Comments about Lamictal withdrawal from Furious Seasons

I am backdating this post for archival purposes to 2007. I’ve actually posted it on Aug 23, 2018. I have not reformatted it for this site since it’s got an 83,000 word count.

With permission from Philip Dawdy, I have salvaged some of his articles to this website.  Furious Seasons no longer exists but I sometimes find specific pieces that I’ve linked to from the archives of Everything Matters: Beyond meds on the way back machine.

Today I’m posting a brief post of his along with the several hundred comments about personal experience with lamictal withdrawal. I will link to this post from my lamictal articles which remain some of my most trafficked posts from the archives. This remains one of the most comprehensive collections of comments about personal experience with coming off lamictal.

I am backdating this post for archival purposes to 2007. I’ve actually posted it on Aug 23, 2018. I have not reformatted it for this site since it’s got an 83,000 word count.

More info- collected links about lamictal and lamictal withdrawal: Lamictal Redux

July 26, 2007

Lamictal Withdrawal – Philip Dawdy

First, I’ve been very light on the blogging this week as I am trying to buy myself a bit of time off. Second, I needed to buy myself some down time as, after discontinuing Lamictal over the weekend, I experienced what I’d have to call withdrawal symptoms. I cannot find much information about such things, but what I ran into was utter exhaustion the last few days and difficulties focusing and a weird feeling of ennui. I’m not talking about being scatter-brained, but about whatever I was thinking at a particular moment washing out of my head within minutes. Very odd. I’m a bit surprised by this since I went through a very slow, gradual tapering process over six weeks.

I feel back to normal today. I was beginning to worry.

Anyone else ever run into odd experiences coming off Lamictal?

Posted by Philip Dawdy at July 26, 2007 01:22 PM

Comments

Not trying to get on your case at all but I am not sure your tapering process was all that slow! The recommendation is 10% cut at a time and wait 2-3 weeks before the next cut. I think guys especially seem to err on the side of going too fast and also docs generally do not have a clue about this so if you got advice from a doctor it doesn’t really count I’m sorry to say. You’ve been on stuff for a long time and 6 weeks sounds bloody fast to me for getting off something for good. I hope this doesn’t come back to bite you later. Take it easy and look after yourself.

Posted by: Sara at July 26, 2007 03:29 PM

I had to abruptly discontinue lamictal a few weeks ago after breaking out in the dreaded (and rumored) “lamictal rash.” I’ve been feeling very unfocused, and of course a bit manic due to the lack of drugs… Anyhow, I’ve a bit annoyed at the whole experience and feel like I’m just another lab rat for the big pharma companies….

Posted by: j at July 26, 2007 03:57 PM

The fatigue was an enormous problem with my removal of Seroquel, and time seemed to lose concept, days would pass and it was difficult to focus. I am no expert but believe the brain has to re-train itself so to speak to live free of a medication that had influenced it in a sense. Over the next 18 months clarity will happen.
Good luck, and I am sure Gianna’s Beyond Meds has a lot of information about the fatigue.

Posted by: Stephany at July 26, 2007 04:43 PM

yes philip….fatigue insane fatigue–triggered by my lamictal withdrawal. but my withdrawal is complicated by other drugs in the mix. I went off of 200 of 400 mg of Lamictal over a 3 month period and it’s been the worst withdrawal so far. Worse than zoloft and worse than Risperdal–though I still have a bit of Risperdal to go.

I only do one at a time, but sometimes I switch, which I’ve decided not to do anymore.

However, I’m waiting for the last 200mg of Lamictal until the end. I don’t want to go through that again for a while.

good luck…eat healthy and get lots of rest and exercise if possible.

Posted by: Gianna at July 26, 2007 07:36 PM

I had the same issues coming off Lamictal on a similar schedule, they were brief and did not reoccur.

Am back on them now.

Posted by: Aikaterine at July 26, 2007 10:16 PM

Lamictal withdrawal was by far my easiest, but I did it over about 5 months and stopped after every drop in dose until I felt no ill effects. From what I recall, withdrawal symptoms took the form irritability and difficulty concentrating, but I don’t remember any extreme fatigue. Withdrawal was not long-lasting compared to zyprexa or a benzo, so hopefully you’re on the mend (though clearly experiences vary widely).

Posted by: undiagnosed at July 27, 2007 03:43 AM

Hey, Philip. I just wanted to echo Gianna’s advice above and stress the importance of lots of sleep, good food and regular exercise. Hang in there! (And good for you for recognizing your symptoms for what they are — drug withdrawal. Most shrinks would claim your mental illness is returning.)

I can’t recall being on Lamictal but, after a showdown with a doctor, I was cut off Seroquel, Lithium, Prozac, Risperdal and Ativan all at once. Within 24 hours I was psychotic but, by the end of the week, I had stabilized. These are all powerful drugs (Lamictal, too) and the body needs a chance to recover from them.

Posted by: Francesca Allan at July 27, 2007 06:06 AM

Hey Doll-
I don’t know if you remember but I went off the same style you did in the winter of 2005. I felt fine for about a month, really did not have a lot of side effects other then the massive fatique but then I started feeling “off.” I was not episodic per se but I realized I felt better while I was on the medication.

I felt like it kept my constant underlying anxiety in check and made me sleep better.

Now, I have been increasing the dose due to the current stressors in my life and feeling the med increase side effects. I haven’t done a med change in a while and God it sucks. My heart goes out to anyone currently involved in a med switch or anyone who has, done or will go through one ( I guess that means everyone!)

I hope you feel better soon!!!!

Posted by: Angie at July 27, 2007 07:54 AM

I haven’t been on Lamictal, but I can attest to experiencing exactly what you’ve described: the feeling of not being able to hold on to a thought when I was on and tapered myself off of both Lexapro and Wellbutrin.

Posted by: Masale.Wallah at July 27, 2007 09:08 AM

I am really worried about my step-mother. She took herself off abruptly 100mg of Lamictal. We are not sure when, probably 3 weeks ago. We had to admit her into hospital – delusions, paranoia, hypomania, loss of inhibition, almost appearing to have multiple personalities. She was daginosed bipolar after kidney cancer surgery 3 years ago. Lamictal was the only drug she was taking. She is refusing to take medication now, we are killing her – Any thoughts?

Posted by: Pat at August 5, 2007 04:25 PM

hi guys… i guess you know it’s a bad sign when you google “lamictal withdrawal” and the first page you get is not full of medhelp.org and battledepression.com, or any “medical” analysis whatsoever for that matter, but instead a long list of user horror stories and average people trying to figure out what the fuck is going on with this drug. excuse my language, but the fuck is going on with this drug?
someone please hear me out. i went on lamictal for bipolar in november. in december i decided to cheat on my boyfriend of five years and break up with him. my doctor thought i should increase my dose to solve spontaneous irrational and self destructive behavior. my mood shot up alright, then down, then up again, then down. long story short i ended up worse than i’ve ever been and by miracle did i graduate this spring. now i want off it and done with the business, so i started decreasing the dosages slowly. i saw a new doctor and asked for him to write a lower prescription, but he declined my offer (imagine). anyway, i felt fine for about the first month. i was at 200 and am now down to 50. this last drop of 25 mg took place about two weeks ago, and i’ve honestly never felt so literally suicidal in my life. i’m afraid, honestly. it’s so low, i mean so so low. is this me or is this withdrawal? does anyone know of extreme depression/ scuicidal tendency as being a symptom of lamictal withdrawal? i’m on a number of other meds also, which i’m not messing with. please- advise? is this going to pass? (fyi my bf took me back so that’s got nothing to do with the depression)

Posted by: stasia at August 16, 2007 09:57 PM

Stasia, cheating on your boyfriend is not a symptom of a psychiatric disorder. It’s pretty much a normal human flaw. It sounds like you were a normal person until you got on these drugs. It sounds like it might be a good idea for you to find a doctor to help you get off of these drugs. They are dangerous. Of course graudating and ending a relationship, while normal experiences, are also stressful. This doesn’t mean your brain is biologically defective or unbalanced. I wish you the best.

Posted by: Sally at August 17, 2007 04:33 AM

Stasia, If you are on a number of other meds too, then you could well be having new effects from them as you withdraw the Lamictal. In any case as long as you are on a cocktail of drugs most symptoms you experience are probably adverse effects of one or another drug due to dependency, withdrawal, or tolerance. The real “you” is in there somewhere but until you give yourself a chance by coming off drugs in a well considered and very careful manner you won’t really know. Good Luck.

Posted by: Sara at August 17, 2007 09:28 AM

Are you are withdrawing without your doctor’s knowledge then? Was this because you didn’t trust your doctor to walk through the withdrawal process with you? I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on.
If you want to taper or change medications you’re allowed to, I’ve been there much, under the close watch of my psychiatrist, who believed what I told him about the effects and respected my wishes.

I guess this didn’t happen for you and you’re stuck feeling like crap with no doctor in your corner. But there are always options; psychologists are also mental health experts, and generally well equipped to deal with people in the kind of crises you describe.

You have to start somewhere. What is the first thing you can do?

Posted by: flawedplan at August 17, 2007 09:37 AM

Stasia,
Yes, I experience intense depression with a decrease in dose of lamictal. Even from 50 mg to 37.5 mg. Then from 37.5 to 25mg. It took about a week for the depression to subside. The second day of one of my decreases in dose I totalled my car. I’m only on 12.5 mg now and have just stayed on it b/c I don’t want to go through the withdrawal. I had very suicidal tendencies going up in dose and decreasing in dose.

Lamictal was the medication I was taking when I was first advised to go into inpatient hospitalization b/c of suicidal thoughts increasing and that was when I was coming down from 50 mg to 37.5mg. I hadn’t been on 50mg for more than a week until I noticed that I was becoming increasingly suicidal. The mixed manic state which ended me in the hospital, I now recognize as Lamictal induced.

I also experience intense irritability upon decrease in dose and any dose above 37.5 mg turns into outbursts of rage which I’ve only heard of from one other person.

You’re not alone.
Melissa
my email is: katya15bruce@hotmail.com
email anytime.

Posted by: Melissa Dolan at September 2, 2007 09:59 AM

RE; outbursts of rage during dose reduction, along with irritability, that happened to my daughter withdrawing from Zyprexa. It was so predictable that she marked it on a calendar, and noted that “Day 3 or 4” was the worst, and it helped her understand it was the med removal and not her creating the rage/etc.Charting the withdrawals helps.[with any med]

Posted by: Stephany at September 2, 2007 03:56 PM

My doc was supossed to call in a refill of 100 mg of Lamictal for me last week. I was on 150 mg. It never got called in and the holiday weekend is now upon me. I’ve missed Friday night through tonight (Monday) and I feel like complete crap. I normally love Lamictal – without it I am unstable. I take it with Tegretol (200 mg) which works on the mania. I heard that Lamictal works from the bottom up (tackles the depression first) & Tegretol/Lithium/Depakote from the top down (tackles the mania first) so its not surprising a lot of us experience extreme depression stopping the Lamictal – especially suddenely like I did. I’m not suicidal but I came close this weekend. I absolutely loathed myself. Since going on psych meds last year I went from my perfect weight of 125 lbs to a not so perfect 165 lbs (I actually did gain some from quitting smoking – one positive, I guess). Anyhow, this weekend, I hated myself so much for gaining so much weight and now having no clothes to wear. Plus everything else in life seemed so doomed. ALSO – and this is what I mostly want to hear about is the JOINT ACHES. Has anyone gotten them??? I feel like I developed arthritis over the weekend. I have my wrists wrapped and keep putting Tiger Balm all over. My knees, back, neck, wrists, thumbs, ankles, etc. hurt like hell. I can’t even play Zelda. Life sucks. I can’t wait to get back to my doctor tomorrow for meds. And I’ll probably have to titrate again. Sucks to be me!!!

Posted by: Lisa G. at September 3, 2007 04:15 PM

I stopped taking Lamictal suddenly at the end of August. I was on 300mgs. Am also taking Prozac 20mgs and diazepam 2mgs twice a day,prozac once in the am. I am now feeling terrible feeling weak rapid pulse unable to go out,feeling faint. Should I start taking it again? Off sick from work. Please advice. My e-mail is lynch196@btinternet.com

Posted by: John Lynch at September 10, 2007 11:35 AM

I started taking Prozac 20mg for treatment of depression brought on by the beginning of Menopause 4 years ago. Prozac killed my sex drive (which my new husband was not real thrilled about), so I tried switching to Zoloft. That gave me headaches AND didn’t work, so I switched to Wellbutrin 300mg which has been helping reduce the depression since January 2007. However, I’ve been feeling agitated for the past 5-6 months and went to see a psychiatrist to talk about options for treating my agitation. She put me on Lamictal 25mg, which I took for 12 days and then quit because of the many side effects; headaches, body aches, joint pain, burning eyes, creepy crawly skin, dry flaky skin on eyebrows (?), swollen tongue, sore & swollen gums, etc.

I called the psych to tell her that I quit taking Lamictal and she said it was good that I did because the side effects I described showed her that I was severely allergic to the drug. While researching Lamictal Side Effects on the internet (to help me identify MY side effects), I read several times that taking too high a dose of Wellbutrin can cause agitation. I asked the psych about that and she said it’s true and for me to come in to talk about reducing my dosage to 150mg. I was furious! Why didn’t she mention reducing my Wellbutrin before putting me on a different drug? I did not go in to talk to her, but instead decided to cut my Wellbutrin pills in half and dose myself that way for a period of time to see what would happen.

I’ve been on 150mg of Wellbutrin for 6 days now and I have no signs of depression. More importantly at this point – my agitation has decreased to almost nothing! I am now left with the unpleasant task of going through withdrawal from Lamictal. I still have headaches every day, muscle aches, joint pain, lethargy and dizziness – all from taking 25mg for just 12 days. From what I read, side effects from Lamictal can show up as much as 2 years after one stops taking the drug. It’s inconceivable to me that Lamictal made it past clinical testing and got approved for human use.

Posted by: Cindy at September 19, 2007 12:10 PM

I have been taking 150mg Lamictal for almost two years. My husband and I have decided to get pregnant so I am tapering myself off…I just moved to a new town and don’t have a new psych yet but will go as soon as insurance kicks in…I dropped down to 100mg since last week and feel okay so far. There are other issues going in my life so I hope I can handle the stress of these things without Lamictal. I was put on it because I have Major Depression Disorder with moderate to severe mood swings. I have looked online about Lamictal and pregnancy and was underwhelmed with the research done thus far by the medical community. Unbelievable that more studies have not been done before putting this drug on the market. The most I found was that Lamictal may or may not cause a cleft pallete and it is better to be safe than sorry while being pregnant. I’m also on Zoloft and learned it is better to stay on it than go off it while pregnant because the depression would be worse than any possible effects to the baby. Does anyone have any comments? Thanks…

Posted by: lynne at September 25, 2007 12:50 PM

Another question….I have been ravenous since reducing my Lamictal dosage. Is this normal???

Posted by: lynne at September 28, 2007 07:34 AM

Re: Pregnancy and psych meds, and Wellbutrin.

Here is a link to Zoloft information, and this is a good site to check for details regarding Wellbutrin[causing agitation IS a listed side effect].

Rx List dot com

Posted by: Stephany at September 28, 2007 10:03 AM

Hi,

I found this page through a search engine and thought I would put my two cents in concerning Lamictal withdrawal.

I have been on Lamictal for about two years, and so far, it is working pretty well for the treatment of my bi-polar disorder.

The problem I have had is, due to my economic situation, I was put in the position where I was unable to afford to refill my prescriptions on time and I would end up off my meds for up to 9-10 days, even after cutting my pills to keep at least some of the drug in my system.

I notice the symptoms about 2-3 days in, with them peaking anywhere from day 3-5. The physical symptoms didn’t bother me too much, some drowsiness, feeling kind of flat, some confusion, feeling kind of muddled, and some head aches – – – it was the emotional/mental side effects that really got to me.

I would have (to put it mildly) some intense mood swings, ranging anywhere from extreme irritability to more or less a violent rage. The first time it happened (I’ve gone through it 3 times in the past 2 years) I just couldn’t understand why I was SO angry, I wanted to hurt things, to scream, to explode. Apparently, it’s not too uncommon for this to happen. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it is possible.

The GOOD NEWS is by the end of the first week, you are through the woods and shouldn’t have to worry about it much.

Best wishes to everyone – Jeannie

Posted by: Jeannie at October 2, 2007 03:31 AM

I recenly had to go off Lamictal for a seizure study. The drug had been effective in controlling my seizures.

I was taken off suddenly. Within 1/2 day I felt just like it feels to go off Effexor: brain zaps, headaches (bad), and dizziness so bad that I couldn’t sit or stand up. I was feeling a little “on edge”.

After another 2 days I begged to go back on the medicine. It took a day and a half to start to feel better again.

The doc said that the Lamictal must be treating bipolar disorder. I’ve never had a manic episode in my life.

Anybody had this type of reaction?

Posted by: Sue at October 3, 2007 01:44 PM

To Lynn…
You might want to check out this website… there is a lot of information about antidepressants and pregnancy:

http://www.laleva.org/mt/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=3&search;=antidepressants+pregnancy.

At some point it became a sin to feel anything in this country. I’m over it. I am taking my feelings back.

Posted by: Emily at October 4, 2007 12:42 AM

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!

Posted by: Lynne at October 15, 2007 08:24 AM

Lynne, Are you in a situation where you could try some sort of talk therapy to help deal with the withdrawal symptoms? Have you checked for support groups for this sort of thing in your area? Maybe Mothering Magazine’s Bulletin Board? It seems like there would be a lot of women who are in your situation, i.e. trying to get off of psych drugs so they can get pregnant. Maybe a natural birthing center would have some suggestions. Good luck.

Posted by: Sally at October 15, 2007 11:05 AM

Sally, I’m waiting for my insurance to kick in Nov 1 and I’m going to make an appt with a local therapist. I also want to talk to an OB/GYN to discuss the necessity of getting off Zoloft. I’d like to get in a room with an OB, a psychiatrist, and a therapist so I can question all of them about what I should do! Think that’ll happen? Thanks.

Posted by: Lynne at October 15, 2007 12:32 PM

I had been on Lamictal for about 5 months, and I peeked at 200mg after about 1 month. I was on the medicine as a mood stabilizer, possibly from bi-polar disorder, but that hasn’t been a definitive diagnosis. I asked my doctor if this is a med that I should be weaned off of, and he said that there was no need. So I was taken completely off of the medicine about 2 and a half weeks ago. About a week ago, I started to notice withdrawal symptoms that are synonymous with the symptoms that I experienced many times when coming off of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. The depression, and anxiety have been worse, I feel the “brain buzzing” sensation in my head, restlessness, tiredness, and a will to just stay in bed. The suicidal and hopelessness thoughts have returned. I feel that this is due to the withdrawal and not because the Lamictal was helping me (it wasn’t). I go see a therapist who also does energy work. It was 100% apparent that this medicine wasn’t helping me, and was actually blocking energy. This wasn’t the conclusion I expected, but when I was retested and retested, the same results appeared. I didn’t notice any change positively or negatively while on the medicine, so my doctor and I decided that it would be best to come off of it. The withdrawal is the real problem here, and I’m just putting this out there to see if anyone has any advice. Thanks.

Posted by: Eric at October 21, 2007 10:11 PM

holy freaking crap, you guys. now i feel absolutely petrified to go off lamictal. i take 200 mg as a mood stabilizer for borderline personality disorder, but have completed a year of DBT and feel like an entirely different person. i truly, truly believe that the REAL me, not the medicated me, is stronger and capable of living a fantastic life.

being on medication has always scared me. my psychiatrist dropped off the face of the earth once he heard i wasn’t seeing my therapist anymore. my regular physician told me to talk to my psychiatrist, as did my pharmacist. i was going to taper myself off…

i have two weeks’ of medication yet, and from what i’ve read, if you cut down 50% each week, you’ll be fine. do you think if i drink a LOT of water, it’ll help flush it out of my system?

Posted by: Kim at October 31, 2007 07:59 PM

As a response to the above comment about someone being pregnant & on Lamictal. I was pregnant (I have a VERY healthy 5 mo. old), 2 months in I had a seizure.. I have a seizure disorder & Bi-Polar. I was on 200mg a day in the am. My neuro. upped the dose to 400mg (200 am/200pm) to compensate for my body working double time. We are just now tapering me back to my normal dose of 200 mg/day. The thing was that they didn’t want me to have another seizure or have Manic swings as it would have been more dangerous to ther baby. I did see the Gyn more often than most & was also sent to a Prenatal specialist to keep tabs. Everything went very well. There is a study on Lamictal through the AED Registry online. I was on this study throughout my pregnancy and they now have permission from me to check up on my daughter through her Pediatrician. I would suggest signing up for the study online (as it could benefit all of us later) – the woman told me the study should be completed next year or so & they will keep me abreastof their findings (they also post it on the site). I had a choice to breastfeed as well because they didn”t know at the time (5 mo. ago) whether itwould be good or bad & have now found out it is not safe to breastfeed on Lamictal. I guess I made the right choice formula-feeding (just an instict & didn’t want to chance it). Hoe this helps! ~ Lori

Posted by: Lori at November 6, 2007 09:41 AM

Lori – thanks for sharing. I finally have gotten down to 25mg a day and have been doing okay for the past two weeks on this dosage…well, except for the few mood swings I’ve had recently…which I have attributed to buying and beginning to renovate a house last week. Since I am not taking Lamictal for seizures, I think it is best for me to come off of it while I’m pregnant (hopefully soon). I am anxiously awaiting my new medical cards so I can meet with an OB/Gyn to discuss the possible effects of Zoloft and to go back to talk therapy to help me get through all this. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: Lynne at November 7, 2007 01:27 PM

Hi Phil, I’m just popping in here in the middle of everything, not having read everyone’s entries except yours which was posted in July. I’ve been on Lamictal for several years and I swear by it. It’s kept me out of the paralysis of depression. How has it been for you since you came off of it? Have you found anything better? Hope all is well, especially around this time of the year. kristen

Posted by: kristen skedgell at November 25, 2007 10:48 AM

Hi everyone. My husband Tim came down with what he thought was the Dreaded Deadly Lamictal Rash so he stopped taking it. The psych says that’s OK and gave him a scrip for Abilify to take in a month after the Lamictal is out of his system. Anyone take that and have comments?
Now all he wants to do is sleep all day (he can’t find work here in Wisconsin)and it’s driving me up the wall. He aches and has headaches and doesn’t want to take the supplements I offer him like glucosamine and chondroitin for his achy knees. It’s not easy living with him like this.
elyn

Posted by: elyn at December 2, 2007 01:23 PM

elyn,
I have a question re: the diagnoses the doc is treating him for? Lamictal is an anti convulsant, and Abilify is an anti psychotic. It’s also common to get benign rashes, that are not the SJS rash. I take Lamictal and had a few major hive rashes break out, and never stopped taking it. Good luck.

Posted by: Stephany at December 2, 2007 02:15 PM

elyn, the reaction your husband had was an allergic reaction it is calledStevens-Johnson Syndrome.. his tongue could swell so much he can suffocate to death read up on this stuff.. he will feel down and out, please have him see a shrink that is highly recommended and support him cause it’s thes damn drugs that get to us.. Ass far as Abilify your damned if you take it and damned if you do not… Good to use it then stay on it does give energy and motivation..somethin he does not have now cause of the deadly reaction he had to lamictal…

Good luck your lucky he is still alive

Posted by: Nancy at December 4, 2007 10:42 AM

anyone and everyone I go to a va for memtal health meds and I was on lamictal and the doc said we don’t carry that any more for bipolar so we have to change you to lithium,,,,,,he gives me blood levels…..2 mos. into treatment Im feakin’ out i mean i can’t talk cant think cant sleep and he tells me to increase by 600 mg 2 caps at nnite..ok.. i start amd 3 days later my husband says i can’t understand a word you are saying…. well I call the doc and my husband talks to himthey tellhim to get me inthere asap well according tothem i’mfine ..according to med books if you have diaharrea you are o-ding well for 3 days nosleep, no talk, no tv, no nothing..iquit taking it.. started on lamictal now i’m afraid of it causee that steven-johnson syndrome…i want to get off and am omly on 100 mg per day…hell with the bipolar it’s these drugs that drive you nuts. any tips? ,outthere???

Posted by: nancy at December 4, 2007 11:27 AM

SJS is SO obvious, it is NOT a small rash. It is bloody blister welts, and quite apparent along with fever. MANY patients get “rashy” on Lamictal, and the fact is, you do not die instantly. The fear of this rash often results in ppl. being removed too hastily from a med that was working. Elyn did not state there was a trip to the ER or confirmation of the rash being SJS.

SJS rash info and photos.

Yes, it can kill a person, but quite often ppl. panic, when it wasn’t necessary.

Posted by: Stephany at December 4, 2007 11:51 AM

My bipolar II depression has been semi-controlled for years on 25mg Zoloft. My constant anxiety, irritability, and aggression continued. I had a nervous breakdown one year ago. I had wanted to see what would happen if I got off Zoloft (bad idea), and on top of that, I had unexpected personal stress. It forced me to try something that would actually treat the bipolar element of my depression. I am now on Lamictal 300mg and Zoloft 50mg. I can tell these doses are too high for the long run, but for now I know I’m better than I used to be. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, and can tell you the mental illness is far worse than the most excruciating pain I ever felt with RA. There are 2 things I can’t stress enough: 1)you have a baseline; think back, and always measure yourself against that, and 2) find a doctor you COMPLETELY trust. Don’t ever do it alone. Have a pshchologist, psychiatrist, and support groups. tackle it from different angles. Studies show meds, talk therapy, and socialization effect different parts of the brain.

Posted by: Sunny Side Up at December 8, 2007 01:48 PM

I recently started taking lamitical for what the “professionals” were guessing was bi-polar II, but not confirmed. I have had anxiety for several years, but was always controlled with talk-therapy. I completed the starter pack of lamitical and then finished my last dose of 150mg’s(one month). During this time, I had the worst nervous breakdown I have ever had in my life, I have felt more peranoid, nervous, and have been over reacting on a lot of issues. Because I have never acted out this bad, I decided to stop taking the lamitical. I was suppose to be starting the 200mg dose, but haven’t taken one now in 6 days. (not to mention-I have had a rash on my leg for almost three weeks(very minor, but has just started itching/flaky looking, and a little sore) I know about the sjs, but have been watching it close. Since being off the lamitical for the 6 days, I have not had any symptons of withdrawl at all, in fact I feel less snappy about issues that should bother me. Also my rash is beginning to fade, but is still a little sore. How long does it take before lamitical is totally out of your system? Will I need any thing else for the rash or will it go away with the med is out completely? Thanks for anyones help/input.

Posted by: willy at December 10, 2007 01:39 PM

I just cut my lamictal dosage in half for a few days because I couldnt get enough while I was on vacation and I was so absent minded and down…but get thisss I actually just stepped out with two different colored shoes on!!!

Posted by: Dariel at December 26, 2007 12:28 PM

I have been taking lamictal at 400mg for about six months, and I noticed recently that I was beginning to gain weight. I am a runner and have never been overweight. Ever. The extra pounds are affecting me–physically and psychologically. I recently decreased my dose to 300mg over a span of two weeks, and I plan on reducing it further. So far, I have not experienced any withdrawal symptoms. If my mood worsens severely, I can always go back on the medication, right?

Posted by: K at January 6, 2008 09:09 PM

Does anyone ever get migraine-like headaches from Lamictal withdrawal?

Posted by: ST at January 7, 2008 11:17 AM

nteresting blog. i googled lamictal and swollen tonue and Viola! there you where. while i find this al very serious, i cant help laughing at the predicaments oim always finding mysylf. my finds think im the life of te party just telling :everday” sara st
ories. it makes me laught too. wellsometimes!
well after being on MANY drugs it is hrd to say what causes what
(ps im snowed in and suppose tp be in partial hosp)
i have gained a boart full of lard around my guy. i went into the hosp a roomy size 6 and after 6 weeks i im now a size 10 (tightly)!!!!now if that doesnt make you want to dcry i dont nnow what will. for 45 i was loking good.
as for the lamactal i d be very cafeful about cutiing down before speaking to your doc, it can hace some very serious side effects.plus if you talk a comnbo like me you need t o b extra carfeu just imho~~~~~nice to meet ya’ll , sara

Posted by: sara at January 14, 2008 06:19 AM

Hey – started to take Limictal about a year ago and was compl. suicidal punhcing myself etc… My Dr. then added Prozac and I got a lot better. Prozac is probably the only psych. med I have taken that works.

My sleeping – if you want to call it that – continued to be a nightmare (I never wake up rested) so recently started tappering off Lamictal. I mean what had it done in the past anyway? I was at 100mg and over the past 2 months I am down to 50mg. I think overall I am less depressed at times, but I have insomnia sometimes now and when I do sleep I remember the most intense and disturbing dreams. Even if I take a nap it’s one insane dream after another and always exhausted. anyone else??

d

Posted by: Darren Murray at January 17, 2008 10:16 AM

have been on lamictal for a few months, and it did not stabilize my bipolar II at all. still cycled into depression from hypomania. I really want to go off , as it seems to be serving no purpose, and side effects are for me weight gain and sleeping all of the time. I switched my dosage 300 mg to night time, but I sleep all day any way. I have provigil to take on the nights I have to work, but I generally sleep right through the provigal anyway. Yesterday I actually didn’t bother to get out of bed at all except to go to the bathroom. I want to go back to topamax at least I know what to expect with that. Any comments would be welcome.

Posted by: cynthia at January 19, 2008 08:38 AM

please read these articals. some of them pertain to me but not all of them. It’s very important to me that you understand.
You need to know Eddie, that many people are antidepressents for one reason or another. Maybe having some information about the effects and withdrawl will help you to be a bit more understanding. If not for me maybe for someone else your with.

Posted by: ed at January 19, 2008 09:53 AM

I am crying I am so happy, I love you guys for making this page. I was given lamactil for seizures, it slowed the seizures alright it also blew my head off with side affects, anxiety, tears, and “brain fog”, and I swear the worst headache on the planet, the Dr said don’t worry it will wear off and it didn’t then became the long and downward swirl into pain killers, I used to think that what did I care seizure free was better than a headache pill,right ? then I started having all sorts of weird symptoms, not sleeping, broken alpha – waves, bowel problems, and I was miserible and was given valium for the misery. The anti depressants for that too. This month I decided I had had enough and took charge of my life, I was told to half my lamactil dose every 3 days. The shakes, shivers, and freak outs, today I woke up and for the first time my head is clear and my own. I feel very nervous and shaky, I am sleeping badly but my head no longer has that headache or the pain pills are out of my body. Never again will I let a Dr take charge of my body and let it run my life. Good Luck to you all.

Posted by: Bonnie at February 7, 2008 02:20 PM

The joint pain,arthritis, the fatigue, the sore jaw, loose teeth, and seizures are all Fibromyalgia. It’s a terrible disease but yeah it’s got its own label and drugs too.

Posted by: Bonnie at February 7, 2008 02:22 PM

First background: I’m a 56 yr. post menopausal woman. Last spring I went to my yearly OB-GYN check-up and indicated that I was feeling depressed and couldn’t sleep. I was given the name of an APRN who I initially thought was a psych. counselor. After I mentioned that I was told that I was “probably bi-polar” she put me on a lamictal regiment (25 mg -> 100 mg) and 10 mg Ambien. After the 3rd appointment I discovered that all this lady did was prescribe drugs. She recommended another counselor to deal with the personal issues (who I still see) I continued the Lamictal/ambien and Lexapro was also added. The lexapro gave me the wicked munchies (I gained 10 lbs) and nervousness. I asked to replace the lexapro with cymbalta since I was having muscle aches and figured that the cymbalta is supposed to help with the “physical” symptoms of depression. While on the cymbalta my mood improved, but my muscle aches got so bad I could just about walk up the stairs. I started to decrease the daily dose of cymbalta to every other day and then went completely off of it with the blessing of the APRN. She said that I could try to use the lamictal alone as an antidepressant. I noticed that my weight seem to be coming down after discontinuing the cymbalta.

I decided to go off the lamictal “cold turkey” last weekend when while poking around the internet I discovered that taking the drug was the reason I went from a 36C to a 36DD bra size, and that it was likely contributing to my overall weight gain in a big way (no pun intended here) It may also explain the flu like symptoms I’ve been having, and severe muscle aches while I was on lamictal AND cymbalta (which CAUSED MORE PAIN than the depression ever did!) Last month when I discontinued the cymbalta I began to experience eyestrain, blurred vision and eye dryness. All these symptoms were exacerbated the first few days after quitting the lamictal, but as of this writing the eye burning/dryness seem to be diminishing (blurriness has not) I did note a deep dive in my mood–weepy, hopeless, etc. but I think that I suffer more from SADs, and just need to take charge of my own life. My mom passed away last August and her birthday was Feb. 3 so I’m sure that contributed to my meloncholy mood as well. And let’s face it–in the NE February is the armpit of the year…. I thought that it was interesting that some individuals had vivid and not-so-pleasant dreams and/or sleeplessness while on lamictal. I have been taking 10mg ambien almost every night so I didn’t notice this. However, when trying to wean myself off the ambien I did notice bizarre, black thoughts that had nothing to do with me (it was like a horror movie playing out in my mind)
I realize now that while on the lamictal I was physically clumsy (things would just fall out of my hand) and suffered from brain “fuzziness” and short term memory lapses. These have been more noticeable since quitting the drug, but thanks to this and other blogs and websites, I know that these are attributable to the drugs themselves and not to my psyche. This past week I had a wicked headache I attributed to the weather (I have sinus issues) and the worst bout of gas I’ve ever had with some mild diarrhea all week. The GOOD NEWS? I’ve lost 6.2 lbs without even trying….
So my question is this: has anyone else gone “cold turkey” off lamictal and how soon is it before you’re back to “normal” (whatever that is…)

Posted by: Chris at February 10, 2008 11:16 AM

re: Chris, I have been on Lamictal for a year or so, and during that time I have fallen more than in my entire life. Bad falls, where the only way I can describe them, is “when I woke up I was on the parking lot, or floor”. It started to make me question why didn’t have a “oh I am falling” part of the fall.

Also, have pain in joints.That I never had before. Am eventually removing all Lamictal myself, I am only on 50mg currently. The stomach symptoms I had were horrific cold turkeying Seroquel,which sounds like what you are having. Good luck.

Posted by: Stephany at February 10, 2008 02:40 PM

I am SO glad I saw this website. I have Bipolar I, have been on Lithium for 12 years now. Have been pretty stable on that (e.g. working fulltime for the past 8 years), however I have mild depression a lot of the time so my psychiatrist suggested Lamictal. I have been on Lamictal for 3 months now. Went up to 50mg but then had to go down to 25mg because I felt so anxious and agitated. Wasn’t sure if it was the Lamictal or not so I stayed at 25mg for the past month. My mood is fairly ok at the moment, but I don’t know if that is due to the Lamictal. I suspect that I would be feeling well anyway because I have had no major stresses lately. Next week I am due to go back to my psychiatrist so I googled Lamictal because I know I’ll be discussing it with her. Now that I see all the side effects associated with it I am definitely going to tell her that I’m want OFF it. I only now realise that the all over joint pains I have been having recently (any never had before)must be due to the Lamictal. I thought it was just old age!! (I’m only 35).
Now I’m just hoping the withdrawal will go alright.

Posted by: Valerie at February 16, 2008 02:23 PM

I’ve been coming back to this thread day after day now because I’m going through a horrible withdrawal, though I hesitate to say it. I hesitate only because I didn’t even realize it was happening–I felt exhausted and lost and just .. gone, in many ways, and I thought I was just getting very sick until one of my friends–not even a friend I talk to often, just very aware–suggested that it might be because I am trying to wean myself off of Lamictal.

My psychiatrist didn’t warn me about any withdrawal symptoms, and so this is very hard. The reason I finally say something–because I haven’t seen anything on the internet so far about it–is that I have lost sexual sensation. I am a very sensitive person, and all of a sudden, I can’t feel anything. I’m down to 100 from 200mg, and I just. Don’t know what to do.

Posted by: Danielle at February 23, 2008 11:05 PM

sorry to hear about your troubles danielle. the whole lamictal withdrawal thing is a very new phenomenon and docs are completely unaware of it. so is the fda. the company that makes the drug is no help either. if you continue to taper down, please go very very slowly although your doc should be able to give you guidance on doses and timing. i went down from 100 mgs in 25 mg increments every two weeks. it wasn’t slow enough.

Posted by: Philip Dawdy at February 24, 2008 12:12 AM

Hi,
I just wanted to let people know that my site has an additional thread of comments at least as long as this one on lamictal withdrawal….

Just want to share info with as many of us as possible. I’m in the middle of it too.

here is the post with the long thread of personal experiences:

https://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2007/12/20/lamictal-withdrawal-from-hell/

I’ve been withdrawing from Lamictal for almost a year off an on. Started at 400 mg and am down to 100 mg. It gets so rough I have to take long breaks. I do recover inbetween nightmarish symptoms though. Hang in there everyone….

Posted by: Gianna at February 24, 2008 10:17 AM

I wish I’d had this information prior to trying to wean myself off Lamictal. I had been on Prozac for ove 20yrs and had to quit taking it due to severe reflux, which quit as soon as I quit the prozac. My anxiety got bad without anything, so so I went to a medical doctor [quickest to do] and she put me on Lamictal. Have had Bipolar dx years ago, never really agreed with it, more major depression and anxiety. The Lamictal helped quickly with the anxiety. I took gradually increased to 100mg a day and took that for 3 months. The bad side effect was constipation, which I put up with until it got so bad I couldn’t have a bowel movement because the pain in my abdomin was too bad. I cut myself back to 50 mg and the pain went away in a day. I decided to taper off while I waited to get into see a psychiatrist since they would do that anyway to switch meds. I have been on 50 mg for nearly 4 wks. I never knew about the possible withdrawls. Unfortuneatly, it was harder than I had expected to get into see a professional, they told me as much as a month to get an appointment. My depression started getting really bad, so I called local family doctors, couldn’t get in there either! My depression has never been so bad, I can barely get through the day without breaking down into tears. I don’t sleep much either and have bilateral hip and low back pain at night. I finally went out of state and saw a family doctor who started me on Zoloft. He forgot to tell me how to taper off the Lamictal, in my my condition, I forgot to ask. So now I am taking 10 mg Zoloft and dropped myself down to 25 mg of Lamictal. Sounds like I need to take the 25 mg of Lamictal for a few weeks before I totally quit! I feel like I have the flu; nausea, headache, fatigue. The doctors don’t give you the information you need for these drugs! Some of THEM don’t know. This is not safe practice. And the difficulty getting mental health treatment in rural areas is ridiculous! Bless you all for sharing this information, it gives me hope now that I understand what is happening to me.

Posted by: RaNae at February 24, 2008 06:32 PM

I have been totally off of Lamictal now for 5 and 1/2 days. I am absolutely going crazy. I am having extreme fatigue, along with some major brain fog and dizziness. I am actually scared to drive, but am still having to do it anyway. Was put on the lamictal a year or so ago to treat my bipolar, in addition to Lexapro. Last night my pulse was actually 240 bpm, at least I think it was, that was all I was able to count my heart is beating so fast. I have been having joint pain, stomach problems, and some recurring mania along with paranoia. I had to come off of the Lamictal due to financial reasons – people are telling me to go get it – I say no. Once I am through with this withdrawel hell I will never go on it again. I’m not sure what normal is, but hopefully soon I will get there.

Posted by: Lisa at February 26, 2008 04:05 PM

hey everyone, i don’t know if anyone can help me out w. this, buti went through a 5 month bout of severe depression w. mixed states (clearly brought on by paxil), and have had a great 3 months on 50 mgs of lamictal, and just finished weaning the paxil out 2.5 weeks ago w. no side effects (the less paxil i had in me, the more I felt like myself again, could read books, think clearly etc…) But just recently, I’m noticing intense manic effects, which in my opinion can only have been brought on by the lamictal, bc the better i feel the more im noticing this intense burning sensation (non rash related) as it’s more of an energy, and my anger irritability has been going through the roof, I snap at my mom i had to leave work bc EVERYTHING bothered me….. so I called my doctor and her advice was to go up to 100mg. I never had a manic episode before being put on medication, so my opnion is i’m going to go back down to 25mg….. anyone’s advice would be much appreciated… thank you!

Posted by: Allison at February 28, 2008 06:54 AM

this is classic. drug induced mania—instant bipolar diagnosis. My suggestion is get real healthy (food, diet, exercise, meditation, therapy) and stay away from the drugs. There is a domino effect that happens for a lot of people after a antidepressant is introduced and causes instability—the doctors start lathering on the drugs. There are alternatives that can keep you healthy.

Posted by: Gianna at February 28, 2008 07:46 AM

Thanks Gianna for the advice, and i think you are absolutely right…. i checked out your site, definitely admire/support what you’re doing…. i have an uncle (whom i’m convinced I derived these crazy manic, mental symptoms from), who’s been on and off meds for years and has lived at home alone for the past 25 years bc he can’t live around people as a result of his pathology which essentially grew as big as a house, so i am 100% w. you on the get healthy, u can cure yourself bit…. do u have any suggestions on the natural route, i was thinking once fully drugfree of substituting fish oil, along w. multivitamins, diet exercise etc which i’ve already incorporated… (fish oil right now makes me manic w. the lamictal), maybe u know something about this, best of luck in your taper…

Posted by: Allison at February 28, 2008 05:56 PM

Thanks for this great site, it makes me feel better just reading up. Somehow my prescription didn’t get called in over the weekend, and I’ve been off for two days. Normally a 150/day. I’m back to where I was two years ago before starting lamictal, raging and confused. Weird, I woke up and my tongue was cut and is swollen! I just want to drink and crawl in to bed. And I want to drink heavily before passing out. I’m sort of writing this for myself later NEVER to get caught in this predicament again without my meds. I’m BiPolar type II and am also on wellbutrin and cymbalta. Anyone else on this weird combination? I tried stuff called Fluvoxamine a few months ago and it RUINED me; I was on the bathroom floor feeling like my brain was going to explode.

