. Thank you I will do that.. Right now I am currently not working and I am having trouble finding a job so I can not afford to buy anything. I do have a question for you though since you seem to be good at doing research. I was looking at this supplement called EMpowerplus. Everything sounds really good about it. Have you ever heard of this to give me any feed back.

  182. Hi Jen,
    EmPower plus works very well for some people, but it’s what I call a “shotgun” approach…basically throwing all sorts of nutrients to everyone who takes it regardless of what their individual needs are.

    I won’t take it or try it because I react very badly to L-Phenylalanine…it makes me hypomanic…and it’s one of the ingredients in EmPower Plus…

    I’ve heard a few stories of people getting manic on it…

    I’ve also heard from people who swear it turned their life around…

    that’s all I’ve got on EmPower…

    It might be worth a shot…but it’s not cheap either…also I wouldn’t recommend it unless you also change your diet radically and cut out all the crap…

    I have a post on nutrition which is really quite thorough to give you an idea of what a good diet looks like…

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/my-nutritional-habits-and-suggestions-for-healthy-eating/

    most people don’t believe they eat like crap when they really do!!

    take a sharp look at what you’re putting in your body…

    oh, I also highly recommend Fish oil, magnesium and good multi and vit C as a foundation for just about anyone.

  183. I find D3 helpful for winter depression, especially for those of us in the northlerly reaches. (I live on the 45th parallel.) I am taking 4,000 mg. So far, I am feeling less depressed. My excellent gynecologist told me that the weak sun in these northerly reaches is insufficient for our skin to manufacture the requisite D3. B vitamins eliminated the creepy crawlies under the skin, which comes back only when I forget a Lamical dose.

    Speaking of the treacherous L: Recently I forgot one night-time dose (200 mg. Lamictal and 300 mg. Seroquel; my day-time dose is 150 mg. Lamictal). I wigged out within **2 hours** of that missed dose, though I had been feeling stable before my lapse. (My wig-out included feeling psychically scalped, teary, brain-dizzy, creepy-crawly despite my B vitamins, conversationally blank, nauseous, with a necrotic smell in my head that I thought was a Crohn’s thing, but, having read your posts, am not so sure now.) I am wondering whether any of you has noticed that you are more delicate on the medication than before. I have no discernible side effects until I forget a dose, but feel that I was more robust before starting the drugs: I wigged out every so often but more gradually. My husband says I’m more stable on the meds than before, but I’m not so sure: the freakouts (my Achilles’ heel-hell) haven’t gone away, though I haven’t had a full-bore manic episode since I started it 1-1/2 year ago.

  184. well, my opinion is that drugs, do indeed make us deteriorate over time…

    Robert Whitaker, an award winning journalist who wrote (click on the title) Mad in America is now writing a new book and that is his thesis…

    the epidemic of disability caused by so-called mental illness is being propelled by us all having being drugged into debilitation…

    it happened to me and I’ve been interviewed for his book…

    he has researched this in depth and feels there is a book to be written…I agree…

  185. Dear Giannakali,

    Thank you for your most timely, kind and well-researched reply backing up my apprehensions so very clearly!

    Before my formal diagnosis of bipolar 1-1/2 years ago, I had occasional extreme mood episodes, which manifested only under extreme duress, and frequent autistic freakouts; the autistic freakouts are, by far, my scariest “symptom”. (My “primary disability” is High-Functioning Autism.) I am dishearted that the few times I have forgotten to take these meds, I have been catapulted almost instantly into a highly agitated depression that makes me positively crave death, even there are no other stressors in my life.

  186. yeah, that is what withdrawal will do…and why it’s so important not to do it precipitously…it’s downright dangerous…

    I wish you the best…

    stay in touch.

  187. I am drugs. I have been taking psychiatric medications for 2 years and am currenly feeling some intense withdrawal symptoms from a couple missed doses of Lamictal and Cymbalta. I currently take 200mg Lamictal, 90mg Cymbalta, 2mg Xanax/day, and also 200mg Provigil for supposed ADD. I am on so many drugs that I don’t really know which symptoms of withdrawal are attributed to which drug, so the effects I list here might not be a result of Lamictal withdrawal alone. Anyways…

    I was put on lamictal during my stay at a Psych Ward in the detroit area after a manic-psychotic episode that resulted in a suicide attempt. I have no oidea what is really going on now. I am a 21-year-old male. My thoughts are incredibly scattered, my vision blurred and my hearing muffled. I am incredibly twitchy and am seeing bright flashes when i move my eyes suddenly. If I turn my head quickly in one direction it seems to take my vision a little while to catch up with my head. I have difficulty speaking as it seems my mouth cannot keep up with my brain. I feel as though I am in my own little bubble of chills, intense twitching, and also full body convulsions which last for less than a second, but I have no control of therm. Peoplle find me strange and are constantly looking at me as I am noticibly twitching and completly dazed. I also feel a little hot but that might just be because I have my long underwear on. Reading is nearly impossible which isn’t the greatest during my finals week at michigan state. It feels like ,my brain has liquified inside my head. Cerebral slurry is splashing around in my skull. One difficult aspect in dealing with this shit is the inability for others to understand what is going on. I try to tell my girlfriend what I am experiencing and she provides support, but I can tell she doesn’t know what is going on or if I am telling the truth. I wish I wasn’t. I also just don’t really give a shit about anything. I sort of just want to watch arrested development all day or something, which is strange becuase I rarely watch tv. If anyone is still reading this, I commend you. Hopefully the scattered format of this post may give you some sort of understanding of what this feels like. One thing that all of my psych-ward-mates, most of whom were psychotic and or drug addicted and or bipolar, was “don’t stop taking your medication no matter what whithout talking to your doctor, or you’ll end up here again”.

    It’s not as though when you don’t takeyour mood stabilizer you mood is the only thing affected. As an anticonvulsant it seems that most of the withdrawal symptoms I am feeling are physiological in nature. My brain is is affected but not in a lymbic sense. I am basically an absolute mess. I need to smoke some weed or something. Well tah-tah. Listen-just take your fucking medication and stop complaining about all of the discontents. If you have so much to complain about, you probably don’t need to be on the meds, so talking to your doctor would most likely be to your benefit. The fact of the matter is that quitting your medication yourself will end up in more severe symptoms which will lead to more medication. It seems counter-intuitive but if your aim is to be phree of the pharmacy take your pills for now. mushy mushy brain. fuzzy sentences and sounds and words and stuff. loopy. uninterested and SHaKiNG!!!! haha…don’t worry i’m fine. i’ve experienced this before and as soon as i get my molecules back inside of me I’ll be back to normal (HA!) in a couple days.

  188. you said:

    The fact of the matter is that quitting your medication yourself will end up in more severe symptoms which will lead to more medication. It seems counter-intuitive but if your aim is to be phree of the pharmacy take your pills for now.

    right…so I hope you’ve resumed your Lamictal and Cymbalta…both those meds have really really nasty withdrawal syndromes..

    the best to you…

  189. In May, I went through Lamictal withdrawal so severe I had a tonic-clonic seizure that almost killed me. Be careful when attempting to go off of this medication.

  190. yes, cold turkey withdrawal from any anti-seizure med (most mood stabilizers) can kill you.

    Same with cold-turkey benzo withdrawal.

    I’m so sorry you went through what you went through.

  191. Let me ask you all a question. Why did you decide to get off Lamictal? Was it because it wasn’t working? Side effects? Just curious. Thank you.

  192. Please be careful coming off this medication. Do it slowly and with the help of your Doctor. If you go off too fast you can get seizures.

  193. Gary if you’ve read any of this thread I POUND into people’s brain the importance of going slowly…I took 2 years to come off Lamictal and tapered in much smaller amounts than doctors recommend…doctors in general recommend a much too fast taper…so DON”T trust docs…do it slower then they say…

    please familiarize yourself with the blog to get your questions answered…and if you read the comments people have a lot of different reasons for coming off…

  194. Based on all I have read here I have decided to discontinue taking Lamictal. Fortunately I have only been on the medication for 4 weeks and the past 2 weeks at 25mg twice daily. My Doctor recommended to take 25mg once daily for 1 week and stop.

  195. Gary,
    Just so you know if you’re still going to be taking psychotropic drugs of any kind, they all potentially have horrible withdrawal profiles…

    Lamictal is not necessarily any worse than anything else your doctor will give you.

    You just happened upon a spot on the net where the evidence is very clearly stated against Lamictal…

    Had I written a post Risperdal Withdrawal From Hell (because it was too) the same thing might have happened.

    I suggest you do lots of research about all psychotropics if you decide you will continue using medications…

    Also there are alternatives to drugs…check out my about page for resources about where you might find additional information on options.

