Completely painless Lamictal taper

This did not last: please see here for more info on tapering Lamictal. Tapering Lamictal often runs into serious problems if not done carefully and slowly.

I’m beside myself with glee. I really didn’t expect this—I came out here with a very feeble sense of dubious faith. I tapered my Lamictal five days ago and feel better than I have in ten months! I can imagine not feeling worse with the aid of the nutritional therapy, but better?? This is awesome. I’m tapering again tonight.

It’s scary to feel so good. It’s scary to really let myself entertain the thought that this could actually be over in a matter of months instead of a couple of more years. I’m not accustomed to feeling optimistic. Not like this.

To remind you what Lamictal withdrawal can often be like see here and here.

I know that things could still change. The protocol I’m following is working well for Lamictal so far, but what about for Klonopin? What about for the terribly stubborn tiny amount of Risperdal I’m still on? The future is unknown.

Update: These tapers I did in California led to a complete physical deterioration over time. It has been anything but painless. The lamictal withdrawal has been the worst drug I’ve withdrawn from to date. I’ve been extremely physically sick for two months beginning juts a few days after this initial hopeful period. Sometimes withdrawal effects take a couple of weeks to kick in and then it can take months and sometimes years to recover.

Comments

  1. Congrats on the progress! Makes it easier being away from home. I hope your kitty is on the mend.

  2. Hello Gianna, what great news you have today! Your really are making great strides or even great leaps. For getting off of Klonipin as I did you could use the method suggested by Dr. Heather Ashton, BENZODIAZEPINES: HOW THEY WORK
    AND HOW TO WITHDRAW

    PS. did you see my comment on your post 1-18-2008 concerning Dr. Leander Ellis?

    Bert55

  3. Hi Robert,
    Yes, I answered your comment. I looked for Ellis on Amazon but it wasn’t available. It is available at Barnes and Noble. Apparently it’s a book of case studies—but their isn’t a whole lot of info on it.

    Sounds interesting–care to share more about it?

  4. Hello again, It would be hard for me to describe his case studies. I’m not a sales person just a man regaining his life back after so much pain for so many years. I can quote him from other material I have recieved by him.
    “There is a world of wonder, awe and fulfilled hope in which chronically ill persons correct their mastakes and regain their health. It lies outside of the intellectual prison into which mainstream medicine has blundered”.

    You can go to http://www.bbotw.com to find his book,” Health Quests”, it’s price is $13.95

    Bert55

  5. That is wonderful news!

  6. Dear Gianna,

    Great, just great! All I can say is Wow!

    I am so happy for you. You’re in my thoughts.

  7. HSP woman,
    thank you so much. It’s really good to see you here! I hope you are still doing wonderfully well drug free.

  8. I’m happy to hear this.

  9. You’ve earned it.
    You deserve it.

    Good for you!!!

    Duane

  10. i’m on this lamictal journey with you. best of luck to you and happy to hear you’re feeling good!!!

  11. What is “the completely painless taper” off lamictal? I could use some advice.

  12. it’s not painless…that was said in a moment of peace when the agony had not kicked in yet…

  13. I should say though that some people do come of Lamictal painlessly, but they are usually just lucky…all drugs exist on a continuum when it comes to coming off easy or hard.

  14. Oh crap. I’m thinking of coming off of this drug. Now I am scared s***less.

  15. Hello,

    Well these threads are useful, and scary… I’m starting my Lamictal withdrawal today and I’m in the fortunate position of having two months with very little obligations, but I’m looking for Lamictal withdrawal success stories!

    So, I tell myself that perhaps many people don’t fight such a battle and that people more likely to post are those who are suffering and need support…idealistic?God, I’m not optimistic about much, yet I have this crazy desperate hope that I won’t
    face all my time off in a depression.

    I had very little, if any, side effects going ON Lamictal and maybe that can give me some hope? I don’t think my relationship would withstand it as that’s where I project all my anxities anyway. Truthfully, the fear that these Lamictal withdrawal posts of people experiencing depression/irritability/out of control behaviors would ruin my relationship are part of what’s blocked my decision to go off of it.