Posted by: scott at March 3, 2008 02:00 PM

I recently just tapered down to 25 mgs, does anyone know anything about how difficult the last 25 mgs can be and how much of a difference it makes?…. thanks

Posted by: Allison at March 5, 2008 10:44 AM

Hi all, I have been on three types of anti-depressents for about 3 to 4 years. FIrst one was Lexapro, then to Cymbalta and now Lamictal. Like many other that start taking it, I started with the starter packet and went to 100mg full time once a day. I have been on it for about 3 months and it has controlled my mood swings overall. The side affects that it caused me are exactly like others who posted here. Brain fuzziness, lethergy, unmotivated, once in a while a brain zap. It feels like a short circuit happened for an instant of time. Almost like an electrical spike that happens in my skull. It can be scary.
I have retired from my job in NY and I am physically disabled due to a work injury. I guess I am mentally disabled now too. I saw a doctor in Nov who prescribed the lamictal and I have had refills up until now. I have two 100mg pills left with no refills and the doctor dropped of the face of the earth. No psychiatrist take either Aetna or Medicare. I can pay for medication with either but to get a script is my problem. I called all over within a 50 mile range and no one can help me. I am stuck and I am nervouse about stopping taking the lamictal. Especially after reading about what others have gone through, here. I started cutting my pills in half so they will last several days more but I dont know what the effects of that will be in the immediate future. I am thinking that I might have to go to the emergency room and tell them that I need help. I dont know if they will be able to verify my being prescribed it because my doctor is no longer reachable for some unknown reason. I just need to know this one thing. I never had a seizure as far as I can remember. If I was to completely stop this stuff and go holistic, will not taking lamictal actually cause seizures to happen to me. This would be tragic for me becuase I have a wife and 3 young children. I dont want them to see me in any form now that I wont have any meds to control my mood swings. I started taking St Johns wort, B complex, Multivitamins, folic acid, omega three and this SAM-e stuff my wife got for both of us. I hope to God that this will provide the stimulus I need to not go crazy or something. Does anyone know of or heard of someone starting to get seizures by coming off of lamictal completely. Also how well will a holistic approach be. I am going to also start excersizing regularly too. I am going to get one of those sittable stationary bikes. I heard that the increase in endorphins helps cut down the lack of seratoten issue? Any advice or direction to help guide me in a positive direction will be welcomed. Thanks

Posted by: Joe at March 6, 2008 09:30 AM

My wife is scaling back her meds in preparation for ECT treatments. Her psychiatrist has had her on a very high dosage; she’s not had a satisfactory response to any medication in several years of treatment (hence the move to ECT). He had luck with another patient by pushing the lamictal very high; he told her to increase 50mg per week every two weeks until she started to feel fuzzy, and then back it off 50mg and hold steady. She eventually landed at 550mg.

Lamictal being an anticonvulsant, it’s obviously not useful when trying to induce seizure, so she needs to reduce it to 100mg. He told us to cut it by 100mg every 3 days; we started with the odd 50mg and have since been following that schedule, which will have her down to 100mg next week in time for the ECT. Unfortunately, the withdrawal is sheer hell; she’s anxious, manic. She can’t do much but sleep during the day and then much of the night she spends in a panic. I’ve called her doctor to see if there’s anything she can take to ease the withdrawal symptoms that won’t interfere with the ECT, but I don’t expect to hear back from him until this evening.

Has anyone found anything (be it over-the-counter medication, or some activity or technique) that helped ease the withdrawal? We’re both really hoping the ECT will help her, but if she can’t make it through the next week it won’t matter. Thank you.

Posted by: mot at March 12, 2008 03:11 PM

o.k. now I’m worried. I am on day 23 from withdrawls of Cymbalta. Its been pure hell. Brain zaps, blurry vision, loss of memory,anxiety & so forth & so forth. Too many symptoms to describe. I’m on 300mg. of Lamictal & decided to battle that after my bout of withdrawl from Cymbalta.I can’t go thru withdraws like all of you are descibing. This past month has just worn me out. I’m on a site for people getting off of Cymbalta so I’m happy to see one here for Lamictal. I’ve been having joint pain for along time.Weight gain,,,, big time. I feel like the Lamictal has never worked for me but the doc. thought it would help me get off xanax. It didn’t happen. I went cold turkey on Cymbalta, so do you all think I should go cold turkey on Lamcital? I just figure being in Cymbalta withdraw hell I could handle Lamcital withdraw. No I haven’t told my doc. any of this. Shes really not a doc, but a counselor & has patients records audited by real doc. I just feel shes a pill pusher. I.\,ve actually have felt mentally better being off Cymbalta so I’m hoping the same for this. Oh, by the way, did I tell you one of the symptoms of coming off of Cymbalta is babbling alot!!! Be in my world,,
Thanks for any info.
Lee

Posted by: Lee at March 12, 2008 04:23 PM

Interesting to note the Cymbalta withdrawals; etc. I’ve been tapering the dreaded Xanax and expected awful withdrawals; instead it’s not been hell like it was with Seroquel and Prozac. I also am on 50mg. of Lamictal, and have reported problems with it[increasing the med make me sick, and headaches]directly to GSK; which then goes to FDA, which goal being is to get withdrawal symptoms on the packaging as warnings.

Posted by: Stephany at March 12, 2008 07:44 PM

Sheesh. It took me a while to scroll all the way down here.

“I was thinking at a particular moment washing out of my head within minutes.”

Since Lamictal, my short-term memory has gone kaput. I pretty much have none. I have to write everything down or else it goes away. Hence, I feel like I had ADHD since I end up doing a variety of things at once since I forget what I was SUPPOSED to do.

Posted by: Marissa Miller at March 13, 2008 05:41 PM

In a reply to Stacey’s question I’ve found the following link that could shed some light on what you’re going through – here it is
http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/lamotrigine/default.htm

Thank you for everyone posting and commenting here – as a fellow Bipolar II person who’s only recently started using lamictal recently and have already decided to quit – I’ve found your comments helpful and encouraging. Thank you

Posted by: miekie at March 14, 2008 08:04 AM

marissa’s comment just reminded me and i am not making a joke, that was one of the side effects i reported to GSK , was short term memory loss! i have to take notes on phone calls, and tape them to the kitchen cupboard like i’m writing a book to keep track of anything important.

Posted by: Stephany at March 14, 2008 11:02 AM

Hey, thank you so much for your comments. I just tried to come off 50mg of lamictal suddenly. I slept all the time, felt dizzy, couldn’t even drive. I went back on 25mg. I feel very depressed also. I don’t know if I’ll ever be back to normal. At least I know now I’m not alone. Once I get off the 25mg I’m never touching lamictal again.

Posted by: Rochelle at March 15, 2008 03:46 PM

I have been on Lamictal for about a year now taking 200mg’s a day. Two weeks ago i decided to cut my pills in half and gradually ween myself off of Lamictal. I just took my last dose of 50mg’s last night and i have had no withdrawel at all. I actually feel better being off of Lamictal than i did before taking it. My pharmasist told me that it should take two – three weeks to ween yourself completely off of Lamictal. Luckily i have had no problems going off so far. I wish all of you good luck if you are trying to go off any medications. By the way, i think i was misdiagnosed with Bipolar back in 94 and have had no mania or depression while weening off of Lamictal.

Posted by: Jamie at March 17, 2008 08:19 PM

Hi everyone. I have been on 300mg/day does of lamictal for about 2 years for bipolar. It has really helped me a great deal. My dad took his own life at age 30 as a result of the disorder (we think, 25 years ago he was on the verge of being diagnosed).
My husband and I recently decided to try and have a baby, so I am tapering. My doc has me going pretty fast – I did 200 for a week, I dropped down to 100 this week, and will do 3 days at 50, and 3 days at 25 next week. So far everything has been pretty manageable. I did have a big stressor the other night which kind of sent me in to a tailspin…I had to just take a bath and crawl in bed and say goodnight.

Here are some things I have noticed since I went from 300 to 100 in the last 10 days:
small bouts of major agitation/edginess
nausea
feeling light headed
low appetite

My doc told me to expect crying spells and headaches (I haven’t experienced this yet). I also take Niravam (like valium) for mania/anxiety, and she said I could take this as needed during the lamictal withdrawal. So far I haven’t needed it!
I am curious to see how I will fare once the medicine is gone. Also – my doc told me have one month of being ‘clean’ before we start trying.
I saw one girl’s post about being on lamictal while pregnant…is there anyone out there who has returned to lamictal upon giving birth?

Posted by: Kim at March 26, 2008 03:33 PM

re: pregnancy and any psych med; i’m not a doctor, but make sure the valium is gone too, and i would wait 3 months before getting pregnant and that goes for being off birth control pills as well. just advice, not medical professional advice. [but a mom of 3].

Posted by: Stephany at March 26, 2008 05:04 PM

I saw that Scott reported that he woke up with cuts on his tongue. this struck me because he same thing happened to me. I have been off of Lamictal for 4 days and I woke up having chewed the heck out of my tongue. I am also walking around in a dream and feeling completely detached from myself. My brain feels as if it is stuffed with cotton. I am tired, due in part to restless sleep. I don’t want to go back on meds which were originally prescribed for depression and then later to also address a partial seizure disorder.
Please tell me I’m close to feeling normal!!

Posted by: Karen at March 27, 2008 01:41 PM

I have recently been coming off of Lamictal and I had tried this before and went back on it due to the withdrawal… I wasn’t sure if it was withdrawal or just the Bipolar… I am sure now that it is withdrawal and I am continuing to come off.. I was on 100 mg and went down by 25 mg each week. I think I will take this last 25 mg for a bit longer as I have had all the same symptoms posted on here. Manic episodes that just have to burn out..numb feelings, feel outside of my body and like my head is cold inside. I have had some nausea too. I have noticed that I don’t sleep to great right now either. I hope the last 25 mg. goes o.k.
Leigh Ann

Posted by: Leigh Ann Broetzmann at March 28, 2008 12:05 PM

I am Bi-Polar and I have been taking Lamictal for over 4 years now. It has been so long, that I can hardly remember how I felt without it.

At Over a 2 to 3 month process I worked myself up to a 400 mg per day dosage. For the first year I was grateful I found a medication that worked for me. I felt a lot more stable than I had for quite some time.
I had closed myself off because of a bad relationship ending. However, years went by, and I started to feel numb to a lot of emotion. Many traumatic events did not feel as bad as they really were. For example, my brother dying.

I seem to have this semi-unrealistic belief that you will perform best under your most natural state.

If you cannot see well, maybe you shouldn’t correct your vision. While you cannot clearly see in front of you; you can think harder on what you are seeing to be able to see passed it.

So maybe this is your best path to looking at the world.

However, at the same time, if I am suffering from high blood pressure. Am I supposed to not take the medicine to increase my chances of dying? Or am I supposed to stay in my natural state?

Extreme situations, i know.
So I try to apply this to Bi Polar. Am I supposed to be like this? or more importantly. Do I want to ?

It is such a hard question for me. At the beginning I a was happy to be on it. 5 years is a long a time. Anyones body/mind/outlook will change at least a little. Has mine changed enough so I don’t have to rely on this medicine?

For 4 years, 400 mg a day. I have maybe missed three doses the whole time. Those three days were ridiculously hard. Like a constant ringing noise was going off in my head. Jumbled thoughts. I was on edge.

Also, If I wait an hour after i wake up on the days i take my medicine, the same feelings come creeping up quite quickly.

It is like a slow panic attack that drags out.
So currently, I stopped taking Lamictal a week ago. My refill is still in the mail and I have no other way to get the medication. I am so detached from the world it is unbelievable. I know the medicine is for epileptic patients too. Although, I haven’t had any seizures. My head feels stuffed with cotton and it is hard to function. I am unbelievably tired all time. It has been so long now. I don’t even know if I am going to try to get back on it. I hope the buzzing and sick feeling goes away soon. I know I am supposed to ‘ween’ myself off, but it was all so unexpected. And here I am.

All the best.

Posted by: Zach at April 10, 2008 05:07 AM

I have been on Lamactil (lomotrigine) for about a year, and at 200mg. My Psyc put me on it to help with depression and anxiety. Many of you have cofirmed my biggest concern as of lately; the short term memory loss and ….what I saying?…o yes, the lack of motor skills. I am going through some stressful times, yet I feel that being so scattered contributes to this stress. I just seem be going around in circles and not very productive at all lately.

Several Questions for anyone, who wants to respond.

I usually need to have about 2 glasses of wine at night to just wind down, and not sure if that is a good idea. Any comments?

Does SAM-E help? I understad that Lamactil impacts the GABBA level. Does not SAM-E do the same?

I am interested in Gianna’s web site. Where do I go? I am so glad to have found this forum.

I think I am ready to try and get off Lamactil.

Thanks!

Posted by: Donna at April 11, 2008 10:13 PM

So glad I found this. I’ve been on 200 mg lamictal for about a year and a half. About four years ago started with celexa for depression, which worked great for a little over a year, so I stopped. Then took lexapro when the depression returned, hit a rough spell and was told I am probably bipolar II. Weaned off lexapro and onto lamictal gradually up to 200 mg. It seemed to work ok for a while, but I really don’t know for sure if it was the drug or just my own ups and downs.

Anyway, have been feeling like crap lately and was considering adding wellbutrin, but I have decided instead to go drug-free. I am on day 2 of no lamictal cold turkey. Don’t feel any better or any worse. I’ve been tired, cranky, edgy and forgetful with lamictal.

Gained 35 pounds during this four year drug trial, but in fairness, I’m also in my 40’s. My new plan is to work on a regular sleep and exercise routine, eat better, and get outside as much as possible.

Looking forward to being drug free. Hasn’t been “the perfect cure” for my depression, and I’m tired of looking for one.

Posted by: beth at April 17, 2008 01:21 PM

Hello. It’s been very helpful and reassuring to read all of your comments. Your reaching out has helped me reach out to you in turn. I’ve been on 300mg lamictal for a year and a half, which I take for depression and began noticing weight gain in the last three months. I’m also on 300mg Effexor and 300 mg Wellbutrin as well as thyroid medication. I’m not sure whether the Lamictal has actually helped my mood or not and frankly, I’m not sure why I’m on it. It has caused irritability that I never had, jaw clenching, nightly teeth grinding, increasingly blurred vision, occasional dizziness, bruising, itching, confusion, tremors, bloating, fatigue, violent and disturbing dreams, impaired memory, and most recently, weight gain. I’ve begun tapering down by 37.5 mgs since last week and today I’m feeling low, sad, crying easily. A bit depressed. Is that normal? does that subside when you adjust to the lowered dose?

Posted by: sandra at April 22, 2008 07:51 PM

I was on Lamictal which was stopped to determine if my eye sensation was due to that. I know it sounds crazy, but since I had been on Lamictal I started having these eye images like seeing my iris (clear) in front of me. I saw three eye doctors and nothing. I went back to Lamictal. I had been on Lexapro which was begining to not work. The second time on Lamictal after about 3 months or so, I got the rash. The doctor had also started me on Cymbalta, getting rid of the Lexapro. I thought the rash might be from Cymbalta. I had other symptoms like extreme agitation, suicidal thoughts increased, etc. So Cymbalta was stopped. That left only Lamictal. The rash got worse so then the doctor diagnosed the Lamictal rash and told me to stop it immediately. I was on the 200. This whole time I felt like I had the chills, flu, extreme fatigue. After stopped the Lamictal cold turkey, symptoms got much worse. Serious suicidal thoughts, fatigue, time perception problem, feeling faint, loss of balance, poor concentration, feeling of detachment and inability to concentrate/understand things. Serious mood swings. The time perception thing really bothers me. I can’t tell if I have done something 5 min. ago, or 5 hours ago. I feel very disconnected. I didn’t tell the doctor all of this because I thought it would pass and I thought I might just have the flu. I didn’t know what withdrawal symptoms would be like. I got on line and found this place and bam, it hit me. All of this is related to sudden Lamictal withdrawal. There was a strong possibility of hospitalization because of suicidal thoughts and just this feeling of having no control. My emotions are all over the place. The doctor is thinking of putting me on Topomax alone now. Frankly all of this has really shook me up. The withdrawal from this drug is intense. I don’t know how long it will last. The depression is so severe. It’s all very scary especially when I had no clue what to expect. I predicted I would be a little depressed, but nothing like this. Surely you can get through this.

Posted by: Anne at April 23, 2008 08:15 AM

Reading these last few comments I am beginning to want to broad brush this into ALL psych meds have these withdrawal symptoms; I am currently on Lamictal; but have suffered just about every withdrawal symptom the last 2 commenters wrote while removing Seroquel; and currently Xanax.
I can assure others based on my Seroquel hell removal that I did survive it; thus my perservence with the Xanax tapering right now.
The disconnect of time is very disturbing. Seroquel was like having full blown flu. I’ve journaled my Seroquel withdrawals on my blog and am now writing about Xanax.
Good luck to all; I am starting to seriously believe withdrawals happen on all of these medications, which is quite alarming. I only wish I didn’t have these anecdotal stories to tell; because coming off of the drugs is worse than being on them.

Posted by: Stephany at April 23, 2008 10:02 AM

amy, your email address did not work. please write me directly.

Posted by: Philip Dawdy at May 9, 2008 05:55 PM

I’m down to 75mg of Lamictal so far, I was on 125 like 2 weeks ago and not on it for long.

Posted by: Paulos at May 10, 2008 08:16 PM

I’m just curious since I’m going down 25mg every week about the symptoms I’ll have, I tried to go off Lamictal before but I couldn’t, and I feel ever since I’ve been ON Lamictal I feel I can do LESS than I could before I was on it…

Posted by: Paulos at May 10, 2008 08:40 PM

Thank you, when I said being able to do less I meant less in life, more ocd/paranoid about not being able to accomplish things in life, not exactly fatigue, I misused that term. I think we’d all we better without meds…

Posted by: Paulos at May 11, 2008 04:33 PM

Yeah thank you Amy… I felt some heart palpitations yesterday and today… more tired than usual also… realizing some things about life… man… life is hard.

Posted by: Paulos at May 11, 2008 10:53 PM

Maybe we should get a Lamictal withdrawal message board going or does anyone know of one that sympathizes with this medication so we can all get the help we need or at least the talking we need? Because jeez this Lamictal is making me so unmotivated and fuzzy minded I don’t want to do anything…

Posted by: Paulos at May 13, 2008 08:27 PM

I have been diagnosed with bipolar II. I have
anxiety but no mania. I was given lamictal.
It says on the labeling that is for bipolar I.
My questions is does it work for anxiety or is
this not the right drug or is Bipolar II the new
diagnosis of the year?

Posted by: Xochi at May 15, 2008 09:03 AM

Thanks Amy. The docs say no problem. Everyone on this forum says it is. What’s the real story? Why the hell is it so hard to get off these drugs. Why does every doctor say its a joke?

Posted by: mark at May 15, 2008 03:20 PM

Doctors can only be educated by the patients who take the drugs and withdraw from them; that’s stuff the drug reps don’t give in their “talks”.

As far as dropping .5mg of Xanax, I have just suffered nearly 3 months doing it, with horrible withdrawals. I would recommend only reducing one drug at a time.

Benzo Island is a taper forum that can help with tapering benzo ideas and also if the crazymeds boards are still open, it’s a place all of these drugs are discussed in immediate forum response discussion.
Good luck.

Posted by: Stephany at May 15, 2008 03:48 PM

what kind of problems did you have with the xanax. HOw long were you on it? If you don’t mind me asking.

Posted by: mark at May 15, 2008 06:30 PM

9 years on Xanax; basic withdrawal symptoms:headache,confusion, brain buzzing, suicidal thoughts,severe depression, jaw pain, facial swelling, insomnia,hand tremors,severe fatigue,short term memory loss– just to name a few. The first .25 I reduced wasn’t as bad as the last .25 (total of .5 reduction over about 3 months).I’ve also removed other meds, and always had withdrawals. The most alarming symptom (that has passed)was suicidal thinking; but the depression is still here/doctors might say it’s “the illness” coming back–I saw a direct hit that came alongside the tapering of the Xanax. I also take 50mg. of Lamictal.I have written about ‘benzo withdrawals’ on my blog. The interesting thing about Lamictal as we read here, is that more and more people seem to be having severe withdrawal symptoms when removing it, and considering it is a fairly benign and easy to take drug without a lot of side effects, I think it has taken people off-guard when tapering and having withdrawals.

Posted by: Stephany at May 16, 2008 04:56 AM

i agree about the lamictal. Its been my worst nightmare asitkilled my cognition in medical school and i can’tget off it. At one point i was on 500! i had a6 month headache and every doc said it couldn’t be withdrawal so they put me on xanax for “anxiety” headadches. So terrible. 3 months ago i was on 100 lamictal and 1 mg xanax. I cut the xanax .25 over a few weeks. NO withdrawal at all. But then I cut the lamictal to 90 recently. 2 week headache. The thing is then a few nights ago i couldn’t sleep. Probably lamictal withdrawal. I had big exams so i had to induce a sleep. Only chocie was xanax. I went to 1 mg for the last few days. Is it safe to come back to .75 right away? I’ve been taking it only 6 months

Posted by: mark at May 16, 2008 12:50 PM

6 months counts. (remember this is anecdotal, my experience) when my pdoc suggested to increase mine to 75mg (jan08)it made me sick, i felt sick and i fell a lot. i told pdoc it was a no go. ive left it at the 50mg. since then. this might sound far to simple, but i have been taking 50mg of Benadryl for sleep that has equated to the same effect i had for sleep w Seroquel. i am not a doctor, or want/need to influence anyone, just sharing my personal story, benadryl helped the insomnia, and surprised me when it did. good luck.-stephany

Posted by: Stephany at May 16, 2008 10:30 PM

I’m on Lamictal for epilepsy since 1997. I;m having many problems coming off it ! Any ideas ?

nb: I, too, got a “lamictal rash” from 200mg tablets, later learned it was an allergy to the drug dye, went on 25mg tablets(white)(15 per day) got no rash – – stayed on it for 11 yrs.

Helen

Posted by: Helen at May 20, 2008 03:48 PM

Man this Lamictal stuff is so confusing… I’ve been struggling to get off Lamictal for about 5 months, but I’m actually very close to being off it… because I feel that is what is making me feel so bad, since I can’t concentrate, read good anymore, have bad memory issues, and with the WITHDRAWAL especially have had some bad thoughts that I usually don’t have, not to mention more OCD… the withdrawal could be worse though, unfortunately I’m still stuck on Xanax 3mg a day, but that’s what I need to get through this terrible time of Lamictal.I noticed there are not many LAMICTAL SUCCESS STORIES such as people going off it then they feel great… has anyone ever felt any RELIEF going off any of these medications???

Posted by: Paulos at May 23, 2008 06:30 PM

I am currently going off of Lamictal and it has been HELL. If I had known what this would feel like I would NEVER had taken it. I was on 200 mg . While I was on it I noticed that I was very slowly starting to have bizarre side effects. My hair started falling out, I was having horrible cravings, I couldnt write very well it was like my brain and hand wouldnt connect, I cried ALOT. My dr decided a couple of weeks ago that I should go off of it. Since trying to taper off my anxiety has been off the charts, my head is foggy like I am detached, etc etc. I would recommend not taking this med . The effects are horrible and has not been worth it, but I am not going back on it I have gone this far and I am not going back.

Posted by: Johnalene at May 24, 2008 08:05 PM

Johnalene–exactly my experience. Good luck to you.

Posted by: Stephany at May 24, 2008 09:33 PM

Hi

I have Bipolar (so they say…) and ADHD, and I’m currently taking 125mg Lamictal and 18mg Concerta. I’ve been taking Lamictal for 4 years, and I think it has done more damage than good in the long run.

I think it has affected my body in a negative way. Here are my side effects:

Higher levels of creatinine in the blood,
more prone to the flu,
generally more prone to feeling sick,
increased ADHD symptoms,
a rash in the face,
rash on my upper body (the doc said it was fungus),
muscle pains,
joint pains,
anxiety,
alcohol intolerance (almost like an allergic reaction),
headaches,
can’t remember the last time I slept without having to take meds like Zopiclone and Melatonin.
It’s almost like my body struggles to fight infections etc.

I was 16 when I was diagnosed with Bipolar, and got this medication. When I started taking them I threw up every day for a week. My body doesn’t like them. To put things in perspective;

If I increase the dose with 12,5mg (split 25mg) I end up with neusea, headache and a swollen throat. Seriously, the last time I tried to increase the dose I felt really really sick for 36 hours.

I was diagnosed adult ADHD a year ago, and the stimulants have proved themselves much more effective for me compared to the other meds I’ve tried. Along the way I have tried pretty much everything, and I always have to give in to the side effects. I’m obviously hyper sensitive. My doc won’t listen to me…

I’m a bit confused, because I can’t find anything on the internet that can help me. I’m grateful for this thread though, since I’m going to quit the Lamictal.

Have any of you guys experienced the same side effects from lamictal as me? I’m sorry if my post is a bit off-topic, but I’m kinda desperate. I will post an update on my withdrawals later. I just took my sleeping aids, and I skipped the 25mg’s I usually take at night. It’s a bit scary.

Thanks for a great forum, and you guys seem like great people!

Posted by: Chris at May 25, 2008 01:05 PM

I’m so happy to have found this site, but the comments have freaked me out as well since I also was never told about the possible side effects of withdrawal. I decided to take myself off of 200mg of Lamictal after 2 years since I wasn’t convinced it was doing anything. I’m not bi-polar, but have OCD, and I must admit it has helped reduce my anxiety. However, I got these killer headaches after reducing it by 25 mgs (my Dr. advised doing this every 2 weeks). I now know I need to go slower but am so scared of getting the headaches again. I’m wondering if there is something I can take to relieve the headaches during my withdrawal, but WILL never take Xanax or any other kind of possible addicting drug. Suggestions? I would also NOT recommend doing this cold turkey. Those lightheaded feelings are dangerous. Definitely take it slow.

Posted by: Samantha at May 25, 2008 01:16 PM

The side effected I recently posted wasn’t from withdrawals, it was from using Lamictal.

Anyway, I’m going to reduce my dosage slowly, 25mg every two or three weeks until I’m done.

I expect headaches, but it’s far better then the alternative.

I’m having a little headache now, but it’s most likely from stress. Hope it’s gone in the morning.

Chris

Posted by: Chris at May 25, 2008 02:06 PM

Hi,
Wow, it is so nice to come across this site. THank you for all the comments. I was on 200mg of Lamictal for a year and I have been trying to get off of L. for about a month now. I am on 100mg currently and will stay on it for the next couple of weeks before shifting to 50mg.

The problem: I am so completely depressed, it is frightening. It seems that my depression is worse than it has been in a while. Is this just withdrawal or is it a worst case of depression coming back?

I cannot focus or do any work. I cannot care less abotu anything, but i am also very anxious and agitated. I cannot sleep and then I sleep for 14 hours. It is hell on my work schedule.

I feel really scared. Maybe i should go back on Lamictal? L. worked great for me, but I had servere acne, headaches, horrivle nightmares, and I could not do any work b/c my brain was mush for almost a year.

AH! I am so tired of all this.

Posted by: Hi at May 25, 2008 10:53 PM

Ok, Question…I am currently on 500mg a day of Lamictal. I have been on this for, geez, I don’t even know how long…a couple of years. My dose was just increased from 450 to 500 in October. I have a Video EEG scheduled for next week (June 2-6) and am really scared since I am suppose to stop my Lamictal that Sunday night (June 1). When I am late taking a dose, I know it…I get a feeling of heaviness on my chest, my arms and hands get this weird tingly feeling in them, etc., and that is just if I am a half hour or hour “late” taking a dose. Usually it is with my nighttime dose. What can I expect to happen when I have to stop the full 500mg abruptly? This scares the crap out of me more so than the Testing. Any input would be helpful!

Posted by: Bethanny at May 28, 2008 06:26 PM

If I can add anything here or maybe help someone, I’ve learned that the key with Lamictal is SLOW titration, whether up or down. I have been on Lamictal since 2004 and am currently in a love/hate relationship with it. When it works, it is magical. I am very sensitive to medication, plus I am a woman who deals with severe monthly hormonal flucuation, so I am very intimate with Lamictal’s benefits and side effects. For example, I usually need to bump up the dosage a little the week before my period and back it off the next week or so.

I relate completely to your post, Hi. Earlier this year I tried to go off Lamictal. It was so miserable I had to start taking it again after a week of many of the same side effects you describe. I was at a dosage of 400mg at the beginning of this year. After the week of withdrawal, I started again on 50mg. (I have 200mg tablets and they are really hard to split into any smaller than 50mg, and since they are shield-shaped, splitting them 200mg into quarters still isn’t exact.)

What is my game plan? I need to get 25mg prescribed so that I can do very slight tweaks. If I decide to go off again, then I can titrate very slowly, which is what I recommend to anyone who is trying to quit Lamictal.

Posted by: Ray at May 29, 2008 09:27 AM

Ask your psychiatrist for free samples for the tapering. I get all of my Lamictal that way. (thanks to pharma reps!yes, I take advantage of them showing up in that regard) You can get entire packages of 25.mg tabs. It’s just a thought, especially with tapering, and cost effective too.

Posted by: Stephany at May 29, 2008 01:05 PM

ME AGAIN! Very odd for me but the Lamictal was much easier to go off this time compared to the last time in March… so I’m posting the first success story regarding withdrawal from this awful medication… so, yay? Johnalene I hope your scene improves, we really need a forum for this medication so we can all talk or something, someone give it some serious consideration or contact me at PaulostheSpy@AIM.COM so we can not all be alone. Also I’ve been OFF Lamictal for 10 whole days… felt very light good things but mostly bad, I wonder if it will improve at all or anything. OH WELL.

Posted by: Paulos at June 4, 2008 10:24 PM

What are the steps one must take to get even with GLAXO for this horrible drug?

Posted by: mark at June 5, 2008 09:20 AM

Ray. Buy an electronic scale that measures grams. That’s what I did. Then equate the weight of the tablet with the dosage. That’s the most precise way to do it.

Posted by: mark at June 6, 2008 03:46 PM

Hi, just found this thread and am in my eigth day of hellish withdrawal of paxil but am on my eighth day of starting Lamictal using the starter kit – meaning I’ve taken Lamictal 25mg for eight days now. Since I’m experiencing misery with withdrawal from paxil, I’ve decided that I will not continue with Lamictal either.

My question is, will I have withdrawals off Lamictal 25 mg after using it for eight days? My horror is the thought of more withdrawal symptoms on top of the worst withdrawal off paxil I’ve ever experienced. Please, if you have an idea or guess, please let me know. Thanks.

Posted by: Alison at June 6, 2008 03:54 PM

I was wondering if anyone knows about this site and what it offers:

http://www.labelmesane.com/home.html

I’ve had similar problems as everyone only involving amitriptyline (Elavil), one of the older tricyclic antidepressants. It’s been very effective for me the times I’ve used it over the years, but coming off it seems to get worse the older I get (or the more times I use it?).

Posted by: cairn at June 6, 2008 04:04 PM

cairn,
Lucky you!
Where did you find a physician that prescribes amitriptyline?
This site you’ve mentioned is not serious.
Can’t you see they only want to sell their stuffs?
Now I’m sure you’re new on the block!

Posted by: Ana at June 6, 2008 04:32 PM

Lamictal = worse experience of my life.
I have been off lamictal for 5 weeks and I am still battling the rash! Does not seem possible but according to family pract, not uncommon.

Plus, I have now been taking prednisone for the past four weeks to combat rash. I continue to gain massive weight due to the prednisone but without, the rash is very painful. Plus, I am not suppose to be in the sun, due to the rash, and I surf almost daily. Surfing has become much more difficult w/ extra 25lbs and increased sensitivity to the sun.
Vitamins, yoga, surfing, diet, exercise. I will never take another pysch med nor trust a physiatrist. All b.s. I spent the year on seven different meds, all for not.
How much money do drug lobbyist spend in Washington? More than an other private sector. They are the evil side of a capitalistic gov’t and unfortunately bye the docs either through spiffs or misinformation.

Posted by: bingopajama at June 8, 2008 08:12 PM

i’ve been on lamictal for bipolar II for 9 months and i’ve had no major problems. i got headaches with the change in dosage on the ramp up, but they were by no means debilitating. just a month or so ago i finally got to the point where it was apparent to me how much time i spend mentally disconnected before medication. once in a blue moon i start to drift but i can always bring myself back. i’m more productive and happier. my relationships are better. i’m less self-centered.
one benefit i found by accident after forgetting to take it before bed: if i take it first thing in morning i am very motivated to clean and organize (a great thing since normally i’m kinda messy). i would like to just take it in the mornings on the weekends but changing the time i take it back and forth so often would be a bad idea. i am on no other medications for any mental disorders. i was on prozac for about a year or so back in high school and it was horrible. that’s all i have to compare it to.

the only other side effect i’ve had that my dr mentioned might happen is trouble with depth perception. this only bothers me if i take in the morning + i have to drive. i just remember to brake earlier than it looks like i should and i’m fine.

i like lamtical. i have no reason to come off of it right now. my only concern would be when i decide to have kids (in the next 5 years or so). i am not going to take it then, but i will be tapering SLOW and BY MY DR’S INSTRUCTIONS.

after being in the medical community and after taking several medications that you cannot simply quit (for example, prednisone), i think it’s a pretty fucking stupid idea to just stop, or to stop without your doctor’s help. you’re just asking for trouble then.

Posted by: megan at June 9, 2008 01:16 PM

Ive been on lamictal for 6months, loved it but i have exzema on my face and my front teeth have internally turned grey, permenantly so i haft to stop. Its very hard im at 100mg and i am experiencing alot of anxiety. I dont want to be on anything. Im going to see my doc tomarrow to see if that is an option. Has anyone heard of lamictal affecting your teeth color or facial redness? My muscles are tense!
Thank you

Posted by: brandy at June 9, 2008 06:00 PM

As far as I know Label Me Sane is a legit business. I know a lot of people who have successfully used their products…the secret though is you can get all of the same products for a lot cheaper elsewhere—you gotta look at the ingredients because they give them fancy names that have nothing to do with what’s in it…what they do offer though that you can’t get if you get the products elsewhere is telephone support for your withdrawal. They’re nice people.

It’s not a bad system for some people. I’ve seen it work.

Posted by: Gianna at June 11, 2008 03:10 PM

Now I am scared. I have been on lamictal for only 22 days now (50 mg) and working my way up to 100 mg. The only thing I noticed at my 2 week check-up (25 mg) was insomnia and dreaming. I have
A LOT of energy whereas I did not before starting this drug (I slept alot before). The doc put me on Geodon(Ziprasidone HCI) for the insomnia. I am on my 8th day with the 50 mg and taking the Geodon at night for sleep. I have begun to notice short term memory loss, I am very talkative and will cry at the drop of a dime, but still very energetic. I like that I have energy again and actually getting things accomplished. I am afraid to go to 100 mg after reading this page. I am feeling pretty good as of right now, should I tell my doc to stop at 50 mg? And, does anyone know what this Geodon HCI is? Also, the lamictal has done nothing for my anxiety. Is it supposed to help anxiety?

Posted by: Rhonda at June 11, 2008 10:31 PM

Rhonda, I take 50mg.of Lamictal. I’m over-sensitive to drugs and smaller doses of them work for me. My doc goes by the premise of increase until you feel better and leave it at that, rather than the standard literature guidelines. I’ve been on 50mg. for 18 months. Not sure if the Lamictal would address anxiety, it helps with the depression (usually). Geodon is an antipsychotic, same as Abilify,Zyprexa,Seroquel etc. If recommended for sleep, I’d personally try 50mg. Benadryl before that, based on my experience with Seroquel (that I am now off of). All of this is my personal experience. I do have a family member who does well on 125mg. of Lamictal, went off of Geodon due to not needing an antipsychotic and it gave too many side effects (crying, double vision),and uses Seroquel for mania once in a while for a 2-3 day period of time.

Posted by: Stephany at June 12, 2008 12:21 AM

Thank you for responding so quickly. I am also sensitive to drugs and always worry about taking different kinds or too many. I have an appointment with the counselor (not the phsychiatrist) tomorrow and will ask about all of this. I do not like the Geodon. I felt better w/o it, except the not sleeping which was only now and then. So may ask for something natural for the sleep. What would you recommend for anxiety? and can I just take anxiety pill as needed and not everyday?

Posted by: Rhonda at June 12, 2008 07:31 AM

I’m certainly no expert or professional but I would advise taking anxiety meds PRN (as needed) and not every day, because most are benzos (for example Xanax, Klonopin)and I have been on Xanax (alprazolam)for 9 years, and truly feel it did nothing for anxiety and should have been left for PRN. I’m currently reducing it, (had withdrawals like a junkie)and feel less anxiety.
I have not tried Melatonin(sp?)but have heard it works for some people for sleep. For me, so does Chamomile tea and toast! Good luck.

Posted by: Stephany at June 12, 2008 11:57 AM

@Hi at May 25, 2008 10:53 PM

I hope you are still coming by here. I am weaning myself off of Lamictal after being on it for a year. I am also currently at 100mg, and have been experiencing depression, fatigue, lack of ability to focus or think. I have been on 100mg for about a month now and will stay on it for another two weeks before I go down to 75mg. The withdrawal is really horrible. I am astonished at how intense the withdrawal symptoms are–unlike anything I have ever been on.

How are you doing, since you and i seem to have similar experiences. I too am going off of Lamictal b/c of acne, headaches, nightmares, and a brain that just doesn’t work. I have been unable to focus or think for a year now.

ALSO, I have experienced what I can only call mini-seizures of some kind. My head does strange jolts. I read that seizures can happen to people coming off of Lamictal, especially when it is done abruptly. I am not going off of Lamictal abruptly, so I am confused about all this.

Posted by: Hey at June 13, 2008 02:15 PM

“hey”,
it could be that you are coming off it too quickly, and need to slow the tapering down.

Posted by: Stephany at June 13, 2008 08:47 PM

I normally take 150mg Lamictal for Bipolar Disorder. I recently ran out and could not afford my refill. I tried requesting samples from my doctor but that was a no go. The withdrawal symptoms are sooooo bad….I swear it gets worse every day. I have been without the Lamictal for about two weeks now. At first it felt like my brain was back firing…I don’t know how else to describe it. It was like little electrical zaps shooting through my head. I have a headache that won’t stop. It starts off bearable in the mornings, but by lunch it’s like…off with my head…please. I am tired and my whole body feels like I have the flu. And then there are those bursts of extreme anger. My doctor gave me a prescription for a starter pack so I can start again, but I can’t afford that either. I just got back on the meds in February and had just started getting stable. Before that I ended up on disability for 6 months. It is all pretty scary. I don’t want to go back to that insane person that was me before the meds. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

Posted by: Malinda at June 17, 2008 10:36 AM

My doctor is taking away my cocktail of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications I have been on ranging from 3-6 years due to blood work showing high liver enzyme levels. My ALT level is around 120 (4 times higher than norm range). I have been tested multiple times this week and the belief by all is that my liver problems are drug induced.
So, I have been abruptly taken off Lamictal four days ago and yesterday had my Effexor XR reduced in half. I’ve gotten headaches (can’t take ibuprogen or Tylenol for it due to liver problems) and extreme fatigue. I’ve taken Effexor for 6 years and Lamictal for three. If anyone can shed light on what I should expect with coming off both these together very abruptly it may help with preparing myself. Has anyone come off these without terrible withdrawals?

I am told that coming off my final drug Paxil (low dose) will start in the next week too. I am wondering, would I be better going in a rehab? What dangers are there for coming off these so fast? What enviornment would be the best for this time? ANy hints to reduce the withdrawals? It sound like hell for withdrawal off Effexor and Paxil, so why prolong the process since me liver is effected? Does it make sense to just get all the terrible withdrawals over at once. I want to be over the withdrawals before college starts back after Labor Day. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. I am only 21 and scared with all these medical problems.

Also, a weird thing is my cholestoral level (bad one) is around 200. Anyone experience liver of cholestoral problems while on Lamictal, Effexor or Paxil? I don’t know which drug(s) is responsible for the liver problems (yes Hepatitis has come back negative).

Posted by: Liza at June 22, 2008 07:53 AM

This info about lamictal withdrawal is so surprising and important to me right now. I’m taking a total of 300mg lamictal daily but, due to several unusual factors, ran out Thursday night and wasn’t able to get a refill until Monday, today. I felt as if I had been taking massive amounts of downers and my brain wouldn’t function at all because of the severe fatigue. I couldn’t think, couldn’t hold a thought, couldn’t do anything without it being a major chore. And nightmares! They stared as I began to fell asleep, including such things as seeing jolts of electricity shooting through my body or body parts being ripped off. (I tend to have vivid nightmares anyway.) My dogs woke me up several times each night because I was screaming in my sleep. I got the refill this morning and took my evening dose immediately. After a couple of hours I started feeling better and think I can go to work tomorrow. I’m a psychotherapist and, even though this was a horrible experience, I’m glad to know since the knowledge might come in handy in the future.