  196. Giannakali, I am aware of withdrawals from psychiatric drugs. I was on just about every antidepressant medication for 25 years. 3 1/2 years ago I stopped all psychiatrtic medications with the support of my Doctor. I have been drug free for the past 3 1/2 years except for trying Lamictal. I wrote an article on my life story a year ago. The article focuses on my struggles with coping with depression and taking psychiatric medications. The only reason I decided to try it again is because my motivation level is low. I don’t feel like working or doing much. But I am convinced medications are not for me. I just can’t bring myself to take them. I will email my article and you can post it on your site if you wish. Thanks! Gary

  197. i was taking lamictal 4 about 2 years I’m actually not that moody but I stopped taking it and stopped talking klonopins at the same time its been three weeks the biggest thing I’ve noticed is I get really sweaty especially at night when I’m going to bed and in the morning I was only taking 1mg of klonopins a day n 150mgs of lamictal I stopped cold turkey I havent been bitchy maybe because my boyfriend just makes me so happy I just sweat a lot is that a withdrawal sign?

  198. Paige,
    what you did was very dangerous…both with Klonopin and Lamictal seizure and death can result from cold-turkey withdrawal.

    you are most likely past that window but I strongly caution NO ONE else do what Paige did.

    Some people are lucky and get minimal withdrawal effects…you may be one of those people…

    For others withdrawal effects or rebound can take about a month. So it’s hard to say if you’re out of the dark. One of the people I’ve learned from claims damage can become apparent decades later if we don’t support our bodies to heal from the invisible damage these drugs do.

    Sweating, yes, is most likely a withdrawal symptom.

    I wish you the best that you may pass through this with nothing worse than the sweating…

    I have to wonder what you were on these meds for in the first place? Certainly underlying needs need to be addressed in most cases…in general the reasons we got on these meds in the first place don’t just disappear without other supports and self-care in place…

  199. Wow – so glad to know I’m not alone in this lamictal-withdrawal-hell!!!! Thanks to everyone re: their posts.

    I’m on day 5 of cutting from 100mg to 50. I would do it slower but I am running out of pills and don’t have a prescription/ins/money for refill… so thought I would just suffer through this.. instead of being OUT and feeling REALLY lousy. (I’m not trying to be “poor me!”, just stating the facts)

    Also I’ve been on it 5 years and I have been wanting to see what the real ‘me’ is like now. Was put on it for bipolar disorder and it really helped stabilize my moods. If I had a doctor & insurance, I would talk to him/her about how to get off of this stuff.

    Everything is just in slow motion.. it takes great effort to do the littlest things. My big accomplishment today was (drumroll please..) getting up and making coffee. It’s 12:30PM! I don’t want to get out of bed. Yesterday I was driving and it was really scary because I was just so spacey.. I had to think “remember! you are driving! don’t hit anything! concentrate! Look out for pedestrians!! Don’t get lost!” eeek!

    It’s like there’s something missing from my life.. I really MISS it.. I usually take it in the morning and within an hour, life is happy and normal. But now, I’m here, just wanting to stay in my room with the shades drawn. Just an empty feeling. Almost like being hung over from drinking. Watching TV is overwhelming.. too much to concentrate on. gak!

    I lost my job last week, so during this down time I am determined to get through this lamictal withdrawal thing and be done with psych meds (if I can function like a normal person and not go on spending sprees/manic highs and then crash and burn in deep depressions like I did for years!) Then in January, will hit the pavement looking for another job.

    Ok well thanks for letting me post here. Nobody knows I’m even on this medication and I’m sort of hiding from friends so they won’t even know I’m in this greasy hair/in bed state!!

    Ugg! I sure hope this lousy feeling will be over.. soon!!

    Happy Holidays to you all.. and hang in there to those going through this lousy lamictal withdrawal~!!! ugggg!!!

  200. Stacey,
    what you’re doing is unwise and potentially dangerous.

    there is lots of direction and advice on my about page in order to learn how to support your body and mind during withdrawal and beyond…if you were put on this drug for a reason and do nothing to address those reasons you’re not going to be okay just coming off it with no preparation.

    please take care of yourself. please utilize the About page on this site and get the info you need to take proper care of yourself…

    that starts with getting a new prescription…Lamictal is available generic now in the US…

  201. thanks much… yes- have read the other posts.. and 100% agree… 1) go slowlllyyyyy if going to taper.. 2) I’m not prepared to tackle this all alone without any kind of plan.. have gone back up in dosage.. have to be responsible about this and be practical and wise….. I’ll have to get a refill somehow and really figure if getting off of this is the best thing for me……..anyhow thanks for your site, have learned a lot about Lamictal here… best to you.. thanks :-)

  202. I’m so relieved Stacey that you’re going to take care of yourself…

    the best to you…

    happy holidays.

  203. Hi everyone. I hope you all are “ok” out there. I think this is a fabulous website. I’m glad I found it and you all. I felt as if I was the only one with problems. :)

    So here’s a short story: I’ve been on Lamictal for about 3 years? I started taking Effexor about 5 years ago to deal with stress at work (sales) and then I met my ex. Unfortunately he drove me nearly insane with his abusive words and actions that I ended up cutting my arm in front of him to “prove” that I was real and I actually had feelings. Yeah that didn’t get me anywhere he was still an asshole.

    My supervisor demanded that I see a therapist so I did and he took me off the Effexor and on to Lamictal because he said I am “Bi-Polar”. I really didn’t have any problems, outside of work being stressful, until the ex came along. It was all down hill from there. BUT now the ex is gone (By the GRACE of GOD 2 yrs now). And I find that the stress is now reverted back to work and out of my homelife. I would like to come off the Lamictal completely and be drug free and just live my life without depending on a freakin pill.

    I talked to my shrink about coming off the med in Nov and he suggested that I stay on them. I on the other hand think it’s a crock so I want to try it. I explained to him that I just needed to be on something to help the stress and not the other bull that’s not in my life anymore. I don’t think “he gets it”. Do any of them really get it? WTF!

    Anyway…..In the past I have forgotten to take my Lamictal 200 mgs (half of the twice a day 400mgs total) in the morning before work or on the weekends when I sleep late and never really thought about it but after reading all of your stories I’ve experienced the same effects that most of you have spoken of.

    I felt reeeeeeeeeeaaaaallly weird. Like almost “stupid” forgetting things and having the “giggles”, dizzy, stumbling around, clumsy and the worst was the headache…I thought my head was going to burst! Literally I would hold my head and squeeze it to relieve the pressure. I’d lay down and take a nap and wake up feeling like I’d been beatin in the head with a bat. No relief at all. Then it would hit me, I forgot to take my pill.

    So after reading all of your experiences I am kind of scared to attempt to come off it.

    Help…I need an opinion from someone other than a suit with a PhD.
    <3 Jen

  204. BTW—-> Stacy

    God bless you and good luck in finding a new job. :)

  205. Hi Jen,
    I’d like to suggest you just take your time and do some research and study and if you still want to come off meds after you learn what it takes to support your body mind and spirit responsibly then you can figure out if you can work with this doctor or if you need to find another one.

    Take it a step at a time…precipitously coming off meds is not a good idea.

    One place to start collecting info is my About page (top of the page there is an About “tab”)
    best to you.

  206. I stumbled upon this site a few hours ago, as I surf for information about side effects of weaning off of Paxil, and trying to glean more info about Lamictal.

    The posts here have been very helpful, and have validated what I’ve thought for quite some time.

    I’ve been on and off a variety of meds for about 3 yrs. now. Originally I was diagnosed with BP – “non-specific.” I don’t believe that I am BP and recently the diagnosis was changed to depression.

    I have been on Paxil and Lamictal (generic) for about a year. I’m so frustrated with side effects that I’ve pushed for reduction in meds. I’m under the care of a Physician’s Assistant and not a Dr. (That is a whole ‘nother story that ties back to being unable to find a Dr. that had a clue. She doesn’t seem to have a clue either, but will at least let me try the approaches that I want to try) For about the last 2 mos., my meds have consisted of 25 mg. Paxil and 100 mg. of generic lamictal. The side effects have been beyond what I’m willing to tolerate.

    About 8 days ago, I dropped from 25 to 12.5 mg of Paxil under the PA’s guidance. Since Thursday, I have been so dizzy I can’t function. Through ideas found online, I’ve been taking benedryl to attempt to counteract the dizziness. It seems to help slightly….

    Meanwhile, the last visit with the PA led to a refill on the Lamictal. I’ve been taking the generic lamictal for quite awhile and am at 100 mg. PA said that amount was doing little to nothing and that I should take the ‘real thing.’ Based on what’s going on with this dizziness, I’m not so sure that switching to the ‘real’ lamictal now is such a great idea!! I have supply of both the ‘real’ and the ‘generic’ and wonder what your thoughts are on the matter?