    But I think, now that I’m reading more real people experiences, that I’ve had side effects for two years that are from being ON this med–After ON the medication (three years; 300 mg) I read about tooth decay, which I’ve never read, but that would explain a horror by my dentist and me that FOUR of my teeth have decayed. Joint pain. And, I wonder, if worsening depression/pms? My hair has thinned dramatically. And perhaps the irritability was from the meds. More stuff that I now wonder about, but I’ll get to the point:

    Questions: For those of you suffering, did you find an end in sight? How long did the horrible experiences last? I’m wondering if perhaps an equal amount of people don’t experience much more than the exhaustion, which seems all around common, and a few weeks of problems? I’m also wondering, from those of you have tapered, am I correctly hearing that it’s sometimes weeks AFTER the complete withdrawal from the med that the symptoms start?

    Thanks for any inspiration….
    ~M

  16. Mazzie,
    Lots and lots of people have no problem coming off Lamictal. You’re right in assuming those with problems report here.

    It’s important to know this stuff though, just in case you’re one of us who have problems. Go nice and slow and support your body with healthy, whole foods and nutrients and stop if your body needs a break. Try not to push things. that’s when people get in the most trouble.

    a good rule of thumb is to cut no more than 10% of current dose every 2 weeks. A lot of people don’t seem to have that patience and some of those people fare well others do not.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  17. Gianna,

    Thank you so much for your time–I really appreciate it. I just don’t trust doctors at all anymore. My experience is that they drastically underestimate withdrawal symptoms. Today I took half of my normal dose, so you’re right, being that inpatient is probably my acting out a bad character trait of being so impatient. Can I ask where you’re at with your tapering and process of this drug? I”m so grateful for a community of people who are willing to invest in this discussion and support one another.

    Thanks again,
    Mazzie

  18. Mazzie,
    My taper is outlandish in that I started by needing to withdraw from 7 drugs. So I’m down to three, two of which I’m mostly off of.

    I still have 125 mg of Lamictal to go from a high of 400 mg. It’s been a rough journey for me.

    Right now I’m tapering Risperdal. I’m at .5 mg down from 11 mg. That is terribly exciting and I’m celebrating that fact right now.

    I probably still have a long way to go in terms of time. I’ve learned to be patient the hard way—I’ve made myself quite physically ill…but again…I was on a boatload of drugs and not everyone has to have as long a journey as I do.

  19. Hi everyone,

    I’ve had horrible withdrawal problems from Paxil. So much that my doctor switched me to LAmictal, saying that coming off of it will not be nearly sa bad as the Paxil.
    However, reading all the stories here, Lamictal withdrawl doesnt sound any good! I’m now starting Week 3 (50 mg/day) and I’m alreay thinking about coming off of it. I am doing lots of yoga and going to acupucture. I am sooo over Western medicine, which has done nothing but harm my body. I want to get over my anxiiety and depression through alternative medicine.
    But I have 1 question: are you all feeling “normal” after stopping the meds? Has the issue that brought to the meds in the first place gone away?

    Please help me and advice.

  20. Gibb,
    You gotta work to stay healthy…

    Diet, nutrition, meditation, exercise—-all sorts of things have to be in place if you want to live free of meds.

    If you want to see what some of your options are in terms of alternatives go to my about page.

    There are articles, books, and support groups to learn how to withdraw and/or live a healthy lifestyle that will help you live without meds.