Posted by: Jenny at June 23, 2008 11:30 AM

wow, I really am sick of Lamictal. I am on 300mg right now, but am starting to take 1 3/4 of that for 2-3 weeks, and to go slooowwwly from there. But… I just have to say that if I am a couple of hours late in taking it, I feel like I’m going to pass out, my lips go slightly numb, and I am a total klutz. I get really sleepy and it really scares me.

I used to take it in the morning, but eventually realized that my dizzy and anxiety spells were a result of taking it too early in the morning before my digestive system has had a chance to wake up. I take it in the afternoon now and feel better. Has anyone had this problem– when taking it too early on in the morning?

I think I was one of those people that was going through a tough time and my doctor was over-eager to diagnose me and prescribe me this medication– a medication that she claimed was new but well-researched. Then I got spacey and forgetful. So she diagnosed me with ADHD. She said many people have both at the same time. My entire family was shocked that I was diagnosed with it. I started to take meds for the ADHD and it made me an insane overproductive workaholic perfectionist that freaked everyone around me out.

What is the deal with treating symptoms only with medication? and treating side-effects with more medication? It is absurd. Maybe some people really do have both. I know I don’t- and thank you for your comments because it confirms that the spaciness is a common phenomenon.

I changed my life and self-care habits, and am feeling really great. Perhaps Lamictal helped me out of my depression so that I could change my circumstances and habits more easily. But I don’t want it anymore– I see how it is affecting me and I really really hate the idea that my body is so dependent on it.

I get forgetful and sometimes don’t take it in the afternoon, and then I get sick within a couple of hours. So now I have an emergency supply on me at all times. Ugh!

I was traveling in a foreign country and was thinking… if I were to ever get kidnapped or have my stuff stolen— I would be SCREWED. That kind of dependency scares me, if it is not necessary.

I have to say reading this site has been so helpful– but I am quite worried about reducing my dose now. I had no idea it could be so awful! I know I’m physically very dependant on it because as soon as I stop taking it at the same time everyday, I get sort of screwy. I hate it! It’s not me!! Get it out of me! I will try to taper over several months just to play it safe.

However, does it make a difference to do it slowly or should I just try to do it within a few weeks? Are the withdrawal symptoms similar irregardless of how much time you take?

Posted by: Sarah at June 26, 2008 08:48 PM

Sarah,

Withdrawal symptoms are varied. I know I was in a rush to get off lamictal, and I titrated down too fast – very ugly. Seroquel was almost as bad considering I was only on a low dose for a short period of time (nasty stuff, imho). You may not feel better on any given day, but look back a week or two instead. You might still feel like crap, but at least you’re on a lower dose.

I think you have a special challenge in managing coming off old drugs whilst managing side effects of new ones. It might be difficult to tease out which drugs are causing which effects.

It’s really important to remember that withdrawal can be a long and sometime tortuous process, but not to fixate on that negative aspect. What I found useful was the following (I may have posted this elsewhere here):

1. Try to do some fun stuff outside the home (movie, dining, window shopping, day trips, etc…) just get out of your home frequently.
2. Physical exercise: hikes, swim, biking, walks – always better when you do this with someone else from time to time.
3. Vitamin support – mine was omega 3s, C, D, calcium and magnesium (bad bones), and a multi – YMMV.
4. Nutrition: simple, whole foods. I ate smaller meals several times a day. Don’t forget to treat yourself though – I usually did this after exercising (go for ice cream or such).
5. Have a very simple written plan and daily schedule. This will help keep you focused, but not straitjacketed to a tight regimen. You need to have some free time to just vegetate.

Be patient and don’t beat yourself up. You are accomplishing something that is not easy or quick.

Posted by: Paul at June 27, 2008 06:41 AM

Thank God I came across this site. I really thought I was going nuts. I’ll try and make this as short as possible.
I’m a 53 year old female, and have been on every drug out there for Bipolar II for the past 17 years. I feel like I’ve been a guinea pig for the psychiatric community all these years!
They should have been paying me instead of vice versa.
Some drugs have helped short term but not without all the side effects and withdrawals that go along with them.
My BIGGEST MISTAKE was taking Lamictal!!!!!!
I would have been better off on a street drug.
After two years on this drug my psych.doc (my 8th doc.)and I decided that it was doing more harm than good. I started out at 50mg and gradually ended up at 250mg.
At that point my doctor changed my prescription from 100mg. tabs to 200mg. tabs so I would only have to take a 200mg. tab. plus my 50mg. tab once a day.
I took the Lamictal as prescribed but noticed I was falling down a lot, was confused, could not read, was dizzy etc.etc.etc.
I was so confused that I forgot I had 200mg. tabs instead of 100mg. tabs and started taking two of the 200mg tabs plus my 50mg. tabs.
So as you can see I went from 250mg. per day up to 450mg. per day.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
After taking the wrong dosage for a day or so I got really screwed up. I had to yell for my daughter the next morning after overdosing as I was shaking and trembling so badly that I thought I was going to flip out!!!! I should have gone to the hospital!
I had no idea that I was taking the wrong dosage…this went on for about a week until I ran out of Lamictal and had to pick up another script.
When I read the directions on the new bottle I was horrifed to find out that I had made such a bad mistake on my dosage…this could have been fatal for me.
When I told my doctor about this mistake because
I was so confused all the time he told me I was lucky to still be alive.
Anyway, I went back to 250mg., what a horror show!! I’ve been weaning myself off this awful med. ever since.
My doctor told me to drop 50mg. every 5 days until I got to 50mg. and then to just stop.
Well all I’ve got to say is that this has been the worst NIGHTMARE that I’ve ever been through!!
I think it would be easier to come off any kind of street drug out there.
I finally went to see my doctor this morning and he told me that he had never heard of anyone having a problem coming off from Lamictal.
I know he didn’t think that I was having withdrawals from Lamictal…when I mentioned about what I’d read on the internet about withdrawals from this drug he just shrugged it all off…basically saying what I had read was a bunch of bullshit.
I love how these shrinks put you on all these meds., and then don’t tell you the hell your going to go through when you try and get off from them.
I’ve done research on every drug I’ve had to take to find out what side effects to expect, but I never thought to look for drug withdrawal problems.
Of course your doctor is never going to tell you that all these drugs have withdrawal symptoms, because then how is he going to push them and stay in business?
As far as I’m concerned most of these shrinks are just legal drug pushers!
I know this lamictal works for some people, but my advice to anyone considering taking this drug is to research it throughly, and then take it only after careful consideration.
Please read all the comments posted here.
I am having every withdrawal posted here and then some!
This is not a drug to take lightly, (no pun intended).
I am planning on staying on 50mg. of Lamictal until my symptoms calm down.
I am very concerned about how I feel, as I have some very stressful events coming up in the next couple of months therefore I can’t afford any downtime.
My other main concern is this: when I’m off this drug what next? What if I can’t be without drugs?
I have nothing left to try.
I also agree that we all should be very careful about eating right, getting enough exercise, (although I haven’t been able to move for the past few days) meditating, yoga, omega 3’s, vitamins and other alternative methods that are available to us today.
One more thing, I was told by a bipolar specialist to take 1 to 2 grams of omega 3’s per day.
I found out that this made me a little hypomanic… therefore I had to cut back on my dosage… so be careful with the omega’s.
I’m sorry this turned out to be way longer than I had thought but once I got going I felt as though I should tell my whole story.
Thanks for listening.
Leslie

Posted by: Leslie at June 30, 2008 12:34 PM

I got a new pdoc who decided to cut my wellbutrin in half and prescribe lamictal despite the fact that I was doing fine before she messed with my meds. I decided to do a google search on Lamictal and out of the hundreds of posts I have read on this drug, only four of them had anything good to say about Lamictal. I took one pill and was miserable the rest of the day with an intense migraine and sick to stomach. I was going to try to push myself through it to see if the headaches and upset stomach goes away, but I don’t think I want to mess around with this drug at all.

Posted by: karen at June 30, 2008 07:52 PM

For what it is worth, as a psychiatrist, and was not part of this posting when it was published last year (one hell of a thread going, eh?), the tricks to getting off of any medication that was titrated up in the beginning are the following:

1. A basic formula (not absolute, but as a general direction): for every 3 months on a med, expect at least two to three weeks to get off of it via tapering by NO MORE than 25% of the dose on at the time. So, for example with Lamictal, if on 150mg(avg dose)for 2 years(24 months), you would decrease to 125 for 7-10 days, then to 100mg for same pd, then to 75, to 60, then 50, to 40, 25, then 12.5, and be done, which would take about 12 to 16 weeks, depending on response with each dose decrease.

2. You really shouldn’t consider decreasing or discontinuing meds in the middle, or anticipating of pending stressor(s) as the stress of worry of going off meds only increases the concern with the accompanying stress at hand. One reason why I would recommend being in therapy at the time of going off meds, just as an adjunctive measure to decrease the angst of stopping meds.

3. When on a fairly high dose of a medication, and a responsible doc should tell you it’s a high dose, you should look to decrease it when life is at “cruise control” for you so when you would consider a future plan to decrease to discontinue, you are already at a lower amount at that point.

4. If you have concerns or questions about the meds or number of meds, ASK why they are being prescribed ongoing. Decreasing your discomfort or misgivings can only have a greater likelihood of the meds helping.

5. Lastly, and if this is taken as a cliche or trivializing, then I am sorry, but since I heard this last year, I like it and offer it to any and all who feel it is worthwhile:

if you want to get better, then take a pill, but if you want to get it right, fact the truth.

A lot of mental health seems to apply to this formula; not that meds are not needed, but they are not the primary intervention for most.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: therapyfirst at July 1, 2008 01:31 PM

My doctor ran out of samples of Lamictal, and I went off of it without knowing about withdrawal symptoms. I had been on it for unexplained seizures for about two years.

The first symptom was insomnia. I would lie awake in bed and felt as if I were about to literally crawl out of my skin. The urge to move my legs was so intense, I furiously clawed at them. To stop, I had to keep getting out of bed and walk around. These feelings were accompanied by extreme anxiety. I felt as if I were trapped inside someone else’s body trying to get out.

As time progressed, I began having the worst headaches of my life. I also had unusual headaches-Felt as if my head was floating. I couldn’t possibly describe it if I tried.

I then experienced the following symptoms, not necessarily in the same order: dizziness, confusion, clumsiness, occasional passing suicidal thoughts with depression, pressure behind my eyes, extremely tired, sweaty palms, mania, tremors, muscle spasms, and irritability.

If you experience withdrawal symptoms, do not bother to research the symptoms yourself; you will find this the best site for that. Instead, speak to your doctor IMMEDIATELY. My doctor put me back on the medication, gradually increasing the dose. I still have a way to go-I am hoping the symptoms will go away altogether once I am up to my 200mg once again. She told me to stay on it, and “never” discontinue it. Discouraging, but I think I will take her word for it considering what discontinuing the medicine did to me.

Good luck.

Posted by: Patti Coros at July 3, 2008 06:39 PM

son has been taking lamictal for 4 years 300 mg twice a day for seizures. He is a normal 19 year old boy who doesn’t want to be dependand on medication. Problem is he takes his doses for a few days then skips a few takes and then skips again. He complaines of being tired, dizzy, irratable and very scatterbrained. He says its from taking the lamictal not from withdrawl when he skips his doses. If he misses for too long he has his seizures. How do we know if it from the meds or from skipping the meds???

Posted by: Cindy at July 6, 2008 03:53 PM

I started a week ago to get off Lamictal. I was up to 400 a day. I wanted to stop because every morning was hell at that level– brain zaps of painful memories or crazy thoughts and irrational fears. I was sick of that every damn morning. I cut it down to 200. To fast I know. Three days of hell. I am staying at 200 for quite a while then go down by 25% as recommended above. It will take a long time to get off. I may stay at on but at a much reduced level. Doctors seem so casual at putting you on and of course you are the one to pay the piper. Once I am off that will be it for me. Handle things as they come– medication is a mine field. No thanks.

Posted by: Mojo at July 9, 2008 08:40 PM

Hello all, remember me? I was on Lamictal 100mg… not a high dosage I know but it’s semi high. I’ve been off it for 47 days, that’s right I’ve actually been off this terrible medication… yet I haven’t felt any relief or anything… still fuzzy minded, can’t concentrate, ocding about everything and so on… anyone else here been able to get OFF their Lamictal for a while and have gotten any better/worse or stayed the same?… thanks…

Posted by: Paulos at July 12, 2008 05:16 PM

has anyone lost excessive amounts of hair on Lamictal?

Posted by: Stephany at July 12, 2008 09:51 PM

Yesterday was my first day without Lamictal.
I did a fairly slow taper staying at 25mg. for about two weeks.
You can read my story under the name Leslie for June 30th.
I’m feeling pretty crappy right now, depressed, anxious, very jumpy, irratable, and totally out of sorts.
I don’t feel like doing anything but cannot sit still due to agitation.
I’m not sure what to do next. Should I wait until this passes?
Should I try going back on another med.?
How much worse am I going to get?
Will I ever get better?
How am I going to be able to make it without some kind of medication?
These are questions I keep asking myself.
I just don’t know what to do at this point.
I want to try and tough it out for a couple of months and see what happens.
I know that when you have Bipolar disorder you’re not supposed to go without meds. but I haven’t had much luck with most of them therefore I’m very reluctant to try anything else.
Also trying a new med. is such a scary thing as you just don’t know what’s going to happen to you.
I was told I could try Geodon next which is an atypical anti-psychotic. YIKES!
I have Bipolar II, why would anyone take a drug like that for Bipolar II?
I did some research on this drug and it sounds worse than Lamictal.
As I haven’t had much luck with any of the meds. I’ve already been on, I really don’t feel I have many options anyway.
All I know is that I don’t want to feel like this for the rest of my life!
Anyway, this is where I’m at now… I’ll keep you posted and I hope everyone out there is doing better.
Take care,
Leslie

Posted by: Leslie at July 14, 2008 06:16 AM

Leslie,
Keep reading the information on this site, especially about the use of atypical antipsychotics for BP. There’s a lot of information about that here, thanks to Philip’s hard work and research.
Best wishes,
Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at July 14, 2008 12:09 PM

Leslie: I feel and can related to your pain. I am exactly where you are now. I am right at the same place in everway. It’s such a lonely place. You feel that any choice you make you lose. Everyone out in the world is happy and you are stuck in such a miserable spot with no map to find your way out. No one you know understands what you feel like. If they know you are unhappy it surely is just your fault–if you would just suck it up and stop feeling sorry for yourself..blah blah. I feel for you. Want to know how you are doing. Maybe sharing of the pain will lessen it for us all. Mojo

Posted by: Mojo at July 14, 2008 05:46 PM

Thanks Sherry for the info. I don’t have any time to read about atypical antipsychotics until maybe next week.
My son is getting married on Sat and I’m doing the flowers…no wonder I’m stressed out!
What is your opinion about the use of these type of drugs for Bipolar II.?

Hello Mojo,
I’m sorry that your not feeling well either.
I’m pretty depressed and anxious today, and I have all this stuff to do for my son’s wedding on Sat.
I can’t wait until it’s over!!! The whole family is stressed including my son and his wife-to-be, her mother is driving us all crazy!!!
I guess she thinks we’re having a Martha Stewart wedding or something.
I was awake most of the night with gut wrenching pain and nausea… and am still feeling quite ill.
I don’t know if it’s the Lamictal withdrawal or what…I suspect it is though, as I’ve had this same problem with every cut I’ve done.
I can’t afford to be sick this week!
I feel the same way you do Mojo about other people and their state of happiness…like everyone else but you is slappy happy.
When I pointed this out to my psychdoc. she said to me, “You have no idea what other people’s lives or like, or what they’re feeling inside.”
This is a true statement, but I do know a lot of people out there that are happy and content.
I go through times like that myself…I just happen to be in a really bad spot right now.
Mojo, let me know how your doing…I’ve got to get some work done around here.
I’m not sure if this is mentioned anywhere else on this site, but has anyone heard of the Truehope Empower Plus supplement?
Probably just another scam, as you can see I’m grasping at straws here!
Leslie

Posted by: Leslie at July 15, 2008 09:50 AM

Leslie,
I’m not bipolar so I mainly know what I read here. I have severe PTSD, mega depression and hypothyroidism that was undiagnosed and caused 30 friggin’ years(!) of constant dysthymia. (Other than that, I’m fine.)

The basic stance of this site seems to be that atypicals are barely a good idea for psychotics and are not at all a good idea for anyone else–including, perhaps especially people with BP. They are pretty dangerous drugs and hard to get off. People gain 70 pounds, develop diabetes, etc. In short, they make mental illness seem not quite so bad.

I have been off all meds for about ten years and out of therapy for several also. I feel MUCH better now that no one’s tinkering around with my body chemistry or trying to “fix” me as they stumble around intrusively in my innermost parts. I have my dignity back at last.

I’ve had the great good fortune of doing a tour of the Nuthouses of North America. I haven’t seen anyone I can think of saying “Wow! This med has REALLY helped me!” Mostly all I’ve ever heard is side effects and “My doctor wants to try X next”. It looks like a racket to me. I’m glad I’m out of it. No pill’s gonna fix what ails me. I have to deal with it myself.

By the way, Mojo (great name), I have been depressed for decades. In fact I’ve carried to an art form at times, done the whole route. And you know what I hear all the time from people? All about how sweet and cheerful I am! So yeah, you really DON’T know what’s going on with other people unless they happen to tell you and mostly they don’t. Everybody’s got their stuff. I now work as a church secretary and hear a lot of stories as people call for help. We really *do* have lots of company. I hope you smile again.

Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at July 15, 2008 04:35 PM

Thanks Sherry _ would love to talk with you. Someone that could relate to my life. 30 years of fighting the dark side. It’s depressing to think of the depression. You have one life –one go around. And you get to live it with this disease. It’s beyond cruel to my way of thinking. It pains me beyond belief. Not sure how to deal with it conceptually at all.

Posted by: Mojo at July 15, 2008 07:04 PM

A few weeks ago I decided against everyone’s recommendation that I was going to stop taking it. I was taking the highest dose, 400mg, 200 in the a.m. and 200 at night. I am also taking lithium 1,500 mg split to three times per day. When I stopped it suddenly and didn’t gradually taper off I didn’t have too much of a problem. for the first 3-4 days I was really lethargic, tired, and slept alot, and had a bad headache but that was it. Other than those, what I would consider minor things, it wasn’t too bad at all. SSRI’S are the worst to come off of in my opinion. I stayed off of the Lamictal for a few weeks but I started getting more and more depressed. People could tell just by looking at me and eventually I started taking it again. I have felt so much better since I did. It does really make me scared that I can’t seem to function without taking these meds and that I really might actually be bipolar.

Posted by: Kaitlan at August 1, 2008 09:12 PM

Kaitlan,

It’s important that have a plan to come off any psychiatric drug. There is always the risk of withdrawal symptoms that may appear indistinguishable from your original symptoms. You may think your relapsing, but you’re actually experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These may not be immediate or obvious.

Any plan ought to include support of your doc, if possible, vitamins, exercise, lifestyle adjustments (meaning getting out, making some new friends, doing positive things, etc…), and you need to educate yourself.

Education is hard because there is so much hyperbole. However, there is a wealth of good info on withdrawal strategies, what to expect, and how to plan for the long term. It’s not easy, your brain chemistry has been altered by these drugs. It’s not going to just tolerate their removal blithely.

I think it’s helpful to accept that a successful withdrawal will involve failures and setbacks along the way. It’s not an easy thing you’re trying here.

Paul

Posted by: Paul at August 2, 2008 06:28 AM

I don’t know why I never saw this original post. Maybe because
1. I was only on Lamictal for a week or so back in 2001 before I got the rash. Went off it cold turkey and had no problem.

2. I was ill from a drug interaction and lost 3 months of my life.
Anyway……
I noticed that several people had the same withdrawal symptoms from Geodon and Cymbalta.

I don’t feel so alone anymore, and am grateful to know that.

Posted by: susan at August 2, 2008 02:56 PM

Hi,

I have been on Lamictal for almost 12 weeks now, and have worked up to 200 MG for the past two weeks. I have decided to quit taking it for a number of reasons. I want to have another child. I just had jaw surgery and my chin is numb, which is supposed to come back but can be permanent. I understand that Lamictal stops or severely limits electrical impulses in the face/chin area as well as the brain and is even prescribed for a known medical condition involving this. I found this out last night and decided to start tapering. I don’t want to be numb because of this.

My question is, after only tapering up over 12 weeks, do you have any recommendations on how to taper off? I am thinking 150 mg for 1 week, then 100 for 1, then 50 for 1, then 25 for 1. That’s 4 weeks to undo 12 weeks of buildup.

Do you think this is safe?

Posted by: April at August 5, 2008 05:11 PM

I was just prescribed this med I was going to go get it this week thanks to all of you I would of not known this info.. How I feel for all of you.
I just have Panic Disorder and have been on and off of Xanax for 18 years and still take only 1 x
a day for the last 5 years how lucky I am. I am now 48 and work 3rd shift after a year of this I have been having trouble sleeping on the 3-4 days that I work nights, plus I have a high energy flow where I run circles around everyone. My Dr thought I might be on the low end of Bi Polar. So I told my doctor I got to slow down and I really need to sleep and he recommended this MED now who needs MEDS? I will deal with what I have RIGHT? I
can’t understand why any Dr would prescribe this medicine, its a seizure med for goodness sake….GOOD LUCK to each and every one of you…

Posted by: alicia at August 6, 2008 03:06 AM

I’ve been on Lamictal for almost 7 years. I was put on it after I participated in a clinical trial for repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation at NIH. At one point, I took 600 mg daily.

I’ve never been fond of it and with a diagnosis of atypical treatment resistant depression, I didn’t understand why I’d need a “bipolar” drug. Since then, my diagnosis has been changed to Bipolar II.

10 days ago, I cut my dose of Lamictal from 200 mg. to 100 mg. and I really haven’t had a lot of problems – minor headache and minor brain fog. but after reading this blog, I think I’ll go slower. I’ve never had much problem tapering/switching on any of the drugs. I wonder if that means they really didn’t do anything. Any votes for the placebo effect?

Posted by: smajd86 at August 6, 2008 10:27 PM

Chris posted a list on May 25 2008 that listed the side effects he had on Lamictal and I wanted to say that I have had the exact same. I’m weaning from 150 mg to nothing and am so far down to 100 mg. I have only taken Lamictal for a short time and very quickly experienced a rash in the face plus my upper body, muscle pains, joint pains and total alcohol intolerance. I was wondering if was Lamictal and reading enough on this site has substantiated that theory. Thank you so much.

Posted by: Tracy at August 7, 2008 08:19 PM

Does anyone know anything about the Tolerance withdrawal phenomenon to xanax. I read that you can actually have withdrawal simply by being tolerant. If this is happening, is the only way to end it to come off the drug?

Posted by: mark at August 12, 2008 06:34 PM

I was taking lamictal 250 mg in AM 2 years ago. When I asked my MD to refill the prescription, his nurse errored by incorrectly writing ” 25 mg”. Talk about medical mistakes!!!! OMG! After doing a fast taper off benzos and Zyprexa (in two weeks) by a world famous physician, I also had withdrawal symptoms from Lamictal at the same time! I was living in hell with these awful drugs. Never again. I am now feeling better than ever and have regained my life. I also withdrew from Lithium. My previous pdoc was basically a drug dealer in a white coat with a license to maim other people’s lives. He diagnosed me as bipolar. Guess what? I’m NOT and never have been. I had a benzo-induced delirium and went through 15 mo. of withdrawal symptoms. I was determined and had tremendous support from husband

Posted by: susie at August 17, 2008 11:51 AM

Glad I stumbled on this site! I’ve been on Lamictal for 4 yrs at 450mg for Bipolar dx. I developed a rash last week and my dermatologist had me quit Lamictal cold turkey last Friday pending biopsy results. So, I’m on day 4 without meds. Current withdrawal symptoms: extreme exhaustion, joint pain, unusual sensations/numbness, dizziness, loss of coordination, loss of ability to taste and numbness in my mouth to the point of being able to bite my lip until it bleeds without feeling pain, same weird sensation across body and hands…

Anyone gone cold turkey from such a high dose? Frankly, I’m pretty concerned with what I’m experiencing.

Posted by: william at August 18, 2008 09:06 AM

Hi Everyone,
Let me just start off by saying that I’m so pissed at my doctor right now who I have been seeing for 9 yrs and always trusted. Told me I was Bi-polar. Started Lamictal, one of those kits, the orange one working up from 25 to 200. He then put me on 400mg and added Abilify, 2.5mg The Abilify made me feel anxious at times and I started having a few panic attacks here and there. I had originally went on antidepressants because of panic disorder. Anyways, quick taking the Abilify on my own since it was such a low dose to begin with. Told him I wanted off the lamictal and put back on a SSRI which helped me before. He told me to drop the Lamictal by a 100mg each week. Now if you have to build up slowly wouldn’t you think you’d have to back off slowly. Like I said I trusted him, I changed doctors!! Thought I was loosing my mind!! Crying spells, bad concentration and could not focus, tremors, no appetite, screwed with my brain big time. I’m at 200 and staying there for now and also taking Paxil for the panic stuff. If I’m going to make anymore changes I think I’ll wait till after the Holidays. Good Luck to All and Take Care.

Posted by: theresa at August 19, 2008 at August 19, 2008 01:59 PM

I have been on RAT POISON I meant lamictal for 6wks,been weening off for 2wks! only got up 2a 100mg and then GOD woke me up and saved me! does anybody have any idea how long i will feel like i have been hit by a large bus.This med was to help not make life a complete nightmare!What would be nice is my doc & his rep eating some of this crap and then,they can tell all of us how great they feel!

Posted by: phil at August 24, 2008 08:50 AM

10 percent every 2 weeks is the answer. I’ve been up and down with this drug all over the place. But 10 percent at a time worked. Some cuts didnt’ cause symptoms, some did, but funny enough, there were many cuts when I started to feel pretty bad. I thought I actually needed the drug and this was upsetting. Until a few days later I started to feel better and proved to myself I was fine on the lower dosage. Going slow gives you the answers you need. Otherwise you’re stuck in a viscious cycle of the unknown! Then the docs will lather on the drugs. My doc was convinced I needed 200 mg. 10 months later, im on 35 and I’m functioning much better. Only problem is, now I gotta figure out a way to kick the xanax the guy put me on. Stuck at .75mg.

Posted by: mark at August 25, 2008 04:55 PM

does anyone have any information about the combination of Lamictal and Marijuana? i am about to begin taking Lamictal for a seizure disorder (i have no mental health issues, no recoed of depression or Bi-Polar disorder). this would be the only med i would be taking. i have no other perscriptions. i have been a smoker for about 8 years and dont really want to quit as it helps me increase my appitite and gain weight (i am cronically under weight, a family thing). anyone with any information would be appreciated.

Posted by: Jenny at August 27, 2008 04:00 PM

you will be just fine. i smoke regularly and am on 400 mg a day.

Posted by: brian at August 31, 2008 02:54 PM

my husband has started coming off of Lamictal since Thursday of this week. He was at 100mg and has been on it since April of this year. When should we expect the side effects, if any, to start and how long should they last?

Posted by: janette at August 31, 2008 07:34 PM

I started tapering off Lamictal in April ’08; I went from 200mg’s to finally cutting that last 25mg in half last week (12.5). I waited to until the headaches and uncontrollable crying stopped after each decrease.
Question: Some of the side effects I’ve had have oddly increased (losing tons of hair and “female” issues), I’ve also developed the metalic taste in my mouth that some report. However, I just realized that may be due to my sense of taste coming back. Has anyone had a similiar issue?
Thanks!

Posted by: Becky at September 4, 2008 04:42 AM

hi guys I started lamictal 12.5 mgs took 6 days didnt like the way it made me feel nausuous,headaches,feeling very emotional inside so i stopped it okay for 2 days then got headache,nausea,thought that was it then i started getting jittery,fatigued very shaky I havent been to work for a few days cuz feel like im going to get anxiety attack know its from lamictal it been 12 days since i last took final dose head is clearer but not 100% couldnt get up out of bed for a day or two thank God i have some sick time im asking doc to give me xanax or somethin g so i could go back to work and I thought Paxil withdrawal was bad give me a break !

Posted by: Linda at September 4, 2008 05:27 PM

hi Becky Im going out of my mind the uncontrolable crying jags I just started 12.5 mgs today after being off for 14 days How long do they last the crying jags I just cant work like this no one has given me an answer you are the one voice of experience Plese tell me soon I just went back on 12.5 today to stop withdrawal do you know how long they last Linda

Posted by: Linda at September 7, 2008 03:27 PM

Hi Linda,
I wish I could tell you specifically. It would be so helpful to know how long we had to endure what we’re going through. I believe it took 2 to 3 weeks with each decrease from 50 to 25 to 12.5, for me.
I’ll have to go through my notes and emails to see when exactly I cut the dosage. I know I wrote it down somewhere. I can’t keep track of days (or anything else for that matter). I think when going back up in dosage (I’ve had to do that too); it only takes a few days to get back to “normal”. Of course, everyone is different.
I wanted to stop the 12.5mg this weekend but the debilitating headache started Saturday morning and I decided to wait. I had too much to do to be incapacitated on the couch. The headache went away within a few hours after taking it.
One thing that helped me tremendously when I went from 200mg to 50mg and was going through withdrawal from Cymbalta was supplements from “The Road Back” (there’s a link on this website). I could barely move without throwing up and the weird indescribable dizziness wouldn’t stop every time I moved my head.
If you want to email me, I can give you more details. I don’t want to take up the whole page and look like an advertisement. But they really helped. Becky8171@msn.com
Hang in there! I’m going through the crying stuff now too. It’s embarrassing! I always end up crying while I’m driving; especially if the light stays red too long. Too much time to think, I guess. So far, I’ve pulled it together before arriving at work (usually an hour late).
I had a major meltdown on Monday that involved going to two grocery stores (well, only the parking lot of one. It was too crowded) and coming home with nothing because it was too complicated.
I’m feeling much better today. It WILL get better!

Posted by: Becky at September 10, 2008 05:57 AM

Hi Becky thanks for getting back to me Im on day 5 back on 12.5 mgs thing are startingto settle down a little Im ANGRY at the doc Im ANGRY at GSK this has been HORRENDOUS worse then PAXIL withdrawal yrs ago docs denied PAXIL withdrawal now its common knowledge This will be the case with this drug and to add insult to injury pdoc stated there was no withdrawal from LAMICTAL last week I couldnt tolerate any noise thats getting better havent driven in 1 wk hope this gets better again thanks for getting back to me

Posted by: Linda at September 11, 2008 06:44 PM

I feel your pain!!!! Becky and Linda. Last month was the month from HELL!!! I was on 400mgs and my doctor cut me back a 100 each week. I made it to 200mgs and thought I was going to loose my mind. I have never experienced side effects with anything else I have taken and I have taken several different antidepressants, even Paxil in the past which I’m back on after nine years for panic disorder and anxiety. I could knock my doc over the head for backing me off so quickly. I couldn’t think straight, 0 concentration, crying, high anxiety, big time upset stomach. Lost about 16lbs during the month of August. Everyday I would think, “will I wake up tomorrow and feel normal” Horrible thoughts would race through my mind like “what if the med did permanate damage, etc” It took me the whole month of August to finally get back to my old self. Needless to say I stabilized at 200mgs and 20mgs of Paxil and I’m doing great. It will definately get better and I know it’s hard sometimes to feel that, but it will!!! I did’t want to cut back anymore, to much going on with family visits and the holidays are coming up. If any doctor suggests taking Abilify, Hell NO, Don’t take it. It made my blood pressure go up which can be a side effect. When they tell you what could happen, it scares the S**T out of me, NO Thanks. Good luck to you both and I believe you’ll feel better soon.

Posted by: Theresa Sept.16, 2008 at September 16, 2008 01:21 PM

Jenny from August 27th, Lamictal and the herb you mentioned combining was okay for awhile then suddenly started having panic attacks. Never had a panic attack smoking and taking SSRI’s, Good Luck if you decide to do it, everyone’s different. I currently have stopped doing it 🙂

Posted by: Theresa Sept.16, 2008 at September 16, 2008 01:38 PM

By the way, to direct Ana to something she said at a different posting today (Sept 16) about my never providing any clinical aid, no one has referred to my prior posting here on July 1, 2008, that gave one idea how to taper a medication like Lamictal. Not that I am THE authority how to get off meds, but I find it interesting and fascinating that people are coming to this posting asking for medical direction, and by my review, none of the participants have a medical or clinical backround to provide such direction.

So, to you, Sally, that is possible malpractice by non-clinicians; subject to a violation of the good samaritan laws of some states? I don’t know, and I really do not care. But, you seem so bent to report me to authorities. Care to start with some of your peers? You started this debate, so don’t tell me this is all my fault I speak to you directly on this issue. Again, direct me to past postings I am in error, and I will acknowledge it. I have, and will in future times as fairly corrected, say I was wrong. Can you?

I’ll be waiting for the facts, or acknowledgement.

Posted by: therapyfirst at September 16, 2008 02:59 PM

hi im back on 12.5mgs of lamictal on day 10 i havent driven in 11 days and i have incredible sensitivity to sound on day 11 out of work every noise seems so loud to me im wandering when this will leave me and i can get back to work if anyone goes on a benzo like xanax and they suddenly stop alot of same symptoms has anyone had sweats and i got to day 14 before i went back on very thirsty kept drinking water thats over now if you look on symptoms of stopping benzo alot of same symptoms

Posted by: linda at September 16, 2008 05:07 PM

Linda, I have had the same withdrawal symptoms tapering off of Xanax, Prozac, and Seroquel. Hang in there, it will get better. Just knowing it’s withdrawals helped me know there was an end to it eventually. Anedotal stories give comfort where we often are alone in the suffering of real physical anguish.

Posted by: Stephany at September 16, 2008 08:49 PM

I am glad I found this site. I have had bi-polar for 8years. I have been off all medication for about 2years. Was on Seroquel and Wellburin for about 3 years before going off of all medication. I had develop diabeties while on seroquel. When I discovered it effected your blood sugar I decide to come off everything and try life without medication. I was able to work thru alot of stuff w/family help. But now I am having problems. My doctor wants to start me on Lamital 12.5 and slowly increase it. I have alot of allergies to medications, so I have been look up what the side effects are w/lamital. I couldn’t believe them. I’m not sure I should even try Lamital. Any sugesting?

Posted by: Deborah at September 17, 2008 02:11 PM

Hi Deborah,

I’m not a doctor and don’t try to pretend I’m one but I’ve taken all kinds of meds and researched enough crap that I hope I don’t sound like I’m full of myself but I sometimes feel like I can tell the doctor what’s up before they tell me. Anyways, if you don’t mind me asking you which bi-polar did you have, 1 or 2.
my doctor told me the same thing that i was bi-polar and I just didn’t feel like I fit the symptoms. I had really bad PMDD before my periods so for 2 weeks I was in a great mood and about 1 or 2 weeks out of the month I was depressed, felt like jumping out of my skin, hated noise and people to, etc. I had a male doctor, he didn’t catch on, so I was bi-polar. Did you tell your doctor about all the meds you are allergic to? If it’s okay to ask, what problems are you having? I would be leary about the lamictal. Maybe another doctor’s opinion would be good. I take 200mgs right now and don’t want to back off anymore since i have stabilized. I have other comments explaining my situation on this site. Are you allergic to other antidepressants. I’m not pushing taking meds but I know I can’t go without them 😦 If your not comfortable taking lamictal then really question the situation. Let me just say this, from what I have learned about lamictal is that you may be okay with a smaller dose and have no reaction like the dreaded rash they mention but sometimes after they raise your dosage you can suddenly start having side effects and they may not show up right away and then you may have the downward spiral of coming off of it if you have to. Everybody of coarse has a different chemical makeup but after reading this website you can see it’s not to promising coming off of it. Sorry if I sound so negative but if you have a problem with allergic reactions I would really think about this one. Hope everything works out for you and take care!!! Doctors are smart but they lack commonsense sometimes!

Posted by: Theresa Sept.18, 2008 at September 18, 2008 09:02 AM

Deborah,
I’ve been on meds for 13 years, currently going through withdrawal. I don’t know if I’ll have problems once this stuff is out of my system (diagnosed with Major Depression in ’95). I’ve read several of Dr. Peter Breggin’s books for help getting off the meds but he also mentions and has books about real help (other than meds) for even the most severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia.
If I have problems later (once the meds are gone), I have more of an idea of what therapy should be and hope that there actually is help out there. ALL the meds affect so much more than we were told (blood sugar, hair, memory, etc).

Posted by: Becky at September 18, 2008 09:49 AM

Theresa, Thanks for the encouragement.
You said you went from 400 to 200mgs Lamictal. I’ve seen many people diagnosed with Bipolar on these high doses and it’s driving me crazy because this is what the GSK Rx label(2006) says for Bipolar: “The target dose of LAMICTAL is 200 mg/day (100 mg/day in patients taking valproate, and 400 mg/day in patients taking Carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, or rifampin). In the clinical trials, doses up to 400 mg/day as monotherapy were evaluated, however, no additional benefit was seen at 400 mg/day compared to 200 mg/day.” The meds listed are other AEDs and an antibiotic.
It also says, if a patient is discontinued due to a rash they shouldn’t restart it. I see people say their doctors prescribed it AGAIN all the time. What’s the deal! I guess they don’t want to read all 58 pages. I think taking the oath, “First do no harm” has been forgotten.
Linda, Can you tell, I’m furious with the Docs and GSK too! Hang in there. I don’t have the issue with noise like I use to. I had that really bad while taking Vyvanse and Dexadrine. I would yell at my kids for every sound they made. I have issues with my sense of smell coming back. Even good smells like laundry detergent make me sick.

Posted by: Becky at September 18, 2008 10:54 AM

Wow! I am so glad I have found this page. I had been on 300mg Lamictal for over a year until just 2 1/2 weeks ago. I was down and out for the first several days, couldnt stay awake or really move. I now am having all of the signs you all have described here, and when I asked my Dr. about it he was clueless. I would never have agreed to take this stuff had I known the withdrawl would be so painful. Perhaps a page like this one with a collection of different voices will give pause to those in the medical field who seem to prescribe these meds without the knowlege they should possess on topics as crucial as withdrawl. I have decided to take back control of my own mental health firstly by getting back my body to be clear enough to work on my mind.

~Hanna~

Posted by: Hanna at September 18, 2008 01:49 PM

“Perhaps a page like this one with a collection of different voices will give pause to those in the medical field who seem to prescribe these meds without the knowlege they should possess on topics as crucial as withdrawl.”

Oh gosh, Hanna. Don’t bet on it.

How I wish…

PS: Good luck with your withdrawal. Folks here can recommend blogs to read and offer info based on their experience. My withdrawal from medication was abrupt: I had a gall bladder operation, forgot to take the meds and never went back to them. Recovering from the horror show that was surgery provided ample distraction from any withdrawal symptoms. I don’t suppose you still have your gall bladder, do you? (joking, it was no picnic, trust me)

Posted by: Sherry at September 18, 2008 03:34 PM

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I just got out of the hospital after a 10-day stay during which I stated that I wanted to be washed out of all meds. I’m still taking Atavan and Nexium but the clomiprimine and lamictal are no more. I thought I’d be dizzy for a few days and that was it…HA!

I’ve been on so much crap for severe depression and PTSD that I thought a wash-out would be good. During the stay, I had a ‘rage’ episode for which I needed some Haldol. That was a new one…

Anyway, I am home after ten days and have been so very nauseous, dizzy, diarrhea-ridden, sleepy, and prone to crying that I started to look online to see if it was just me or it was the meds. Thanks, Lamictal for these horrible withdrawal symptoms! I think that the thing that makes me the most angry is that the psych who followed me while I was an inpatient said he thought that there was ‘something’ going around in response to my complaints of feeling so sick. I now know what is going around- ignorance and stupidity.

Posted by: Sue at September 18, 2008 07:18 PM

Hi Becky,

I was happy to hear from you. How are you feeling other than the sense of smell you mentioned? How are you doing with other withdrawal symptoms? I think about everyone on this website and feel for all of you. My friends and family tried to be supportive and I appreciated them for it but unless someone experiences what we have gone through first hand they just don’t know and understand what it feels like to be in our shoes. It is a good feeling to be able to be in the company of others who feel the same feelings and can support one another. I hope you are starting to feel better. When I told the new doctor I am seeing that I was on 400mgs of lamictal she responded with, that’s a pretty high dosage and to me acted like she was thinking, “What the hell was the other doctor thinking”. I made have read her wrong but all I know is what she said and the expression on her face. I know that I was easily aggitated and irritable a lot on the 400 and your right, it didn’t do anymore good for me than a smaller dose. I have had bouts of major depression and panic attacks and don’t let me forget to mention OCD since I was 12yrs old and I’m turning 50 next month. I’m not crying the blues, no pun intended 🙂 because I know that there are a lot of us out there and how hard and how debilitating it is to suffer from mental illnesses. I saw my mom go through it when I was growing up. She was in and out of psychiatric wards for a long time. Last month I felt like I should check myself in to one. I had crying spells at work and wandered around outside like a lost soul. At home I felt anxiety and was anticipating when my next panic attack might come. I had to take xanax to sleep or I would have been up all night. When I reached 200mg of lamictal I wasn’t stable yet because I was still having the withdrawals so when I saw my new doctor I had asked her to put me on zoloft thinking it would help my anxiety, I about flipped out and went down pretty quick, head was in a constant state of foggyness, felt like I couldn’t grasp reality. It was then when I had the big panic attack. The next day I went to the doctor crying and said I can’t take it anymore, God I need help. I went on Paxil 20mgs and 2 weeks later I started to respond to it and felt less and less anxious. I have read some negative things from some on this website and I do understand their reaction to it. I know some gals that take zoloft and do great. I’m probably going on and on to much but I like to share things that others might be able to feel a bond with. Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing!!!! I want to hear you say that you are doing great!!! 🙂 and that goes for everyone else to who would like to share. Best Wishes For You and All, Theresa

Posted by: Theresa sept. 18, 2008 at September 18, 2008 08:19 PM

Theresa, thanks for asking. I’m not doing so good yet. I had to quit my job. I couldn’t come up with any more excuses for not being able to get there on time. The truth is; It’s a HUGE ordeal to get ready for work. Not due to depression but due to cognitive issues. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to put an outfit together and do my make up and hair. It’s so hard to explain. I can’t shop for clothes or food, can’t cook. These things have been going on for a while and have gotten worse with withdrawal. You’re right about people that haven’t been through anything like this. And my mom wants to know, “What’s new?”