    I’m glad to see that I’m not truly insane and thinking this is all just in my head. All of these side-effects and feelings of anger, frustration, and dissappointment with a lack of a solid, long-lasting solution are clearly not mine alone.

    Glad I found you ~

    Laurel

  207. Laurel,
    that cut in the Paxil is way too huge!! Go back on the whole dose right away…and then do some research before resuming withdrawal…it’s not surprising at all that you’re suffering…

    as far as the Lamictal goes…it’s your call…I don’t suspect there will be a big difference..but it is possible…your PA saying it would be a big difference is kinda strange…but sometimes there are differences between the brand and generic that can be felt.

    I suggest you start researching withdrawal…you can start on my About page (the tab at the top on my site)

    also you can try a support group like paxilprogess.com they specialize in paxil withdrawal…

    paxil is one of the worst most nasty antidepressants to come off of…don’t hesitate to take lots and lots of time doing it…

    best to you.

  208. I am accidently withdrawing from lamictal. I ran out of it 2 days ago and am now so sick from withdrawing I can’t drive. My friend just called and I realized I can’t focus. The nausea is horrible. Nothing is real. I think I’m psychotic. The dizziness is awful. I’m wondering if I should just try to finish coming off of it. I take 400 mg a day. I don’t think that I should take it anymore or if I do a much smaller dose. I’m even sweating and anorexic. I guess I have to p/u med from pharmacy so I have to drive.

    I’m calling doc to see if she has any ideas. Glad I found this blog. Now I’m sure I’m withdrawing.

    Teri

  209. Teri!!
    in any way you can you MUST go back on Lamictal now. Cold turkey withdrawal can cause seizure and death.

    Once you’re back on it you can think about what you need to do to withdraw responsibly…

    I’m emailing this to you.

  210. Thanks for the email. It is remarkable that only 6 hrs after taking 200mg I feel much better. I’m sure I’ll be back to ‘normal’ tomorrow.

    I see that you write about holistic? ways of eating that have helped you. I’m going to check those out.

    At least I see hope as I find the bipolar to be getting more debilitating.

    I eat lots of sweets. I guess that has to stop.

    Thanks again.

    Terri

  211. Terri,
    from my vantage point it’s not remarkable at all…you stopped a cold turkey withdrawal in it’s tracks…

    I started a support group/forum/social network if you’re interested.

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2008/12/27/beyond-meds-forum-new/

    And please visit my about page…where there is a lot of resources on diet and nutrition.

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/about/

  212. I, like so many others, am dang glad I came across this website. I haven’t tried to decrease my dosage yet, but the cost of my prescription (400mg/day) is more than I can afford; I have no prescription coverage. I am on Social Security Disability and paying for Medicare A & B; adding D does not seem to provide any $ value. It appears I would be better off just using Walgreens Prescription plan. Does anyone have any suggestion on how I can get my med at a “cheap” cost. I would like to get off of the med, but current events in my life suggest there could not be a poorer time to try.

    Any help is appreciated!

    Ken

  213. Ken,
    Lamictal is available generic now…many part D plans pay for generics even once you hit the donut hole.

  214. I have been prescribed many different anti-depressants for about 15 years. They always seem to work for awhile, then I plateau so the doctor inevitably ups the dosage. I then hit too high of a dosage so the doctor prescribes a new medication and the cycle starts all over. I am now on Lamictal (300 mg)and Prozac (60mg). I’ve been on these drugs for about 5 years now. My husband and I would like to start a family and I have to get off the Lamictal–my doctor said that I could stay on the Prozac. I went through an awful withdrawal from Effexor several years ago. I quit cold turkey and it was horrible! Truly hellish. I’ve been reading some of the posts and now I am terrified about coming off the Lamictal. I am seeing my doctor later in Jan. to discuss weaning off Lamictal.
    My biggest concern is that it sometimes take years to come off Lamictal. I was not aware of that. Has anyone come off this drug (at least 300 mg) in a faster amount of time with tolerable withdrawal symptoms?
    Thanks.

  215. DeeDee,
    some people come off Lamictal with no issues at all. Just as I’ve known people who have cold-turkeyed off Effexor like you did and felt nothing bad at all too and Effexor has a nasty reputation for being a hard drug to come off of…we are all very different…so I can’t say how it will go for you…I can say that for me the withdrawal completely disabled me and I’m still disabled several months off it. (physical disability, not mental)

    I want to suggest you research your decision to stay on Prozac while pregnant too…there is a lot of controversy about whether antidepressants are safe for fetus’s and I’ll tell you I sure as heck would not be on any psych med if I were to get pregnant.

    I wish you the best. Remember to take good care of yourself…if you’re not healthy your baby can’t be either.

  216. I am taking Wellbutrin, along with Lamictal. Since Lamictal is not helping after almost 2 years, I’m switching to Abilify. So I’m on the Lamicatal withdrawal train. Feeling REALLY really spaced out and “off-balance”. which in turn makes my concentration at work terrible, not too mention interesting driving. And that tiredness really blows! I thought it was the Abilify, but after reading this forum, I now know…

  217. I have been on 250 mg of Lamictal for almost 3 years. My doctor dropped it cold turkey Monday and put me on some other drugs. I was concerned but he did not seem to be. Silly me! Anyway nauseous and I have a gnawing pain in my stomach, also a bit dizzy at times. How long does the withdrawal last? It took me months to clear off effexor the demon drug!!!!! Raven

  218. ps: daily dosages:
    Lamictal :300mg
    Wellbutrin: 300mg
    Seroquel: 50mg

  219. Brian and Raven,
    If you’ve read the rest of this thread you should know that quitting cold turkey is dangerous and ill-advised it can in fact cause seizure and death. I suggest you talk to your doctors and tell them you are suffering from withdrawal and continue taking Lamictal until you can responsibly discontinue it. For resources to learn about careful withdrawal go to the “about” page on this blog at the top of this page.

  220. prufrockianpariah says:

    Lamictal is such a god-awful drug. I had a really difficult time getting off of it.

  221. Giannakali. sorry, I didn’t mention I had a cessation orders from the doc:
    Each Thursday, I drop 50mg. Last Thursday, I dropped from 50 to 25mg to stretch out the transition, but this morning I went back to 50mg. My doctor stated I’m very sensitive to medications, so the Lamictal cessation will take more time. I’ll advise this evening how the 50mg treated me :)

    how do I add an avatar?

  222. Brian,
    You’re not sensitive, you’re normal…

    I took 2 years to come off this crap. A 50 mg cut is massive and you certainly shouldn’t sustain that throughout the taper…

    If people would take the time to read what I’ve written about my lamictal journey, by following the links you’d see that I in the end came off of .125 mg of a 5 mg pediatric pill…a far cry from 50mg

    and I still felt it…

    Please read all the stuff I put up…do a category search on Lamictal…to find the lamictal withdrawal category there is a pull down menu on the side bar.

    not just talking to you Brian..everyone…I answer the same questions over and over again…it’s all here…

    to make an avatar you need to sign up with wordpress…

    best to you brian.

  223. Hi Gianna,

    Thanks, I just left a message for my doctor.

    During the day, I feel jittery, like I drank too much coffee (shaky hands, higher pulse & heart rates), yet don’t feel p*ssed off or moody. The Seroquel takes care of that.

    Anyway, I just took another half Lamictal (50 mg) to help stave off these effects….

  224. Linda Fugate says:

    I made a Freedom of Information Act request for FDA reports on adverse events from Lamictal. They sent me a CD with 15,426 reports! I counted 69 cases of “withdrawal syndrome”. But GlaxoSmithKline has not yet put a warning in the Prescribing Information. So everyone, if you haven’t yet complained to the FDA, please go to http://www.fda.gov and use the MedWatch reporting system. And don’t be discouraged about how long it takes to get off – I thought withdrawal was absolute hell, but I would not want to try one of those other 15,357 adverse events.

  225. Has anyone heard of other physical effects of lamictal withdrawal such as dyskinesthia? I had this when withdrawing from Risperdal and this time it is more severe.

  226. noella,
    I’ve had convulsive like movements in my limbs and body….but I don’t know much more about it…other than having experienced it.

  227. Linda Fugate says:

    The adverse events report from the FDA lists dyskinesia many, many times; also motor dysfunction, movement disorder, and muscle spasms. Psychiatrist and author Peter Breggin says that antipsychotics both cause and mask tardive dyskinesia, so that it gets worse when the drug is withdrawn. I think Lamictal does the same thing.