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

  21. After being on Lamictal for 3 yrs, (my current dose is 300mg a day) I can say that the first thing I developed was “mouth dyskensia” . I ripped up my tongue to bleeding, until the dentist filed flat the tooth that my tongue seemed to be drawn to the most. I asked about this problem but pdoc and family doc said they saw no relation. Hence the dental visit. And yet……sucking my teeth till my tongue hurts has yet to be addressed. I was elated (if that’s the correct word) when I found another lamictal user on another forum with the same difficulty. Well…sorry for that lamictal victim, but I could finally relate to this malady and he helped me to realize how correct I was in making this call. Dyskensia = Lamictal. When I started this I already had arthritis in several places, but when I started with muscle, fatigue and depression, and general malais, the fdoc threw more pain meds at me calling my problem Fibromyalgia. When I experienced joint pain in other places I was prescribed even more pain meds, which masked the effects of other medications which caused more emotional irritation and despression, and I was prescribed more lamictal. Now, because I can’t pay attention if I tried, I have been prescribed concerta. D-a-a-a-a-a!! 3 years ago I took 4 medications. One tompomax, one daypro (pain), lipitor and pepcid. I have been rather disgusted by all of this recently but last night I took a long hard look at where this long lamictal train has brought me. You don’t know how many times I have brought these issues to “professionals”. By the way, I’ve gained 50 yes 50lbs. over these three years with all these medications. But, of course, the response was, “Well, according to the data……bla, bla, bla,” From all my recent research on frigging data, these tests all lasted only 12 weeks.

    I think now, after 3 years of this garbage, I’ll allow myself to have an ANGER ISSUE, not an irritable mania episode, not a depressive episode, not a manic “something” episode, but I’m peaceably angry, and on that note, I’m going to wean off Lamictal, intelligently, calmly, and with purpose and try to get back on topomax with another pdoc if necessary. OK, Thanks for letting me vent. (tired of lamictal)

  22. goodluck bipme….

    There are too many stories like yours…I hope you find a way to resolve it and regain your health.

  23. Oh yeah, just to finish my whining, I have been one year with a rash on my face and neck (more meds) and went for a biopsi to make sure I didn’t have oral cancer. Yep,……for the ulcers that fill my mouth that I have tolerated for the last year as well. I think I’m the one with the mental wellness, and docs need the meds to assist themselves in making rational, sound advice. If Lamictal just doesn’t work for you, tell your doc how strongley you feel sooner than I did. Playing the good and compliant child only seems to justify docs prescribing habits. OK, I’m done now.

  24. bob frankfort says:

    I had been taking lamictal for about three years. at first it helped my depression a lot but as time went by the depression started again. i finally started to wean myself off of 250 mg and i’m now down to 25mg. i don’t feel my depression is any worse or any better. but i have extreme fatigue and listlessness. when i wake up in the morning i feel as tired as when i went to sleep.

    can people advise me if they’ve experienced the same withdrawal symptoms? at first i didnt relate the fatigue to the withdrawal from lamictal but now i’m not so sure. thanks for anyone who can advise.

  25. yes bob,
    those are very typical withdrawal symptoms…usually in time they pass…

    I take a bit of potassium chloride daily to help. Potassium chloride can be dangerous in high doses though…

    I wouldn’t take more than a 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp..and even then I have to say I’m not a doctor…I advise you check with someone.

  26. I went off of Lamictal and did not notice a thing. I think I took about 3 weeks. I cannot remember the does (pink pill) and I had been on it a while.

    I went off due to suicidal thoughts. Now I want to come of Cymbalta. Horror stories abound and the few times I forgot a dose it was terrible within 5 hours. I still have some Lamictal left and have been thinking maybe reintroduce lamictal while tappering off Cymbalta. (the doc had me on both at the same time)
    Unfortunately, as I am traveling, after a year of not seeing me in person, the doc. could not prescribe. I found a new doc. who does not know much about these meds, and has referred me to another doc who did not have an appointment for 2 months. It is time for me to move on in my travels and so there is no point in starting with a new doc. I read that many people have had success coming off of Cymbalta using Prozac. As I never took Prozac, but do have Lamictal left over, I am thinking about it. Any ideas?

    Really tho, I had no preconceived notion that Lamical withdrawl would be hard, and since it is effective so quickly, I figured I could come off in the same amount of time as the build up dose.

    No prblems at all.

    Take heart, maybe you will have the same experience.

  27. no I did not have the same experience…I had an awful and protracted withdrawal…it took two years and I’m still physically ill from it..it left me profoundly weak, and fatigued….