Posted by: Becky at September 20, 2008 09:48 AM

wow – finding y’all is such a relief———-

in 1994 (same time as you, jamie), in a tucsan, az recovery retreat, doctors diagnosed ptsd too, theresa, (from childhood trauma – another sermon) and guessed, not diagnosed, bipolar. they prescribed lithium as if i were. physical reactions were severe. various “coctails” after that included wellbutrin, maoi’s, prozac, klonopin, zoloft, xanax, elavil, pamelor and more, not necessarily in that order. eventually, three years or so ago, settled on effexor sr and lamictal, both gradually increased to 300mg a day – still prescribing as if i were bipolar. i thought i was so fragile, rather than question, i assumed they were right———-

i’m an art professor. one of my students and i used to laugh about how many times i would fall (thanks chris, stephanie, leslie – it’s only now after all that time that i can stop fearing something else like seizures, degenerating knees, vision scramble or something – unless . . .) during that time. just suddenly, anywhere, walk – walk – walk -BAHZZ down on all fives – face last. not often, but too often — and “without the ‘oh i’m gonna fall’ part of falling”———-

there were more oddities, for instance an immenselyly amusing version of dyslexia, but none so damaging – physically i mean———-

i’m an artist, and i don’t need to tell any of you how your creative fires wane on these meds. i haven’t finished a painting or written an article or exhibited my work for three years. that’s enough. i’m not going to relinquish another single day to that devastating non-life. God gave me my art; medication took it away; i want it back. so last year, i quit my job (couldn’t see med-withdrawal, putting my great students at risk — not to mention department and univesity committees, political responsibilities, a sometimes toxic work environment, clingers, climbers and back-stabbers, etc.), besides, i was just solvent enough, and, with doc agreement, have slowly withdrawn over almost a year———-

(back in ’95 i continued in therapy for early childhood trauma for a few months to my relief, and these years later tests finally confirm a type of moderate depression, and eliminated possibility of bipolar and improper medication.)

as of this week, i have poured out 2/3 of my 75mg effexor capsule and have broken my 150mg lamictal in half. (now, pretend i’m listing every single symptom again). it’s a little more thrashing this time than the beginning of cutting doses. (and those dreeeeeeams). doc told me to call if i needed, and i just might have — except i found you guys (also our ex-effexor society). you must imagine how much it has strengthened me to identify and clarify the brain-changes – physical too – without panic———- without calling the doc———- it’s possible i can go it without any new medication, ever———- that’s you. thanks———-

three interesting withdrawal symptoms for me———- first, i think the one you call “brain freeze” – does it sound like a pale version of aluminum foil in the wind? (did she just spazz out?) no seriously, aside from the car-rear-window-bobbing-puppy-dog-head feeling, do you hear a faint sound? it’s kind of entertaining, uh yeah well———- second, after years of sparse and somewhat uninteresting dreams, the old scary, epic, exciting, complex, cryptic, enigmatic dreams are back, and i’m ecstatic———-

the third is, after so many years of a rather bizarre stoicism, this week, crying over a news article no less, was cleansing and welcome. believe it. imagine how many grateful sobs of relief and release i’ve cherished reading your postings———-

mine is a slighter story than yours i’m sure, though one doesn’t measure sorrow by degrees———- thanks, love and honor———- God be with us ———-parker

Posted by: parker at September 20, 2008 09:53 AM

parker, what a relief someone else has the falling thing I can relate to! it’s quite interesting, because it really has no explanation i can find except to my addition of Lamictal, i honestly think it’s a black out, because there just is no warning except once I am on the ground.

Good luck.

Posted by: Stephany at September 20, 2008 02:01 PM

Becky,
Since coming here I’m beginning to realize that a lot of my “symptoms” have been the effect of medications. My life totally fell apart around 1990. I’d been depressed for years, but no one knew about PTSD in my rural state. I had to go to Boston to get diagnosed correctly. I remember Bessel van der Kolk telling me then “there is no medication that will help PTSD”.

But I didn’t want to hear that, to be honest. Here were all these docs *swearing* the pills would help. They didn’t. In fact, I nearly died about 8 years ago from them.

Over the years I’ve learned to manage my PTSD symptoms. I got to the point where I could see the meds were robbing me of my emotions. In fact, they were a hindrance to any therapy I might want to do. Last year the docs *finally* noticed I have hypothyroidism. I’ve had it since I was in my late twenties, in fact. Treating that has taken away the dysthimia I’ve had for decades. I still have PTSD, SAD and intermittent bouts of truly frightening depression but I’m able to manage it all.

I’m now working part time in a job that’s interesting and demanding. It’s getting me back in touch with the competent person I once knew as myself.

The reason I’m writing all this is because I remember all too well being just where you are now. You really don’t *have* to explain it to me and, I suspect, to some others here. Life was very difficult. It was hard to explain to people how I could be unable to tell time, spell, write, cook, etc., why I was unable to get out of the house, how I could suddenly get lost going to places I went all the time.

I went to a nature photography workshop today. In a town 40 minutes away. I used to own a lovely Olympus SLR camera, with fancy lenses, etc. I had to trade it in for a digital for dummies because I was unable to remember how to use it. It took me over two years to be able to snap a picture in dummy mode with the new camera.

I was astonished today to realize I understood most of what the instructor and other students were talking about. My memory wasn’t the best in the class (hey, I’m 60, whaddaya want?), but it wasn’t total wipeout as it once was. In short, I’ve recovered cognition I thought was lost forever. Oh, and I enjoyed the class. It was incredibly relaxing, especially when we went out in the field, roaming around taking pictures.

So don’t give up hope. You don’t know how this will sugar off for you. Take the best possible physical care of yourself (without beating up on yourself, just do what you can). Each step you make towards health is a step in the right direction.

Best wishes,
Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at September 20, 2008 04:35 PM

hi Becky sorry to hear you quit your job Im almost 3wks out of work havent driven in 15days back on 12.5mg Lamictal 13 days I had to tell my job generally whats going on with me kinda embarassing thank God i have sick time i would luv to get back to work this coming week all this from taking lamictal 12.5 for 6 days and then stopping I guess i should have known better messing with mood stabilizer i weened myself off of 50mg paxil to 25mg over aver a few yrs and currently take 100mg seroquel when i tried this Lamictal i found itmade me hyper and emotional and thats why i stopped it but i mean i functioned so after reaching day 14 it scared the hell out of me uncontrollable crying jags so i went back on anyway sorry to babble but it helps to vent It will one day be common knowlege that lamictal can have HORRIFIC withdrawal

Posted by: Linda at September 20, 2008 06:46 PM

Sherry,
THANK YOU! Your comments helped me tremendously over the weekend. I WAS beating myself up. I’m a little less fearful now too that the cognitive problems are permanent. I had it in my head that if I had a couple of weeks off, my brain would function enough to get organized and get all the things done that never get done then miraculously by week 2 I’d be back to normal, polish up my resume and viola! When the week ended and I hadn’t made it upstairs to clean, etc. I began to panic. I got lost (well, forgot where I was going) on Friday too!
I have hypothyroidism too. I was luckier than you though. The 1st psychiatrist I saw suggested I get that checked. Unfortunately, it was still after being put on Zoloft & Dexadrine.
Linda,
Thank you too. I hope you’re feeling better. I think you’re right, eventually withdrawal will be known. I hope the long term effects of taking these meds will be known too. When I went to the doctor because I was depressed, I was 24, had two little kids and an alcoholic husband. I needed guidance and direction and to change my circumstances. However, I was told I had a “chemical imbalance” and that antidepressants had no side effects other than those that would subside in a few days. HA!

Posted by: Becky at September 22, 2008 07:14 AM

Thanks so much for all of this information.

I was tapered from 300mg/d to ZERO in a five day taper. So many of the things you all are listing are problems I’ve had or I have bu didn’t realize were drug related. When you are so ‘messed up,’ you just assume that everything bad is because of the problems you have… The drugs are supposed to be the “cure” after all…

Has anyone been really itchy? I’ve been itchy for a few days now and have gone to extremes to try to stop the itching. I’ve been at zero for eight days now and the withdrawal effects don’t seem to be letting up yet. I have to be really careful what I eat as the diarrhea is still as virulent as ever. The dizziness is still there but isn’t quite as bad as it was.

One good note: my husband said I wasn’t whimpering in my sleep yesterday morning. I have had horrible nightmares (sometimes night ‘terrors’) for a few years now and would wake screaming in fright and whine/whimper in fear as I slept as well. I don’t remember the last time I had a pleasant or even neutral dream. The fact that the whimpering wasn’t there (for even one night) is progress.

I’m grateful that I’ve found this site. I know I’m not totally alone in this now. Thanks.

Posted by: Susie at September 22, 2008 09:26 AM

Wow Susie. That is a fast. I don’t think you can even call it a taper! I think the only reason to go that fast would be due to a rash or pregnancy. I’m scared to death to stop this last 12.5mgs I’ve been on for almost a month because I know whats ahead. Everytime I hold off for a few hours I get a debilitating headache. Just keep in mind; if things don’t get better soon or they get worse, withdrawal symptoms really can be long and hard. Hit some of the links and you can find info on nutrition and tapering suggestions. And what always helps me most; reading other peoples similar experiences. It’s kept me sane, sort of.

I never had the itching but on Askapatient.com there are 1000+ posts and MANY of them list itching (pruritus, paresthesia, etc.)they call it by lots of different names on the label that no layperson would know (unless they get obsessed and start looking everything up, like me). Lot’s of people listed NIGHTMARES too. I don’t know what I would have done if I had nightmares. I can’t even watch scary commercials!

Posted by: Becky at September 22, 2008 03:01 PM

Becky,
Thank you for your thank you. It really was quite heartening to find myself able to do something I never thought I’d be able to do again.

Best wishes,
Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at September 22, 2008 06:23 PM

Hello,

My girlfriend just started taking limictal about 1 month ago ( 2 weeks on 25mg then increased to 50mg for 2 weeks). She has had the most severe neck pain, we have been to the ER 4 times now in two weeks (the docs there thinks she’s a drug addict), two of the times she was given a shot of toradol, that did help for a day or two, but then back to the pain. Well we are trying to wean her off this, she went down to 25mg for four days then 12.5mgs for the next fours. She is on the first day of the 12.5mgs. She has had nightmares, and hallucinations very bad. She does nothing but sleep, which i think is best, but after doing some reading on the withdrawl symptons, i think we are trying to cut down too quick, even though she has only been on this a month. any comments would be helpful.

Posted by: Jim at September 23, 2008 03:38 PM

whats worse. ZXanax or lamictal withdrawal.

Posted by: Mark at September 24, 2008 12:32 PM

to mark above:

both & neither: it depends on the person, dose, length of use, and psychological acceptance to end the use. Benzo withdrawal can have risks of lethality at high doses, usually due to consequences of withdrawal seizures and/or exacerbations of medical conditions that are driven by the withdrawal reaction: I once had a patient who almost had an MI/heart attack after abrupt d/c of xanax abuse.

I haven’t seen or read about it, but Lamictal being in the antiseizure class could also cause withdrawal seizures with abrupt d/c. My big complaint with this drug is the ridiculous overprescribing dosages: I have seen 100-200mg have the intended affect WITH therapy in place, and I much prefer staying at or lower than 100mg/day. Remember, this is a drug that HAS to be titrated at 25mg a WEEK to start it, so what moron(doctor) would taper a patient any more than that if the patient is on 100mg+ and on it more than 6 months?

Hope this helps.

therapyfirst(board Cert Psych MD)

Posted by: therapyfirst at September 24, 2008 01:57 PM

Jim,
I was hoping someone more qualified (not necessarily a doctor) would have responded by now. I don’t want to give specific advice because everyone is SO different. Plus, I was on Lamictal for 6 years. I started tapering off in March and probably won’t be done for another few weeks. However, I’ve recently read a few stories from people (some on this page) that took a very low dose for a very short time and it seemed their withdrawal lasted longer than the time they took the drug. This stuff is crazy and unbelievable. It’s nice to see someone being so supportive and understanding. Best of luck to you both

Posted by: Becky at September 24, 2008 05:14 PM

I am so glad that I found this site.
I have battled depression since I was 18 years old, at least that’s when I first started being treated for it!!! I had an alcoholic father, who I believe had many issues such as depression as well, who later passed away at the age of 46, when I was 20, from Lung Cancer. I feel that only added to my many issues and depression. I was on so many different meds through out the years, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Prozac, Paxil and for the past few years Lexapro which I actually liked the best. I also take Klonopin .5 mg’s when I need it, which I usually cut in half, unless it’s before bed to help me sleep. About a year ago a new psych that I went to put me on Lamictal and I couldn’t handle the side effects so I stopped and went back to the Lexapro. About 6 months ago the Lexapro wasn’t working, I was out of work and VERY depressed. All I did was sleep all day, or lay around and didn’t even have the energy to shower, a person who when feeling good was always worrying about clothes, hair, makeup etc. I was also very skinny before battling depression!!! Well I had no job and no insurance and luckily found someone who was a member of a beach club where my ex boyfriend worked and agreed to see me for free!!! He seemed to really know what he was talking about, graduated very young, and basically seems to be a genius. He suggested that it sounded like I had Atypical depression with some symptoms of Bipolar disorder because of severe mood swings, and basically being a bitch! Would go from being happy, to crying to wanting to bite someone’s head off!! I thought that was basically hormones and from the depression! Well he said he felt that the antidepressants were harming me more than helping so he had me wean off of the Lexapro and starting on Lamictal. I was up to 150mg’s and at first when starting it was very sick, but got better. For a while I was feeling better took it at night and was able to sleep, had alot more energy and could actually accomplish things! That was about 6 months ago. Since, 4 months ago I moved to North Carolina because I couldn’t find a job, boyfriend couldn’t deal with my moods anymore, and I had no choice but to move here to my Mom’s. I’ve since gotten a job and got insurance and went to a new psych since the meds stopped working and was feeling depressed and anxious again! Aside from the fact that I gained over 15 pounds, and got horrible acne from the meds, including on my neck and chest, and big bumps that were hard like.
Needless to say I didn’t want to take it anymore and brought myself down to 1/2 (75 mgs) than to half of that. The doctor I went to wasn’t even really listening to what I was saying, and just prescribed me Cymbalta and told me to just stop the Lamcital when I brought up the side effects that all of the psychs claim Lamictal doesn’t have he said to go down slowly. I didn’t take anything last night, and feel HORRIBLE. Dizzy, flu-like and the blurred vision is even worse than when I was taking it. Feel SO anxious, can’t concentrate, have a horrible headache, and don’t know how I am going to make it through another day of work! Who wants to tell their boss that they have mental issues!!!! People who haven’t been through it just can’t understand it! Aside from that, the Cymbalta was horrible, so I stopped it immediately, after about 4 days, my doctor than had his secretary tell me to come pick up samples of a different med, and they almost gave me something for scizophrania in error, geat office huh? Than gave me Pristiq which I took once, and almost fell asleep at my desk at work!!!! Haven’t taken it since I’m scared of more side effects added to the withdrawal symptoms of the Lamictal. Not sure what to do, I don’t want to be depressed, I can’t think straight, can’t function, can’t see straight and feel just horrible!!!!! Same symptoms as everyone else and have to be at work when all I want to do is go home and get in, all I want to do is sleep, and no matter how much I do still don’t feel rested!
I am sick of these meds, sick of side effects and sick of withdrawals and doctors who just keep giving you more and more. I would love for them to take them and see how it feels! Sorry for the long babbling, just very confused and fed up! Will I ever feel better, or be normal???? Does everyone in this world need to be on meds to get by and take meds on top of meds????

Posted by: Teresa at September 26, 2008 09:46 AM

I wanted to give an update for anybody out there who tapered Lamictal due to pregnancy.

I tapered before we started trying…didn’t want to risk anything. I felt GREAT until the 5th month of my pregnancy. I definitely had the thoughts like maybe I am not bipolar at all, and don’t need medication.

It was about week 20 of my pregnancy, and everything came back fast and furious. I am a rapid cycler, so one day up, next day down, repeat. Exhausting.

After speaking with my doctor, I am going to try my best to hold out until the baby is born, then the DAY he is born, I will start to take it again. I won’t be able to breastfeed, but who knows what kind of mother I would be if I didn’t try to help myself ASAP.

Some other information that my doctor told me: women with bipolar are 99% likely to have postpartum depression, unless they have some kind of plan in place for after delivery. Also, she said that with this postpartum depression often comes psychotic episodes. yikes!

I hope this helps somebody out there =) It was very difficult for me to find any information about pregnancy and bipolar.

Posted by: Erin at September 27, 2008 01:02 PM

my husband was taken down from 100mg to 50 mg. last month with no withdrawl. the only possible one was he was a little tired 2 days and then it was over. Today, his psych. lowered it again to 25 mg and his paxil cr to 12.5. I don’t know if we should wait on the paxil for 1 month to see how he does with the 25 mgs.of Lamictal or just go ahead and reduce both. any advice would be appreciated.

Posted by: janette at September 29, 2008 08:29 PM

Janette,
the most conservative and cautious and therefore, safest, way to go in my opinion, is one drug at a time…and you want to wait a couple of weeks between tapers…withdrawal symptoms have been known to creep up a full month after a taper…

some people, and your husband maybe one of these folks, don’t have a horrible time coming off meds…so again, the above is said with the caution I’ve come to espouse after seeing hundreds suffer horribly because they were not among the lucky and being conservative would have saved them a lot of pain.

Posted by: Gianna at September 30, 2008 10:37 AM

thanks Gianna. If we should start seeing any withdrawl effects would it be safe to say that it is coming from dropping down to 25 mgs or is it that it is just taking that long to have them? then what should we do? ride it out or go back to 50 mgs or 100 mgs. I don’t think he really needed this med anyway, he was having alot of guilt about something he had done when he was put on it.Once the info was out his whole attitude changed. He really wants to come off of it because he stays sleepy all of the time.24 hours of sleep would not be enough for him. He has nodded off while driving many time and almost went over a mountain drop off. Not good. I hope and pray that this drop in dose goes as good as the other.

Posted by: janette at September 30, 2008 07:47 PM

Hi Becky and Theresa

Thanks for responding, sorry for the long wait for a response. The last few weeks have been very upside down.
The doctors never side if I was a 1 or 2. The problems I have, is my mind never shuts down, is constantly going, I have problems sleeping, I give very depressed and go into a shell, or I have alot of energy and am repainting my whole house. When I was told I had bi-polar, it was like a person screaming in my head, even though I know it was just me, my thoughts would be so loud.
As far as allegies, I am allegic to Zoloft, Geodon, I itch, I am also allegic to Demerol, Anti-Inflamitory medication with them I go into antiflatic shock(I think thats a close spelling)and it seems with each new medication lately I have had a reaction to it. The problem I have had lately is very moody from day to day. Alot of the time not know why. Thank you for both of you taking the time to respond.

Posted by: Deborah at October 1, 2008 09:05 PM

Hi,
It has been 6 days since I last wrote. I am feeling a bit better, but not great. I am now down to about 18.75 mg’s of Lamictal because the pills I have are 150 mg’s and I have been breaking them down so that I don’t have to get a new script and have many pills left. I started on Pristiq about 5 days ago and have been very anxious, and having HORRIBLE headaches. I have also been very very tired. I could fall asleep right now as I am at work, and have such a bad headache, that by the time I get home from work I just want to lay down!!!
Does anyone know if that is still from the Lamictal withdrawals, or possibly from the Pristiq??
Any advice would be great!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 2, 2008 11:24 AM

I’ve been off of Lamictal for 2.5 weeks (300mg to zero in a 5-day inpatient taper) and now and have some good feedback.

Here are the side effects I’ve been going through with the withdrawal: lots of itchiness (even had to buy Vagisil), diarrhea, dizziness, exhausting, hard time sleeping, crying @ the drop of a hat, irritability, extreme moodiness, meaner than normal when I’m mean, lack of total bladder control, upset stomach (sticking to bland foods), severe headaches (800mg ibuprofen doesn’t knock them out), and a twitch in my eyelid muscle.

On the good side, my cravings for sugar have gone from a 10 to a 1!!! Yeah! I am finally sleeping without the horrible nightmares/night terrors every ‘sleeping’ minute!

I’m still having problems but have seen some positives finally. Maybe some of this extra weight will go since the sugar cravings are gone thus far.

I see the Psych on Saturday so we’ll see what he says. The plan (when I left the hospital) was to put me on Prozac when I saw him again but I think I’m going to tell him that that I’m not going to take anything until I’m done with symptoms of this withdrawal. I’m still taking the Atavan when I’m flipping out and 2mg at night to sleep but it’s only that, Nexium, and Allegra right now. The ibuprofen is there for the headaches but no more psych drugs for now. I’m so exhausted (physically and mentally) from the last few weeks that I’m done for now.

Posted by: Susie at October 2, 2008 06:52 PM

Teresa,
I don’t think there’s any way to know whether it is withdrawal, side effects from a new Rx or an interaction between them when you’re doing both at the same time. I read your previous post and can relate to a lot of what you’re going through.
I would recommend reading; “Your drug may be your problem” by Dr. Peter Breggin. It was helpful to me and fairly easy to understand. However, if any one knows of any other books that are helpful and in laymen’s terms, please post (for both our sakes). I know how hard it can be comprehending information with all this stuff going on (withdrawal, side effects, headaches, everyday life!). But I think it’s important to arm yourself with as much information as you can before/while trying to get help.
ABOUT YOUR DOCTOR: If he wasn’t listening to you on your first visit, (as a new potentially frequent customer) it’s not going to get better. It’s like when you go to a hair salon; they always take more time and try their best on your first visit because they want you to come back. Later, they get a little lazy and aren’t as careful because they think they have your business no matter what. Almost giving you the wrong medication is a huge red flag also. However, they are starting to give that medication for schizophrenia (Risperdal, Zyprexa) to everyone for everything; it might not have been an accident. Either way, Big RED FLAG!

Posted by: Becky at October 3, 2008 09:37 AM

Becky-
Thank you SO much for responding!!! I def need to find a new doctor and I am going to look some up this weekend and call for an appt. It’s hard to find the energy to do things other than work when I feel this way, as I am sure you know. I reall do need to though!! It’s scary how these doctors just prescribe things like they are candy, without really even listening or taking the time to know what they are treating!!!
I know that right now I have a headache, feel dizzy, my vision is VERY blurred and I can not concentrate or think straight at all!! I’ve been saying and doing really stupid things! I have been SOOOOO tired that all I want to do after work is go home and go to bed!!!!! Thank you for your recommendation on the book, I will def read it! I’m open to anything, sick of these meds, sick of changing meds, and sick of being SICK and still anxious!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 3, 2008 10:19 AM

The horrible headaches were the biggest reason it took me over 7 months to taper.

Susie, 300 to 0 in 5 days sounds dangerous, even as in patient! Please keep in mind that withdrawal can last a long time and sometimes symptoms start later because of Lamictal’s long half-life.
I don’t say that to be negative. I’m glad you’re seeing positives and I think you have a good plan.
I say it so you are aware; if your headaches and crying, etc. persist or other things come up its highly likely to be withdrawal for a while and not that you need to be on medication for life because of mental illness. Your psych may not tell you that tomorrow and his/her plan MAY be different (based on his/her needs, not yours).
Best Wishes.

Posted by: Becky at October 3, 2008 09:24 PM

I saw my psych today and I have some good news. He agreed with me that I shouldn’t go on any other drugs right now. Yeah! He ordered blood tests b/c of the diarrhea and I apparently have microcytic anemia per the blood tests in the hospital. He called me with the results at noontime but I wasn’t home. I guess I’ll find out on Monday. Maybe the anemia is partial explanation of the tiredness…

Thanks, Becky, for the info. What other side effects could arise? What should I look out for? I read somewhere that Lamictal can be like illegal drugs in that you can get “flashbacks” years later. Is that true? If so, what causes it? What kinds of “flashbacks” are there supposed to be? Just curious…this is nasty stuff.

I did tell my psych that this is nasty stuff. I said I’m sure it helps some people but it’s nasty stuff all the same.

Cheers.

Posted by: Susie at October 4, 2008 07:14 PM

For what it is worth, I have come here so often to read what people are commenting on, and all I can say is if you write here for advice, there are no qualified people to give you direction on how to get off meds. So, if you want to put your trust in non-clinicians, you get what you put your faith in!!!

Posted by: therapyfirst at October 4, 2008 08:35 PM

no disrespect TF but given that docs are in denial about withdrawal issues with lamictal, i’d say non-clinician advice is pretty damn good.

Posted by: Philip Dawdy at October 4, 2008 08:51 PM

None taken. I just hope you and the readers appreciate the tone of some of these writers who seem a bit desperate for advice/direction, and if someone offers an opinion that goes sour, well, in this day and age, someone has to be accountable, god forbid it would be the person who does not use common sense in the first place.

As I have said in the past, any med that requires a titration to an effective dose should be tapered in similar fashion. I feel the July 1 posting works for the majority of patients I have applied it, I am sorry it is not perfect for everyone. If someone struggles, so go slower. I also said I do not believe Lamictal should be used for most people above 100-200mg a day. That is the question I propose readers consider and ask the prescriber why go higher.

This comment is for you, Mr Dawdy, so any readers who would like to debate further, I apologize for writing but wanted to note this to Philip and the general readership; I will not write further.

I hope Nemeroff really is gone!

Posted by: therapyfirst at October 5, 2008 07:48 AM

TF,
Why would anyone trust the word of the very people who put them on this stuff? This isn’t about you as a professional and This is not meant to knock your advice; it’s a serious question.

Trusting the very profession that puts so many people on so many of these drugs, the very profession that refuses–when it comes to cases–side effects and withdrawal syndromes, seems a circular logic at best. At worst it seems dangerous. It makes a LOT more sense to most of us here to listen to people who’ve been successful in tapering off and staying off medications.

We’ve had our problems in communicating in the past, TF, but I hope you can understand that I’m asking a serious question here, not trying to bash you as a professional. You may be great at helping people withdraw. But, if so, you are not at all typical of your colleagues. So what are we to do–trust the very people who’ve caused the problem to get us out of it?

By the way, I was astonished when I started on thyroid medication to have the doctor listen to me, readily agree I was having side effects and advise me to cut back and build up more slowly. This very same doctor and his staff pooh-poohed me when I had the same problems with psychotropics. Doctors behave very differently when a medication is for something “physical” as opposed to psychotropics. So I don’t find GPs much help in this arena, either.

(For the record, I first noticed the fact that “a little goes a long way” with me when I was taking illegal drugs in the sixties. Everyone else would take a tab of acid and have a nice little trip. I’d take a third of a tab and travel to Mars for several days. Nope, not my brightest moment, for sure. Maybe it’s because I simply never take anything but I seem to not need as much of anything as most people to get a big effect.)

I’m hoping you’ll allow this to be a conversation instead of perceiving my question as an attack. I have my fingers crossed on your behalf. I repeat: I am not your enemy.

Posted by: Sherry at October 5, 2008 07:48 AM

Thanks Philip! I’m very careful about my responses. I don’t say, “You should do this or do that”. I’m going to leave it at that, I’d hate to see this thread turn into an argument. I’ve found it and your site extremely helpful in countless ways.
Susie, I’m soo happy he agreed and ordered blood tests. I’m actually tearing up over it! I had low serum ferritin (iron storage) that was missed for a long time, despite 35 bruises that wouldn’t go away and about 30,000 strands of hair lost.

FYI: Anemia is listed in the 2006 Lamictal label on page 16 and 38 (Pg 38 lists as Rare: Anemia, iron deficiency anemia and macrocytic anemia).

I’ve never heard of flashbacks. Maybe that’s if you had hallucinations or nightmares. I also haven’t been off for that long. I took my last 12.5mg on 9/25/08.

As for other things that could arise; it’s so different for everyone. For example; What bothers ME most is concentration and cognitive dysfunction. Although, I don’t know if it’s withdrawal or damage I didn’t notice before. YOU mentioned your eye twitching. It could be ANYTHING since the drug was affecting our body and minds “command center” (got that from a book 🙂
If I experience something and think it could be a side effect, I go to askapatient.com. It reassures me that I’m not crazy. So far, there’s always been someone who has experienced what I was. I wouldn’t worry about or look for what might happen, just keep it in the back of your mind in case something comes up that concerns you. Of course, now you also need to know what comes with microcytic anemia. FUN!

Posted by: Becky at October 5, 2008 08:14 AM

Therapyfirst, people are here because they’ve been fucked over by their “professional clinicians.” That’s the point. Talking to other people who’ve been the same withdrawal symptoms is a valuable source of advice. How insecure are you? Having a piece of paper on your wall signifies not very much.

And, Sally, I have to disagree with your comment above. I’m bipolar. If I speed in my car, that’s a psychiatric symptom. But I know what you’re saying.

Posted by: Francesca Allan at October 5, 2008 09:47 AM

This is a very good thread!
I found a lot of help when I was tapering Effexor on Charles Medawar Socialaudit discussion board.
It’s a pity it’s not open.
There are many testimonies of people withdrawing and psychiatrists not helping them.
I had no help from any psychiatrist.
During Paxil, Seroquel, Topamax, Lammictal, Neurontim and Klonopin withdrawal – yep, withdrew all them together – the psychiatrist that was helping me said: “-It’s not withdrawal. It’s all in your head. It’s psychological.”
She didn’t even had experience withdrawing Topamax. I took this drug when it was launched and she never helped anyone withdrawing from it.
She simply didn’t know about withdrawal symptoms and… didn’t trust my words.
That’s ok! I KNEW it was withdrawal and that is the important.
The only thing I regret was letting her prescribe me Effexor after reaching the end of withdrawing all this drugs.
Since she assumed that I was “depressed” not because of withdrawal but because I was clinically depressed… Effexor.
Please TF!
Go to hell!
This is a very important topic and you should respect people here.
You have already disrespected many people on Furious Seasons.
Please!
Open your blog and let people alone!
As you once said to a person:
GET A LIFE!

Posted by: Ana at October 5, 2008 11:01 AM

I hope this thread does not end up like some others where people had to answer aggressions from so-called psychiatrists.
Some people who likes to share ideas with other people who suffered the same sometimes stop coming here because of these aggressions.
What these “psychiatrists” have to say we already know and have heard it from real psychiatrists in real world and suffered in our bodies and minds the terrible effects.
It would be terrible having to suffer the same aggression again.

Posted by: Ana at October 5, 2008 11:08 AM

I told Philip I was not going to reply further, but I came back on and read Sherry’s comment a couple of times, so if it is sincere in the statement:”…asking a serious question here, not trying to bash you as a professional.”, I will offer my reply intended as support.

This comment isn’t a revelation, but it applies so I repeat it again: trust is earned, as it goes by deeds, not words. In my OPINION, a responsible doctor should be advising all patients of risks/benefits, and that includes what are considered maximal doses of a medication in question. What I have not understood with Lamictal is what is the draw to use a drug that requires titration by 25mg increases every 7 days to get to an effective dose of about 100mg, when colleagues are now pushing the envelope to 300, 400mg from what some patients bring to my door of late. That is not just bizarre, it borders on absurd to me.

My real concern at this posting is people are writing in to ask how to get off prescription meds, and to my knowledge, while experience has value, you have to ask yourself does it provide reliability when I do not read many saying “go back to your doctor” for clinical support.

Please look at it this way: if someone goes off a drug and develops complications because they did not fully understand the recommendations via an internet site, who picks up the pieces here? The prescribing doc, who most likely wasn’t aware of the decision to d/c (in my experience most patients who stop meds don’t tell me first), people here at this site, who don’t have a medical expertise from what I have read, or an ER doc who doesn’t even know the patient and will most likely “band aid” the problem anyway?

You folks mean well, I do sense that. But, at the end of the day, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Accept this or not, it’s your call. I’m just letting you know it’s a pain in the ass to pick up pieces when most of the time the incident could have been avoided with some honest, direct dialogue. If a patient is unhappy with a medication I prescribed, I would not expect him/her to stay on it. Other options will obviously be the next topic.

Hence, it comes back to my alias, therapyfirst!

I think a good number of patients would avoid these issues if that was put out there up front! Dialogue is a lot less invasive than drugs.

Be well.

Posted by: therapyfirst at October 5, 2008 03:00 PM

Therapyfirst, perhaps one day you will understand how offensive you can be to some of us “folks.” The reason we don’t advise return to the prescribing doctor is because their advice tends to be trash. Thanks for checking in. My day wouldn’t be the same without you.

Posted by: Francesca Allan at October 5, 2008 04:49 PM

THANK YOU! You just explained it all to yourself. Your “colleagues are putting patients on 300 and 400mg which is bizarre and absurd”! You call it, “pushing the envelope” I call it destroying peoples lives as you cash their check.
Hence, the reason we seek advice from people who don’t have anything to gain from our pain. People may give advise that is not the best, but at least we don’t give poison that messes up a persons body and mind without thinking twice about it.
I wonder why your patients don’t tell you when they want to go off their meds? And if you think picking up the pieces when someone is in crisis is a “pain in the ass”…you need a new job.

Posted by: Becky at October 5, 2008 05:00 PM

All I have to say is, I don’t think any of the psychiatrists I went to have a CLUE what they are talking about, and what they are giving people!
I have now had three doctors tell me that there are NO withdrawal symptoms from Lamictal, well BULLSHIT!!!! They are the WORST withdrwawal stymptoms that I have ever had from ANY other med! So for me to trust a psychiatrist at this point is NOT going to happen. I have a had a headache to the point of not being able to get out of bed for three days and have taken more advil and tylenol and everything else that you can imagine and it still did not go away, even with TAPERING!!!! I would love for these doctors prescrining the meds to take them and see how it feels to be put on and off of so many different meds, and the withdrawal symptoms, and than see how easy it is to say well since that’s not working let’s try this, sure let’s just try it and see what happens, maybe you will freak out, get sick as hell, lose your job!!!!!! These meds are BULLSHIT and so are all of these incompetent doctors prescribing them!!!!! YES, I am VERY pissy because these doctor make me FN SICK!!!!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 5, 2008 06:13 PM

Please Philip!
Don’t let this thread turn into a battlefield created by TherapyFirst.
This person has already destroyed many discussions.
Not on this important topic!
We cannot take arrogance any longer.

Posted by: Ana at October 5, 2008 07:59 PM

Thank you, Becky.

Posted by: Francesca Allan at October 5, 2008 08:04 PM

So, I have created a battlefield by responding to a request from someone who has challenged me in the past, and now asked I reply to aid the debate here. Hmmm, Did I miss the yellow caution signs?

To the Fransescas, Ana, and the general S-crowd (I exclude Sherry and Stephany here with that term), thank you for the validation.

As I wrote to Philip personally, I don’t get what is hostility/slander that deserves banning, and what is this anti-psychiatry bullshit too many here spew and gets validated by its printing.

Sherry asked my opinion, I offered it fairly, and now the usual folks (i.e. the usual suspects with their lame ass, ignorant, insensitive, hostile, holier-than-thou bullshit) come back to reveal there is no middle ground with a clinician. What did I write now that deserved this cry of unfairness and hostility? The word FOLKS!? No, this is about your projections! You antipsychiatrists don’t want someone to make sense and offer fair and reasonable ideas, it only diminishes your skewed philosophies. Again, black and white is a color scheme that doesn’t work in the real world.

Philip, my caution to you, this posting may bite you in the butt if things go as is. I hope I am wrong, but I have seen how good deeds do not go unpunished.

So, the Folks can go and wail. You didn’t want a “battlefield”, but yet you fired the first shot, again as usual. You are such a lame bunch. Attack as you will, that is your strength. And profound weakness. It only demeans and diminishes what this site can do. Of course, just my opinion. Sharks around here like to feed on those things, eh?

To all others, be well.

And I kick myself in the ass for commenting. It is all Nemeroff’s fault for getting caught, my reading about it here, and getting excited. My good deed gets slashed. At least Carlat follows up on some of these topics too.

Try this lame ass bullshit at his site. Don’t hold your breath waiting to see it printed!!!

Posted by: therapyfirst at October 6, 2008 05:48 AM

Ana, I agree. I couldn’t stop myself from responding yesterday but I don’t think TF deserves anymore of our time and space.

Back to the important stuff! Teresa, I’m so sorry your head is still hurting. I never found any pain reliever that would help either. Hang in there!

Posted by: Becky at October 6, 2008 06:15 AM

Becky,
Thank you!! Headache not as bad today, but dizziness and nausea is HORRIBLE!! I am at work and don’t know how much longer I can sit here without jumping out of my skin, I just want to lay down!! I hope that tomorrow is better!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 6, 2008 11:08 AM

Becky,
I don’t even take a quick look on TF’s comments. There’s a lot of good information, nice people and a lot of ideas to exchange.
No time for trolls.

Withdrawal is a very important issue and people come here to share their experiences.

I’m appalled that so many people still claim their psychiatrists don’t recognize withdrawal symptoms.
I believe only people who are stop smoking has the right to have withdrawal symptoms.

Teresa,
I’m very sorry. Becky is right about gathering as much information as you can.
Dizziness and nausea… if you’re withdrawing these are normal withdrawal symptoms.
Go v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y!
Hope you get better.

Posted by: Ana at October 6, 2008 02:54 PM

TF, the only things you’ve had validated are your insecurity and arrogance. Yes, “folks” is a loaded term, especially in contrast to “clinicians.” You refer to “the Francescas.” To the best of my knowledge, I’m the only Francesca on this site. I gather the plural is another attempt to diminish. Offensive, again. Are you like this with your clients?

Posted by: Francesca Allan at October 6, 2008 04:39 PM

Teresa,
Hang in there – it is getting better for me so I hope it will get better for you as well. Strange thing…Pepto Bismol tablets seemed to really help my nausea and all when it was at its worst. When it started, I was still in the hospital and the psych who was on said that ‘there is some stuff going around.’ It was only after I got out of the hospital and found this site that I realized that my misery had reason- withdrawal and not ‘something going around.’
That psych was a nice guy and I truly believe he meant well but he wasn’t the one having to go through this crap, either. My mom means well but I don’t pay her to be an expert as I had to pay him.

One would think that, as an inpatient on a psych ward, the medical care available would include care for withdrawal from these drugs. I am still disappointed (to use a very mild term) that I didn’t receive complete and expert care. Anyplace else, I could go back and request a partial refund for shoddy service. After all, medicine is a service industry and physicians are the equivalents of auto mechanics. Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to have a light out in your car than one “out” in your head. 🙂

I personally like my psych. I think he’s doing his best but I think that therapy is what I need to work on. I’ve had a very bad past couple of days and would be in the hospital again if I said much more about it… Then again, no one said that this whole depression/PTSD thing was easy. I just (Pollyanna here) wish none of us had to go through all of this. The drugs are supposed to help and I am sure that they help many people. The problem is that there are many like me who didn’t realize how many problems were *caused* by the drugs until I got off of them.

Becky-
Do you know if the drug/anemia relationship is transient? I guess that, either way, it’s not an issue with the drug since I’ve been off of it for 3+ weeks now and Saturday’s blood tests still showed the small size of the cells. I don’t really know much about this whole thing but I’ll read about it. They are sending me the Hemoccult and the nurse said they’ll put be on iron based on the Hemoccult result. I’ve probably always had this and it’s just never been ‘caught.’ I’ve always bruised easily and never seem to have enough energy, so it’s probably been with me for a long time. Oh well…just another drug to take… Thanks again for all of the help. It’s nice to talk to those who have been there in body and spirit- not just in theory.

Posted by: Susie at October 6, 2008 08:26 PM

Susie, I didn’t see the word “transient” where I saw that info on the label. However, I wouldn’t rule it out after only 3 weeks off. How long did you take Lamictal? I know low iron storage is different but just to share my experience: all my bruises are gone now. I always bruised easily and had low energy too. Part of the reason I didn’t make the connection or realize how bad it was for a long time.

I wouldn’t rule out emotional withdrawal symptoms after that short period either. NOT saying depression & PTSD aren’t issues; just thinking (and hoping for both our sakes) they could be intensified at this time while our bodies and brains are still re-adjusting.

Has anyone reading this been off Lamictal for 6 months or more? Anyone experiencing happiness without meds? Clear thinking? Feeling healthier? (I’m almost afraid to ask these questions). If no one answers, let’s just assume they’re all busy skipping through fields of flowers and laughing with friends.