  228. I found this site while doing a search for “Lamictal weaning”. My son has been on Lamictal for a couple of years now for seizures, that we believe he has since outgrown. Now, he is able to tell me when he has a seizure and they only occur when he completely misses a dose (rarely…maybe once a month). But, the side-effects he is having are horrible…its like the meds are causing him to be bi-polar. He’s so super-sweet one minute, then an hour later, he’s hates everyone and has outbursts for no reason at all. His teacher has given us examples of his school work and she says its like she is teaching 2 completely different students. He’ll do his work one day…all answers correct, perfect handwriting, answers every question correctly when he’s called on in class. Then, the next day, his handwriting is illegible, most answers are wrong and when she calls on him in class, he acts like he doesn’t even understand the language she’s speaking. I’m waiting on a return call from the doctor to see if we can try to wean him before his appointment in March. But, now I’m scared to death about the weaning. I’m worried that he’ll have seizures as a withdrawal and then they’ll think he hasn’t outgrown the seizures and try to put him back on Lamictal, or one of the other horrible drugs he has experienced in the past. He takes 100mg twice daily. Are there any suggested weaning schedules, in case the doc tries to take him off too quickly?
    Thanks so much!!

  229. no…there are no suggested weaning schedules…but most docs will go way too fast for those of us who are sensitive and it sounds like you son is…

    also I know nothing about lamictal as far as it is used for epilepsy so I simply cannot give you any suggestions…

    I do know one other woman who has written me took it for epilepsy and never had any mood problems until she took it…that’s just one person…can’t generalize much from that.

  230. Hi folks,

    I, too, want my life back. I want my health back. I want my memory back.
    I am tapering slowly over a 2 week period off my lamictal.
    I took 300mg. of lamictal and 20mg of lexapro.
    I had brain zaps like you wouldn’t believe on lexapro. It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve stopped lexapro. I’m still having brain zaps. It is much worse, compared to the zoloft I was taking some years ago.

    Lamictal is an anticonvulsant. Found to be useful in managing bipolar disorder.
    You absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, must taper off lamictal slowly. If not, you take the risk of a SEIZURE.
    I took 300mg, and am taking 250mg, tapering off 50mg each week, till done with lamictal.
    My mom has seizures and believe me, I don’t wanna go there.
    I have always had an excellent memory. I never had difficulty spelling. I always focused on what I read.
    Some days on the 300mg, I could not. Short term memory was affected. I write lists. I forget to run errands for my mom who has MS.

    I took lamictal for about 3 years after having gotten very fat on lithum. For some reason, I have not taken care of myself, hygeine, like I’ve always done my whole life. My house has, while taking lamictal, gone to a major mess.
    Now, I have no idea about how this could relate to lamictal, perhaps me just being lazy!

    (I’m actually sitting here trying to remember what I was going to comment to questions you folks had asked here.)

    I do believe lamictal is weight neutral. It did not ‘hold’ me this extremely stressful summer. Surgeries, loss of my wonderful bull terrier to kidney disease, starting up a new business, an always stressful marriage. So, at least the 300mg didn’t work this summer.

    At 55 years of age, I want my good memory back. I’d get lost driving.
    Oh, yes, I remember! Bad dreams, folks. Starting and stopping. I had one the first night having decreased to 250Mg. I was surprised and who knows from here.

    I am stopping my lamictal without consulting my pdoc.
    I am keeping my ‘get – off – lamictal’ secret from my husband. By the way, he always wanted me on lamictal because I was less of a nusence to him in general.

    So, after about 5 days at 250mg, I can tell! I’m getting irritable! Argumentative! Opinionated! A little mean around the edges. My goal is to re word any negative talk. Just stop. and begin again.
    I don’t want any hastle from my husband. I don’t want him to know.

    I’m so glad that I read your comments. I must remember, now, that my quarelsomeness, is just lamictal withdrawal!!

    So, taper down slow, you don’t want a seizure.
    Get your health and life back.
    A pill can’t fix us. And side effects? We are the guinny pigs.
    only success stories usually poorly done research on these meds. Just see how long subjects in their studies were followed during the study. How long did the study last? by the Rx companies make their way to the FDA.

    Take good B vitamins. Take omega-3 take that multi vitamin.
    Let’s rock!

    Teresa

  231. teresa,
    you are not tapering slowly…
    you are tapering recklessly and dangerously..

    you’ve clearly read none of this thread…

    I am not going to go back and repeat what I’ve said dozens of times in this thread…but I do suggest you check it out before you hurt yourself.

  232. I personally went of of the Lamictal because of the major expense, and the risk of severe withdrawal, which happened.

  233. Well, I’m at 175mg/day of Lamictal. Any idea the length of time b4 I cut back to 150? I realize everyone is different, but there may be an “approximate or “average”. I’ve been on it since May ’07. Previously I stated no anger issues, but that has changed. I actually feel fury blooming, especially at work (office environment), but I manage to put a lid on it…

  234. Brian,
    I can’t answer your question. I have no idea what your history is or what else you’re doing to take care of yourself.

    attend to you diet and nutrition…read my about page (tab at top of page)…where there are resources on withdrawal.

    join my support group if you want to talk to others.

    it’s on the side bar…

  235. Great site,
    Need lot more success stories cause all this is very discouraging!!
    Has anyone succeeded? How do you feel clean?
    Has your ‘old’ self (the one that caused you to go on the meds) come back?
    I need to know if it’s worth the hell?

  236. lots of people succeed…most people don’t write about it is all…

    check out Madness Radio…
    Freedom Center
    National Empowerment Center

    Some places that are about recovery…there are more…

    on the social network site that goes along with this blog there are a bunch of people who have succeeded…there are others who have who are on my blogroll…

    You gotta look around and find the sources…I do my best to point y’all in the direction on this blog but I don’t have the time to take everyone by the hand…

    people recover and leave drugs behind every single day…I’ve encountered hundreds of them…perhaps even thousands…and there are many times more than that out there.

  237. Hello,

    Quick question for you. I had been taking 100mg of Lamictal for 19 months or so as an “off label” add-on to Welbutrin. Was never comfortable with it, especially since my doc was on the GSK speaking payroll. Add the cognitive side effects that made even driving difficult, and the outrageous expense, and I felt I HAD to get off the stuff. So I did a two-week taper, going down by 25 every few days until I was licking the dust at the end. I realize this isn’t the way it is usually done, but having lost trust in docs I felt it was necessary and accepted it would be rough. That was almost a month ago, and I’m STILL going through the withdrawal symptoms — focus problems, memory loss, anxiety, irritability, angst, occasional dizziness, occasional drymouth, body aches, etc. And they’ve weirdly come and gone. Today, I feel like I did three weeks ago.

    Now, I’m planning to get back to a doc soon and reconfigure a prescribed regimen. ***That said, here’s my question: Is it normal to still be going through this almost a month after I stopped taking it?*** It’s bothering me … I feel like my brain is begging me to go back on it. I should have never gone on it in the first place, but when you’re deep into depression, you’ll try anything.

  238. it’s not unusual no…and it’s not too late to reinstate it either though you probably don’t have to go up to the whole dose you were on to get some relief…

    docs won’t know how to handle this…look at my about page and TELL your doctor how you want to do it. MINUTELY slowly…

    Read Breggin’s Your Drug May Be Your Problem for a decent protocol written by a doc….

    good luck

  239. Thanks for the reference to the book. Much appreciated. However, having read this thread before I went off it, and knowing how this drug has been the source of much misinformation, deception and subsequent pain/anguish/etc. for so many, I refuse to go back on it, unless it gets a LOT worse. I’ll go talk to a another doc. Who knows? Maybe a switch to Zoloft or an add of .5mg of Klonopin (which I’ve also taken in the past) can take the edge off. Is that a viable option?

    I’m in law school and a longtime depressive, so I’m stubborn. Comes with the territory. :-)

  240. withdrawing safely and slowly will enhance the chances of minimizing damage….
    you are not being safe.

    and switching drugs around is totally bad news…will compound things even worse…

    I get a lot of my info from a professional who has worked with people 20 plus years…

    cold turkey withdrawal in her experience causes much much more damage…and if you reinstate within a 6 week time frame you can have hope for not hurting yourself…

    almost everyone on this thread is being stupid…so I don’t know how you concluded anything by what you read. Perhaps I should get rid of this thread if that is the conclusion you come to…I will have to look over it…

    right now the ideas you’re thinking of pursuing are all bad.

    Zoloft happens to have a super ugly withdrawal profile as does Klonopin too…
    you’re just coming up with ideas with no experience or knowledge behind you…

  241. I’ve withdrawn from both Zoloft and Klonopin in the past, and neither was this bad. What can happen after six weeks, just out of curiosity? I made a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday.