    Anyway, yeah, Cymbalta can be a bitch as well, but I wouldn’t go back on Lamictal…it won’t help…Prozac may…but some people have a hard time coming off Prozac too…just not as many as do coming off Cymbalta…basically with any of the SSRI’s or SNRIs if you cut out like a couple of pellets, or spheres every week or two you don’t have to suffer…in most cases…most of the people who go through hell go through hell because they do it too fast…

    All you have to do is open the capsules and reduce by as little as 2.5% of total dose every couple weeks to a month…

    and while you’re doing that (and before you start) learn how to take good care of your body with diet and nutrition and supplement and exercise, yoga, meditation and the like…

    good luck.

  28. guinea pig says:

    Just writing to offer hope to those looking for less-than-horror stories with lamictal withdrawal.

    Though I experienced a profound (summer-long) fatigue and muscle aches/pain with a reduction in dose prescribed by my doctor three years ago (400 mg to 150 mg), a self-led taper over the past almost 18 months has been smooth and without physical symptoms.

    I took the taper schedule and stretched it, adding changes every 3 days; every other day; etc. vs. abrupt cuts. When I had successfully tapered to a new dose, I stayed there for two weeks before beginning another slowly phased tiny-taper. It seems once I got to 25 mg daily, I had passed whatever physical speedbumps my body might have had … as if it was now more accustomed to not having the drug in my brain than it was used to having it.

    I have some other thoughts about withdrawal in general, b/c I noticed in myself that I easily tapered off of many drugs … perhaps, I wondered, b/c I didn’t know that I might have symptoms. I was also (at various times) on Neurontin, risperdal, Lexapro, seroquel, tegretol, depakote, zyprexa, xanax, klonipin (8 mg!) … and probably more I can’t remember … all to treat an eating disorder, which the doctor in charge believed was a kind of psychosis and that every ED patient had a mood disorder.

    I am off of everything but a minimal dose of gabapentin for neuropathy (which works well and doesn’t bother me with side effects as long as it’s less than 300 mg) … and I feel better than I ever did on *any* drug. None of them helped with any aspect of functional or quality living and, in fact, contributed to the opposite … dysfunction, disability, increased symptoms where none previously existed (accompanied by additional psychiatric diagnoses), and low quality of life.

    It turns out all my “problems” were mostly due to prescribed drugs and their side effects. I no longer have all the diagnoses, psychiatric or medical, and function cognitively, emotionally and physically.

  29. good for you…many people have your experience, it’s not unusual..it often depends on age and how long one has been on drugs and how many drugs as well…

    in any case the fact is many people can taper off drugs relatively painlessly if all is done carefully and well planned out…on the other hand some cannot taper painlessly no matter how careful or painstaking a plan they make and so caution is always advised..

    good for you and your success!

    the best to you.

  30. Due to an unexpected cancellation in insurance, I had to stop taking Lamictal 200 mg abruptly nine days ago. I had been on 200 mg Lamictal and 600 mg of Tegretol daily for two years for bipolar 2. Now I can’t afford the Lamictal, so I’m just taking the Tegretol. I am feeling listless and low energy, and have a difficulty concentrating. Also my muscles and joints are aching. I felt pretty shitty before, though, so I’m not sure I feel that much different. I like the idea that my feeling low energy and achy could be withdrawals, because that indicates that I will likely be feeling better. As far as my moods go, I haven’t really noticed any difference whatsoever.

  31. I suppose you’ve read enough to know you’re lucky you haven’t seized and/or died. Quitting cold-turkey can be deadly. I suspect that being that it’s been nine days that particular danger is over, but the risk of lingering and worsening physical and emotional symptoms is not.

    I suggest you reinstate in any way you can. Lamictal now comes in generic form and you need to reinstate for your well-being and health.
    I had comments turned off here…not sure what happened. Please do take care of yourself and read more of this blog to learn how to maybe do that…

    check out the About page for example.

    best to you.

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