Posted by: Becky at October 7, 2008 05:41 AM

I like the ‘fields of flowers’ theory… After reading about Lamictal on http://www.askapatient.com (thanks for the recommendation…) it scared me even more. Hopefully stuff will come back to me (and everyone else as well…)

Posted by: Susie at October 7, 2008 08:50 AM

Hi,
Thank you for your advice and thoughtfullness.
I took off of work today because I couldn’t bare another day like yesterday, I was SO SICK all day and I just wanted to scream, or cry or both! My headache is back, but not quite as bad, although I feel dizzy and annoyed and my head feels weird, maybe the zapping sensations people talk about? I just want to feel better. The thought of going back to work tomorrow feeling this way makes me want to curl up in bed and cry! I can’t stand to be around anyone and I can’t think clearly enough to even get much accomplished at work. I’m already worried that I will get in trouble for not going in today!!! It’s not fair 😦 I just went off of these meds making me feel this way, but I can’t function as is. I want to exercise to see if that helps, but I don’t have to the energy and I feel too sick to do so. I think I am going to get some good healthy foods and supplements and see if that works. I am also going to schedule a physical and blood work with my doctor to see if all of my levels are where they should be. I bruise VERY easiliy too, and they stay for a long time, also I am sensitive to anyone even poking me, it hurts. However, I went to the GYN a few weeks ago and they took blood and said my iron was where it should be. I just don’t know! I want to see straight and not blurry, I want to think straight and I want this headache and dizziness to go away!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 7, 2008 09:41 AM

hi guys im on 12.5 mg Lamictal 30 days still not back to work on leave 5 wks and why because I tried Lamictal for 6 days and went off HORRIFIC withdrawal The only way to get the word out about withdrawal is keep posting and educating m.d.s everytime I try to improve life I wind up much worse than original problem All m.d.s care about with AEDS is if you have seizures when you stop forget about headaches,nausea,crying jags,sound and light sensitivity fatigue,feeling out of control Paxil withdrawal is easier and with Paxil you know its Paxil withdrawal I had a similiar reaction in 1999 when i was put on depokote 1000mgs and m.d. took off to o mgs in 3 days again same symptoms How can docs be so ignorant I guess I should have known better for every person in withdrawal the family goes thru it with them IT IS NOT RIGHT

Posted by: Linda at October 7, 2008 05:46 PM

Hi Linda,
I am there with you. I had to take off of work yesterday, am back today and feeling so guilty as if I did something bad and am going to be repromanded for taking off of work. It’s so hard to be here I wanna cry, panic, can’t concentrate, know I don’t seem as myself, and just tell everyone I’ve been sick!! Sick for sure, mentally sick!!!
This Lamictal is GOD awful! I can’t stand the blurred vision, anxiety and feeling of worthlessness that I am going back and forth between. Not sure how I am going to function the next few days until the weekend! I feel for my family and boyfriend, as my moods are something that I can not even tolerate!!!! I go to a new Psych on Saturday and what do I do, try a new med because I am now so very anxious and depressed again? I’m scared to go down this road again…. Not sure what to do! Wish I could quit my job, but than how do I pay my bills…. Noone really truely understands what it’s like unless you’ve been through it, and I can’t just SNAP out of it!!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 8, 2008 06:11 AM

Okay here it goes with regards to TF, I may get some negative responses to this but that’s okay, I’m not that sensitive 🙂 Some of you out there are attacking TF as if she personally was the evil one. Just because there are a lot of doctors out there that don’t have a clue does not mean that she is one of them, in my opinion, for what it’s worth. Opinions are like assholes and everybodies got one. I know I have one I use it everyday, sometimes twice a day!! To much info, that’s me SORRY!! I have written about my personnel battle with withdrawals from Limictal on this website before and like most of you I experienced the same effects except for the headaches, didn’t have that. I have had the same doctor for almost 10 years, trusted him and never had any issues with him until Lamictal. I was on 400mg a day and on top of that he put me on Abilify. Ever read the side effects to that one? trusted him. Went off the Abilify on my own, caused me to be anxious. He told me to knock the Lamictal down a 100mg a week, okay. He acted like it was no big frikin deal and then I would be done and said pop a Xanax once in awhile if anxiety comes on. Doesn’t anyone ever feel like going back to the doctor and giving them a bottle of their own and telling them, take this and follow what you told me to do and let me know how you feel:) Anyway, she sounds like one of the good ones to me! I know what it is to go down the spiral of what feels like going crazy and when I felt like SHIT I wanted to print off these messages and post them up in the hall where my doctors’ office is and write P.S. Read this ASSHOLES you might learn something. Now that I have recovered from a month of hell I can think with a more optimistic view. By the way I am still on 200mg and Paxil 20mg and the combo has been working extremely well for me. My initial plan was to go off of it completely but since I stabilized and feel good I have decided to stick with this for now. God forbid if I tryed to back off now with the holidays coming up and family visits. I could see it now, serving my family and saying, “Here’s the turkey, crying, and I’ll get the mashed potatos as soon as I can figure out where I put them”. I’ll stay right where I am, thanks!! P.S. changed doctors and SHE did say that the dose was high and made a negative facial expression and did say that I backed off to quickly. I requested the Paxil. Best of luck to all and hope for those who still feel like shit that you feel GREAT SOON!!!! 🙂

Posted by: Theresa Oct 8, 2008 at October 8, 2008 01:49 PM

Could anyone post a reputable link such as a medical site, to validate any of the withdrawals that anyone has posted here? I’ve read through every single post here, found 3 links, but could not find any evidence to back up the statements that have been posted here regarding withdrawals from lamictal. I’m in the middle of a court case regarding my son who takes Lamictal. he’s 6. His dad refused to give it to him for an entire week during his visitation. I need convincing evidence that stopping Lamictal abruptly will/can cause serious complications. The only thing I’ve been able to “prove” so far is seizures.

Posted by: Alexis at October 8, 2008 02:25 PM

alexis, the whole issue of med withdrawal is poorly documented in a formal sense, except with anti-depressants. you might see if peter breggin has written anything about anti-seizure drug withdrawal. doctors and researchers simply don’t care about this issue and so there’s no ‘proof.’ the best we’ve got is the many testimonies of patients here.

Posted by: Philip Dawdy at October 8, 2008 03:11 PM

These are all quotes in this threat taken directly from a poster that claims to be a professional? This shows all the signs classic sociopathic pathology and I would advice all his post and words be ignored at all cost by everyone. This is just a warning! I worked with these types, and they will try everything in the book and then some to suck you into their misery. IGNORE THIS PERSON COMPLETELY! EVENTUALLY IT WILL FIND ANOTHER BLOG and others TO HARRASS!

“This comment is for you, Mr Dawdy, so any readers who would like to debate further, I apologize for writing but wanted to note this to Philip and the general readership; I will not write further.
For what it is worth, I have come here so often to read what people are commenting on, and all I can say is if you write here for advice, there are no qualified people to give you direction on how to get off meds. So, if you want to put your trust in non-clinicians, you get what you put your faith in!!!
I haven’t seen or read about it, but Lamictal being in the antiseizure class could also cause withdrawal seizures with abrupt d/c
(board Cert Psych MD)
I told Philip I was not going to reply further, but I came back on and read Sherry’s comment a couple of times, so if it is sincere in the statement:”…asking a serious question here, not trying to bash you as a professional.”, I will offer my reply intended as support.
This comment isn’t a revelation, but it applies so I repeat it again: trust is earned, as it goes by deeds, not words. In my OPINION, a responsible doctor should be advising all patients of risks/benefits, and that includes what are considered maximal doses of a medication in question.
Hence, it comes back to my alias, therapyfirst!
So, I have created a battlefield by responding to a request from someone who has challenged me in the past, and now asked I reply to aid the debate here. Hmmm, Did I miss the yellow caution signs?
To the Fransescas, Ana, and the general S-crowd (I exclude Sherry and Stephany here with that term), thank you for the validation.
As I wrote to Philip personally, I don’t get what is hostility/slander that deserves banning, and what is this anti-psychiatry bullshit too many here spew and gets validated by its printing.

I think a good number of patients would avoid these issues if that was put out there up front! Dialogue is a lot less invasive than drugs
and now the usual folks (i.e. the usual suspects with their lame ass, ignorant, insensitive, hostile, holier-than-thou bullshit) come back to reveal there is no middle ground with a clinician
So, the Folks can go and wail. You didn’t want a “battlefield”, but yet you fired the first shot, again as usual. You are such a lame bunch. Attack as you will, that is your strength. And profound weakness. It only demeans and diminishes what this site can do. Of course, just my opinion. Sharks around here like to feed on those things, eh?
And I kick myself in the ass for commenting. It is all Nemeroff’s fault for getting caught, my reading about it here, and getting excited. My good deed gets slashed. At least Carlat follows up on some of these topics too.
Try this lame ass bullshit at his site. Don’t hold your breath waiting to see it printed!!!”
Dear Philip:

This is a repeat warning and message for those still feeding this so called professional sick twisted beast known as ————-

Once more the total absurd level this has been taken too is so far beyond comedic tragedy and rational, it’s once again amazing with complete and utter absurdity some with professional credentials will go to in a benign attempt to remain superior to us mere mortals.
Then I realized it was now the supposed psychiatrist turn to be placed under the micro scope and be delved at for every peccadillo, insecurity, nuance, and fault. I worked with sociopaths for three years in a State Institution for SVP’s {predators}, and it has struck me how similar the behavior patterns are between this person that comes here posting and those virtual demons of humanity. They pretty much nail the DSM criteria for sociopathic pathology. (lack of conscious for actions taken, no empathy for others, defending the abuse of others with unsupportable arguments, manipulation of weaknesses in others for their own amusement and gain, twisting of truth to only meet their own needs, they continue their antisocial behavioral patterns unabated, and have no awareness of their own pathology or illness with continued denial after denial, and when faced with too much reality based fact. They at times will go run and hide from interaction with others until they can devise another manipulation to try out. “I’m quitting, I’m back, and I’m not going to comment any more, now I need to comment”. What is up with this classical deviant behavioral pattern and the person behind it?
I believe I saw someone write it’s not the psychiatrist fault here in this threat (so I thought about that for a while, and determined since the drug Cartels’ are manufacturing and distributing illegal drugs and the street drug dealer pushing these drugs for profit are just as culpable for the havoc, damage, and crimes they perpetrate upon others; then why should it be any different with psychiatrist. You would have to believe if someone is a well educated and spent many years training as a professional psychiatrist; wouldn’t you think they could at the very least discern a sleazy sales pitch from reality, and question what was in all actuality adversely happening to the patients in front of their very eyes. I mean how are they supposed to diagnose severe and sometimes quite byzantine and complex mental health disorders if they can’t discern a bad sales pitch from gift toting drug rep { even the patients know when the drug rep is coming through the door in a hospital as free pens, squeeze toys, donuts, and candy abound }.
Then I had this LIGHT BULB MOMENT! One very logical conclusion that could make perfect sense for this strange occurrence and anomaly would be that the psychiatrist is so focused on themselves and their perceived omnipotent world of self; that they were, are, and will continue to be oblivious to reality and the patient’s needs that surrounds them. Thus they will continue to distribute any pill peddled to them as long as that pill peddler brings those psychiatrist gifts, rewards, tells them a nice story, and warmly strokes their sociopathic ego.
Now I wouldn’t place every single psychiatrist in that particular category; but you have to strongly evaluate the behavior patterns and pathology of the ones that come to a forum like this where they know well in advance that most of the readers and posters have had some fairly horrific experiences with both medication, the medical model being used and abused to this day, and psychiatry as a whole?
Let’s face the real demon in plain hard simple speak here: The systems is horribly screwed up, the psychiatrist are still handing out this poison without a second thought, and offer very few if any positive or helpful information on how to withdrawal off these poisons (what choice do they have? Quit psychiatry or hand out poison candy; it’s not like they are going to do therapy with their clients! Most Psychiatrist have handed out pills and written scripts for so long, they couldn’t run a therapy session if it was a Mac Truck running over them). All of these lines of bleach washed criminals with a MD behind their name have their own cross to bear before each of us on the reckoning day.
So what other choice do we have than to be angry as all hell, get off these poison meds, and want some true, swift, and hard justice which includes some real humane effective treatment finally after decades and decades of non-stop abuse and profit grabbing at our expense by the so called psychiatric profession (which includes you Mr. Sociopath).
Do to your continued pathology I will still not respond or be able to give you any attention negative or positive from this post forward. I cannot feed into your obvious illness and condition for your own well being and the well being of others. I only post this here in hope others will do the same: since this person has absolutely nothing at all to add to these comment sections besides a huge inflated ego, hostility, bullshit, and sociopathic tendencies.
If this so called professional had any real guts, this person would post his real name, credentials, and where he worked before handing out advice, comments, and such; like Dr. Daniel Carlat. Negitive advice and comments are extremely unprofessional for any so called doctor.

Stan

Posted by: stan at October 8, 2008 05:15 PM

I ve been reading through these b/c i’m currently on 100mg of lamictal. For those who cant afford it or have shitty or no insurance:

JanDrugs- They are out of Canada. I get 100 pills for less than $100. They are legit. Research them. They are also very prompt.

I myself am going to ween off this drug and i gotta tell you this site has scared the hell out of me. I dont want to deal with the withdrawls. But when i ween off-man i’m gonna take it sloooooooow.

Posted by: max at October 8, 2008 09:46 PM

Max,
That is exactly where I got mine from. I got 100 pills of 150mg lamictal and it was about $100 or so with shipping and I got it very fast. So anyone who does need to get them, he is correct and all you have to do is get the script from your doctor.
Max- why do you want to ween off of the lamictal? Just curious.
I am a bit better today as far as the dizziness and nausea, however I am still experiencing the blurred vision which happens with taking the lamictal and trying to come off, I am also SOOOO exhausted that I could barely stand up in the shower this morning, and want to put my head down on my desk right now and go to sleep!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 9, 2008 06:02 AM

I’d be tired as hell too if i was up and at em as early as you! I have never blogged before and have researched this drug through various sites but not one like this. I’m not sure why i want to ween off.May not. Maybe i just want to see if i really need it. Sometimes i think i should have givin cognitive therapy a better chance. I have always had trouble getting out of bed w/ or w/o lamict. Lamitrogine really helped my negative thoughts and anxiety/paranoia. I couldnt control my thoughts or keep negative images from sliding in. I had horrible nightmares. this drug helped tremendously. My energy level blows. Other than that, no side effects.

Posted by: max at October 9, 2008 02:43 PM

Dear Philip:

Appears like my comment ended up in the spam bin yesterday. Wonder why? I guess when I get MD behind my name, my post and F Offs will be ok?

Stan

Posted by: stan at October 9, 2008 08:45 PM

Teresa,
is there anyone on this site that has had a good experience with lamictal? I’m not an advocate by any means especially after reading this stuff but i have been on other sites where others seem to have benefited from it. But then again, i guess the title of this is “lamictal withdrawl”. Maybe it has worked for me b/c it is the only thing i’m on. im just sayin..

Posted by: Max at October 9, 2008 10:49 PM

Hi Max,
That was actually posted at 9 am, must be 3 hours behind!!! However, I am up at 6, just not quite functioning. Than again, I don’t really “function” all day.
I had been on alot of SSNRI’s, Lexapro being the most recent and for the longest. It worked for a while, and like the others stopped. I was having horrible mood swings and was depressed again, which was why my last psych thought that it would be a good idea to try Lamictal, something different. At first I had bad side effects, but than it was really helping, my mood was great, wasn’t flying off the handle or getting depressed, and I thought I’d finally found something. Than just like the others it stopped working for me. I was getting horrible acne which I’ve never gotten before, gained alot of weight, and that added to it not working made me want to stop taking it. I don’t know if it would have been better to go up a bit because I was only taking 150mg, as oppossed to 200 or more which my psych told me from the beginning would prob be my stopping point. Anyway, of course being in that frame of mind the first thing you want to do is stop. I started going down to about 75 mg, ofcourse got sick, than went down to 37.5, got more sick….. Now I am taking half of that and it’s been AWFUL…. I moved since I started Lamictal and went to a new doc who started me on Cymbalta and told me to stop the Lamictal, when I mentioned withdrawal he said, well than go down slowly, should only take a couple of weeks, YEA RIGHT!!!!!! Well Cymbalta was AWFUL, made me so sick and anxious and nuts, so I stopped, he than gave me Pristiq which did the same thing… So here I am still feeling like shit, trying to hold down my accounting job, not so easy when you can’t put two and two together!!!!! on top of that I now have a sinus infection, so yes I want to crawl up in bed and not get out, and here I am at work HOPING noone bothers me today!!!!! I have an appt. Saturday with ANOTHER new psych, I want to see if he can give me 25mg Lamictal, as for anything else I want to try to go the natural route and see how that goes. I feel these meds are very bad for you, and I’d like to think they are making me worse instead of better. I know one thing, I don’t have too much playing room since I HAVE to work!!!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 10, 2008 05:24 AM

Max,

In an earlier post, Becky mentioned http://www.askapatient.com and there is a lot of information there about Lamictal. You will see information from people who have and do use it with success as well as information from those of us who have experienced more harm from it. If it is working for you then there is really no reason to go off of it. I’m scared to go on other meds now b/c of my Lamictal experiences. Many problems I had were caused by the drug and I wasn’t aware of that until this wash out. You need to do what is right for you. Since these drugs affect the brain center, no one is really sure how each patient will react and what benefit (or harm) will result with each patient. Scientists do not even know how these drugs work; it is all theory. Scientists and clinicians alike rely on empirically gained trial and clinical data- there is no actual black and white proof when it comes to drugs that affect the brain. Please don’t let our experiences determine your continuation of the drug…you (and your Psych) need to look at yourself and your results in order to make that determation.

Posted by: Susie at October 10, 2008 10:41 AM

Teresa,
Does your employer have any type of disability plan? You may be able to use this until you get straightened out.
Best,
Susie

Posted by: Susie at October 10, 2008 11:13 AM

I just had to say that I agree with Stan. I am so angry towards ALL psychiatrists at this point because if they really knew what these drugs did to people, would they really want to just give script after script and cause so many different problems that they have to give you yet another script to try to fix that. I’m sorry, but if you have an issue with depression, and are given something for that, and that in turn makes you anxious, than they give you something for the anxiety, what has been accomplished?? Cover up one problem and cause another, now you have two issues to treat???? The day I get off the rest of this Lamictal and have a clear mind and can function without these HORRIBLE toxic drugs in my system will be the best day I’ve had in 12 years!!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 10, 2008 11:15 AM

I read this posting every few days to see if someone rises to the occasion and tries to remind the masses of reality and sensibility.

NO FUCKING CLUE STILL!!!

No, Stan, you don’t need an MD after your name and fucks and other obscenities, you just need to make a point that does not attack a person just for your own self gratification.

IF YOU ARE ON A MEDICATION THAT NEEDS TO BE ALTERED OR DISCONTINUED, TELL THE DOCTOR WHO PRESCRIBES IT TO RECONSIDER THE SITUATION. THIS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE, PEOPLE, IT IS THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE!!!

Get a fucking life, people, there are doctors who do know how to practice psychiatry! And unfortunately, they are not on the internet!!!

And you wonder why society is stuggling? It is because there are no quick fixes. Tell the psychiatrist or anyone else who sells that lame ass brand of thinking to stick it up that tight orifice.

Be well! Have a weekend, hopefully nice!!!

Posted by: therapyfirst at October 10, 2008 12:54 PM

Susie,
I just moved to North Carolina from Florida 4 months ago, and I am at a job as temp to hire. Although I do have Medical Insurance through the agency that I am working through, I opted to not take the short/Long term disability. I am kicking myself in the butt now that I didn’t. I could use a month to recoop and work on me!!!! So I am desperate to feel better and am afraid that if it means staying on the Lamictal or trying something else I may have to until I can figure something else out, or when (IF) in three months I am hired on as an employee with this company, get the Disability and use it if need be. I’m kinda optionless right now I’m afraid!
Not really sure what to do. I feel very weak that I can’t deal with this on my own. Noone can understand… My boyfriend is flabergasted (sp) by the fact that people actually go on disability for depression or Bipolar Disorder, he doesn’t get it at all. When I tell him how sick I am feeling, and how I can’t even work he says well you have to work…. He thinks its sick like having a cold or something, and because he hasn’t had to go through it (lucky him) he just can’t understand no matter how hard I try to explain it to him….. Makes things alot harder on me, and makes me feel even weaker that I can’t just SNAP OUT OF IT… easy for someone to say who gets a cold once a year!

Posted by: Teresa at October 10, 2008 01:03 PM

I take Lamictal and appreciate this anecdotal thread, these stories are very beneficial. Another site authored by a regular reader of over 2 years here is Beyond meds. Philip has highlighted the author’s struggle of 18 years of medication use and current withdrawals on this blog.

I find this Lamictal thread poignant as well, because it was started by a patient who had withdrawal issues after 18 years of medication use: Philip Dawdy this blog’s author.

Posted by: Stephany at October 10, 2008 04:18 PM

Teresa,

I am so sorry you aren’t able to take the time you need to deal with this minus the extra stress. I am sorry but your boyfriend needs a kick in the pants. Has he ever been to a psych appointment with you? When you find a good psych, bring him along. Try to find information for him to read that will help him understand. You are correct, though, in that no one can truly understand unless they’ve been there. My husband still doesn’t really understand it but he tries and he’s always there for me. He now understands that this isn’t something that can be “fixed” in a day nor is it something that can be improved upon overnight. Have a long talk with you BF and try to do it with the support of someone who understands (a therapist would be a great choice.) I may be assuming incorrectly that he’s not the most supportive- please forgive me if I’m incorrect in this. I just know how hard it is and how having someone there (like a spouse) can sometimes truly mean the difference between life and death. Keep your chin up!

Posted by: Susie at October 10, 2008 05:27 PM

Hi Guys been back on 12.5 mgs of Lamictal this is day 33 approx day 30 back to driving THIS IS WORSE THEN PAXIL WITHDRAWAL so I can expect to go online within a few yrs and find sites like LAMICTALPROGRESS.ORG AND QUITLAMICTAL.ORG

Posted by: Linda at October 10, 2008 06:32 PM

Stan:

After trying to read the bullshit from your Oct 8 5:15 posting, all I can say is you are one of the reasons why I am trying to stop commenting here, but the Lamictal Withdrawal posting worries me because too many people think they can practice medicine by making opinions that others do not understand is not a clinical site.

If you as a collective want to wait until someone follows your writings and then crashes and burns from this pathetic rhetoric, I hope you can rest easy should someone follow up and note the mistake in believing and practicing such alleged advice. That is why I wrote what I wrote back at the July 28 posting, Maybe I’m Gone. Maybe anyone who is interested might want to read BOTH of those comments there, to read what was written by me.

Hey man, I’m a commenter here, not a doctor, even though that is my backround! I just hope the naive and wary reader realizes some of these commenters are just fucking lame in their rhetoric and attitude! And if that pisses you off, as the commenters, you are welcome. Now you know how I feel!

Troll?! Fuck you all who think that way!!!

Sorry Philip, I had to say it!

Bloggers Anonymous sites, anyone?

Posted by: therapyfirst at October 11, 2008 05:26 PM

TF, which of us moronic “folks” do you suppose don’t understand that this isn’t a clinical site? You’re coming off like an insane person. Please reread your posts and give your little hobby here a rethink.

You said “Get a fucking life, people, there are doctors who do know how to practice psychiatry!” Uh, no, there aren’t really. Modern psychiatry is the study of mind-altering drugs upon the human brain. There’s nothing to practice — it’s a religion, not a science. The only psychiatrists of any use are those who are committing malpractice, steering people away from Big Pharma’s indoctrination.

Posted by: Francesca Allan at October 11, 2008 07:14 PM

Linda,
I’m very sorry you’re having so many problems with Lamictal withdrawal.

Posted by: Ana at October 11, 2008 10:12 PM

Dear TF,
Thank you for explaining what was cranking you up so much about this thread. Seriously. I was wondering what was making you so angry and I’m glad you explained it, as I was going to ask you.

I would like to give you two pieces of *respectful* feedback on the following statement:
“Hey man, I’m a commenter here, not a doctor, even though that is my backround! I just hope the naive and wary reader realizes some of these commenters are just fucking lame in their rhetoric and attitude!”

1)You are and you aren’t a doctor here. Had you not said you were a doc, of course, none of us would ever know and you, indeed, would NOT be a doctor here. But you did and we do and so you are. On the other hand, you are not here in your role as a paid professional (which does cause some people to wonder why you brought it up since most of us do not talk about our professions) so you are correct, you’re not OUR doctor. You’re on the horns of a dilemma, one I do not envy, but you are, indeed, in this position of doctor/not our doctor/private person and it’s too late to change that. Just as some of us are in the self-identified position of patient/not your patient/private citizen with all that entails.

It may be that at times you find yourself wishing you hadn’t let that pdoc genie out of its bottle here. If so, you’ve learned something valuable to take with you the next time you run into a blog of interest to you, just as I’ve learned a lot over the years in my online life. Whether you regret it or not, you do have the challenge of finding some way of living with your current online duality. It would be nice if it didn’t involve these little rants, but the rest of us have no control over your behaviour.

2) (If you’re still with me.) Just as you see the varying degrees of quality in postings, so do the rest of us. It’s really nice of you to be concerned for people’s well being. I’m sure you cannot turn it on and off like a faucet, either. But I, for one, would really appreciate it if you could possibly extend some faith to the readers of this blog that we really ARE capable of sorting the wheat from the chaff. And, if we are not, we have resources in our own lives to deal with the results.

Which brings me to my last thing… I do understand and hear you when you say people who are not happy with their meds or experiencing difficulty with them should:
1) talk to their doctors
2) change docs if they meet with resistance.

This is wonderful advice. And you are correct, there really are some good pdocs out there. But I really, truly, with ALL due respect, wish you could really hear what some of us feel we are saying clearly:
1) you’re asking us to talk to the very person who got us into this trouble about getting us out of it–at perhaps one of the most vulnerable times in our lives. This is extremely difficult, impossible for some of us.
2) unfortunately, as you yourself have often pointed out, the few good pdocs are, well, few. And widely spaced. I can think of ONE in my experience. He freely admits he knows little about PTSD. And he practices in Boston, a 90-minute one-way drive from where I live. And he doesn’t take Medicare, my only insurance. And he charges a TON of money per hour (lives on Chestnut Hill), which I cannot afford. He’s an incredibly nice, intelligent, gentle man and yes, I would go to him. If I could.

My experience of unavailable resources really isn’t uncommon. I worked for fifteen years in human services so I’m very tapped into what’s out there and have many more resources for finding help than most people in my situation. I also live in a rural state, which makes knowing what’s available much, much easier (harder to get to, but easier to know about if it’s there). And I’m coming up zeros. Just because I get angry about this situation doesn’t mean I haven’t tried many, many times. (I continue to monitor the situation. Hope dies hard.)
3) Are you aware that changing doctors or therapists is simply NOT an option for anyone in the community mental health system? Merely asking for such a change invites retaliation. “Complaining” about your meds invites retaliation.

You must be aware of how small and petty some of your colleagues are, you’ve run into it yourself I’m sure. Many people I’ve met who are involved with the community mental health system have their finances controlled by them, their housing, laundry, food shopping controlled by them, their daily lives monitored by them, their therapy and medical care controlled by them–“them” being an ever changing cast of staff characters of varying quality. How willing would you be to take a chance of offending the people who control you life so thorougly? Seriously, TF, this is a serious question. I wouldn’t have the courage to rock that boat, would you? It boggles my mind and makes me really uncomfortable to even contemplate being in that situation. I *do* force myself to do so out of respect for the people I’ve met who are in that situation. I owe it to them to at least *try* to understand their lives.

TF, I hope you can see that I have written this posting with respect. I am NOT attacking you. If you want to be part of our solution, please, please, please tune out the negative flak (just like our parents and teachers told us to do in sixth grade) and offer us some good advice as to how to deal with these very real problems. Telling us to “talk with our doctors” is great advice, but not at all possible for many people for the reasons I’ve described above. Repeating that advice really does kind of annoy people. I’m sure if anyone’s ever repeatedly given you advice you can’t fit into your life you can understand how this can happen.

Please do your best to tune out the static (I know you can do that, you got through med school after all). Let’s have a *real* conversation here. I’m not trying to bait you, I’m beyond that at this point. You seem to want to offer some help. I am sincerely offering you the chance to do so.

It may be you have no solution to these very real problems. There’s no shame in that–we’re all here because we’re kind of out of solutions in terms of talking to our doctors. Most of us are truly stumped.

But please be aware that repeating advice that simply doesn’t work in our situations–and not acknowledging us when we point out (respectfully) why it doesn’t work–isn’t working. For you, for me, for many people here who may not write in but are struggling with these issues and yes, for the many of us you find annoying (including me at times).

If you have not solution to the dearth of GOOD pdocs or the refusal of the mental health system to allow us to get a second opinion, then perhaps the most helpful thing you could do in that situation is to acknowledge there may BE no solution for some of us, that we have no *choice* but to rely upon our peers and our own ability to sort the wheat from the chaff. That would be real. That would be honest.

Respectfully yours,
Sherry (not your enemy)
PS: I hope you don’t mind my “pdoc” shorthand. I just get tired typing out “psychiatrist” over and over.

Posted by: Sherry at October 12, 2008 06:51 AM

Susie,
Yes, you are aobsolutely right, he does need to come with my to my next appointment so that he can be educated on what this all really means. If he does not take the time and effort to educate himself on it, and try to “REALLY” understand what I deal with on a day to day basis as opposed to getting angry with me about my actions, or sickness than I am afraid he is out the door!! One thing that I have learned is that it is impossible to let someone make you feel worse than you already do, when you barely make it through the day as is!!! So yes you are right, he an choose to either come with me to my next appt., and respect and understand what I am going through, or he can get out of my life. It’s as simple as that. I have no tolerance for people making me feel worse when I am already having a terrible time as it is!!!! I do not think he does it intentionally, again, he has no clue really as to why I am “acting out”, or get so cranky and am always a “stick in the mudd” as he likes to say!!! He said you are right, I don’t understand… My response, you need to learn to understand!!!!! Thanks again! Still feeling very dizzy and tired and back to work tomorrow not fun, did I mention that I am moving next weekend!!!! Oh yes, all of this is so much fun when I am sick as hell and just want to cry! However, I try to remain strong and hope to wake up one morning (hopefully very soon), feeling better, no dizziness and enough energy to actually make it through the day, and accomplish things!!!!! Thanks again!! 🙂

Posted by: Teresa at October 12, 2008 02:01 PM

Is SSRI withdrawal as bad as Lamictal?

Posted by: mark at October 12, 2008 05:28 PM

Thanks for kind thoughts Ana Has anyone done a successful taper of Lamictal and if so how long does it take I think Phil said it took him 6 wks

Posted by: Linda at October 12, 2008 05:34 PM

Sherry:

Thank you for the honest and direct comment. And, you are right for the most part, as there are too many pdocs(I accept the shorthand) who are so patriarchial and insensitive to patient care needs these days as they resent being pill pushers, and yet many of these same people said or did nothing when managed care pushed pdocs out of the way as therapist providers. If the next comment is seen as discriminatory or just overgeneralizing, I’m sorry, but, in my travels, a lot of psychiatrists who have been practicing for more than 25+ years feed into this mindset.

They have had the opportunity to write their own checks for psychiatric services prior to managed care’s foothold in the 1990’s, and I feel the similarities to the current financial problems are applicable. People have too much potential to engage in addictive behaviors, and in my opinion, money is probably the biggest offender. And, with the way psychiatry was used as a punitive measure all the way up to the early 1980’s, power was part of the allure my “colleagues” enjoyed as well. So, you have these greedy, power-hungry, insensitive bastards who lost some or much of their alleged opportunities as the 90’s progressed, and now I sincerely think some of them are in punishment mode, and patients are the easiest to attack for them. It is wrong, it is immoral, it is malfeasance, and in some cases could be malpractice.

I do still disagree that you feel there are people here who do not have choices or alternatives. I am sure to pursue options will have demands on time, money, and energy, but if you as a patient believe the provider caring for you is not invested, efficient, and negotiable, you have to find a new one. And, if there is a legit sense of inappropriateness that evokes consideration of a complaint with regulatory bodies in your respective State, you should file one. You never know how many others have done so, and yours could be the proverbial final straw to induce an investigation by such regulatory bodies.

I keep coming back to this posting because I fear someone will ask for advice/direction, and while I read some of the respondents have experience with meds, it doesn’t mean an expertise or credentialing to direct. How will those of you who think you are doing someone a favor by telling them what to do learn later it backfired, and a serious consequence occured that might have been avoided if the patient brought your opinions/experiences to the provider? That is all I have really been asking here.

You had problems with med X, others’ experiences to get off it was this or that, so you as a current user of Med X might consider this type of tapering as noted here by fellow users, BUT TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR, OR ANOTHER ONE WHO MIGHT BE MORE RECEPTIVE.

If I read that, I would be impressed and appreciative. My gut: I think some people here, and not you specifically Sherry, think to some degree they have medical expertise. As I use the past analogy, just because you may have had surgeries doesn’t make you a surgeon.

Slippery slope here, people. I’d rather raise the concern and wind up being wrong as it never happens, and I’d be genuinely happy.

Thanks again for your well thought response. I am appreciative of your effort and interest. I would like to end this comment by again clarifying I am a commenter who has a backround as a pdoc, but I am not writing here to provide clinical interventions, but to just make sure readers who partake in the whole process of this blog get as many facts/opinions/perspectives to hopefully make responsible and healthy decisions and choices. What is wrong with that?

Ok, I am wrong to be nasty. But, when you are dealing with a sizeable portion of fellow commenters who attack you just because of who you are, and that has been the case here since my first comments back in June, nice gets you squat at some point. If the tone of replies and dissention mirror yours, Sherry, this site will be the better for it, in my opinion. I am impressed you have made the effort to do so now.

Be well.

Posted by: therapyfirst at October 12, 2008 06:03 PM

Teresa-
Think i erased my message i was trying to post. I’ve not noticed if these post immediately or not. Anyway, I’ve been late taking my meds a few times- long enough to get a taste of what withdrawl will feel like. Powerful stuff. Sucks your boyfriend cant empathize. I admire your courage. Take care of yourself.

Posted by: max at October 12, 2008 07:49 PM

Here is a website called “www.theroadback.org” Don’t know if this website will help anyone or do any good, just thought I’d send it anyways. My husband was trying to help me through my tough time and read this to me.

Fell Better Soon, Theresa

Posted by: Theresa Vaughn Oct 12, 2008 at October 12, 2008 08:26 PM

TF,
Thank you for your response. It’s late and I have to go to bed. But I do want to respond that I think you’re still not understanding at all the position people in the mental health system are up against. And I *am* a person who has taken a complaint to the state. The mental health worker in question was fired as a result. You are correct, you don’t know if you’re the first complainant. In my case the mental health clinic was blissfully unaware of his deficits, butthe state was gunning for this guy and practically begged me to make a formal complaint.

But the doctors circled the wagons to cover the butt of the prescribing doctor and, in addition to nearly dying, I now have two discharge summaries full of lies on my “permanent record”. I am now unable to go to my local ER because the minute they read my record their attitude changes and they become nasty, nasty. I’m 60 years old and scared to death of being taken ill and hauled off to this ER. The next nearest one is 40 miles away.

So that’s where I am–a former human services worker with two masters’ degrees who’s very savvy about the ways agencies work.

Now imagine if you have to live on $600 a month, your money is managed by your mental health case worker. You have to wait six or eight hours every Tuesday for the worker to have time to hand you the few dollars you need to do your laundry. If the worker has an emergency on the day you’re supposed to go food shopping, too bad. You’re outta luck. Your lights get turned off three or four times a year because your case manager forget to pay your bill. You actually have the money to pay the bill because you got a babysitting gig last week. But you CAN’T pay it because your money is being managed (well, mismanaged) by the mental health clinic so you are legally a nonentity in your own life.

TF, can you tell me how anyone is actually going to advocate to get a new doctor in this situation? These people have to advocate to get their laundry done–week after week after week. I’ve watched this.

I don’t think you really understand that switching doctors is not an option for someone on Medicare with no transportation who lives in fear of the very system upon which he/she must rely for the very basics of life.

IMO no one should have this kind of power over another human being. It’s just sad to watch. I’m so glad I’m away from the medical profession. I just hope I get hit by a bus or something so I never have to linger on in the company of doctors when I’m older.

That’s really all I have to say about all this. Any more and I’d be repeating myself. I do apologize to everyone here for the length of my previous post.

Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at October 12, 2008 09:07 PM

Theresa V.,
Wow, thanks. The first thing I learned in the first paragraph is that the drug that nearly killed me is considered one of the hardest to get off of. I was never told of any withdrawal issues whatsoever when it was prescribed.

I rue the day I ever trusted a psychiatrist. They have done nothing but cause me unending misery. Their absence from my life has improved its quality immensely.

Thanks.

Posted by: Sherry at October 13, 2008 04:08 AM

Max,
Thanks, since talking to my boyfriend he is making an effort to try to understand, however I know he never really will, because he has not had to ever deal with it. So I just ask he be supportive!! I had to up my dose a little bit on the Lamictal because I was too sick and couldn’t function and have alot going on right now with work and moving and all. I am going to a new psychiatrist soon, and want him to give me lower dose pills so that I can wean down very slow. I guess for some people it’s harder to come off of certain drugs than others, for me it’s VERY difficult!!!!

Mark-
I have found Lamictal to be the most difficult, however I think everyone is different, as Lexapro was difficult for me as well. No where near Lamictal however!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 13, 2008 05:21 AM

Mark,
Yes, SSRI withdrawal can be bad too. There’s alot of information about Paxil and Effexor withdrawal (from people who have experienced it) but I would say all of them can be bad. Just learn all you can so if you start to have any symptoms you’ll know what they are.
I recently got off Cymbalta but had switched to Zoloft for two weeks first and cut the Lamictal dosage at the same time. So I can’t say which caused the nausea and dizziness and crying. Products from theroadback.org helped tremendously with the physical symptoms.

Posted by: Becky at October 13, 2008 06:31 AM

Sherry:

I read your position and accept your perspective. I do not know what else to say but I know people have choices, but I guess the only thing to offer is I am sorry to hear that accessing them have significant obstacles to overcome.

I was glad to read you filed charges against someone. I have done so in the past, and while it did not amount to much, at least I heard through the grapevine that others were more attentive, and leery, to work with this cad.

Success is measured in inches sometimes.

I offer we end this discussion since I feel we will need to agree to disagree on some points to this overall matter. Again, thanks for being direct and what I sense was painful honesty. I always appreciate knowing where people are coming from. Let’s hope Philip maintains the blog as able, as he does important work here.

be well.

therapyfirst

Posted by: therapyfirst at October 13, 2008 06:51 AM

Becky-
Are the products really expensive on the road back.org?
Which ones did you take? Do you know if you can get a similar effect by taking Omega 3, and vitamins and that kind of thing or is it similar???
I am tired of these headaches and the dizziness. Even though I feel mentally better since I’ve stabilized the headaches haven’t gone away! Nor has the dizziness that comes along with the headaches!

Posted by: Teresa at October 13, 2008 10:23 AM

I’ve been on Lamictal for about 6 or 7 weeks. I did fine on the start up pack which went from 25 to 100mg over five weeks. Then I was told to jump to 200mg. I was okay the first few days but now I have a dull headache, am nauseous almost constantly (even if I eat a meal or crackers to settle my stomach) and three times, I have had the world feel like it turned upside down me. The first two times, I was sitting. The last time, I fell into a wall — which I guess is better that falling all the way down. I tried to taper down to 175mg but couldn’t get the pills to break evenly so I went to 150mg. So far, no spinning world, but the dull headache and nausea remain. How long should I go before I drop again and do you think 150 to 100 is too big a jump? I’m still waiting to hear back from my doctor….

Posted by: Beth at October 13, 2008 12:38 PM

Beth,
Are you tapering down because of the nausea and headaches? I’m surprised he had you jump from 100 to 200, that is ALOT. That is what can cause the deadly rash, I believe it’s called Stevens Johnson syndrome. Do you feel that it is working for you other than that? If so, you may want to stick to the 150 mg’s and see how you do in another week or two. I noticed that was how long it took me to stabilize each time I went up. How long were you taking 200 mg’s? It takes me two weeks to feel better each time I wean down, and it seems the lower I go the worse it gets even with smaller amounts! I’m curious to see what your doctor says. Everyone is different, but as for myself I am down to 37.5, from 150, and it’s been prob about 2 months or more that I’ve been weaning, and I am having HORRIBLE day and night long headaches and dizziness!!!! Good luck, and let me know what the doc says, otherwise I would stay at 150 for now!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 13, 2008 01:03 PM

This dizziness and falling that doctor’s see as no big deal is really making me angry. Please be careful and take it seriously.
I believe there are alot of injuries that should have been attributed to drugs but are dismissed as; “I just stood up to quickly, or had an empty stomach, etc.”

Posted by: Becky at October 14, 2008 04:50 AM

Teresa,
Actually, it is a bit expensive. It’s gotten a bit more confusing too because they’ve added more products. I took the Body Calm $30, Body Calm Supreme $40 (which is basically, cherry powder and passion flower extract. Weird, I know!) and Protein powder $30 (which is hard to mix). I think if you call and tell them what your symptoms are, etc. they’ll help you figure out what you need. Personally, I hate talking to people, expecially now that I can barely form a complete sentence. They called and left a voicemail once after I received an order just to see if I had any questions. I thought that was nice.

Posted by: Becky at October 14, 2008 07:18 AM

Hi Sherry,

I found that website interesting, although they are trying to pitch and sell some regiment to take to help with withdrawls. It was still helpful with the info it offered though. I have written several times on this website but as I continue to read the experiences of everyone, my heart goes out to them.