    Maybe I am being stupid, who knows? Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

  242. some people get away with doing nothing special and even cold-turkey…it doesn’t mean it’s wise or prudent and it is playing with fire…

    after 6 weeks the damage is done…and going back on won’t help alleviate the suffering or slow it down…

    these are all generalizations based on observation…no clinical trials

    good luck is all I can say. I just try to help people avoid where I’ve ended up and lots of others who have done things recklessly…

    I wasn’t reckless, but I was on mega doses of EVERY psychotropic for 20 years…so I’m a rather complex case…

  243. Gina,

    I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through … I’ve been fortunate that I’ve always been a milder case. Until this Lamictal situation, anyway. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world. The expense, the uncertainty, the hope and lost trust in doctors … I’ve been on a bunch of meds, and unfortunately, I’ve never gone off any of them all that slowly — combo of reasons, including lost benefits and jobs, moving numerous times, poor time management, money problems, ambivalence, etc. I’m praying this can end and I wind up with no permanent damage. Or that the accumulation of all this hasn’t messed me up.

    Thanks for your input. This thread is amazing.

  244. Chris if you haven’t looked at the rest of the blog the tabs at the top of the page lead to lots of other info….

    the longer we’re on drugs and the larger amounts the more complex things get…also the more times off and on…things sometimes get harder…

    just be careful and see if you can learn how to support your body and mind in better ways so that you don’t end up getting real sick

    best to you.

  245. Muddychick says:

    I wanted to stop in after the disaster has been over for a year now. I think there should be a massive lawsuit against Lamictal! It took me a full year to feel good again and I finally feel normal again. I was fortunate to not have the bad side effects that others mentioned. I will tell you, not one day went by during that time that I wasn’t suicidal and couldn’t say a word about it because I’d be forced back into hospital under court order.

    What I will say and suggest is that checking yourself into rehab is not the way to go. The system treats you like a criminal once you are in and they take great pleasure in pumping you up with a variety of meds. I don’t believe in using psychological drugs to “cure” problems but that is just me and my 2 cents. I think that people are often much worse off. What I have learned is that you need to speak your mind, not bottle things up inside and learn to be assertive (not to be confused with aggression).

    To this day, I still say I am NOT bipolar! I am a woman with hormonal issues and have learned not to take peoples BS and it has made me all the better mentally, spiritually and physically. Did I have a nervous breakdown? Yes, I had too many things falling down on me in my life at that point when being forced onto Lamictal. Then being forced to go to a therapist that didn’t listen and when I would break down crying, he didn’t do one thing for me but just watch me and not say a word. That was the biggest kicker of all! Forced to pay a guy $ 200 a session to do nothing! I got more help from self help books about my addictions and fixed myself. I say to battle your own demons and steer clear of the drugs.

    The system was a rude awakening to me and I’ll never go that route again. I thought I’d be safe and could recover but instead, I was a guinea pig for others sick pleasures and held in an institution for almost a month. Being walked out of the hospital in shackles to go to court and having people see you as Hannibal lecter was just embarrassing. I thank god they didn’t force shock therapy on me like others. They would try to pitch it as an incentive…hey, if you take shock therapy…you can get out of this hell hole tomorrow. I bucked the system and I’m glad.

    My husband came to see me in the hospital every single day and the nurses would tell him horrible things about me and tried to drive us apart. Thank god he stuck by me and believed me when I told him what all happened in there. Then they put me on drugs that made me extremely violent (Depakote)? If I would have punched someone in there as planned, I would have gotten arrested. Makes me sick to know they can do this to innocent people.

    Confusing pre-menopause with BiPolar is BS! Don’t take Lamictal…it will turn you into a demon!

  246. thanks Muddychick
    you really deserve more of a response, but unfortunately I AM still sick and particularly bad at the moment..

    if you’re interested in telling your story in a post I do accept submissions.

  247. scarlet12 says:

    Just reading this blog has been so helpful. I am currently coming off of Lamictal and Lexapro. (I’ve been on and off of meds since I was 20–I’m 34 right now and a mother of three children). I’ve been on everything!!! Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Risperdal, Geodon, Xanax, Ativan, Lexapro, Lamictal. It took my whole life up to age 32 to finally get a proper diagnosis (Bipolar II). Of course the price I had to pay for that was ending up in a psych ward because I was attempting suicide, only to find out that the 40mg of Lexapro that I had been on can cause suicidal thoughts, etc…especially in those who are bipolar.

    I feel like me like has just been a big medical experiment! I’ve now been on 20mg of Lexapro and 150mg of Lamictal for two years and I can’t take the side effects any longer: weight gain from both (which has made me even more depressed), I always feel hungry, loss of energy and motivation, memory loss, loss of concentration, hard to hold conversations and try to say what I want to say (even typing this is taking everything I have to give just to get my thoughts out), loss of libido…I can’t take this ANYMORE!!!!

    I recently started tapering myself off. I was doing okay at first. I experienced the electric shock sensations from coming off Lexapro. Then I got so fed up with the stupid drugs that two weeks into tapering off, I just said screw it!! I’m done. I’m going to suffer regardless—give me the fight!

    I know I must be in withdrawal. I am full of anger, rage, I lash out at my husband, my patience is gone. I’m beside myself. Is this who I’m going to be for the rest of my life. I’m so sick of this. I’m crying as I type this. I know I will get a scolding from coming off to fast. What do those people do who are addicted to cocaine, etc…do they taper off the drug. I thought they just stopped? How long will these symptoms last. I’m tired, I’m nausiated (spelling?), I can’t think straight, I have these raging impulses throughout my body. Will it ever end. I feel so helpless.

  248. scarlet,
    I’m sorry…
    if you’ve read this thread, which I’m going to assume you have then you know you are doing something potentially dangerous…

    there are guidelines, info, and resources on how to prepare ones body and mind for safer withdrawal…

    much of this info is on my about page—YOU must choose to take care of yourself.

    NO ONE else will.

  249. giannakali,

    Thank you for your concern; however, I don’t feel that what I am doing is dangerous. I’ve gone off medications before when my husband and I wanted children. I have prepared my mind, and yes I know I must take care of myself, but this is where my path separates from possibly yours and many out there.

    I am not alone in this fight. It saddens me to no end that I have not read ONE word in regards to the one true being ready to fight the battle along our sides…no not me by myself, but through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Any in NO way should I be judged for being a “wacky Christian” for saying this, but the fact of the matter is that I will be, and that’s fine. If that’s your perception then I only feel sorry for you, because you are missing out on the greatest of all helps and strengths. I leave it al to the Lord. I can’t begin to tell you the comfort I have felt while reading in Psalms. Read Psalm 142.

    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
    Philippians 4:13

    Sincerely,
    Scarlet

  250. You said in your prior comment:

    I know I must be in withdrawal. I am full of anger, rage, I lash out at my husband, my patience is gone. I’m beside myself. Is this who I’m going to be for the rest of my life. I’m so sick of this. I’m crying as I type this. I know I will get a scolding from coming off to fast. What do those people do who are addicted to cocaine, etc…do they taper off the drug. I thought they just stopped? How long will these symptoms last. I’m tired, I’m nausiated (spelling?), I can’t think straight, I have these raging impulses throughout my body. Will it ever end. I feel so helpless.

    well you didn’t sound too confident in your last comment and now well, you’re being terribly condescending and making a lot of assumptions Scarlet.

    I wish you the best none the less. Good luck.

  251. scarlet12 says:

    I have not the slightest idea as to what you think was so condescending and I don’t know what assumptions you are talking about.

  252. it seems you assume I am Godless…

    it also seems you assume that being a Christian protects you from suffering which is rather naive as all people suffer regardless of faith and the Bible is replete with such examples. If you’d like I can start naming all the God-fearing good people who have suffered in the Bible in both the Old and New Testament.

    It is faith that allows many of us to deal with the inevitable suffering we deal with as humans on this planet. But faith will not stop us from suffering and it does not give us wisdom either. God expects us to help ourselves and certainly things don’t work out the way we want them to all the time just because we have faith.

    Tragedy happens everyday to those with and without faith.

    Peace.

  253. scarlet12 says:

    I never assumed you were Godless, and if that’s how it came out then I sincerely apologize. You know that is the one thing that can be hard about blogs or e-mail… The writer could be typing with a certain tone in mind, yet the reader may feel a different tone. I think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion due to this very reason.

    But I must say that…I never in any way implied that being a Christian protects me from suffering. That is an assumption way off base. I do not believe that being a Christian will protect me from suffering.

    This is where we part in our ways of belief…you see I have faith in the Lord to help me through this suffering. He will come along side me and He will provide me with wisdom and strength. I believe that faith in God, a relationship with Him, does give us wisdom. He has the answers. Yes, God does want us to take care of ourselves, but he wants to be a part of it.

    Yes, it is sad, tragedy does happen everyday…we live in a fallen world and that cannot be helped. I pray for those who have not come to Christ.