I’ll never forget how scared I was and the desperation I felt from day after day. I dreaded going to work and barely could function. I let my boss and my head manager know what was going on with me because if I started to have a panic attack or had to leave early from work I felt they should know what was going on. Thank God they were understanding and supportive. It was important to me that they know in case something happened. I could not afford to take time off from work like many others I have read about. All I wanted to do was go straight home but home caused me horrible anxiety because I associated it with the horrible panic attack I had after being perscribed Zoloft. I went off it after 4 days of taking it. I felt like a lost soul constantly waiting, thinking that maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling better. When I would go home after work I developed this constant state of having to take deep breaths constantly and feeling anxious. It took everthing I had to keep my mind from losing it. I was physically and mentally exhausted . I to like others searched the web constantly for info to relate to my experiences. The website I posted was the closest acurate info my husband found for me.

I understand what it is to have no one else in the family not understanding what your going through. My husband was patient but after awhile I could see him getting somewhat fustrated. he said to me, “you’ll just have to ride the wave” that was comforting. I still take 200mg of Lamictal from 400 and I’m afraid of backing off even slowly. I’m staying on the 200 for now. I have never experienced such horrible withdrawls like that with any med before. Even though I like my new doctor I am still apprehensive because doctors are suppose to be the ones that heal you not make you feel worse. Ever watch that TV program “House” it’s all a guessing game. One thing I did try after a while was getting out more like going to Bordered and reading about mental illness and looking for some kind of relaxation cd’s or books on the subject. My only wish is that all of the people on this website get well soon and what they are going through will be just a memory of the past and nothing more, Teresa, Becky, Beth, Linda Susie, Max and the rest of all I haven’t mentioned.

Take Care Sherry

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 14, 2008 at October 14, 2008 09:20 AM

I forgot to mention one thing, I am perimenopausal and my cycle is all screwed up. I was so confused and wondered if the fluctuation of hormones had contributed to how I was feeling. Can anyone relate to this??

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 14, 2008 at October 14, 2008 09:33 AM

Becky,

Let me know if the products you purchased from “Theroadback” website helps at all. If they do maybe this website can benefit others to.

Sincerely, Theresa

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 14, 2008 at October 14, 2008 09:44 AM

Theresa,
I just read what you posted and felt it was something that I posted. SAME EXACT scenario!!! I have to work, and can barely function, I am down to probably about 37.5 now from 150, and I have some good moments throughout the day, and it is awful when I get up from my desk and almost tumble over….. When I get off of work, ALL I want to do is go home and lay down, and even though I am so tired, I do have to constantly try to BREATHE and calm myself… All I want to do is sleep, I am SOOO tired that I can barely get up in the morning, and can barely stand in the shower, I often want to just sit, but know I wont want to get back up.
I really want to get these supplements, but just can’t afford them right now, and honestly I don’t know that I can think clearly enough or have the energy to follow the directions!!!!!!
Please anyone who tries them let me know how you do. Anyone know of anything else for energy? I’m SOOOOOOOOOO tired and could literally fall asleep on my desk right now!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 14, 2008 10:18 AM

If anyone would like to e-mail me I can give you my phone # and if you would like to talk on the phone I would be happy to do that. I think that sometimes when you are talking with someone on a more personable level it can be comforting and supportive even more. My E-mail address is
theresa.vaughn@hp.com

The Best to all, Theresa

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 14, 2008 at October 14, 2008 10:21 AM

I thought I’d share this since many people diagnosed with depression and bipolar find out they have hypothyroidism too.
I had my TSH level checked 7/08 after stopping Cymbalta, Lithium and cutting Lamictal from 200mg to 50mg. It was 0.11 (Normal range is .40-4.5). I had it checked again 9/08 and it is 21.78! That’s probably a huge factor in my being so tired.
So, if you can, get blood work done. I think Lamictal and SSRI’s can wreak havoc on our whole body system and readjusting after years of use isn’t as quick and painless as we were led to believe. Just my opinion

Posted by: Becky at October 14, 2008 01:37 PM

Sara, on July 26, 2007 wrote that she hoped that it wouldn’t “come back to bite you later” in response to someone who had reduced Lamictal too quickly. I have been off of it for 2 weeks, with little to no symptoms. My ears ring sometimes, but it could be dehydration- I’ve been flying a lot.

Anyways, what do you think she meant by that? I reduced from 300mg to 0mg over a period of 3 months. Two weeks have passed during which time I have taken no Lamictal. I feel fine- no problems at all, but am not sure if it is time to celebrate just yet. Could I still be at risk of feeling withdrawal symptoms?

Posted by: mesu at October 14, 2008 02:46 PM

The About.com website run by Mary Shoman is the best place to get information about hypothyroidism. Turns out that was my main problem. But seems docs prefer drugs to listening. I’ve known since I was 28 that I had a laundry list of thyroid sxs, but no one would listen.

The endocrine doctors changed the parameters for “normal range” a couple of years ago, otherwise I never would have received treatment. 30 years of my life have been wasted and I will never get them back. A lot of docs don’t know about the change, some have decided they don’t “believe” in it (so I guess pdocs are not alone in picking and choosing their illnesses).

I watch House on my computer. The guy is such a total jerk! They do stupid stuff like load a guy up with anticoagulants–then do major exploratory surgery. Right. The show is a case study in iatrogenics and intrusive, unnecessary testing week after week. Um, unless the patient lacks insurance. I notice House totally loses interest the moment there’s no insurance.

Hey, we have a Theresa and a Teresa here. How cool is that???

Posted by: Sherry at October 14, 2008 03:32 PM

Sherry and Becky,
Funny you should mention that because I have a friend who suffers from depression/bi-polar and whatever else the docs decide to call it and she told me a few weeks ago that she has hypothyroidism and since being on meds for it feels alot better and isn’t soooo tired!! She told me that I should get checked! I am going to make an appt. with a PCP, does anyone know what else I should have him check? Should I just tell him to do a COMPLETE series of blood tests to make sure all of my levels are where they are supposed to be that can be affected by Depression/Bi-polar meds???
Thank you !!! Yes, funny that there is Teresa and Theresa 🙂

Posted by: Teresa at October 14, 2008 05:51 PM

I wouldn’t say “check what could be affected by the meds” because, as you know, they’re perfectly safe and cause no side effects (sarcasm, of course!). But seriously, I would just tell the doctor every symptom or problem or possible problem you can think of that you may be having or have had. I mentioned being tired, memory loss, bruises and I don’t remember what else but I know I had a long list. Having experienced my concerns being dismissed as just old age (at 35!)

Posted by: Becky at October 14, 2008 07:40 PM

Becky,
Yes, you are right there are absolutely NO side effects or withdrawals either for that matter!!! I do plan to do so very soon! Although I did check have my iron checked and it was fine, I’m surprised because I ALWAYS have bruises and get them so easily and they take a while to go away!!! I am ALWAYS tired and having memory problems too at just 29 🙂 I feel like all my time is put into this instead of enjoying life and it stinks 😦 Who can enjoy life when all you can do is barely make it through the day at work and when you get home you have such a bad headache and are so dizzy that you can’t even stand up anymore!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 15, 2008 05:19 AM

Hi Everyone,

I agree with having your thyroid checked. One of my Engineers here at work was telling me how he was extremely tired and sluggish, was feeling depressed and mentioned a few other symptoms. He had never taken antidepressants. He went to the doctor and found that his thyroid was not functioning right, takes the med to correct the problem and feels great. Even my phycologist told me that when she was younger she ran out of her meds for thyroid and didn’t get a chance to get her perscription filled when she needed to and she said she felt absolutely horrible, tired, depressed, head in a fog, couldn’t connect with reality. When she told me this I thought, sounds like some of the symptoms that I have. With my new doctor I think I’ll ask her to check my thyroid.

Regarding the blood work, I’m so confused!!!
My mom had taken antidepressants over a long period of time. She took the old meds, Elavel (Tricyclic), years later her doc told her that there’s problems with the enzymes that her liver is producing. Doc says the older antidepressants caused issues with her health over along period of time. My mom said awhile back that she had a blood test that concluded she was bi-polar, I know my mom is not lying, but what the hell is that. I asked my doctor if I could be tested for depression and he said you cannot tell by blood work. I have seen those commercials on TV for several of the antidepressants and when they reveal all the possible side effects I have heard them mention that a occasional blood test should be performed. I was thrilled about that since I was taking one of the drugs that was mentioned on TV. I no longer take it. I know when I was having a tough time with withdrawls and I wanted something to help with the panic disorder Paxil is what worked the best for me. I was afraid I would gain weight since it’s described as one of the worse offenders for weight gain. My doctor said, weight gain of maybe a few pounds verses feeling better. I haven’t gained any weight as of yet and the Paxil is working for me but I am at a loss, damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 15, 2008 at October 15, 2008 11:21 AM

Becky- you mentioned that you got your thyroid checked and then rechecked. My thyroid has been tested a few times but always seems to be normal. Here I was hoping for a different reason for my weight gain (which really sucks, btw.) I don’t think that the anemia is the cause of that one. 🙂

I think I’m doing pretty well all things considered- I am now just dealing with painful muscle spasms and the diarrhea which is still a constant companion. The headaches aren’t constant anymore but down to about 60% of the time and the nausea and dizziness are pretty much gone. I am hoping that time will help all of this but we’ll see. I took the hemoccult and should have the results from that by the beginning of next week at the latest. Some days, you hope they will find something “reputable” wrong with you so it not just a mental health thing… For some reason, you feel more legitimate if there’s something tactile. I know, sad…but you all know how I feel.

Linda asked if anyone had ever done a “successful taper.” Linda, I’m off of the drug but I don’t know what you mean by “successful taper.” If you consider getting it out of your system a success, then I think quite a few of us are successful. It is the problem of dealing with the withdrawal that leads us here.

Teresa, I hope your BF becomes more supportive even if he doesn’t understand what is going on. I don’t know were I would be without the support of my husband right now. Actually, I do know where I’d be and I don’t think they have Internet access there. 🙂 It takes some people a long time and they have to understand that, no matter how difficult their road is to tread, it is a cake walk compared to yours. Understanding that is one of the keys (IMO.) You don’t need to deal with that kind of a change in your life on top of everything else. I hope he can just understand that it’s his job to support you no matter what.

Posted by: Susie at October 15, 2008 12:20 PM

http://www.lamictal.com

Hi Again,
I’ve been on this website before as I’m sure some of you have also looking for withdrawl symptoms with no luck. Just for the hell of it I decided to log onto this website again.

I was reading about some of the side effects with taking Lamictal under the heading “Important Safety Information” and as I read further it mentioned bruising. I remembered that in one of the previous blogs someone had mentioned that they were noticing some bruises after taking lamictal. I thought I’d pass this along.

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 15, 2008 at October 15, 2008 12:36 PM

Theresa-
I had been told by many people who battled depression that Paxil worked very well for them. I can’t even remember at this point if I tried it, as there have been SO many that I can’t keep track anymore!
I know that Lamictal is going to be the last. I never really new that these drugs that are supposed to help you so much could do such harm. I always just thought the same thing most of you probably think as well, there is something wrong with me and I need meds. It’s a disease like any other, and there is nothing I can do about it!!! Well I think at this point I’d rather be depressed, than constantly dizzy, nauseous, anxious, sick to my stomach and TIRED to the point of not being able to stand up for more than a few minutes at a time without feeling like I am going to fall over…. By the way- I will email you back soon, I haven’t had time yet!!!!

Susie-
My boyfriend has made it a point to try to be more understanding, however he can still be a jerk sometimes. I don’t think it’s intentional, I just think we butt heads alot!! So we shall see what happens… I was feeling better today until my coffee incident this morning when I felt like I was going to pass out by the time I went to lunch and was shaking so bad, and everything was loud- Panic attack!!!!! I could barely drive.. Once I hate and took .25 mg’s of Klonopin it got a bit better. I was SO tired that I couldn’t keep my eyes open so I thought I’d try drinking some coffee- bad idea!!!!! I felt decent this morning other than being COMPLETELY fatigued, now I a still fatigued and very dizzy and have a headache again 😦 I have an appt. with a Therapist tonight. It’s my first one, I hope I like her!!! I am trying to focus more on helping myself, and alternative options, instead of these toxic meds!!!!
After my move this weekend, once I get settled all I am going to do is focus on my health, mental and physical since I’ve gained a ton of weight as well 😦 Not happy at all about that! I also have horrible acne from the Lamictal, has anyone else had that problem? I have cystci like pimples on my face and neck! I even got one on my lip and my eye lid right below my eye brow!! Weird!!! I am also having PMS symptoms, however am on the pill and already had my period this month!!! I am not sure what to think about that!!! Anyone else have any of these problems???

Posted by: Teresa at October 15, 2008 01:03 PM

Teresa,

I think I have the same as you!!! These pimples what I would describe as being cystic to appeared on my face suddenly and they were hard bumps under the skin. They weren’t normal like the monthly period type of acne, not whiteheads. If I scratched one it would get red but not hurt. THEN when those went away I suddenly had a bunch of them show up on my arm in a group and also a few on my breast. The weird thing is that it was just on one side of my body. They were not sore and did not itch. I bought some over the counter stuff which did not help and when I broke out in a few more I thought I’d better go to my doc. She thought IT MIGHT BE an infection so she gave me an antibiotic. It’s going away, but slowly, whatever, what’s next!! I remembered to that when I was backing off the Lamictal I would come into work and put my head down on my desk, I was tired. I work in a lab and it’s away from everyone else and I’m usually the first one in at 6am. My boss does not show up till 9. I didn’t really give a shit that I was dosing off at work when I got in. I was messed up and couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

Has your boyfriend ever done any researching on lamictal or read the blogs on this website. If he hasn’t maybe reading these personal experiences would help him have a better understanding of what your going through. I don’t know, maybe, maybe not, just a thought.

Sometimes I shake in the morning when I first get up then it subsides pretty quickly.

Panic attacks – SUCK HORRIBLY. Out of control feeling, shake, weakness, hyperventilate. The first and the last is what kicks my ass the most. I have Xanax, but since taking Paxil, no more attacks. I don’t want it to sound like I’m pushing Paxil. If it were my choice I would not take anything, can’t achieve that right now though.

Good luck with the Therapist. Mine is like a good friend. It’s helped me!!!

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 15, 2008 at October 15, 2008 02:29 PM

He sounds like a good guy, Teresa! I remember times when I’d be on the floor bawling and rocking like an autistic kid and my husband was yelling; he just didn’t understand what was happening or why. He still doesn’t understand much about all of this but he does understand that he doesn’t ‘get it’ and acts accordingly. God love him…even when I bite his head off for no reason and then burst into tears, he tries to stay patient. These conditions (depression, PTSD, etc.) are monsters. I guess we can only do our best to banish them by whatever means available.

Teresa,
Have you ever noticed that your BC pills exacerbate your depression? I’ve been off of BC for quite a few years now b/c I took a depo shot that really caused me problems. Maybe using alternative methods (I know- annoying) and going off of the BC pills would help overall. You might ask your doc or therapist about it. I hope your therapist appt goes well and you have good rapport, etc. 🙂

Posted by: Susie at October 15, 2008 05:15 PM

Hey everyone! I came across this site after going to Google and typing in “Lamictal Withdrawal”. I guess I just have a few questions for those of you who can probably relate to what I’m going through with this whole process. Here’s a little background infor first. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder back in March of this year. I was also diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder. I did much research on my own and discovered that the symptoms I was experiencing were not really much like the Bipolar, but more like the Borderline. In fact, I would almost call myself a “text-book” case of Borderline in some of the criteria. When I read books about the disorder I remember crying because I felt like the book had been written about myself..and it felt good to have someone understand what I was going through. During a visit to my psychiatrist, she told me that she thought I may not even be Bipolar, because the Borderline can seem almost the same sometimes. However, she kept me on the Lamictal. After taking the med for about 4 months, I decided to try and taper off of it. I made this decision for two reasons: 1) I do not believe that I’m Bipolar, just Borderline..and 2) I wanted to see if I could function without the Lamictal. I tapered at what I thought was a relatively slow pace, but after coming across this site I realize that maybe it wasn’t so slow. I was on 200mg, then I decreased by 50mg every week. I’d stay at the lower dosage for a week, then taper down again. Now I’ve been completely off the med for 6 days. So, here’s my questions. I’ve been feeling very fatigued since stopping the Lamictal..is this a normal withdrawal symptom? I also have that “out of it” feeling that I’ve heard others describe on this site..also normal? And one more thing that concerns me is the fact that I’ve been having TERRIBLE stomach pains for the past 3 days. I went to my regular doctor yesterday to get it checked out. I do have a history of GERD, so this could also be the source of my problem. I’m not saying that it’s because of the Lamictal, just wondering if it’s a possibility. The doctor checked my blood count and said that everything was fine. He never did really say what was wrong with me, just that it wasn’t ulcers, and presribed me some Nexium to take for a couple of weeks. I’ve been taking the Nexium and it’s helped a little, but not as much as I’d hoped. Again, I’m just wondering if it could even be associated with the Lamictal withdrawal. And I guess my main question right now is: Does anyone know how long it will take for me to feel “normal” again? Or does anyone have any suggestions that may help me on my course? I just would like the opinions of people who have been through what I’m going through, now.

Thanks!
Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at October 15, 2008 09:20 PM

Teresa,
In answer to your question: “does anyone know what else I should have him check? Should I just tell him to do a COMPLETE series of blood tests” do yourself a favour and go to Mary Shoman’s About.com site. It will tell you exactly what tests to request, how to know if your doctor is actually listening to you, what “normal” parameters are. Trust me, you do not want to step into these waters without your life jacket. You need to be informed *before* you approach a doctor about thyroid conditions.

Thyroid treatment protocols are in a state of flux today. There is much controversy about what is “normal”, about whether to be proactive in treatment, what the target range should be, whether the docs should focus narrowly on blood test results (a popular course of action among medicos) or actually pay attention to the patient’s symptoms.

Had anyone listened to my laundry list of symptoms instead of focusing on blood test results I would not have spent 30 years in a haze of depression and fatigue. My blood test results have not changed in 30 years, they are the same as they were when I was 28 and complaining of fatigue and depression. I would probably be dead now of suicide had I not requested yet another thyroid check and had I not happened upon a physician’s assistant who accepts the new definition of “normal range”.

When I was 28 I had a doctor who listened to me and said “Your thyroid test says you’re on the low range of normal. But you have all the symptoms of a low thyroid. I’d like to treat you for it and see what happens.” Unfortunately, the man died of a heart attack three weeks later so I was never treated. 12 hospitalizations (2 of them 3 months in length), 20 years of Social Security and 8 suicide attempts later (the last within a hair’s breadth of success) I find out that ten dollars a month of thyroid hormone has revolutionized my life.

I was finally correctly diagnosed about 18 months ago. I still do not have the energy of a “normal” person my age and I do still have some PTSD symptoms (which I manage just fine). But the dysthimia which plagued me for years (and which I can never seem to spell correctly) is gone and the major depression is loosening its grip. I’m getting back some of my cognition (and losing some to aging, alas). After a lifetime of sinus infections which often lead to pneumonia, even my sinuses are better. Who knew? Oh wait, the doctors *should* know. But don’t.

I read an interesting article in the Boston GLOBE the other day about fatigue. They said they’re identifying two things related to fatigue. One is some sort of ongoing inflammation indicator. The other has to do with mitochondria, the tiny energy “factories” within our cells.

Seems mitochondria, when faced with physical inactivity, decide “there’s not much going on out there, guess we can shut down production.” In the case of mitochondria the product in question is energy.

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t bounced back more and faster in this thyroid recovery process. How much of my lack of energy is lack of conditioning, how much is depression, how much is PTSD related, aging, etc., etc. I’ve also been wondering why I continue to make progress long after the docs say I should be at a medical end point with hypothyroidism. Is it the walking? The writing, which seems to keep the depression demons at bay these days? The more mellow perspective of aging (yep, things that used to bug the heck out of me seem silly now that I look at the longer view of life)?

The authors of the study were talking about how prolonged rest in the face of say, the flu, can be counterproductive because it sends the wrong message to our mitochondria. As I read the article I was remembering the years of depressed inactivity. There have been many prolonged periods when I slept 20 hours a day, simply couldn’t wake up. (Why would I want to, I was suicidal almost all the time? Sleeping probably saved my life. It’s hard to kill yourself when you’re asleep unless you sleepwalk–or take certain meds.)

My current theory is that my body is waking up after a rather too long nap. I’m going to continue walking a LOT. (My poor little new dogs’ legs are probably half and inch shorter now from all this walking.) At the moment I cannot recall a time when I felt this good at this time of year. Usually I am going downhill, but the walking and writing seem to be keeping me going this year.

Don’t know why I went in to all this, other than to say sometimes it’s not all in our head. I’m not sure what I’ll be left with in the end in the “neurotic” category.
Sherry (fingers crossed, walking shoes on, notebook and pen in pocket)

Posted by: Sherry at October 16, 2008 06:19 AM

Hi Beccs,

I was horribly sick to my stomach for several weeks. I couldn’t eat much of anything. I would take 2 or 3 bites of a sandwich and toss the rest. I barely ate for almost a month. I was extremely tired, my head felt like it was in a fog and couldn’t seem to connect with reality, my surroundings. Loss of concentration and could not focus especially at work. Had Tremors, mainly when I first got up in the morning, depressed, crying spells, had a feeling of desperation. My opinion is that alot rides on your chemical makeup and how you personally react to meds, plus how much and how fast you are decreasing the Lamictal. I was taking 400mg and went down 100mg each week. BIG MISTAKE. That’s what my knucklehead doctor told me to do. Well, it ended up being my own personnel hell for a month then I finally stabilized at 200mg. I’m not going to back off anymore right now since I feel better. The one thing I do know is that these withdrawl symptoms I described are pretty much dominate for alot of people.

Best Wishes To You and Hang In There!!!
Theresa

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 16, 2008 at October 16, 2008 07:03 AM

Theresa-
Yes, same thing with the pimples, they are hard and under the skin and take a long time to go away! Also, I have had them on my chest and shoulders and back. My boyfriend is not computer savvy, and I have asked him to please research it and read stuff, he doesn’t have the patience for it, I swear he is borderline ADD LOL With the move and everything I know he is stressed as well, and has been working really long hours too. He has been better though, and I do plan to take him with me to therapy and the psychiatrist if he gets off work on time to go with me next Tuesday.
Today started off ok, until my headache started (there’s a surprise), and my boyfriend gave me information that made me really angry and upset, so now I am on the verge of screaming or crying or both!!!!!! I hate when I get like this and can’t handle my moods! I feel that the lower I go on the Lamictal the more my mood swings are…. I am just so dizzy again and my head really hurts… I just want to go home and lay down and be alone!!!!!!
I just have to wait to see what happens when I go to the new Psychiatrist next week and go from there!

Susie-
Yes, it is hard for our significant others mainly to deal with us when we get that way, because I am sure the first reaction is to attack back, and it’s hard not to, but he is getting better. As for the Yaz, I just started back on it last month and my PMS was so much better, and I don’t feel depressed as of right now, it’s just these horrible headaches and the dizziness that I can’t tolerate, and I think the Yaz is definitely adding to the headaches because that is one of the main side effects, so I just have to wait to see what the Psych says on Tuesday and see if he thinks I should stop taking it or not. Thank you again for your support, it means ALOT!!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 16, 2008 07:20 AM

Sherry,
Thank you so much for the info. I will definitely check out the about.com and see what is says. When I went to the therapist last night-first visit with her, she actually told me the same thing you just did. She said that I should first go to the new Psychiatrist I am going to see next Tuesday, and that she knows a great endo some sort of doctor, can’t remember what she said, I’m horrible with that. I know alot of the fatigue is obviously coming from going off of the lamictal, and my horrible headaches and dizziness etc., but I was definitely fatigued and depressed when I wasn’t on any meds for periods of time. Just recently before I started lamictal I had been on Lexapro for a long time and it stopped working as they all do, and I was so depressed, wasn’t working and I just slept on and off all day, didn’t even get up to shower for two days at a time because I didn’t have the energy and just didn’t care to!! It was horrible! That’s when I went to the Psych and he said he wanted to try Lamictal since it had seemed that the antidepressants weren’t successful. Well we know what my story is now! I just wish I knew what is “TRUELY” wrong with me so I can fix it and function!

Posted by: Teresa at October 16, 2008 10:22 AM

Teresa, Why did the therapist tell you to first go to the psychiatrist and THEN to an endo (endocrinologist)? It would make sense to find out if you have a physical problem (an endo would do blood work)that may cause what could be misdiagnosed as a psychiatric problem.

Posted by: Becky at October 16, 2008 12:12 PM

Hi Becky,
I guess she figured the most important thing was to get off of the lamictal, since I have been soooo sick!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 16, 2008 01:57 PM

Theresa:
Thanks for the response! It makes me feel better to know that what I’m feeling is due to the Lamictal withdrawal. I was starting to get worried. It’s really taking a toll on my nerves, that’s for sure! I guess it’s just something I’ll have to deal with until my body chemicals get back to normal. I think I’m going to start taking some multivitamins to maybe help me get back on track and give me more energy. I don’t eat all that healthy and I’m sure that’s not helping me “re-balance” myself, lol.

Posted by: Beccs at October 16, 2008 01:58 PM

Hi Beccs!

I to thought of vitamins for support. I was doing anything I could think of to help my mental state and to possibly ease the withdrawl.
I’m bad at taking vitamins faithfully though but taking a regiment of them everyday certainly would be a good thing. I bought vitamins B12, B6 and vitamin D. I bought these in a higher concentration because I thought they would target the areas I needed better. The vitamin B’s promote a healthy nervous system and the D is suppose to help with depression I believe. Being exposed to the sun produces vitamin D in our bodies naturally but during the winter time there can be a lack of sun exposure so I’ve been told to increase the D even if you are taking a multivitamin. Log on Google and type in “Vitamin b and the nervous system” and you can research how the vitamins are suppose to help. Now this is what I have learned but it would be good for you to research it and talk to someone that has a good knowledge of vitamins. The reason why I mention the B’s is because Lamictal gerks your nervous system around and the B’s target the nervous system. People who have seizers are perscribed this med to work on the chemicals that effect the nervous system and calm it down so seizers won’t occur. I have a friend who’s daughter takes it for that reason. One of the vitamin B’s, can’t remember which one, you can melt under your tounge which allows it to more effciently get into your blood stream. That is what the vitamin expert told me when I purchased them.

Well Take care and hope to hear from you!! 🙂

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 17, 2008 at October 17, 2008 09:32 AM

Hi Theresa, Becky and Sherry-
Hope everyone is feeling ok today. I’m not 😦 VERY tired, so fatigued I can barely keep my head up and eyes open today. It’s really nsaty outside and I think the weather is contributing to the way I am feeling. My headache isn’t as bad, it’s faint today and I am still dizzy, but mostly very tired!

Posted by: Teresa at October 17, 2008 12:23 PM

Lots of love and appreciation to all of you for sharing your experiences. Doc suggested Lamictal for me for occasional seizures. It scares me to find out it is also used for bipolar disorder. I think the truth (ultimately good for all of us in the long run even though it might sting at times) would out the dirty little pharms secret that in just about every incident where someone went on a shooting rampage, that person had recently stopped anti-depressant medication or changed it, ever since that lady who drowned her own kids in Florida way back when, to Columbine, Virgina Tech and all of the others like them. Hey, just saying.

Posted by: Gary at October 17, 2008 10:25 PM

Hey All,
I am trying to tapper off the medication. 4 weeks ago I stopped Gedeon due to side effects. I was taking it for 5 weeks, first 60, then 40, finally 20 and then stopped as my pdoc directed (to fast?). About 3 weeks ago I stopped taking Lithium 450 mg which I was taking in larger dosage for 2 years. So based on my pdoc recomendation I took 300 for 2 days and then stop completely. Since I stopped Gedeon and Lithium I feel more connected but I am depressed, hopeless,no energy, not myself, no motivation. I have had more anxiety but it is gone now. AND NOW!! For last two years I was taking LAMICTAL. The highest dosage I took was 150mg. Because it made me so jittery I ended up on 25mg a day. Since a week I am trying to cut down on Lamictal. My pdoc recomended me to take half (12.5mg) for a week and then stop. So today is the sixth day of 12.5mg of Lamictal at night. In the morning I feel better (i take .25mg of klonopin and 2.5 of lexapro in the morn) lightly depressed, not fully myself, but at least twice a day my depresion gets realy severe for 1-2 hours. I do not rememember when I felt like that. It hurts so bad. It is a depression connected with feeling of being sick, poisoned, anxious etc. It is even hard to describe it ho bad it feels. It’s like a attack. Is that normal Lamictal and other meds withdrawal????? How long it lasts??? I was taking such a small dosage!!!Please answear my questions. Overall I see the meds made me so disconnected and dessocciated. Will my emotions and motivation come back????? I am so lost. I do not want to go and see my pdoc because he will say that my depression is comming back and give me some another medication. Since two weeks I take omega 3, vitamin C, Milivit, Magnesium and B complex. I am sick of medication and I do not think I ever needed so many of them even in the smallest dosage. Please let me know if the symptoms I am experiencing are the meds withdrawal? Thanks and God Bless you all.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 17, 2008 11:49 PM

Theresa,

My doctor called back a few days ago and told me to go ahead and drop down to 100 mg. It’s been about a week since I dropped from 200 to 150 and I only had the dull headache and nausea for about three days. I’ve waited until (today, tonight actually) to drop down to 100mg as my husband has been out of town on business and I want someone here in case I have issues. I will let you know how it goes. I see my doctor on Tuesday as well.

Thank you for getting back to me. This information is a comfort. Good to know I’m not alone.

Posted by: beth at October 18, 2008 07:00 AM

I hope you’re feeling better Teresa and get to rest some over the weekend.
The leaves are changing here (in VA) and the weather is nice. But my first thought when I saw the pretty colors yesterday was; “Oh no! Winter’s coming!”
I wish time would stop for just a little bit so I could get well and catch up.

Posted by: Becky at October 18, 2008 07:03 AM

Jimmy,
I’m sorry about the pain you’re going through. I can relate. I wanted to give you my opinion (from experience and what I’ve read) on some of your questions;
1st – yes, I believe your doc went WAY too fast. I’m wondering how your doc came up with that reduction schedule (go from 450 Lithium to 300 for 2 days and stop?). Follow your gut when it comes to your pdoc.
2nd – yes, what you are going through is normal (typical) withdrawal. No question. Keep reading and researching online and you’ll find others who’ve gone through the exact same thing.
3rd – Many people including myself have found the last and smallest dosage is the hardest to stop (causes severe withdrawal). I think going from 200mg Lamictal to 100 was much easier than 25 to 12.5 to 0.
If I were you, I would let your body adjust to all the changes you’ve already made before making anymore (stopping Lamictal). You seem to be in tune with what is going on inside you (i.e. severe 1-2 hours a day, etc.). That should be the most helpful in determining when to move forward. More than what a doctor says or the manufacturer’s label says or a stranger suggests.
This website may be helpful: https://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/about

 

Posted by: Becky at October 18, 2008 01:23 PM

Philip and I both have huge comment threads on Lamictal withdrawal on our blogs…and it’s clear many of us are struggling for information.

I have written a recent update on my experience that might interest many of you.

Lamictal withdrawal-important update

I hope that embedding worked…if not here is the URL to cut and paste:

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

Posted by: Gianna at October 19, 2008 09:14 AM

Theresa:

Thanks for the vitamin B info..I actually didn’t know they did all of that, lol. I’m bad at taking vitamins regularly, too. I tend to miss several days in between or forget altogether. I’ve just been taking some Women’s One A Day that I bought a while back. I figured that way it’s several vitamins rolled into one pill, lol. The only bad thing is that sometimes it makes me feel kinda nauseated. I try to take them after a meal, now. My stomach pains are finally going away for the most part but now I’m starting to experience a little irritability. Did you experience that with your withdrawal? I think I read on here, or somewhere, that some people do experience emotional sensitivity when withdrawing which leads them to get back on the meds. I don’t want to do that if this is something that will eventually calm down. Ugh..this has turned out to be harder to do than I expected. This is the first med I’ve ever been on that actually has consequences to getting off of it.

Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at October 19, 2008 12:00 PM

hi guys here i am laying in bed on week 6 back on lamictal 12.5 i havent been able to work since 09/02 i took lamictal 12.5 mgs for 6 days in 8/08 and quit because i didnt care for side effects of nausea dizziness and agitation what followed can only be described as HORRIFIC after 14 days off panic attacks and uncontrollable crying jags went back on 09/07/08 so here i am about 6 weeks later and i still feel i cant work i thought i was getting better back to driving but then suddenly i feel i cant again i would luv to go back to work but with my changing moods and concentration i cant yet i havent been to the gym in almost 7 weeks i used to go a few times a week i just lay in bed and stare at the wall sometimes i feel so tired everyday i go online wandering if i could get info on how much longer it will be just periods of depression crying I did not have this to begin with Lamictal was supposed to help me stick with thoughts kinda cognitive thing Has anybody successfully bounced back to stabalize and function again out of work 6 weeks and dont think i can go in this coming week Can anyone help?

Posted by: linda at October 19, 2008 12:14 PM

“feminine problems” – “problems with period” -hormonal?
I see some mention of these in the littany of Lamictal side effects. My daughter took Lamictal for awhile, going up to 100. For the whole time, whenever her “monthly” would be coming, she would suffer suicidality. Other strange things never happening before included massive cramping, hot flashes, etc. It was a dangerous time so tapering was critical. Each time she would reduce the dose, acute suicidality would rear its ugly head. She finally had to be hospitalized for safekeeping to finish the taper. Anyone else have this?

And a word about why I personally can’t bear psychiatrists: They killed my father in the early days of ECT. They killed my son from Zyprexa (one of those cheesy community mental health docs – I tried to get his license taken away based on clinical record evidence, but no. This is Maryland, one of the worst states for protecting the public – see list at Public Citizen). And they almost killed my daughter from lithium toxicity: This was a doctor from Hopkins – I made the diagnosis through reading. In addition to the carnage, various members of my family have been insulted by their superior manner, making one afraid to question their “authority”. Now we are working with an orthomolecular psychiatrist. It’s taking a big chunk of our life savings but life is short. Many lab tests, many supplements, and slow weaning off parnate seem to be bringing my daughter, finally, back to normal. She has lost four years of her life thanks to maltreatment.

Posted by: Sorrowful at October 19, 2008 12:42 PM

Hi Beccs,
It is good to hear from you!!
I didn’t get irritable backing off the Lamictal cause I was so out of it in my head that it took everything I had not to loose it completely. I was overwhelmed with Depression and Anxiety. I was constantly taking deep breaths being on the verge of a panic attack trying not to hyperventilate. My brain was constantly busy with negative racing thoughts, constant worry, being fearful of what I was going through and wondering when I was going to feel better, Every night I prayed to God that I would wake up the next day and feel good. It was a nightmare everyday for 1 month and then I started to feel like my old self again toward the end of August. Labor Day weekend was the first weekend that I felt truly better, however I am still taking 200mg from 400mg. When I started to feel better my doctor thought it would be a good idea to stabilize for awhile and if I wanted to continue backing down that I could still do that. 400mg did make me irritable and I had outbursts of anger.
I experienced only one side effect from going on the drug and that was feeling nauseated in the mornings, I would sometimes even get the dry heaves. It’s been the only drug I have ever taken that I had an awful experience with.

Posted by: Theresa Vaugh, Oct 19, 2008 at October 19, 2008 06:27 PM

Hi Linda,

When I was going through my nightmare, I kept looking to my family and friends for comfort and answers, for someone to tell me it’s going to be okay. There were fleeing moments when I would have a thought pop into my head that I WOULD recover and I would be okay. Most of the time it was almost impossible to hang onto a good thought, but during that time I would tell myself that no matter what, I won’t feel this way forever.
The one thing that helped me to be able to start feeling better was an SSRI, I hate to say it, I know from what I have read that most folks do not want to go that route and I understand and I don’t want it to sound like I’m pushing SSRI’s but for me the combo of the 2 drugs worked well. I believe the antidepressant that I started taking with the lamictal helped to level me out and finally relieved me of my anxiety and panic attacks. This is what is working for me, but I still have to be taking somethng.
I’m sorry that you are still gong through a tough time, but it will end. Stay Strong!!!

Posted by: Theresa Vaughn, Oct 19, 2008 at October 19, 2008 07:57 PM

Foods-That-Can-Cause-Panic-Attacks—The-Top-3-Foods-to-Avoid

For those of us who have high anxiety and get panic attacks there are some foods to avoid that can cause an attack. I had heard some time ago the caffeine can cause an attack to occur. This has happened to me before but it happened only once and after that although I like coffee I had avoided it for a long time. I just wanted to convey some info on the subject in case anyone may be interested.

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 17, 2008 at October 20, 2008 08:13 AM

Theresa:

I’ve also been having negative thoughts. Mainly when I first wake up in the morning. I have a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy workbook that I’m using to learn how to control my Borderline, and it suggested that I keep a record of every negative thought I have. I’ve been doing this for a few days, now, and by following my entries I can see that the thoughts are more common in the morning and begin to space out as the say progresses. I don’t think I mentioned in my first entry that I also quit Vyvanse and Seroquel shortly after I began tapering the Lamictal. I never really thought that’d affect anything, but after reading other entries on here I’ve learned that several different drugs can work together, so I wonder if I’m having effects from those as well. I don’t think the Vyvanse is a concern any more but the Seroquel could be. I stopped taking it for a few days then got back on it because I was having trouble sleeping. I stopped again because it just makes me way too tired about half of the next day. I do need something to help me sleep better so my Aunt is going to let me try 5mg of her Ambien tonight. I’m hoping it won’t be as strong as the Seroquel. I know that I can’t take it every night due to its instructions but if I can get better sleep during the school week that’d be nice. Anyway, you might have told me and if you have I apologize for asking again, but how long did you take Lamictal before you began tapering? I’ve only been completely off of it for a little over a week and I have been getting slowly better. Baby steps..baby steps..lol! I do agree with you, thought, that you have to keep telling yourself that this shall pass and put faith in God that it will. Thanks again for your support and I hope you’re doing well!!

*Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at October 20, 2008 11:05 AM

Hi Theresa-
What are the other two foods aside from Coffee that you should stay away from? I have found that I can have some decaf coffee and I am ok. I had a bad episode last week with coffee, major panic attack!
I am feeling better mentally today, but I have not been able to drop from the 37.5 mg’s of Lamictal or I get nutso and am angry and violent and mean, and crazy!!! I go to a new Psych tomorrow after work and I’m hoping he can give me a lower dose so that I can go down very slow!
Other than that I am very tired and feel like I’m getting sick 😦 Could just be the lamictal withdrawal- flu-like feeling!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 20, 2008 01:27 PM

Beccs,
What workbook are you using? A friend of mine is looking for something like that and I’d like to pass the info on to her.
Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at October 21, 2008 06:49 AM

Becky,

Thank You so much for your post. I felt better already. I should listen to you but I got brave and today is the third day with no lamictal at all. Last two days were ok but today I experience some anxiety, I am edgy, agitated, have some depression, I am slow, not motivated. I do not feel good but it is better than it used to be. Is that normal that I still slide down?? When will my mood balance? I still take 750mg of Depakote, 2.5 Of Lexapro and .25 of klonopin a day. I do not know what next. I am trying to delay my doc’s visit because I do not want to hear that my illness is comming back. I am tring to eat healthy, take suplements, exercise. It is not easy but better than take all of this meds. I am thinking about getting of the meds completely. What is your sugestion? Should I try???? Thank You again for your post and making me feel better

Posted by: Jimmy at October 21, 2008 02:47 PM

Hey Sherry! I’d love to share the info! The name of the book is “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook” by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey Wood, and Jeffrey Brantley. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Dialectical-Behavior-Therapy-Workbook-Interpersonal/dp/1572245131/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s;=books&qid;=1224632555&sr;=8-1

This has been a really great help to me and I recommend it to anyone with BPD. Hope this helps your friend! Have a good night!

*Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at October 21, 2008 04:46 PM

Just bought a book ‘Your Drug May Be Your Problem’ How and Why to Stop Taking Psy Meds. It seems like it may be beneficial for those coming off meds. Anyway-thats all.

Posted by: max at October 21, 2008 05:41 PM

Beccs,
Thank you so much. It’s almost impossible to grow up in a seriously abusive home and not pick up some (okay, a lot) of borderline behaviours from the people who raise you. So yeah, I have tons of friends who can use this resource.

I am quite sure that any self-respecting shrink who took a look at me in my twenties would have dxed me with borderline. But I have not fit that dx for decades now. It took a lot of hard work to learn new behaviours, but I did. My life is rich with long term friendships and a happy 30-year marriage. A lot of family and dysfunctional friends have been escorted to the edges of my life and replaced by much healthier and more satisfying relationships. Borderline used to be considered “hopeless”. It takes a lot of work and you are the only one who can do that work, but you definitely can work yourself out of that dx.

I found an Al Anon Adult Children of Alcoholics group very useful in working my way out of behaviours. It didn’t do all that much for the emotional stuff, but definitely taught me new approaches to life and thinking.

Keep up the good work. It’s more than worth it. Whatever/whoever you give up to move forward towards health is more than replaced in your life.
Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at October 22, 2008 05:48 AM

Hi Beccs

Sorry I didn’t get back to you yesterday!
You had asked how long I was on the lamictal before I started tapering and I was on it about a year. I started tapering down in the last week of July. I remember it was on a Thursday that I started on the 300mg from 400mg. Friday and Sat. I was fine but looking back I do remember feeling more tired but didn’t think to much about it. On Sunday I was feeling alittle agitated and blah and by the next day I was like a sinking ship, I went down from there. I remember my husband and I went to dinner and we were just sitting there talking and I felt extremely emotional and tried not to cry, couldn’t hold it back though. That first week was horrible and got worse from there.
From reading your last blog it sounds like your doing better and the book you have been reading has been a great help to you. I’m happy that you found something to help you through this tough time.

Take Care, Theresa

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 22, 2008 at October 22, 2008 06:32 AM

Hi Teresa,

Hope your doing well today!! How are you feeling?? 🙂 A happy face never hurts!!
Sorry I didn’t get back to you yesterday. The other 2 foods you asked about to avoid from having a panic attack are sugar and alcohol. Ya know looking back when I was going through withdrawls and had that horrible panic attack I had totally lost my appetite but there was a chocolate muffin on the counter and I thought that it looked a little appealing so I ate half and well, guess what happened. I don’t think it was just the muffin though. I was so stressed out and had been taking Zoloft to try and relieve the anxiety that it worked the opposite on me. I had only been taking it for a few days. After having the panic attack I didn’t take the Zoloft any more and that’s when I switched to Paxil. I think that it may have played a part in having the panic attack plus I was extremely depressed that day to the point of feeling numb but yet at the same time feeling extreme anxiety to. I was definitely screwed up. I wanted to swap brains with somebody!! How did it go with the new Psych and did he reduce your dosage?? Let me know how it went!!

Take Care, Theresa

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 22, 2008 at October 22, 2008 07:03 AM

Hi Jimmy,
I gathered from reading your two posts that you have been on medications for at least two years, tapering off of some of them within the last 4-5 weeks. You’ve mentioned; GEODON, LITHIUM, LAMICTAL, KLONOPIN, LEXAPRO and DEPAKOTE. It helps to know where you’re starting from and how far you’ve already come.
I listed them like that in case you are like me; Back in February ’08, I went to the dentist and they asked what meds I was on and when I named them, I was shocked (LAMICTAL, CYMBALTA, VYVANSE & LITHIUM). I hadn’t even realized how much I was prescribed! I was diagnosed with mild depression in 1996. How did I end up here on all this!
It’s hard to believe (especially when doctors don’t acknowledge it) but coming off of psychiatric drugs can be dangerous. It can cause severe, emotional and physical problems.
In the beginning of my withdrawal, I was throwing up for days and I shouldn’t have been driving with the dizziness I was experiencing.
You need to arm yourself with as much information as possible about withdrawal from the specific drugs you’re on. For example: some meds (Lamictal being one) take a while to get out of your system and withdrawal symptoms might be delayed. Klonopin and Depakote, I’m sure have very different withdrawal symptoms that I don’t know about personally.
I also have the book Max just suggested. There’s a section about getting off of multiple drugs that may be helpful. If you want to get off meds successfully, you need to develop a plan and proceed carefully in order to minimize symptoms of anxiety and depression as you’ve already experienced.
Take care of yourself.

Posted by: Becky at October 22, 2008 08:14 AM

Went on 200mg Lamotrogine 4 years ago after a psychotic episode. Experienced all those side effects, fatigue, neck ache, lack of concentration, lack of motivation, depression, hair falling out, depression, forgot how to spell, weight gain of 4 stone. Had to give up my job as a piano teacher and haven’t felt the impulse to play my piano ever since – lack of interest, as in everything. In May my best friend killed herself and I felt nothing because all my emotions are numb.

Four months ago my doctor agreed that I should start cutting down. I’ve reduced in 25mg drops and didn’t feel any worse than usual – which is pretty awful. When I reached 100mg 4 weeks ago the withdrawal symptoms really hit me. Everything I felt before became incredibly much worse. For several days I haven’t showered and in the 4 weeks I’ve done no housework or tidying up. All I wanted to do was sleep and make the world go away. When up and about, all I did was crosswords (despite my awful spelling), chain smoked and drank endless cups of tea. Also, I went down with ‘the rash’ for the first time.

Discovering this website was a life saver. I’d had no idea that what I’ve been going through is due to the medication. I’d thought for 4 years that I’m lazy, worthless and mentally ill. I wished I’d discovered your blogs years ago.

Anyway, I woke up at 11.50 this morning and I felt okay for the first time. I’ve done some housework, felt energetic and clear-headed and feel hopeful for the future. I know this probably won’t last – I’m going down to 75mg in a week or so and am expecting more withdrawal symptoms – but while this feeling lasts I shall enjoy it. I feel like ‘me’ again and I’d forgotten what it felt like.

So let’s all ‘hang in’ there. We can make it through to the other side.

By the way, someone advised getting a cat. Mine has helped me get through everything by her presence and affection. I thoroughly recommend cats!

If anyone’s interested I’ll let you know how I get on with the rest of my withdrawal. Best wishes to you all on the journey.

Posted by: pam at October 22, 2008 09:28 AM

Theresa-
Hi, how are you doing? I am doing decent I guess, aside from my throat being a little sore and having a little cold. I am down a bit lower on the Lamictal, and the Psych I went to prescribed me 25 mg pills so that I can go down to 25 for a week and than 12.5 for a week, and than stop. We shall see if I can do it that fast. From the past months experience, I wont be able to. It was almost like he was telling me I was lying about how the littles drops give me horrible withdrawals. He did agree that it sounds like I am very sensitive to meds. He prescribed me Buspar. Have you ever been on that or heard of it? I guess it’s for anxiety, but I have mood swings too, especially coming off the Lamictal, so I’m not sure why he gave me that. he said that I should tolerate it well, and that he will keep me at a low dose. I didn’t like him either. That’s two in the past two months that I don’t like. I felt like he was asking me what was wrong with me and for me to basically diagnose myself, HELLO I’m not the doctor here!
Where do they get their Licenses, from Cracker Jack boxes?
I took half of the pill at 1:OO and my headache and dizziness are worse than they were before so, and I am more tired! Don’t know!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 22, 2008 11:52 AM

Sherry:
Glad I could help in some way with the book info! Like I said, it has been a huge help to me. It’s really made me take a different look at a lot of situations and now I’m starting to understand the REAL reasons behind my emotions and outburts. I didn’t grow up in a physically abusive home, but I suffered a lot of mental abuse from a very young age. I had a stepfather who controlled every aspect of my life and my mother was too stuck up his ass to take up for me. Once the two of them became married it was like I completely vanished from her world and it was all about her and him. But not trying to tell a sob story, lol. It’s good to hear people who used to have BPD say that recovery is possible..it gives me even more hope and realization that it can be done. I know it won’t be easy, because it hasn’t thus far, but I want it bad enough to do whatever it takes. Glad to hear that you were able to overcome! I hope you’re doing well!

Theresa:
Hope you’re doing well!! Tapering isn’t easy. I think my experience and definitely everyone else’s on here proves that. I never thought it would be so much trouble to get off of a medication. I have recently stopped taking the Seroquel, as well. It was making me unable to stay awake and function well during the day. I have found that I sleep better with “assistance” so I’ve been taking my Aunt’s Ambien for the past 2 nights. I’ve only been taking 5mg and I’m not sure how well it’s actually working..I know that may sound strange, lol. It’s just that I’m so used to the “knocked out” feeling the Seroquel gave me that I figured all sleep meds were that way. But then again Seroquel is an antipsychotic..not really a “sleep” med. I do feel much more rested when I wake up. I called my doctor’s office today to see if they could call me in a prescription for some Ambien and I’m waiting to hear back from them on it. Anyway, again, hope everything’s going well for you!!

*Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at October 22, 2008 12:45 PM

hi im back on computer after3 day break couldnt even concentrate or attach to environment last 2 days i laid on sofa staring into space last 2 nites i went into bed with mom and stayed a little whilw pathetic i know Im 47 yrs old THIS IS HORRIFIC Im still out of work since 09/02 i need a time to hold onto a timeframe so i can tell them when i can rturn to work been back on Lamictal since 09/07 so it is now 6 weeks thought i was getting better startred to drive again after not driving a month but then sunk back in havent been out of house since fri morn i feel likw Im having the same symptoms i had when i was 14 days off and had to start again sobbing uncontrollably waking up early in a.m. and not being able to get back every week call job and say i can return next week and here it is and i cant I need a timeframe Everyone says it will get better but WHEN ? My docs off on vacation and he’s the one that prescribed it didnt mention Withdrawal and doesnt believe in it HELP

Posted by: Linda at October 22, 2008 12:57 PM

Beccs and Sherry-
Have either of you had any experiences taking Buspar, or know anything about it?
The new Pdoc I went to last night wants me to try it, and I haven’t heard great things about it.
I am wondering why he is giving me something for Anxiety when I have klonopin for that, and my main problem is the mood swings, especially with coming off of Lamictal.

Posted by: Teresa at October 22, 2008 01:04 PM

Hey Theresa! I’ve never taken Buspar. I take klonopin for my anxiety. When I saw my psych, she presribed me the Seroquel and said that since it did the same as klonopin I would no longer have to take the klonopin..this ended up not being true, though. I was able to lower my dosage of klonopin from 2mg down to .5mg, but that’s it. Did your doc say anything about maybe trying to take you off the klonopin at some point? Just wondering because that’s what mine told me when I was out on Seroquel. Sorry I couldnd’t help out on this one, lol!

Posted by: Beccs at October 22, 2008 06:53 PM

Linda,
I’m so sorry you’re having such a horrible time. Do you think you should find another doctor? Maybe a psychologist who knows about meds but won’t just prescribe more? I know that would be difficult but these withdrawal symtoms are lasting way too long. You need some relief.
I don’t leave the house much either. It’s mostly due to fatigue and still being scatterbrained. I’m starting to feel a little better emotionally though. Have you thought about trying the supplements from theroadback.org or some other program? Hang in there!

Posted by: Becky at October 22, 2008 09:09 PM

My daughter took BuSpar for a very short period. She had suicidal ideation on that the same as when she was on any SSRI.

Klonopin is a benzo and highly addictive; whereas Seroquel is an antipsychotic originally created for psychotic events with schizophrenia.

I personally had withdrawals from hell coming off of Seroquel, same as Xanax.

I currently take Lamictal.

Posted by: Stephany at October 22, 2008 10:20 PM

I did take Buspar. Very briefly. It did nothing for the anxiety. But within days it made me feel as if I’d been eating razor blades. I’m not kidding. It was the strangest sensation in my stomach. My doc took me right off it. This is unusual in my experience because usually the docs are in total denial about side effects, but I guess it’s kind of hard to pin something as physical as “I feel as if I’ve been eating razor blades” on my “mental illness”.

As for Klonopin, watch out for that stuff! It really IS highly addictive. I found all of the so-called “anti-anxiety” drugs to be a dead-end street. Your doc probably would like you off the addictive klonopin and has suggested buspar as an alternative because it’s the least addictive of that species of drugs.

So klonopin, while it may be helpful now, is only going to demand more and more from you. Like all addictive drugs it will become less effective and you’ll have to take more and more.

The other little problem with klonopin–and the reason I hate the stuff more than any other drug on the market–is that it is notorious for reducing or eliminating inhibitions. Did your original prescribing doc mention that little factoid? Mine didn’t. And I ended up taking a MASSIVE overdose, trying to gas myself in my truck and drown myself–all in one grand and glorious night. The bright lights at my local hospital decided I was lying about it all and sent me home–twice–where I nearly died. My family doc took a blood test 2 and a half days after the original overdose and at that time my blood level of klonopin was only 2 points below toxic. The prescribing doc refused to let him hospitalize me, made him send me home. Where I tried to hang myself in the woodshed.

The local cops finally intervened, told my husband to take me to another city, another hospital. They escorted us out of town. I tried to hang myself in that hospital. I couldn’t figure out why I was doing all this, it was totally out of character for me. Finally the nurse who’d interrupted my suicide attempt (just as I was stepping off the overturned waste basket) told me “the doctor says it’s the medication still in your blood stream.” This was almost four days after the initial attempt(s).

I spent three weeks in the hospital, with the attending doc shaking his head in amazement that I was still alive.

However. His discharge summary, while it pulled some punches, mentioned NONE of the statements he made to me during my hospitalization. It was a tissue of lies and half truths designed to cover the ass of the prescribing doc, who had privileges at that hospital also (I fired him when I was admitted, refused to speak to him).

Treating doc’s discharge summary gave me an Axis 2 diagnosis I’d never had before or since, which he read to me out of the DSM later, shaking his head and saying “Oh no, this isn’t you at all!”. He corrected it in pencil on his copy. But never changed the digital copy.

I will never trust a psychiatrist again. I have totally betrayed by the profession’s need to cover one another’s butts. Nor will I ever take another psychotropic medication.

Klonopin, in my opinion, is a really bad drug. It’s addictive, doesn’t work in the long run and, as my experience has taught me, holds some potential to kill you.

What has helped my anxiety? Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, learning to tolerate unpleasant emotions, understanding this is a temporary thing–no matter how unpleasant, better nutrition, walking–a LOT, getting rid of annoying people (like pdocs), cultivating relationships with people who actually LIKE me, treatment for an undiagnosed thyroid condition, understanding that a lot of my anxiety is a hangover from a crappy childhood, getting older (I’m mellowing out–a lot). A whole host of things that have added up, bit by bit, over the years. But medication helped the least. And nearly killed me, to boot.
At this point you’re probably sorry you ever asked. But that’s my experience with the benzos. I do not recommend them to anyone. I’m going to read “My Stroke of Insight”, a new book written by a neuroscientist who had a massive stroke that wiped out her left brain functioning. She talks a lot about how these strong emotions are a series of circuits in our brain. When she feels rage now, she reminds herself of this and simply waits it out, waits for the circuit to complete itself and burn out. I think I may find some of this helpful.

Posted by: Sherry at October 23, 2008 06:01 AM

Teresa, Hey Girl!!

OH,!! I’m really pissed off at the way this psych treated you. First of all, I to have a sensitivity or low tolerence to alot of meds. You know, all of us must be super sensitive to Lamictal. The comment he made when he perscribed you Buspar, “you should tolerate it well” how does he know!! That’s what my doc told me about Lamictal. It’s a hit and miss, truth is you don’t know how someone is going to react until they actually start taking the drug. I’m SORRY if I sound so negative about the whole situation, I just hate the fact that he also treated you as if you were lying about your withdrawls. Right now I’d like to take a frikin bottle of Lamictal and shove it down his throat. I have never taken Buspar. I log onto a website called, “WebMd” and it will tell you information on the drug. There is also a section that you can read about peoples comments in regards to taking the drug and how they reacted to it. I’m so sorry that your going through this, I feel bad for everyone!!! 😦 I’m always reading about the different drugs they perscribe and then I read about it on WebMd. The list of side effects that are listed for some drugs are enough to scare the shit out of you, pardon my expression. This morning when I got up I felt like one of those bobble heads, you know the little toy or whatever it is, that you put on the dashboard of the car and the head is on a spring bouncing all over the place 🙂 I’ll be fine. Know matter how awful you feel YOU WILL get through this. My psychcologist told me that it might help to try, no matter how hard it is, to find something that you like to do maybe a hobby or something anything that will help your mind to focus on something else. I surfed the web alot and tryed to get out of the house at least once in awhile and went to the bookstore and read some things that interested me. It doesn’t help completely but it does help alittle.

Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing!! Theresa 🙂

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 23, 2008 at October 23, 2008 06:46 AM

Becky,

Yes you are right, the plan wold be a key to get off my medication. Should I do it with my doctor? You know how they are. Thy think that your depression and anxiety is comming back. When it comes to ammount of meds I have also realized how many I take when I was leaving for vacation. Today is my 5th day off Lamictal. I am still depressed, but little bit more I was when I stopped Lithium and Gedeon.When that happens, my head feels funny and fuzzy, my neck hurts. I can also sleep long hours. Yesterday evening and today in the morning I felt nausea and my joints hurts. Is that normal?? Also, I have recognized that since I started to tapper off meds I amd not myself, I have lack of emotions, feel kind of flat, days go by so fast, I am kind of numb. Is that also normal? Sometimes when I take extra Klonopin things get better, but I do not want to use it too much….i do not know. Thank You

Posted by: Jimmy at October 23, 2008 09:55 AM

Sherry, I really appreciate you sharing your story here.

Posted by: Stephany at October 23, 2008 10:01 AM

Hi Beccs,

How are you doing?? I hope that each day is better 🙂 I was taking Xanax to help me sleep at night because if I hadn’t taken it I know there’s no way I would have slept. I would have been pacing back and forth in the house and probably trying like hell not to have a panic attack. The next day though I was extemely tired. My Mom takes it and it calms her but she doesn’t get tired, I take it and I’m numb. I haven’t been taking it much lately. I don’t know how some people can like downers (that’s the category I would put it in)and become addited to it. I would never be able to function at all, but maybe for others they like the feeling of being numb.
Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing!! Take Care, Theresa 🙂

Posted by: Theresa V Oct 23, 2008 at October 23, 2008 10:11 AM

Sherry-
I’m so sorry about what a hard time you had! It’s amazing how these “Amazing” drugs can make you 100% worse than you were to begin with!!! The doctors just don’t understand what they are doing to people, and that is why I was so angry the other night when I went to the new Pscyh, and he may as well have told me that I was lying about the withdrawals from such a low does of the Lamictal, and I said to him, that it’s easy for Psychiatrists to say because they haven’t taken them, and they have no idea what if feels like! As for the Buspar, I don’t know why he gave it to me, I don’t even know if he kept in mind that I was taking Klonopin because it seemed he asked me the same questions over and over, and didn’t even really “listen” to what I was saying. He was just weird if you ask me!
I felt like I knew more than he did! Just the questions he asked were off the wall, and I was ready to walk out 10 minutes into it!!! He never mentioned giving it to me for anxiety or to help with the withdrawals from Lamictal or to get me off of Klonopin. As for the Klonopin, I take .25 mg’s occassionally, I don’t even take it every day. Only when I really need to, because it makes me really tired, so it’s hard to take it at work. I am usually always tired as it is!!! I’ve never been hooked on it, or had a hard time with it. I surprisingly enough, don’t have a very addictive personality, which is weird considering my Dad who passed away at 46 was a terrible alcoholic. I used to smoke and would quit all of the time just like that. Noone could ever understand how I could smoke one day and not the next. I am also very sensitive to drugs. Well the one good thing the new Psych did was gave me 25 mg’s of Lamictal which I went down to starting last night. I am very dizzy today and nauseous and have a horrible headache again which was starting to subside…. I guess I have to just deal with it until I stabilize again! At least I’m getting closer. The anxiety is definitely alot worse… My mind is going in 8 thousand directions! I have so much to do with moving this weekend that I have tons of things I need to do, and of course they keep going through my head over and over and it feels like it’s going to explode! I hate when I get that way, because EVERYTHING in the world that I want, need or feel that I need to do keeps going through my head over and over until I do them. Even stupid things such as I need a new pair of shoes, or pants or I have to go to the store, minial things drive me crazy!!!! Everything that I see that I want or need stresses me out, like if I see someone with a purse or pair of shoes or anything that I like or want it’s like I obsess over it. I think of everything in the world at the same time!!! I need to learn that I have to take it one thing at a time and I can’t have EVERYTHING or do EVERYTHING now, but when I am anxious and stressing I don’t know how to make my mind stop!!!!! I decided not to take the Buspar. I took it once yesterday and got more dizzy than I already was…. I need to figure out what I’m going to do next!
Theresa-
Thank you again for your support! I know I will get through this I just wish my mind would slow down! I just drank soda, which I usually don’t do but for some reason I really wanted it. I’ve been craving sweets alot again too, but I think I am starting to PMS. I’m tired and am ready to take a nap on my desk!
I certainly know what you mean about the bobble head, and I have to say you really made me laugh with that one. I can definitely relate!
I am moving this weekend and once settled in I am going to join the gym again so that I can go work out and do Yoga as well! I also want to start going back to the tanning salon, I find it relaxing and I like to be tan as well and since moving to North Carolina 4 1/2 months ago from Florida, I am completely pale. I also plan to pamper myself with a manicure and pedicure, and get my hair done which I haven’t had done in a while because Financially I couldn’t do it! I’ve been saving to move and FINALLY I am this weekend!!! I think the next few weeks will be hectic but good for me to be back in my own place!!!!
Even though that brings many many stressors of all the things I need to buy for the place and do!!!!! 🙂 One day at a time, right?? !!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 23, 2008 12:00 PM

Becky,

It is me again. I got hit bad with depression today. Like I described in my prewious posts, it is strong depressed feeling along with feelings that are hard to describe. Today I also had bad taste in my mouth and neusea. It was worsening since yesterday and it got it’s peak while I am at work. Again, today is the 5th day with no lamictal. Are those waves of depression are withdrawal or my illnes is comming back??????? I only took 25 of Lamictal for almost 2 years. I am scared because I was so happy about comming off medication and I was feeling better, but now I am loosing my hope and I am affraid that I will have to take them again. Now I took .25 of Klonopin and it make me feel little better. How to determine if those symptoms are withdrawal or mental illness?……I do not want to take meds anymore.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 23, 2008 02:39 PM

Hey Theresa!! My doctor gave me Rozerem for sleep. Well, actually, it was the doctor’s nurse and they gave it to me over the phone. Which I didn’t even know they could do. I took it last night and it did help me sleep. It made me a little groggy today but not near as bad as the Seroquel did. I’ve only taken it once so it’s kinda hard to judge anything just yet.

*Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at October 23, 2008 04:18 PM

Buspar is also RXed for migraines as a prophylactic med. That’s all I know about it.

Linda- if your psych doesn’t believe in withdrawal fx, you need to find a new one. He’s either in the pharma co’s pockets or he’s just an idiot (no offense to you, please!) I just hate to see you under the power of someone like that. These withdrawal fx are just too well documented for someone to summarily dismiss them.

I’ve been off of Lamictal for almost a month now. Lately, I’ve been absolutely worthless. My sugar cravings may be gone but I keep eating and eating. I guess I’m making up for the horrific stomach issues during the heavy withdrawal. 🙂 If I don’t take the Atavan at night, I don’t sleep and even if I do, I only sleep well every third or forth day. Joy. I have ZERO energy but that may be the anemia. I sent in my Hemoccult (they should have gotten it last week on Tuesday) but no results yet. I called on Monday, but the nurse said she didn’t see that they had it. I don’t want to collect samples again… One thing I’m finding really odd is that I’m retching in reaction to the smell of feces. I’ve NEVER done that. One of the cats had a fragrant bowel movement and I was retching beyond belief. When I collected the hemoccult sample, I retched so hard every time that I “leaked” urine and one time full out vomited. I’m not sure anymore what is due to the drug/lack of the drug or if I’m just f’d up. Arrruugghh! Wouldn’t a blood test that told us what was causing everything be sooooo nice???????

Best to everyone and hope you are all doing the best you can right now.

Posted by: Susie at October 23, 2008 06:47 PM

Sherry,

HOLY COW!!!! I have a lot of admiration for you- you’ve kept going and kept at it (I know, not for lack of trying!) 🙂 Because of what you’ve said, I’ll NEVER take klonopin! Wow…

Has anyone every heard of Pia Mellody? I went to my new therapist on Monday and she’s a big fan/proponent of this Pia Mellody and her methodologies. Why is it that every time I go to a therapist (I haven’t been to one in awhile) I come out feeling like I was squeezed through a wringer? It’s like someone cut me open and scooped out everything inside me. I am hoping that this therapy will help but it’s just sooooo exhausting. I know, nothing worthwhile is easy (why is that???)…

Posted by: Susie at October 23, 2008 07:06 PM

Jimmy-
You only took 25mg of lamictal for 2 years and the withdrawls are bad? What other drugs are you on? I’ve been on Lam for 2 years taking 100mg and am planninhg to wean off over a 6-9 month period. I’m not sure if i’m making a sound decision and i dont know if i’ll have the nerves to handle it. I’m a little concerned about long-term use of this med and have a little down time in my work to focus on this.
Teresa-
I know what that scatter-mind feels like. I dont think i’ve had it since taking lamictal. Maybe i need to stay on it. Geez.
Everyone-
Is it possible to get off this shit? Are there any success stories?

Posted by: max at October 23, 2008 09:02 PM

Max-
Yea, it stinks being scatter brained, especially when you are anxious at the same time!
I have a million things going through my head right now, because I am moving this weekend, and I’m trying to remember everything I need to do! I wont rest until it’s all done LOL
That’s part of my craziness!!! I will be stressed until everything is the way I want it, and I feel that I have everthing that I need! It’s so hard to work today, because I am excited and anxious! I am dizzy and my vision is very blurred from the Lamcital withdrawals 😦 I can’t wait to finally be completely off of this horrible drug! I plan to eat well and do alot of excercising and YOGA!

Posted by: Teresa at October 24, 2008 07:28 AM

Max,

I was on multiple medication durring last 3 years. Two months ago I tried Abilify but after a month of taking it and constant panick attacks my dock took me off. Then I tried Gedeon for a month and due to numerous side effects you do not want to hear about my pdoc told me to stop within a week. At the same time I was taking 600 of Lithium for the last 2 years so month ago my doc took me of that also due to my psorisis getting worse. He had me discontinue the Lithium within 3 days (to fast?). Two weeks ago I started cutting my 25mg Lamictal tablet in half as doctor told me to do. I took 12.5 for a week and then stopped. Today is the 6th day off lamictal and it is not that bad. Yesterday my depression was horrible. After I stopped Gedeon and Lithium I am more connected which was my problem for years. That was medication that made me feel dissociated so figure it out. I am still taking 750mg of depakote, 2.5 of Lexapro (I do not know why but this is my doc) and .25 of Klonopin. As you see within about month and a half I tappered of many meds. Maybe that is why I fill like shit, I do not know. I am sick of meds and I think they did more worse things than good. I am so confused trust me Max if those symptoms are withdrawal related or my depression is comming back. But this time everything is diferrent, feels diferrent. Personally I think that there is not a lot of good doctors arround and most of them are just money makers. It is all BS. My is one of the best in Chicago are but he did not want to listen and take me of the meds when I was suffering of side effects. Think about it…so sad. I am in my twentees and i don not want to be hooked up with meds all my life, at least not so many of them. Next week I am starting Biofeedback therapy. I heard ith helps so we will see.
Blogers,
The symptoms I experience are waves of depression. I can be fine for 2-3 days and then I am sinking for 2 days. No mania, never had one. Is that the withdrawal symptoms, how lond do they last???????????????????????????????????????????

Posted by: Jimmy at October 24, 2008 09:30 AM

Jimmy-
Have you gone on a site called http://www.bipolarblast.wordpress.com
There is alot of great information on there re: withdrawals, and tapering, and alternative approaches. I think you will find it very educational, as I have!
I believe everyone is different, but from what I’ve gathered, everyone has had and is having a VERY rough time coming off of Lamictal. I just dropped from 37.5 to 25 and my brain literally hurts!!! I have all of the side effects you’ve mentioned. I’ve been dealing with this for months now. I was on 150 mg’s, and now down to 25, it has taken me a while!!! It’s hard to say how long they last. Personally I feel each small taper the withdrawals last me about 2 weeks!!!! I figure in another month I should be off, but I wouldn’t imagine feeling better for a while until they are completely out of my system!!!! I am going to do whatever it takes to do this without meds! I’m sick of being sick!!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at October 24, 2008 10:55 AM

Biofeedback is a scam. They hook you up to a computer so you can see on a monitor your breathing and your heart rate, etc. They pretend to teach you how to change these things voluntarily. Meanwhile, you’re taking meds that affect these things also.
If you’re biofeedback therapist (whatever you call them) is connected to your psychiatrist, you could be put on meds that slow your heart rate, pulse, etc. Then your next biofeedback reading will show this and they’ll call it improvement. Look how you’ve learned how to relax! That’ll be $1000 please.

Posted by: Becky at October 24, 2008 01:50 PM

Becky,

Then please tell me what is the solution for feeling normal, not depressed with no medication???? what is the solution to find out exactly what is wrong with you, what to use to minimize side effects to start living normal life, relaxed, in control of our emotions and be happy????????????????????? How to find out what is wrong with your brain?….maybe constant suffering of withdrawal and bloging on internet websides?????? taking or trying another medications?????? I heard Gianna from BipolarBlast had great experience with Biofeedback.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 24, 2008 03:04 PM

No news was good news… I got a call from the doc today regarding my hemoccult. You know what it means when the doc calls and not the nurse. I’m bleeding internally. He said it may be a polyp which (I guess) is simple. Who knows…maybe I have hookworms. 🙂

Posted by: Susie at October 24, 2008 03:23 PM

Jimmy, I apologize, I should have said that was my experience with Biofeedback. Well…my son’s actually. The psychiatrist recommended 8 sessions of biofeedback (conveniently offered in her office), mid treatment she added Catapres to his Rx’s. I was so messed up on the drugs I was prescribed (same doc) that I didn’t figure it out until much later. So now I get mad when I think people are getting taken advantage of when they’re desperate for help as I was.

I wish I could answer your questions: How to be normal and happy. I’m not either one yet. I’m hopeful though and better than I was a few months ago.

What helped me getting off meds the most was reading about withdrawal and learning from other people’s experiences. One thing I learned was I had to slow down tapering some of the meds if I didn’t want to go insane. I REALLY wanted to get off Lamictal because it was making my hair fall out. But I didn’t want to end up falling apart (like my doctor said I would) so it took a while. What helped me physically were supplements from theroadback.org.
I was on psych meds for about 13 years; It took 7 months to taper off.

I wish I had a better answer for you and a faster solution. Trust me, If I find one, I’ll share it IN ALL CAPS so no one misses it.

Susie, I’m sorry about the bad news. What’s next?More tests?

Posted by: Becky at October 24, 2008 06:27 PM

Becky,

It is ok. I want to try Biofeedback. There is a clinic close to my house run by good neuropsychologyst. I wont to try it because I am so sensitive to placebo effects and sometimes I think it is all in my head and I am the one who makes things worse. I am in my late twentees and I am so worry about the things are going on with me, worry about the future, career, about me getting worse. Sometimes I feel like my problems are the most important thing in my life, that I cannot live without them. Today was my 6th day with no Lamictal at all. Since two days I experience some nausea and unplesant taste in my mouth…beside depression rollercoster. Are those also withdrawal symptoms?????? What suplements did you use to when you taper ( I take 3600mg of fish oil)? How did you doc responded to the withdrawal?? did he/she was sudgesting that your problems are comming back???
Thank you for all of your help.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 24, 2008 10:50 PM

It’s amazing to come across this site and read all of the stories about lamictal withdrawal. I was on 150mg, and I lost my insurance, so I wouldnt be able to get anymore prescriptions filled, so I started to wean myself off. My sister was weaning herself off also, so i followed what her doc told her to do, so i went from 150 to 125 then with in about a week i went down to 100mg, then my sister was talking about the whole waiting 2 weeks before lowering it again, so thats what i did. I’m now on 50mg, and i feel awful. I have horrid heartburn all the time, and i have tried different meds like zantac, but it just wont go away, and its gotten so much worse over the past week. I’m tired all the time. i will get like a little panic attack here and there for no reason, and i have a hard time sleeping. i have random moments where all i can do is cry,,,then moments later i feel a little better. I just hate all these symptoms and i just wondered if any of you had any remedies or supplements or tricks to help ease the side effects? PLEASE IM MISERABLE….

Posted by: Lisa at October 25, 2008 01:01 AM

I got that metallic taste too, when I reduced Lamictal from 25 to 12.5. In a way, I was happy because it was a symptom that wasn’t mental. There was no way to dispute the cause! It was validation that it wasn’t all in my head. It lasted about 3 weeks, maybe longer.
Maybe the neuropsychologist will know about withdrawal and can help.
My psychiatrist was not helpful. First when I told her I wanted to get off meds, she tried to taper me too quickly, knowing that I would go through horrific withdrawal and give up. She had said before that withdrawal from these types of meds is worse than heroin withdrawal.
Later when I told her I had quit taking all but Lamictal and I needed 25mg tabs because I was getting off that too, she said, “What’s it going to take to get you back on medication?” She said I was going to fall apart (lose my job and be unable to take care of my kids) and I’d be back. I never had problems like that before meds so it wouldn’t have been an illness coming back.
The road back is actually a program that tells you how to taper off different meds and has different ways of doing that according to your symptoms and the types of meds you’re on. It can be a little complicated. You’ll have to check out the website and see if it’s for you.

Posted by: Becky at October 25, 2008 07:54 AM

FOR THOSE OF YOU WITH AN UPSET STOMACH…

The only thing that worked (and it did work) for me with the horrible stomach pain was (believe it or not) Pepto Bismol pills. I would take two of those as often as I could (per the bottle) and try to sleep in a fetal position. That seemed to be the only thing that helped. My stock upset stomach remedy of ginger beer (like ginger-ale only stronger and doesn’t taste icky (NO alochol!)) didn’t work. I hope this helps you all who are going through that part. It’s miserable. 😦

Becky- thanks for asking. A colonoscopy is next. Not looking forward to it but was told to insist on full sedation.

Posted by: Susie at October 25, 2008 06:13 PM

Lisa,

I have the same symptoms. Today is my 7th day off lamictal and last week was not easy for me. I got worse when I was 12.5mg my weaning dosage. I do not have panic atacks but couple hours periods of severe depression, agitation, irrability and and feelings that are hard to describe. In the last two days I had some cring spells. I take extra Klonopin from time to time to calm down. Generaly I am emotionaly numb and have no motivation. Read my previous posts. Lamictal was not the only med i wean off. I do not know if my my depression is comming back or those are signs of withdrawal because I’ve been on meds for the last three years and do not know exactly how I feel with out them. Hope you feel better.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 26, 2008 11:28 AM

Susie-
I hope everything works out for you! I’m sorry for the bad news, I hope it ends up being something minor, or at least easy to fix!!!
Lisa and Jimmy-
I have the same symptoms as well. Today is a depressed day, very tired, had HORRIBLE heart burn the last few days, and my vision is blurry STILL. I hope that in another few days I will feel better agin. I went down to 25 mg’s about 4 days ago, so maybe in another 3 I will feel better. I will than go to 12.5 and stay there for a while. I am desperate to get off Lamictal, it’s had horrible side effects for me. If I stay depressed I am afraid I will have to go on another antidepressant because I just can’t funtion being depressed and not being able to think straight, or work this way!

Posted by: Teresa at October 27, 2008 06:35 AM

Teresa, everybody,

Today is my 10th day of lamictal, about 4 weeks of Lithium. I had a good day yesterday, good morning today and then it hitm so bad, depression, crying. I think I’ve never been that bad, even before I started taking medication. Is that stll the withdrawal?????? I am affraid I will have to go on another antidepressant like you Teresa (I still take depakote). My moods swings are so svere, from normal to depression state. Let me know how you guys doing. Do you have this mood swings and depression??????

Posted by: Jimmy at October 29, 2008 04:04 PM

Jimmy-
I just dropped to 12.5 mg’s of Lamictal. I have really BAD ups and downs. I think it all has to do with the withdrawals! I think we are on an emotional rooler caoster because our brains are confused, and losing a drug that it is used to having! I think it will pass, at least when I have moments of clarity I feel that it will, and I like to beleive that it will! I am trying to ride it out. I have another week on 12.5 mg’s of Lamictal and than I’m done! I still have klonopin which I use when I get TOO anxious, but I don’t take much. I was just almost in tears, actually did shed a few tears a few hours ago, and now I feel good, other than being dizzy, neauseous and tired!!!!!! I am going to do my best to get through this, I have no choice! How much of Depakote are you taking, and how much Lamictal were you on and how fast did you ween down?

Posted by: Teresa at October 30, 2008 11:22 AM

Hey everyone! Been awhile since I’ve posted but I wanted to ask a question. Lately I’ve been feeling very frustrated and it’s almost as if I don’t trust my emotions. This turns into a cycle of me not trusting my emotions leading to me becoming angry or sad. I know that this wasn’t the case before I got on the meds and I’m starting to think that the meds have made me forget what it’s like to feel “normal” emotions..if that makes sense. Has anyone else dealt with this and if you did, what helped you get through it? I just keep thinking to myself that surely this will go away any day now because it’s been at least a month since I’ve stopped my meds. But then again I might be underestimating the effect that they had on my mind and body. I did quit the Seroquel shortly after I started tapering off the lamictal..wondering if that could be messing me up as well..I dunno. I’m finding it hard to trust any of my judgement lately. Hope everyone is doing well!

*Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at November 1, 2008 10:42 PM

Teresa, Beccs,

I am two weeks off Lamictal. Last week I got so depressed, I called my doctor and of course what I heard …..”you put your meds away and your symptoms came back, there is no withdrawal from Lithium and Lamictal”. so he put me on 300mg of lithium again. I took it because I was so depressed. I am getting better now. Half a day I can feel so so, then tensed, depressed with weird head feeling etc. Dont know if my Lamictal withdrawal lessens or Lithium is working. I have stopped my xanax abou 3 months ago and…do you think I can still have some xanax withdrawal? I am also thinking about changing doctors. My is telling me all of the bs and would like me to be on 10 meds if he could. I am taking 750 depakote teresa and I took 25 of Lamictal for two years (initially taking 100) cutting down 12.5 for 7 days and then stop. My docs direction. He also have me to stop Lithium in 2 days and I think he did it on purpose so I can crash and come back.

Posted by: Jimmy at November 3, 2008 11:42 AM

Jimmy-
I am having a hell of a time with Lamictal right now. I am down to 12.5 mg’s, and that’s going to be done in two more days. I’ve had horrible mood swings, from wanting to cry scream than cry again. It’s awful and I have a headache and dizzy and SO out of it!!!! I am working like this too, not easy, I’ll tell ya that much!
I almost called in today, but I need the money and I felt guilty, so I’m just dealing with it. I am unsure myself Jimmy if I’m going to be able to do it without meds, but I plan to give myself a good month without them to see if it gets better at all. If not that I will have to go back on meds because I can’t take this, the anxiety has been TERRIBLE and I can’t function. I can’t concentrate on anything because my mind is constantly racing. I got so stressed out this weekend over getting blinds for my house, or curtains because I couldn’t decided, and it made me so anxious, crazy right? Over blinds!!!! I just hope it gets better, for you as well Jimmy!
Beccs-
I feel the same way with my emotions, it’s as though I feel I have no control over them and I am going to do something stupid!!!!!
I have in the past like with quitting jobs and things because I couldn’t handle it!!!! I hope it gets better!!!!

Posted by: Teresa at November 4, 2008 06:30 AM

Just FYI: I went from 50mg Lamictal to 0mg between July and Sept; I had my TSH checked (for hypothyroid) checked in July .11 then in Sept 21.78. This will wreak havoc on many things; concentration, fatigue, mood, etc. A general practitioner said “psychotropic drugs will effect your TSH”. Initially, he thought the lab made a mistake until I told him about the drugs I just got off of.
My point; withdrawal caused this. They don’t do any testing for withdrawal but if they did, I bet they’d find these types of changes in everyone’s system. Since these drugs get into our blood and effect every cell in our bodies.
I found it interesting that this is the only doctor that’s said something like that to me “psychiatric drugs can cause…” and this is the only doctor’s office I’ve been in that did not have paraphernalia from all the major drug companies.

Posted by: Becky at November 4, 2008 11:50 AM

Theresa:
Hey! Hope things are going well! I vary from day to day. When I do feel upset it’s because I’m so frustrated from feeling “off”. I keep waiting to feel “normal” again and so far it hasn’t happened. I hate those medications..so much. I feel like they’ve made my life HELL. Doctors really need to warn people about what happens if you decide to come off of a med. It’s so unfair.

Becky:
It’s interesting, and scary, that you mention the TSH thing. I had thyroid surgery several years ago due to a cyst. They removed the entire right lobe of my thyroid. I haven’t actually had my TSH levels checked in a couple of years and now I’m wondering if I should after what your doctor told you. Hope all is well!

*Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at November 4, 2008 06:51 PM

hi just went to 2nd doc he too doesnt believe in lamictal withdrawal what about noise sensitivity and ringing in ears these arent mental symptoms maybe i need to go neuro doc no doc says no it just a coincidence

Posted by: Linda at November 5, 2008 01:09 PM

“Ringing in ears, noise sensitivity” I experienced both during withdrawal. I’ve read many posts from others who have too. There’s a lot of withdrawal symptoms that are physical; such as a metallic taste in your mouth (just to name one more). You’re not crazy Linda!

My new theory on docs: you will know them by their decor; If their calandars, pens, post it notes, clocks, lotion and hand sanitizer dispencers have drug manufacturer logos; You can be sure that doc will know (meaning: say) nothing about withdrawal and less about side effects.