  254. This is where we part in our ways of belief…you see I have faith in the Lord to help me through this suffering.

    how do we part ways? that is exactly what I was saying above.

    I said:

    It is faith that allows many of us to deal with the inevitable suffering we deal with as humans on this planet.

    I’m not engaging with this further…you are not reading what I’m writing carefully and I’m tired. I will continue to hope that you choose to use your mind and the powers God gave you to make good judgments in how you proceed with your withdrawal.

    This discussion is over. I am sick and too tired to continue a fruitless argument.

  255. So glad to have found this website…I’ve read down most of the posts and am grateful to find good information even if folks don’t agree 100% of the time.

    I am tapering off Lamictal and thought I was doing pretty well–some fatique, headaches, etc. I just realized today though, as I took another step down, that I am not one bit fun to be around for the first two-three days of each “downsizing.” I don’t even want to be around myself. I’m mad at everyone and have no energy to get the things I must get done, done. I’m tearful, have panic attacks and dwell on all the (self-perceived) wrongs people how done to me. I feel hopeless though I realize now that I’ll feel better in a day or two until the next reduction.

    Today I managed a morning obligation and grocery shopping but have been on the couch for most of the day. I have got to get laundry down and stuff ready for the week for my son and I. Guess I’ll just have to take one step at a time.

  256. goodluck nixmal.
    take good care of yourself!!

  257. Muddychick says:

    Giannakali – I wouldn’t mind submitting my story because I feel that the public has a right to hear the truth. I’m sorry to hear you are not in the best shape right now. I know that feeling and it sucks. I’ll pray for all of you to get through this as I did. I’m not religious at all but I do say that prayer works. I had every family member and friend of mine praying for me and helping me get through the emotional hell and thoughts of suicide.

    Even a year later, clear of this stuff, i have pent up rage inside and feel like a walking time bomb some days. I’m typically more manic but Lamictal made me feel so low and poor self esteem and I just wanted it all to end. I thank god that my husband watched out for me even when I uncontrollably put him through hell most days. I have signs in our bedroom that reflect positive thinking like “Happily ever after” and “Always kiss me goodnight”. He reminded me that I needed to believe those things like I once did and it did help me out.

    I blame most of my problems that I was going through on being stuck in a job with a psycho, emotionally damaging manager. The company refuses to this day to realize what she put me through for 10 years and the end result was them getting rid of me because I had it and told the woman off (she well deserved it, as, I was not the only one she treated this way and got away with it). This was just short of my stay at the psych ward. While it was a horrible experience, it kept others safe from me lashing out when I was feeling so psycho.

    I’m at a new job now and love it and my whole outlook on life has changed because of it. Many things of my past crept up on me (being raped when I was 19 was the grand icing on the cake). I think that man should be castrated and any other abusers out there. People that hurt you physically or emotionally have no idea of what it is like to be haunted by those memories forever. I have a tough exterior but am scared to death inside of getting raped or emotionally abused again. I honestly think that if someone tried something again, I would not let them survive it. The shrinks tell me that I have a sex addiction because of the rape. That is a common problem that occurs and it is just another thing to make you feel guilty by society’s standards and being a woman. Makes me sick!

  258. Several days ago I started coming off of Lamictal. I’ve been taking 400mg daily for bipolar disorder for several years. I am also on 600mg daily of Tegretol. Honestly, the main reason for coming off Lamictal is its cost – my insurance ran out and 60 Lamictal a month is going to cost over 250 monthly. I talked to my doctor and told him I wanted to come off of it, so I am. He told me to go ahead and drop from 400 to 200, which I did. The next day, I went to work and had a terrible panic attack – they sent me home. I’ve been so depressed at night -s omething my doctor warned me of. After a month, I’m dropping from 200mg daily to 0.

    Even though I’m really nervous about it, I’m looking forward to being on less medicine. That’s what I keep telling myself when I feel these effects, which include nausea (particularly in the mornings – I used to take 200 at night and 200 in the morning so it’s probably because I’m not getting my nightly dose). The depression my doctor warned me of is really bad at night, but I’m fortunate enough to have someone to talk to… not that I have a psychologist these days: no insurance, can’t afford it.

    The irritability is pretty bad. At work, I have to take 10-20 seconds out to just breathe deeply.
    Sometimes I feel like I’m going to explode.
    All of this on top of stress I’m experiencing lately is very, very hard.

    Anyway! It felt nice to rant a little bit… thank you for that. :)

  259. Stephanie,
    again as I say too many times in this thread…if you’ve read it, and you should, then visit my “about” page and if you choose to, I suggest you minimize the risk you’re taking.

    Right now the way you’re withdrawing is simply very hard on the body.

  260. Sleepytime says:

    I am currently coming off of Lamictal due to problems that I have been having with sleeping. I recently had a sleep study that showed that I only had 2% of REM sleep during the night. I had the sleep study because I was falling asleep at very awkward times (like at work). I had the Day/Nap study done as well. I fell asleep at each assigned nap within 2 minutes… since I had no REM sleep, my doctor told me that it wasn’t narcolepsy, but medication related. Since then, I have been weening myself off of my meds. It’s a case where the withdrawel symptoms can’t be any worse than falling asleep at the drop of a hat and having absolutely no energy.

  261. goodluck with that because I can assure you the withdrawals can be much worse…but certainly are not in all cases.

  262. Sleepytime says:

    What’s really terrifying me is that I have to also come off of Abilify, Klonapin, and Strattera as well as the Lamictal at the same time.

  263. unless you’re having a deathly reaction (literally) to these drugs coming off them all at the same is totally dangerous and a doctor that would support such a thing is completely criminally ignorant…

    I STRONGLY suggest you get a second opinion and do some research on your own so you can take care of yourself if your doctors are going to try this with you.

    you can decide to stop this if you choose to and I really think you need to educate yourself and step up to the plate and tell your docs what you are willing to do and not do and then find one that actually has your best interest at heart.

  264. Muddychick says:

    For those battling insomnia, my doc told me to pop two benadryl and write down all of my racing thoughts just prior to bed. I can’t tell you how effective this is without anything habit forming. I originally asked for valium to completely knock me out but my doc knows I hate using hardcore pharmaceuticals so he went the best way possible with me.

    He also said my hormones are seriously messed up right now. I’ve been having psychotic mood swings again. He said to write down my evil thoughts and don’t let anybody else see them. I do have some pretty hardcore thoughts but need to learn to control them so I don’t act on them. Writing has helped me out a great deal. Helps me behave and be a good girl :)

    Good luck to all of you, we can do this without the drugs!

    I found out that I’m having some serious problems with my reproductive system. I’m sure I’ll end up having stuff removed, which is fine with me. The sooner the better…get the demon out of me! LOL

  265. Muddychick says:

    So…as if it isn’t bad enough being a paranoid schizophrenic, I’ve had people messing with my head again. I know it isn’t just me. People for some reason, think that I need to have children to be happy. It is an expected step in a womans life. I guess my question to these people is who is going to support this kid? If people are that concerned, maybe they should fork out thousands of dollars and let me be a stay at home mom? LOL! I don’t want to bring a child into this horrible world and can’t afford it. So get off my back I say! I’m not on the payroll to have kids. I’ve seen it mess up too many chicks insides. And why would I want to screw things up? I have no doubt that I would be a great mother but it just wasn’t meant to happen is my thinkin’.

    I think the lamictal that was in my system would most likely be bad news for a kid? People need to take other things into consideration before just wanting me to have kids. I don’t live on a polygamist ranch for pete sakes! I refuse to roll with this one way thinking. I should have a choice in what I do with my body and money. Nuff said!

    Its real messed up when you can’t even sleep at night because there are too many weirdos in the world wanting to do crazy stuff to me. It makes you want to dodge the internet altogether and have any info you ever posted yanked. This is a real possibility because I’m tired of all this. Perhaps I’ll have to go into hiding. It is sad that its come down to this.

  266. muddychick,
    you are being responsible…people on meds shouldn’t have children in my opinion….and people with too many unresolved issues (I”m not assuming that about you) are blessed if they can figure out it’s not appropriate for them to have children…

    when I was on 6 drugs with my drug happy doctor and TRULY messed up in terms of how poorly I functioned he would routinely ask when I was going to have kids…

    that was really f’d up in my mind…

    hey muddychick,
    do you know about my social network?

    this issue would be better brought up there.

    http://beyondmeds.ning.com

    it’s basically a support forum…and this sort of thing would be a great conversation to start there…if you join bring it up…I think you might get more responses then here.

  267. Hello,

    I just took my first 75 mg dose today…I hate the idea of being on meds and not sure if my diagnosis was correct…2 weeks ago i started at 25 mg than 50 the next and today was my first 75 intake…I want to tell the psych that I want to get off tomorrow…What do you think the process is going to be like, how slow is the tapering schedule, and do you guys think I should keep going with it, or should I go with my instinct to get off…I felt severly depressed last month and have had this type of depressed feeling two times before in my life, its more of an anxiety feeling though and clouding of the mind…I always get out of it through literally fighting the depression, forcing myself to get up and gaining knowledge and new perspectives through books, my most recent personal aid is reading about buddhism and the buddhist way of life, and books such as the “Power of Now” by eckhart tolle…so my advice to everyone else is reading, getting out of the norm, changing your perspective, and self realization…anyways, I hope someone can help me with the questions i have

  268. Gary,
    I cannot tell you whether or not you should or should not take meds.

    I can tell you there are many alternatives. If you’ve read this thread then you’ll know you can visit my about page at the top of the page (the tab marked about)

    all the stuff on that page can help one learn about alternatives….

    also if you want a community of people who are learning to eihter withdraw or avoid meds the ning social network is a good place for support…

    http://beyondmeds.ning.com/

    as far as withdrawing after just a few weeks of being on Lamictal…well frankly, now’s the time to do it if you’re going to do it…it will be MUCH easier and most likely completely painless…

    BUT you went on it for a reason so really researching alternatives and finding healthy ways to care for yourself is imperative.

  269. Muddychick says:

    Thanks Giannakali, I agree and I won’t be having any children. I’ve been told by many that I’m not emotionally stable enough. I know that I’m finally in my right mind again, even if that means being manic most of the time. The only time I have severe depression is at work and that is due to domineering behavior (never fails, ugh). If I could just not have to work, there wouldn’t be any stress in my life.

    I’m med free and just take vitamins now and I intend to stay that way. I am against big pharma companies after this whole “forced” experience. The court system, psych wards and the whole works are bad news for a girl like me. They liked using me as a guinea pig and man, I surely wanted to sue them for all the BS they put me through. Luckily I got a good lawyer (and probono to boot) and she got me out. She commented on how I was the most full functioning BiPolar person if she ever saw one! I owe a lot to her.

    Most people knew I didn’t belong in there as long as I was held. But I was basically a threat to myself and society at that point with my homicidal thinking and contemplating suicide often. Its bad when you have to tell your husband to stay home from work one day because you might kill yourself. I’m glad I no longer feel that way and cherish every day on earth. I’ve had hits out on my life but I don’t let it bother me one bit. We all have fate and when your number is up, that is it. That is my strong belief. It is not okay to want to kill yourself. Instead, you need to love yourself and put yourself first at all costs. There is nothing selfish in that. That was the one good thing that came out of the psych ward for me. I learned so much about myself and become so much stronger in the end. It made me want to help others going through this. We are all in the same boat and it takes a strong person to get the help they need.

    Have you seen the move “The Changeling”? They do portray how women are treated at most psych wards. But I refused the shock therapy and said I’d stay in there forever before they could force that BS on me. The drugs were bad enough and getting the spotlight shined on you every few minutes at night, I’ll never forget that! I bucked the system and wore earplugs and a sleep mask. I even had chocolate snuck in for a caffeine fix when they took it away from me. While I was able to forcibly quit smoking while in there, I smoked like a chimnea when I got out. You wanna talk about someone getting violent, yeah, that is me without caffeine and nicotine! Then I couldn’t even shave my legs without someone watching me because I might use the razor for other things. I had to practically beg for childrens scissors to make collages from magazines. I read a lot, journaled a lot and played tunes and danced a lot in there. While I met a lot of great people in there, I couldn’t remain friends because it wouldn’t work out. I have a lot of my own battles to tend to and others problems would become mine. I hope all of those people are doing better now and haven’t fallen victim to become a product of the system. They set it up so you become dependent on them and it cost you big bucks in the end. As soon as you have no insurance, you get the boot because they can’t make the big bucks off you anymore. My bill was about $ 30k..ouch! Imagine if I had no insurance at the time. Its enough to put you in debt for years to come.

    The best part of the psych ward for me was meeting so many good people that just had too much of society. I can see how the military guys ended up in there, they endear and see some things that many of us take advantage of for our freedom on a daily basis. I enjoyed my conversations with everyone in there. The common trait for most of the women in there was that they were raped and it psychologically messes you up for life. Luckily for me, I was able to find forgiveness and move on now after 11 years.

    I have to credit my regaining sanity to my husband, my family, my friends and all that stood by me through this horror story. But remember, that not all stories have a bad ending. Now, I’m “Happily ever after”. I hope many of you can get to this point as well. I refuse to see anymore shrinks or be put on any other meds. I’ve heard that painkillers can make you violent as well. It put my father in the psych ward at about the same age I went in. We all did what we had to do and my time with the system is over now. I deal with things the best I can on my own. My husband has read all of the BiPolar books and can read me like a book when a certain mood erupts. He has stood by me through a lot, even when I said he should leave me. Now that is true love man! Most people couldn’t handle my mood swings but he is a strong man and thank god I found him.

    I’ll have to check into the support group you mentioned. :)

  270. On Lamictal Generic, was written RX for name brand…did not get the rx because insurance did not want to approve it and the office I see for meds did not do the paperwork….then I forgot all about it but have been living in hell, literally. I do not know what has happened to my memory or if what I am thinking is real, headaches, irritability, sense of breathlessness, dramatic/tramatic anxiety increase. Just have been feeling off balance, out of my body looking at my pathetic situation and wondering if it is all worth it. Insurance companies/ dr. offices/ no on time prescriptions/ pharmacies needed to order the medicaiton you have been getting there for years. So….feeling like SH T, have lost faith in the medical system- what is a girl to do? Stop cymbalta, seroquel, ambien CR, Vyvanse, Vit D, Omega 3, Welbutrin XL, ativan, insulin, singulair, advair, albuterol, zyrtec, benadryl??? BOY AM I IN FOR IT!

  271. Bey,
    if you want support with your predicament you can join the social network associated with this blog:

    http://beyondmeds.ning.com/

    best of luck to you.

  272. marigold says:

    hello,

    I am in terrible shape. 25 days off of lamictal and i am depressed and have severe insomnia,it got really bad the past few days ……etc. I have decided to go back on to taper slowly after finding this website. The dr. just called in a prescription for 25 mg. I NEED SLEEP, if i don’t, i am ready to go to the ER tonight, for what i don’t know except that i am delerious after 25 days of bad insomnia. My family is so confused and worried and i feel myself spiraling after i have been doing so well.

    I need support. Am i doing the right thing after 25 days? Has anyone else done this? Should i start on 25 mg like he said? I am terrified and shaking right now.

    Love and light.

  273. marigold…
    yes, reinstating the drug is a very good idea…after 25 days it’s hard to know if you will have a lot of relief or not…but it’s still the best thing to do…

    you said in another comment somewhere you had been on 100 mg…I wouldn’t hesitate to take more than the 25 mg if you need to, but add it slowly…not all at once…there is a risk of adding too much Lamictal too fast…so wait several days before increasing it…

    I wouldn’t hesitate to go up to 75 mg with your doctors approval and then wait until you stabilize…and THEN don’t cut more than 10% of total dose at a time every few weeks.

    you can get pediatric pills that are 5 mg to make this easier to accomplish.

    good luck

  274. I will again repeat to you,

    study the about page on this blog…read ALL of it if you can, slowly but surely…will give you much direction for further research..

    for sleep look into amino acids—direction for further research also on the about page

    join the support group if you like as well.

    http://beyondmeds.ning.com/

  275. Ugh… I went through that while going off my last 25 mg of Lamictal– and I was only ever on 100. That was the WORST my mood has ever been. Then stupidly cut out the klonopin (2 mg) cold turkey one week, got flu-like symptoms, and could hardly walk at all. Now tapering off slowly, and I’ve only been on this crap for one year.

    By the way… decided for the protest at the SF APA meeting that I’m going to dress up as the Black Box Warning for Abilify, but haven’t picked my signage yet. Something like “Pills Don’t Solve Problems” or “End the Psychopharmaceutical Complex”

  276. Samantha says:

    What horrible stories. I have been off lamictal for 2 days and already I feel removed from myself. I can’t concentrate on ANYTHING. I have headaches, stomach aches, feel – kinda like how you feel when you’re dehydrated. And all because my insurance company will not pay for Lamictal and my doctor refuses to prescribe generic. I’m taking it because of cyclical mood disorder, but it seems futile. This fight. I think I’m going to just get enough of it to taper (SLOWLY) and be done with it for good. Plus, I never noticed a difference in how I felt, I just notice how I feel WITHOUT it. I’m manic and wanting to cry as I write this. I went through klonapin withdrawal when I found out I was pregnant with my son – that was MUCH worse, but this is really interfering with everything. I am a full-time Masters student, I have a family, work, etc.

    It was just a bit of a relief to come to this site and see I’m not alone. Thanks.

  277. To the girl who wants children and taper off Lamictal…..

    I got pregnant taking 1500mgs of Trileptal, 150 mgs of Lamictal and .5mgs of Xanax each day. I tapered off the Trileptal a half pill a week ( going too fast would have shocked both me and baby). The Xanax is a catagory D, so stopped that immediately and took Tylenol pm my whole pregnancy ( reslly bad insomnia in general). I stayed on the Lamictal the whole time.
    Best pregnancy I ever had. My daughter had no problems. Perfect. A low dose Lamictal is not necessarily going to make you have a deformed child. For me, the Trileptal is worse. Had no choice and my dose was real high.
    So I wouldn’t stress too much about going off it for that purpose. It’s better for mom to feel mentally ok during pregnancy…or you’ll end up miscarrying and go crazy. My other 2 pregnancies were hell. Lamictal helped tremendously.

    I’ve been out of my meds for a few days in a row..( due to not picking them up or getting filled in time) and my withdrawal symptoms are pretty severe. Even if I’m behind 2 hours I get this cold feeling in my chest. I feel like my teeth have nerves at the end of it and just chomped ojn a chalkboard. Anxiety..talking fast and feel like I just took 4 lines of coke I”m so high in the clouds. My physical symptoms are much worse then mental. I’ve been on it for 5 years and aside from that, I like the med. It works well with my other scripts and so far they have worked for over 5 years together…( taken for bipolar).
    I couldn’t give anyone advice on how to stop…I’d ween down so little that each pill would be crushed 4 ways and only take one piece a way weekly.

  278. I didn’t read the last comment terribly carefully…I’m having horrible cognitive problems…

    Hope,
    I’m glad you have a healthy baby…
    BUT, that should not lead anyone to conclude it’s a good idea to have a child while on drugs. If you have a choice and are able you owe it to your child to be drug free. There is plenty of evidence that these drugs cause harm. In the womb and while breast feeding.

    I chose to remain childless because I couldn’t be drug free. Of course we can all make our own decisions but that was mine and I like any other woman would have liked a family.

    One happy anecdote is not enough to change my mind about that.

  279. devamaia says:

    I am want to taper off lamictal over the best period of time to avoid withdrawal symptoms. What would you say is the best time to get off the 200 mg dosage. I thought taking out 25mg per week and being slower with the last 35 mg. What do you think?

  280. you should spend some time on my about page…there are many things you should consider and the speed in which you are talking about is likely way too fast…

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/about/

    http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2007/03/15/psychiatric-drug-withdrawal-for-beginners/

    take some time and do some research…doctors often recommend far too rapid withdrawals and don’t know how to suggest ways to support your body mind and spirit…

  281. I’ve really messed up. I have been on Effexor (300mg), Lamictal (300mg), and Wellbutrin (150mg) for about 2 1/2 years now. Recently, my psychiatrist decided that, since I was still having severe depressive episodes, I should taper off Effexor and taper onto Lithium. I did as prescribed for about a week. Then, I decided that I was feeling really good (I was diagnosed with a Vit D deficiency and after 6 weeks of high doses, think that had something to do with my depression). I wanted to just get off the medication merry-go-round and clean myself out. So, without telling my doctor, I have been tapering off everything. Since the lithium was so new anyway, and the Effexor done per the doctor, I don’t think those drugs are my problem. I think it is the Lamictal. In “self-tapering,” after over two years on the drug, I think I have gone too fast. I went down 50-75mg every two days for about 10 days, then down 25mg every two days for another week. Two days ago, I took my last dose (75mg). Well, for the last 7-10 days, my dreams have been nightmares. Over the last 5-7 days, my head feels like a rock, I can’t think clearly, I can’t talk clearly, and I can’t write or type clearly. I feel constantly like I am going to pass out and I am always dizzy.

    Clearly, I screwed up big time. I still want to get off the Lamictal, but now don’t know what to do. I feel horrible but I don’t know whether I should add some back in or just suffer these side effects until I start to feel better. I am just afraid that will take too long. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  282. following docs orders are no guarantee on withdrawing safely…in fact they often cause more problems by withdrawing people too quickly…

    that being said…I can say that with no doubt you have cut Lamictal way too fast. Making a 75 mg cut at the end is actually dangerous to the point in which it could cause seizure and death…that is unlikely 7 days out but suffering other symptoms is not.

    the best thing to do is reinstate Lamictal and stabilize and then do the withdrawal safely and sanely if you still want to.

    Learning how to support your body/mind/spirit should take precedence as well…

    you can hang out on my about page and use it as a spring board for what you might want to research further…

    if you like you can join the social network for support too...

    there are other support groups listed on the about page as well.
    good luck.

  283. Thank you so much, I thought I was doing a good withdrawal until I started experiencing these side effects and realized that I really wasn’t. I agree that I will add Lamictal back into my diet and withdraw much more slowly. Overall, I think right decision, poor execution.

    I am so glad I found your site. I really like the sane advice and lack of drama. I am definitely going to look at your other pages.

  284. ..man the doctor put me on lamictal thinking i was depressed…
    that stuff made me worse..i mean i was never sucidal at all..just tried from too much stress and anxiety..although i was at 25mg for one month the doc put me out cold turkey

    i never expierenced such pain in my life…mental pain……
    before lamictal i really didn’t know what depression was…that medicine surely taught me what it really feels like..and if that kind of depression is what bi polar people has to face than much respect to you guys…
    its been a month since than..perhaps i am still feeling it? i feel little bit irratabilty every 30min or so…
    I am also getting of lexapro, which i’ve been on for a month..hopefully that will be easy

    man next time i meet a bipolar person i will definitely give that person a hug…

  285. A lot of “bipolar” people are just like you…they had an adverse reaction to a drug…and then they get sucked into the system…

    drugs make a lot of us worse… and they are always neurotoxic whether the person thinks they help or not…

    this website is for those of us who choose a different way or want to learn about alternatives and who learned the hard way that psychiatry was not for us.

  286. Daniel,
    I’m sorry I’m very tired and didn’t read your whole message carefully…

    depending on how long you’ve been on Lexapro and your particular individual sensitivity to withdrawing…it could possibly be rough…

    I strongly suggest you look into how to get off safely…

    today a friend posted some fairly good guidelines to get off here.

    and my about page goes further and suggests lifestyle changes that help support our bodies/minds/spirits while doing a withdrawal as outlined above.

    best to you.

  287. My doctor also put me on Lamictal as trying to treat me for Bipolar Disorder. Well, last year when I split with my wife. I went to the hospital for one night, because I was physically ill. About 2 weeks ago. I went to the hospital to get my records. Low and behold, we find I’m not Bipolar at all. But, more suffer from PTSD. So my doctor decides to take me off the med. I was only on 100 MG of it, and then 4 MG of Kolonopin a day, and 150 MG of Wellbutrin to counter act a side affect of the Lamictal. Worked great for a while. But me and my doctor decided why should I be paying all this out for it, when I really don’t need it. A few days ago, I went off the med cold turkey. Like some of you. I have experienced severe grouchiness, not being able to think straight, nausea, headaches. The list goes on and on. So, today I took 50 MG’s of it, and my afternoon 2 MG dose of Kilonopin. It’s taken me a couple hours to type this, as the tremors were so bad. Now, I’m finally calming down. CAN ANYONE PLEASE TELL ME HOW IN THE HECK TO GET OFF THIS MED WITHOUT ENDING UP IN THE HOSPITAL!?

  288. Mike,
    read this blog for starters…start with this thread where you left this comment and the About page–the tab is on the top of the blog on the home page…

    there are lots of resources and links to articles and books that will help you withdraw slowly and safely…

    for now try to stabilize on the drug while you learn how to come off the drugs safely….rushing things will make it worse…

    best to you

  289. justin cohen says:

    hi Im bipolar and have been on Lamictal 200 mg and Lithum for about 5 years to good success. Im out of the states and Ive been without doctor care for a over two years. You dont need prescriptions in most foreign countries. Ive always taken a few days off now and again from Lamictal but really went to far this time. Ive been off for a week and really had no problems until today. My mood and psy is okay but Im so frigging tired…so lethargic. How much do i take to start back when off for a week??? Good news is Im on vacation for a two more weeks to fix this….ty

  290. I can’t answer that question with any great precision because I really don’t know…

    In the same circumstance I would take 100 mg to start IMMEDIATELY…and then maybe more in the next 48 if I wasn’t getting relief. You’re in a dangerous place right now.

    quitting Lamictal cold-turkey can cause seizures.

    for more info on taking care of yourself visit the about page on this blog…(tab at the top)

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