Beccs, I totally understand the Blinds thing. I haven’t been able to pick out anything for my house or even a new shirt without losing my mind for a while now.
An update on my Lamictal withdrawal experience:
I’ve been off Lamictal since 9/26/08; things are slowly getting better. Not many headaches, energy finally started coming back about a week ago (also due to upping thyroid replacement). I don’t cry every time I hear a song (was any song). I think I cry as a normal person would. I’ve got a lot to cry about. I need a job ASAP and these psych drugs messed up my mind and many things in my life. All that considered, I’m feeling content at this moment. I feel like I’m going to be okay. Now, I hope I don’t jinx myself when I click “Post”. 🙂

Posted by: Becky at November 5, 2008 06:15 PM

hi Becky yup new doc says this just doesnt happen i think my mistake was after being off 14 days going back on now im back on tomorrow will be 2 mths i think i confused my brain i should of just stayed off i thought if i did this i would get back on track however not the case id luv to know how long it will take you to totally recover please let us know

Posted by: linda at November 6, 2008 06:32 PM

HI Beccs, Linda and Becky-
I am going to the doctor on Tuesday to have bloodwork, and back Thursday for a complete physical. I want to find out if anything is wrong, so that I can fix it and find out what supplements and vitamins I should take.
I am now completely off of Lamictal and the headaches are HORRIBLE and blurred vision and dizziness and nausea. I can’t wait to feel better. I am so fatigued and it takes everything I have to get out of bed in the morning and make it to work. Every morning I have to talk myself out of calling in to work. I have no vacation or sick time and I need the money.
As for the blinds, that funny because I just moved and need blinds and I was almost in tears the other day because I can’t decide what to get, blinds, curtains both, it’s pretty sad when you can’t make a decision that is so simple!!!!! My boyfriend told me to just calm down, that it’s not a big deal! He must think I’m totally nuts!!

Posted by: Teresa at November 7, 2008 08:02 AM

Linda, YOU didn’t confuse your brain. You were poisoned. After 14 days in agony, and no help from the doctor, what were you supposed to do? If you try to get off again, there are chewable 5mg and 2mg tablets that might help the weaning process.
Were you taking any other meds at the same time? At this website; http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php and can type in your meds and it will tell you about possible negative interactions. I was shocked when I did mine. I don’t understand why doctors aren’t up on all of this. I mean, they all have internet, right?

Posted by: Becky at November 7, 2008 02:24 PM

Wow..I just went to the site that Becky gave and typed in my drugs and now I am shocked. I can’t believe my psych failed to mention this: “MONITOR: Central nervous system- and/or respiratory-depressant effects may be additively or synergistically increased in patients taking multiple drugs that cause these effects, especially in elderly or debilitated patients.

MANAGEMENT: During concomitant use of these drugs, patients should be monitored for potentially excessive or prolonged CNS and respiratory depression. Ambulatory patients should be counseled to avoid hazardous activities requiring complete mental alertness and motor coordination until they know how these agents affect them, and to notify their physician if they experience excessive or prolonged CNS effects that interfere with their normal activities.”

This was copied DIRECTLY from the site. It’s the interactions between Lamictal, Seroquel, and Klonopin..which I was on. The doctor NEVER warned me of any of this. It sure as hell explains why I always felt short of breath and also why my mind is having such a hard time recovering from that crap. I’m pissed, to say the least. Thanks for the site, Becky. I hope more people will check it out.

*Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at November 7, 2008 04:20 PM

Hi everyone,
So I have officially been completely off of Lamictal for about 5 days now. Does anyone know when the dizziness and headaches go away? The headaches aren’t as bad as they were, but still dizzy and nauseous. I know I am going to have my ups and downs mentally for a while, and I am trying to take a holistic approach, it’s just ALOT of research! I just want to know when I will actually stop feeling physically Ill???

Posted by: Teresa at November 10, 2008 01:50 PM

hi, i am shaye and i just started taking lamactil a few weeks ago for my seizures and bi polar disorder.. should i reconsider???? im scared

Posted by: Shaye at November 11, 2008 09:27 PM

Hi Shaye,
It’s a bit harder to give an opinion regarding Lamictal use when you’re taking it for seizure disorder.
I think the most important thing to do is learn as much as you can about the risks and benefits.
Personally, I don’t think the benefits are worth it if you take it for bipolar. There are other options. But if you have seizures, maybe there aren’t.
At askapatient.com people rate from 1-5 their opinion of the drug, alot of people rated Lamictal a 5 (being the best) because it controlled their seizures, then they listed the side effects that it caused but they were willing to live with in order to be seizure free.
I would read the 58 page label (2 or 3 times, it’s rather difficult) and search the internet (obviously, you’ve already started).
Question: Who prescribed the Lamictal? The dr. who diagnosed seizures or the dr. who diagnosed bipolar? Or are they the same?
Best Wishes.

Posted by: Becky at November 13, 2008 06:21 AM

Been coming off lamictal. Been having headaches every time i cut the dose for a few days/week and then it goes away. I decided to have my friend cut the dose for me and not tell me when. Sure enough I was able to predict when the cut was made as the headaches came on. But then this past week, my friend didn’t make a cut and I still got a headache. He’s convincing me that I’m not in withdrawal and that it’s all psychosomatic. But my systme is so screwed up from coming down off this stuff. IS it all in my head or is anticipation of the symptoms a normal part of the withdrawal? Will I be stuck forever in a psycosomatic pattern now?????????????? I’mn very scared.

Posted by: mark at November 14, 2008 04:53 PM

Mark, it’s not all in your head.
The reason I come to this website everyday and read other people’s experiences with withdrawal and side effects is to remind myself that it’s not all in MY head too.
If you can find 1000’s of people who’ve experienced the EXACT same thing, how can that be in your head? I didn’t start experiencing things AFTER reading about them.

Headaches were the worst and most persistent withdrawal problem for me. It took 7 months to taper off Lamictal (from 200mg). After being at 12.5mg for over a month, I stopped taking it 1st thing in the morning and started waiting until the headache came (this was initially accidental, the plan was just to stop all together). The 1st day I got to 5 or 6 pm, I took it and unfortunately, the headache still lasted a while so I took it the next morning too. But then the next day or so I forgot to take it and went 24 hours and the time gradually increased until I could stop completely.

It doesn’t seem logical but in the beginning, while on larger doses and having taken Lamictal for years, I could miss a day or two, possibly three before any withdrawal. That could be the case with your headache coming without decreasing the dose if you decreased it the week before or even two weeks before.

Posted by: Becky at November 14, 2008 07:52 PM

I have been taking xanax for a year now. Tapering down 2 months after I started from 2mg to .5 now. IS 3 months enough time to kill the last .5mg. Will it be harderthan the first 1.5mg?

Posted by: mark at November 15, 2008 10:08 AM

Hey everyone! I’ve been posting on here before, but now I need an opinion.. After reading through several of your stories on here I’ve come to notice that most, if not all, of you who tapered off Lamictal did it over a period of months. I was taking 200mg of Lamictal and I took it for about 4 months. I tapered off of it in 2 weeks, cutting by 50mg each time. I’d wait about 4 days, then cut my dose again each time. Did I move too fast with this? I mean, I’m not in any physical pain, now, but my psychological effects are driving me crazy. Every day all day I feel “detatched” from myself. I wake up every morning hoping that I’ll feel “normal”, but it never happens. And because I’ve been so frustrated over the way I feel lately I’ve been getting emotional at times. Then it makes me wonder if my “symptoms” are coming back. I think it could just be the frustration from the way I feel all the time, but please tell me if my tapering so fast had anything to do with it? Hope everyone is well!

*Beccs

Posted by: Beccs at November 16, 2008 08:37 PM

Beccs-
Have you been to a website called beyond meds? Actually you can type in http://www.bipolarblast.wordpress.com
It has ALOT of info. on tapering and how fast or slow, and it is a GREAT site. I believe you definitely tapered off WAY too fast, and I am sure you are still feeling the withdrawals. I just stopped Lamictal completely FINALLY just over a week ago and unfortunately it was too much for me to handle so I started back on Lexapro for the depression a few days ago. I am hoping to get my diet and exercise and supplements into place and start feeling better for a while, before I go off of the Lexapro. I just couldn’t function and I need to be able to work!

Posted by: Teresa at November 17, 2008 10:27 AM

Teresa,
I have been checking out the site..very informative! Thanks for the link! I also just recently started reading a new book by Dr. William Glasser called “Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Health”. Pretty eye-catching title, lol. It’s been really good so far.

Posted by: Beccs at November 20, 2008 04:19 PM

I have been on 100 mg of Lamictal for the last 2 years. I recently had to get off of them because I lost my job and health insurance. I also was getting frustrated by the side effects. Horrible short-term memory loss! (recently I threw away my wallet and locked myself out of my car with the keys still in the ignition)

I know this is the right thing for me to do for the long term but in the short term I am going crazy. It has been 2 weeks since I have been off of the meds and I have been very depressed, irritable and tired. I also have been gaining weight which I hate. I have been reading this page and want someone to comment on how long it took till they felt good again. Anyone?????

Posted by: Reily at November 22, 2008 11:30 AM

Reily,
You might want to ask your former doctor if you can get some samples so you can taper down rather than go cold turkey. I know it’s been 2 weeks already but if the depression, etc. is unbearable you might want to try taking a smaller dose for a while. Don’t go right back to 100mg though, after stopping 2 weeks, it’s dangerous! (see the dosing and discontinuation instructions on the label)

I took my last Lamictal 9/26/08. Honestly…I’m okay but not “good” yet. I’d like to hear some success stories too.

Also, for people who have run out of meds too soon, can’t get to the doctor or can’t afford it until pay day, etc. I’ve found the pharmacy (CVS) to be sympathetic and willing to give 4 or 5 pills until I could get in to the doctor to get a new Rx on several occasions. They must know more about withdrawal or acknowledge it more for what it is, than the doctors.

Posted by: Becky at November 23, 2008 08:31 AM

I just started taking Lamictal. I understand that if you are to stop taking this medication you need to do it slowly and listen to your Doctor. If you go off too fast you can get seizures.

Posted by: Gary at December 3, 2008 10:22 AM

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.

Posted by: Gary at December 3, 2008 10:29 AM

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.

Posted by: Gary at December 3, 2008 12:29 PM

Hey Gary! I got off of Lamictal because it wasn’t helping me and it gave me bad side effects. Side effects like shortness of breath (I used to be very active, but when I was on the Lamictal I couldn’t be), it made me feel “out of it” all the time. I, however, am not Bipolar. I was diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder at the same time, only to find out later that it was only BPD. I quit taking all of my psych drugs, except for klonopin, because I didn’t want to live my life on drugs if I could do it without them.

Posted by: Beccs at December 3, 2008 01:35 PM

Hi everyone…
I am very happy I stumbled across this site. I have been dealing with profound anxiety and mild depression for almost 10 years. Although lately I have noticed my anxitey getting worse. I have not been severely “depressed” in the past year, my anxiety instead is what now brings me to tears.
I used to see a psychiatrist regularly about 4 years ago, but stopped after she kept switching my meds around on me non-stop. I felt like her own personal guinea pig, which is a horrible feeling as some of you know. She also would change my diagnosis frequently. I left after she diagnosed me as “bi-polar” and I couldn’t take the negative effects from the drugs anymore. I had become a recluse.
(I was prescribed to zoloft, lexapro, effexor, paxil, wellbutrin, and celexa previously…all without any success)

4 years later and here I am today, trying to recieve REAL help. I have been self medicating myself these past few years with a little success, but know it can’t last forever.

I, for one, know that I am not bi-polar. I think it is wrong how loosely that diagnosis is thrown around. :/
My psychiatrist today diagnosed me as bi-polar 2. I am not sure if I exactly agree with his diagnosis, considering he was rushing through and only spoke with me for 40 minutes. Seems pretty quick to jump the gun on a diagnosis, no?
Well, he prescribed me Lamictal… and only lamictal. He is against any “as needed” drugs, but how does he expect this drug to cure my profound anxiety on its own?(especially after reading all the reviews)
I have panic attacks about 3 times a week. I’m constantly worrying about petty things.. I dwell on things to a point where it is hard for me to get over them. Not to mention, I probably won’t have a spouse for much longer considering it is not a simple task trying to pull yourself out of a panic attack, or calm down after one.

I don’t know what to do… and I don’t know what drugs will help me.
I am going to see a different psychiatrist within the next week for a second oppinion.
I just thought I could get some help/answers from people who have been there done that.
I am tired of feeling hopeless. 😦

Thanks~
Amanda

Posted by: Amanda at December 4, 2008 10:54 AM

Hey Amanda! I know how it feels to be thrown a diagnosis. I, too, was mistakenly diagnosed as being Bipolar and put on Lamictal. I never felt like I was Bipolar because the symptoms just didn’t fit me..however, I was also diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder. This diagnosis I could actually accept because it “fit” me almost exactly. For that I was prescribed Seroquel. I, too, used to suffer from frequent panic attacks but after getting on klonopin they stopped. And now I’m pissed because after reading sites like this one I’ve come to realize that klonopin is a terrible drug. I feel like I’m stuck on it, now, because it does keep my panic attacks away but every time I try to get off of it the withdrawal is HORRIBLE. I’m still recovering from the Lamictal and Seroquel so I don’t think trying to quit another drug is a great idea at the moment..But anyway, in my opinion, psychiatrists are way to quick to throw out a diagnosis just because they read it in the DSM IV. I had a new diagnosis added every time I saw my psych. I don’t see her any more because I want to help myself without drugs. There are a lot of self-help books out there that you can get to teach you meditation techniques and ways to deal with overwhelming emotions. I have a really great one that I recommend to everyone if you want the name of it. As far as meds go, educate yourself as much as you can on them. As you can see fromt his site, a lot of people have had problems with psych meds. Hang in there! Things get better!

Posted by: Beccs at December 4, 2008 12:08 PM

Can someone please help me…
My boyfriend abruptly quit lamictal (he’s bi-polar)about three weeks ago due to the exhorbitant cost of the medication. Last night he was slurring his words, making no sense, and angry. I left for about half an hour, and when I returned he was lying on the floor and it was difficult to wake him. He was red-eyed and groggy. He’s an alcoholic and hasn’t had a drink in 6 months – things have been wonderful up to now. Has anyone out there had symptoms similar to these? He also says he doesn’t remember any of the above events. I want to believe so badly that he wasn’t drinking – am I just stupid thinking that these are possible withdrawal effects? I would deeply appreciate any input. Also, I wish everyone the best in dealing with your difficult withdrawal issues. Don’t give up…

Posted by: janet t. at December 13, 2008 02:14 PM

Janet,

I think it could absolutely be withdrawal. In my experience, when I reduced my dosages, withdrawsal symptoms (various types) appeared weeks after the change. Some I can barely remember now but being totally exhausted and I’m sure “hard to wake” was one.
If I hadn’t read up on it and found this site, I would have thought I was crazy.
Abrupt withdrawal can cause seizures also.
Good luck to you both.

Posted by: Becky at December 13, 2008 08:48 PM

I just cut my dose from 200mg to 150mg trying to get by until I can get a refill. I’m having terrible insomnia. Has anyone else experienced this?

Posted by: Spencer at December 15, 2008 02:31 PM

Hi,

I decided to google “lamictal withdrawal”, and I came across this website. I am a non-epileptic person who was placed on this med because my psychiatrist thought it might help my OCD and Trich. I tend to be a research junkie, and many things that I have seen and read scream out to me to stop this medication. Apparently, one woman is now permanently brain damaged because she was placed on high dosages of a few psych meds, one of these being Lamictal.

My psychiatrist okayed the decrease in medication this past week, and even said that he thinks it’s necessary, as I was having symptoms such as foggy-headedness, a clogged head, short-term memory loss, unable to feel my limbs at times (hard to explain this one), etc. I also feel like I go in and out of consciousness for a few brief seconds now a few times per day. My head also just feels different. It’s FRIGHTENING!! Anyway, I have been taking Lamictal(Lamotrigine) for a little less than two months now, and I was up to 50mg. Since talking with my psychiatrist, I have tapered my dosage to 25mg which I have been on for the past week. The foggy-headedness has diminished, and I don’t feel like I have a clogged head anymore, but I am still getting the brief episodes (siezures?????) when I seem to very briefly space out. It’s almost imperceptible, but I am very aware of it. This seems to also be accompanied by little leg twitches and things. I’m REALLY worried that this might lead to a siezure disorder. By the way, I also recently started on 20mg of Lexapro. So, this may be contributing to the symptoms. My psychiatrist told me that if the symptoms stop, then it’s most likely the Lamictal; if they continue, then it may be the Lexapro. He’s trying to do what’s right for me, and he knows that I research and I am aware of these issues, so he seems to trust me–almost too much, as he didn’t set down a specific timetable for getting off the Lamictal.

Am I tapering down too fast? Should I be doing anything else? I think I might call my psychiatrist tomorrow about the new symptoms to see what he thinks I should do.

Please email me with any advice.

roses_forever@hotmail.com

P.S. I just notice the dosage line on my pill, so I may cut this in half, and take 1.5 pills instead for the next couple of weeks. Is that a better idea? I just don’t want to be foggy-headed again. As my psychiatrist knows, I’m not fond of psych meds these days, and he respects that, and tries to keep me on the lowest dosage of anything he puts me on. I would like to stop all of my psych meds, and do things the natural way, as well as use talk therapy as a primary means of support.

Posted by: Colleen at December 18, 2008 11:40 PM

Hello,
You won’t believe this.
I have been taking a low dose of 50mg.About 5 months ago i tried to take only 25mg and after two days horrible anxiety, and i could not sleep at night at all, not as bad as prozac anxiety but pretty bad. I have been taking spironolactone for my testosterone being too high, thyroid for my lower thyroid, along with iron and i am having no problem getting off lamictil just very tired which doesnt bother me i will just sleep and be tired at work for a couple of weeks. Getting my hormones in tact has done wonders for me. Just a little encouragment.

Posted by: Elizabeth at January 7, 2009 09:53 AM

Therapyfirst, for what it’s worth, I appreciate your factual posts on here. I’ve been slowly tapering off of Lamictal, and your advice makes sense to me.

I don’t see how screaming at people to find a doctor who will help them safely taper off of drugs will help them do so, though. Yes, some of the posts on here are scary and misguided. If you really want to help people, though, why not discuss HOW to find a doctor who doesn’t dispense drugs like candy and pooh-pooh patients who express concerns about how their tapering is going when they’re switching medications?

It’s a scary world out there, and for many people with mental health problems, psychiatrists are more likely to be foes than allies. I hope you’ll keep that in mind if you decide to post on this site again.

Posted by: No Name at January 11, 2009 07:13 PM

I just stopped taking Lamictal, and am feeling pretty okay. I posted details about how I did it on the “Lamictal Withdrawal, Part 2” thread:

http://www.furiousseasons.com/archives/2007/07/lamictal_withdrawal_part_2.html

The trick is to make the transition slowly, going down in 25 mg increments and waiting till your body has adjusted to the lower dose before tapering again. I took several months between dose changes at the beginning of the process, and I think that made a big difference in my eventual success with weaning myself off of the drug.

Good luck to everyone reading this.

Posted by: My Name Here at January 14, 2009 12:58 PM

Hi Everyone, I want to show some easy supplement advice for you. Lamictal is an anti convulsant..and it does help with mood stabilizing. I noticed that it helped when I did this next part when I go down to a lower dose, here is what helps me..I take 2 packs of Emergen C…for Vitamin C and the B Vitamin. At the same time I take 2000-3000 mg of Taurine. A Cheap amino acid that is being studied as an Anti Convulsant.

I do believe this helps a great deal..and you won’t have to use it forever…GIve yourselves some metabolic nutritoinal support to your nervous systems while doing this.

There is a great site called. http://www.theroadback.org that can help as well as the Pfeiffer institute and remember Margo Kidder from Superman? Google her site it has a lot of good resources of how she got off of everything and uses nutrients to help out..

Tons of stuff out there now.. Also get a Myer’s coctail IV a few times a week if you can when you are withdrawing it Has a bunch of Vitamin C and B along with essential brain amino acids. If you have any questions email me at vacaboulder@yahoo.com.

I had a psychotic episode almost 6 years ago, some of which was caused by a very overactive thyroid.

I was put on Risperdal, Lamictal and Lithium. Since I have gone off the Risperdal, down from 1200 to 675 of lithium and lamictal is down from 300-50 mg. I have to say while I have done this incredibly slowly, I couldn’t have done it without some knowledge of how sensitive our bodies really are. I used an oral syringe to get off of Risperidal it took me 3 years to get off of it slowly. I was a complete zombie literally.

Posted by: Lindsay at January 16, 2009 10:54 AM

Wow Lindsay,
Thanks for the success story! Realistic (slow withdrawal and with assistance) yet also extremely possitive and encouraging. It’s nice to hear.

Posted by: Becky at January 16, 2009 07:51 PM

Hi
Been on Keppra and Tegratol retard for around a year, was thought that i had epilepsy, turns out its drug phycosis from canibis, so doc takin me off the Keppra first, 1st week felt the trembles coming back and slight depression, 2nd week it got worse including suicidal thoughts (strong) loss of appitite, dihorea, sleeping better and wakin better dreaming more normal. not looking forward to third week. was on 200mg keppra twice day and 200mg teg 4 times day. yesturday was contemplating suicide (second day second week) glad i found this site coz i didnt know it was the withdrawal from keppra, oh and massive headaches which come in waves.

I hope this info helps someone as all the posts here have reassured me and maybe stopped me from killin myself. thanx people 🙂 cant think of anything else to add, just those main points but email me.. man i wish i never took that shit weed for most my life, lesson to be learned people, it DOES cause mental health problems and chewing your tounge so u cant eat for 6 days is just the tip of the ice burg, dont need it! dont do it! its a zombie drug

Posted by: Craig at January 29, 2009 01:22 AM

Craig,

Did your doctor tell you to decrease your dose gradually? If so, it definitely wasn’t gradual enough! You shouldn’t have to endure feeling suicidal! How long were you on it? If you’re still feeling suicidal you need to get back on it and SLOWLY taper the dosage.

Even if the doc declared you don’t have epilepsy now, abruptly stopping those types of drugs can cause seizures in people who NEVER had them.

See pg 15 of the FDA label: http://www.fda.gov/cder/foi/label/2007/021035s057,021505s013lbl.pdf

It says; “Withdrawal Seizures – Antiepileptic drugs, including KEPPRA, should be withdrawn gradually to minimize the potential of increased seizure frequency.”

How did he determine it was “drug psychosis from cannabis”? Was this “diagnosis” after you started taking Keppra? The label also says it caused psychosis (among other horrible things) in clinical trials (pg 12-14).

Go to askapatient.com and type in Keppra, there are 59 patient entries that might be helpful.

Please take care of yourself. Remember what you’re feeling is drug or withdrawal induced and things will get better!

Posted by: Becky at February 1, 2009 06:23 PM

thanks to everyone who has posted a comment. very helpful. i have been off lamictin (SA Version) for about 2 and a half weeks after tapering it for about 5-6 weeks. i feel bloody aweful, constant fatigue being the most prolific symptom although it can go all the way from that to suicidal. how long does this last? shouldn’t I be feeling normal again? i feel like i am back to square one before i started the meds. please tell me it improves. which was the real me? not only that, but physically i feel “off balance”.Literally, it feels like I am a bit stoned. who else has had this? any encouraging words like “stay off the shit, you’ll get better” are welcome!

Posted by: Lianne at February 16, 2009 05:52 AM

Lianne,
If you can see a doctor, I suggest having your thyroid TSH checked. My TSH went from 0.11 (while still taking 50mg Lamictal) in 7/08 to 21.78 in 9/08 (at 0mg Lamictal). The doctor thought the lab made a mistake until I told him I just got off Lamictal. He gave me some technical explanation involving the hypothalamus, etc. I’m convinced Lamictal and SSRI’s f*** up every cell in our bodies.
I had extreme fatigue and numbness in my hands and forarms (like they were asleep).
I also felt completely spaced out (stoned is a good description). Both physically and mentally, I am improving. You will too!
Were you on Lamictal for a long time? I was on it for 8 years.

Posted by: Becky at February 16, 2009 11:32 AM

i went on lamictal after a pscychiatrist “diagnosed” I had anxiety and depression with some random standard quiz! i later realised that it was juz my sixth sense working up cos my husband was having affair. i tried stopping the medication but the effect was horrible. i couldn’t sleep. felt dizzy and floating, depressed, suicidal, it was worse than even before starting on medication. i just took one pill and everything went back to normal.

i am pissed that my shrink doesn’t reali care or try to find out what’s going on and just prescribes lots and lots and different medication that costs a bomb. he never even told me about such withdrawal symptoms. i feel damn cheated.

Posted by: June at March 7, 2009 11:40 PM

I was put on Lamictal for depression. I am up to 300 mg. daily and that has been the dose for almost 2 months. Just finished weaning off Lexapro. A few days ago I started feeling an “electrical” sensation in my head that sometimes slightly radiates throughout my upper body. I have described it as a “wincing” feeling……like a muscle tightening/loosening in a weird way in my head. I am hypersensitive to moderately loud sounds and am irritable. At the beginning, my doctor said this could be a miracle drug for my depression. Has anyone had any experience like this?

Posted by: Mary at March 8, 2009 08:20 PM

Mary,
What you are describing sounds like withdrawal from the Lexapro (typical for an SSRI). You were probably weaned off too fast, if you followed what the doctor advised. You might want to check out some patient experiences on the internet.
Lamictal didn’t cause anything like that for me but it was no “wonder drug”.
Take Care.

Posted by: Becky at March 10, 2009 11:22 PM

Something I found helpful when coming off Lamictal… Like a lot of folks I was tapering off and quitting because I didn’t like the side effects. Also like a lot of folks I had miserable withdrawal effects (brain zaps etc.) What helped me was that on the worst days I would go back to the prior dose for one day – a mini holiday. So if I was trying to get to 25mg I would go back to 50mg for one day. I didn’t try to gut it out because the bad days were very bad. It may have taken me a few days longer to finish getting off Lamictal, but it was worth it. You can quit if you need to and the withdrawal will pass – just try to be kind to yourself on the way. Best wishes!

Posted by: Jerry at March 21, 2009 12:04 AM

Glad I found this site! I’ve been taking meds for almost 20 years – prozac, celexa, welbutrin (all recommended by a therapist and prescribed by a GP) and now Lamictal, prescribed by a psychiatrist. I’ve been diagnosed as bi-polar. I’ve fought depression since I was about 15. I’ve been extremely irritable for quite a while now – never manic. I was ‘shocked’ by being in the middle of 9/11 and things have never been the same since then – can’t hold a job, can’t focus, can’t think straight, impossible to live with etc. Things have gotten a lot worse over the last 4 months since I’ve been unemployed, in a very unhappy relationship and generally miserable. The Lamictal has seemingly ‘stopped working’. It made things a lot better for a while – constant fear, anxiety, worry, inablility to focus, inability to sleep etc. I no longer have the money for all of my meds (sleeping pills, anti-cholesterol medication, Valium, Lamictal) since my insurance was discontinued. I’ve stopped all of the drugs except the Lamictal. I want off of it but having been through the nightmarish withdrawal of Celexa I’m extremely hesistant because I don’t know what I’ll do to myself but at this point it doesn’t seem to matter much. I can’t afford to see the shrink anymore and can’t afford the Lamictal without continuing to sell everything I own (which is dwindling down to nothing). I feel like a guinea pig after reading the posts here. I’m so lucky I have a dog I love; he’s the only thing that keeps me going and I’ll never abandon him; everything else can go. At my wit’s end…..

Posted by: gstkinks at March 29, 2009 09:44 AM

gstkinks,
You have PTSD–Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. No pill will help, but you can learn to live with it. Some here have resolve the trauma itself and gone on to live good lives. I haven’t resolved much of my trauma but I do live a good life after years of symptoms. So don’t give up the ship.

It may be that you’ll experience a bumpy ride without meds and the “help” of a shrink. But personally, the best thing that ever happened to me was to get away from the medicos and their useless, side-effects laden, dangerous pills. You feel like a guinea pig because that’s what you are. I told my first pdoc it seemed to me as if they were engaged in educated dart throwing. He responded “Oh, if you only knew! It’s far less educated than you think.” (Of course, he’s the doc who ended up losing his license.)

There are lots of people here who’ve gotten off meds and many of them can be quite helpful from their experience.
Best wishes,
Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at March 29, 2009 02:06 PM

Hi, I went down eleven days ago from 200mg to 100mg. I also added Geodon. The geodon was awful, so I went off of it after four days. But, now, I am having severe panic attacks that Xanax isn’t even touching, I feel like I am outside of my body, I feel faint at times, and I keep getting hot and cold flashes. I am 34. I am freaking out and feel like I am losing my mind. I am worried I will be like this forever. Is this Lamictal withdrawal? My psych. told me to cut the Lamictal from 200mg to 100mg. That was it as far as tapering. Was that too fast? I feel like I can’t function and I am seriously terrified. Please help with advice or similar stories.

Emily

Posted by: Emily at April 5, 2009 04:42 PM

Emily,
I don’t know as much as others here, but it sure sounds fast to me. Can you ease off the throttle a bit? People have found it can take a really long time to get off some meds. It seems to be a rather individual process.

I don’t think you’ll be like this forever. You’re probably not losing your mind, either. Keep hanging in, keep asking questions, keep listening to yourself.

Best wishes,
Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at April 5, 2009 06:07 PM

Emily,
Yes, 200 to 100 is TOO FAST. Even the label says taper 25mg a week (still too fast). You could have a seizure and it has nothing to do with whether you had epilepsy before.

It took me 7 months to get off 200mg of Lamictal. The lower doses were more difficult (spent about a month at 25mg and another at 12.5mg, I think)

Prior to that, my shrink gave me a tapering schedule going down 25mg a week from 200 to 100, I felt I was losing my mind too and had to go back up. I believe that was her plan. After all, once off meds, I would no longer be a customer.

Sherry gave the greatest advise: “keep listening to yourself”. Something’s not right and you know it.

 

Posted by: Becky at April 6, 2009 09:44 AM

Thanks for responding. I have an appointment with my psych. tomorrow morning. I am wanting to go back up on the Lamictal to where I was (200mg), and I want to taper much more gradually. I am in hell right now, and tomorrow morning seems like an awfully long ways away. I just feel this impending sense of doom, and I feel out of control. Like I am out of my body.I have chills, and then I get too hot. I can’t eat, and the only thing that brings relief is to sleep. I am a parent of two small kids and a teacher, and i cannot be dealing with this right now. Is there anyone who has gone off Lamictal only to go back on because of side effects, and if so, did it help to go back to a higher dose?

Thanks.

Posted by: Emily at April 6, 2009 01:57 PM

Wow, sorry to hear that so many people have had problems going off of Lamictal. I hope you all have had success and have come out healthier.
I have been on 300mg Lamtical for 3 1/2 years, after being prescribed it for BP. At the time I was also given 300mg Welbutrin, as well as 3mg Clonopin and (some relatively high dose that I can’t remember) Seroquel, for insomnia. I tapered off of the Clonopin over about 1 year, with little problems. I tapered off the Seroquel about 1 1/2 years ago and went through hell.
I’m now, with my Dr’s okay, considering tapering off of Lamictal. My question is for people who had a bad time with withdrawal. Did it come out for the best, or did you end up going back on the drug, because your original symptoms return?

Posted by: Christine at April 11, 2009 12:15 PM

I can’t tell you what a relief it has been to find this page. Took my last dose of lamactil (50 mg) on April 2nd. It wasn’t too bad at first. The past few days though I’ve started having vivid bad dreams; dizziness that’s like a wave sweeping through me; mumbled speech; uncoordinated; and if I don’t write something down I don’t remember it. Started lamactil end of January ’09 for “bi-polar.” Was in-patient adn very depressed. Also took 150 mg celexa. After the lamactil was increased from 25 to 50 mg, I felt weird all the time. Nothing mattered. I could be happy for a split second, or sad, but the reasons for emotionn seemed trivial. I thought the dpression was back and had a “flat” panic attack. Took the meds erratically for a week, on April 2nd was my last day. This whole epxerience makes me think there’s no such thing as mental illness, just a culture uncomfortable with intense feelings. I can’t wait to feel normal again, well, normal for me, and pray this crap works its way out of my system soon. Am so sick right now it’s hard to be at work.

Posted by: Stevens at April 13, 2009 06:41 AM

I have SJS from the drug Lamictal. I have been rushed two 2 ER rooms and have seen 6 doctors. Please be aware of the black box warning on Lamictal. I am a 46 yr old female. It started w/headaches, back aches/stiff neck (flu like symptons) then escalated to huge burn lesions on my upper trunk an back and arms. I am in so much pain, My face is totally red as if sunburned. I have vaginitis. This is terrible. Be careful folks!! http://www.sjsupport.org. They have helped me tremendously, I hope I don’t die.

This occures on 3/21 and I still continue to suffer.

Posted by: Donna at April 15, 2009 03:43 AM

I got off my Effexor, Concerta, Seroquel, Klonopin, Lamictal, Dexedrine (taken on and off at the time) cocktail cold turkey at once last year. I did it because whenever I would forget to take my pills I would feel “high”. I don’t remember nay short term withdrawal effects because I wasn’t looking for them. However, there were a lot of long term effects on my body and mind. I think I really messed me up. If I could do it again, I would not withdraw cold turkey, it was a mistake, my mind and body had a lot of long term effects which were really messed up. I didn’t think getting off my pills would have any difference on my mind or my body but I was wrong. It’s kind of funny here, reading for long everyone tapered off their meds when I dropped the cocktail I was on cold turkey after being on all sorts of antidepressants, antipsychotics, stimulants, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and mood stabolizers for so long. If you aren’t looking for withdrawal symptoms and aren’t thinking about it, you don’t really notice it.
However, you do notice the long term effects on your mind and body and they come back to bite you for getting off your pills cold turkey. Don’t do what I did, trust me. You may not regret it at the time, but you will eventually regret it.

Posted by: Princess at April 19, 2009 05:35 AM

Just tapered off lamictal after four years on doses as high as 300 mg. I went from 200 mg to 100 mg in one month, paused three months, then from 100 mg to zero in two weeks.

Both times I got spacey, irritable and had a wierd sensation that my voice was gravelly. This also would happen whenever I’d miss a dose of lamictal in the past. I know it is not supposed to cause withdrawal like this, but I swear the symptoms have been consistent whenever I’ve gone without it for more than around 28 hours.

The w/d is beginning to wear off now, after two weeks at 0 mg.

Also, I felt really dumb much of the time I was on lamictal. Not the same as the spacey feeling–this was more of an impairment in the speed of my thinking, and my ability to think abstractly. It’s getting better.

People should remember that the symptoms of depression DO mimic some of the side effects of mood drugs. Don’t assume that everything is a side effect. Also, unless your MD instructs you to stop suddenly, DO NOT do it! The brain needs time to adjust to the absence of some of these medications. It’s worth a few weeks’ wait.

Posted by: Karl at May 1, 2009 11:53 PM

Karl,
Don’t be surprised if a few weeks is not enough time for your brain to adjust. After four years, lamictal is still in your system. After some time feeling better and /or normal (a few months even), you could be hit with withdrawal like you haven’t had before. Please don’t assume everything is a return of the original diagnosis (which I’m sure you’ll be told). It’s happened to many posters on here. 100mg to zero is dangerous; you could have a seizure, even if you never had seizures before.
I hope all is still well with you. My experience going from 100 to 0 over 6 months was horrific.

Posted by: Damaged at May 11, 2009 06:12 AM

I’m going off my meds. Geodon and Lamictal at the same time. With all the research I’ve done it’s probably not the wisest of choices. It sounds like the withdrawal is almost physical from the Geodon with bouts of severe anxeity. However coming of the Lamictal sounds like a roller coaster ride of moodiness. I think this withdrawl cocktail will be very interesting. I just want to remember what it’s like to feel me without drugs. I think Lamictal and specially Geodon has done a world of good for me, but I just want to see what “me” is like. I have my family for support and hopefully my boyfriend is tough enough to stick it out with me after all we live together. In the back of my head I’m thinking it’s not a good idea. But fuck it I feel so good about deciding to taper myself down and face the challenge. To see if I can handle me now that I’m older. I’ve always said I will take any drug that will keep me from going to “that place”, but I felt close to it a couple weeks ago and the last thing I want is higher doses and new drugs. I am off of school and I don’t have a job I have a few months I’ll see what happens. I am pretty sure a lot of frustration and crying will arrive in a weeks time. I hope I can handle it. Any words?

Posted by: Catherine at May 21, 2009 05:08 PM

I’m so glad I found this I thought I was going even more crazy than I already am. I am withdrawing off Lamictal and have alternately thought I had early Alzheimer’s, a brain tumor,become a rageaholic, had MS and arthritis setting in all at once. My boyfriend said he feels he needs to take the debit card from me and babysit me, oh I’ve also alternated between mania and rage(almost losing complete control) and fantasizing about hitting myself over the head with a sledgehammer. I was on Lamictal to prevent severe depressive episodes, I’m not bipolar, I have Major depression and Panic disorder. Mental illness and these fucking drug trials are worse than any physical pain I’ve had and I live with chronic pain. My doctor just acts like this stuff is routine and no big deal but feeling like you are losing your mind is terrifying.

Posted by: Emily at May 21, 2009 09:13 PM

Catherine,
“Any words?”
Yeah. Go slowly. Pace yourself. Keep us posted.
Best wishes on your withdrawl.

Posted by: Sherry at May 22, 2009 04:41 AM

So for all of you who have gone through a Lamictal withdrawal, I am impressed and I admire your courage. My doctor told me stop taking my 100mg/day dose after a rash. I have not restarted the medication and I don’t intend on it. However, it has been over two weeks since I stopped and I am still feeling extremely agitated with such an extreme depression. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I would really just like some reassurance; these are all normal experiences, correct? I have felt worse the last two weeks than I ever have without the meds.

Posted by: Nicole at May 27, 2009 02:22 PM

Hello,
I wonder if you can help me. I just stopped taking Lamictal as I felt it was causing my depression and negating the effects of my antii depressant on 250mg of Effexor xl. Stopped taking Zispin 30mg 4 weeks ago as I was feeling more than confident of doing without it. The only reason I was put back on it was that I was feeling manic even after they took me off it before and when they took me down of effexor way too quickly I crashed into depression again and cud not come out of it without it. So they gave me lamictal to prevent the mania(which was basically from being over medicated). I am very concerned about taking so much meds and told them I wanted off lamictal and to try V. SLOWLY weening myself off the effexor. I have proved before I am ready for this but they reduced me so quick I even thought about sayin something but I was so delighted to get off it I said nothing. Ridiculous! Anyhow am experiencing severe depression and even feeling suicidal but I just about have it under control from experience yet I CAN’T SHAKE IT. I don’t want to ask doctor for advice cuz I will lose all trust and it will create problems for me. Plus I am on a free government treatment so don’t want to switch to private practice. They cud decide to stop treating me.
Is it too late to take it again and start tapering slowly. Its been about 2weeks.
Thank you for your time and I wud appreciate any help.

Posted by: dollivan at May 29, 2009 06:30 AM

Nicole,
Re: “I would really just like some reassurance; these are all normal experiences, correct? I have felt worse the last two weeks than I ever have without the meds.”
Unfortunately, yes, what you’re experiencing is normal for Lamictal withdrawal according to MANY people’s accounts including my own. I am so sorry you have to go from 100mg to 0mg. It is torture. I went from 200mg to 100mg rather quickly (and painfully) but then was able to wean from 100mg to 0mg over 7 months. What helped me with physical withdrawal were supplements called Body Calm and Body Calm Supreme from The Road Back program. There’s a link on this site.

Dollivan,
I am sorry for what you are going through. I think Effexor may be one of the worst to get off of.
It’s great that in spite of being over medicated, you were able to figure out that Effexor is the cause of the manic and that they took you off too quickly without giving your brain time to heal and causing you to crash. That intuitiveness to what’s going on will help you more than any person or tapering “schedule” and doc’s will never go taper slow enough.
I would read other peoples withdrawal experiences and what has worked for them on this site and try https://bipolarblast.wordpress.com
I think most would say to lower the Effexor first since it’s causing manic which will get worse if you lower Lamictal 1st. BUT it depends on how long you’ve been on Lamictal, what dose you’re taking and other personal factors.

Posted by: Damaged at May 30, 2009 05:43 AM

dollivan,

This page and links has info re: Effexor and Lamictal withdrawal:

https://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2007/03/27/withdrawal-symptoms/

Posted by: Damaged at May 30, 2009 06:30 AM

I am ecstatic I found this site! I thought it was just me who had these side effects when coming off of Lamictal. Lamictal happened because of my grave mistake 9 years ago of trying to climb out of a depression that had taken hold. That, and my ever present anxiety disorder. But never, ever! was I so incredibly moody, up and down all day, every day. I was a gentle sort of person but during the last few years of taking Lamictal, I had been feeling overly irritable, aggressive, even angry (let’s not even discuss my coworkers looking at me cross eyed because my speech kept slurring, my head would occasionally start shaking uncontrollably and it seemed like I was on drugs; which ironically I was: Lamictal)!

Needless to say, I kept feeling like something was wrong with this medication, but when I’d try to get off of it, I discovered my symptoms would get worse and so became confused. Did I really need the medication and just not realize it until I tried to stop? I kept trying to research Lamictal because I’d go back to full dosage and yet the question still kept nagging at my brain: Do I only feel this crappy because I’m on Lamictal? And then I found this site where people have expressed similar symptoms of withdrawal.

My opinion is that the drug Lamictal is a sneaky little SOB. A common thing that can happen with people who have mental illness is that they may not feel like they need medication while they’re on it because they feel “better” while they’re taking it. But, when they stop, all hell can break loose. This is extremely common and typical. But! With Lamictal withdrawal you may have initial manic symptoms whether you’re bipolar or not! What an insidious medication. I must congratulate the capitalistic spirit of the company who creates this medication because they have the potential to keep clients for life who feel desperately dependent on it; whether they need it or not!!!

Anyway, I suppose I should get to some sort of point here. Again, I am so grateful to have found that Lamictal does have withdrawal symptoms and it’s not just me!!! This gave me the courage to try again and persist!!!! My doctor allowed for me to take extra Klonopin if necessary. I took a little extra, but not much.

Aside from more pharmaceuticals, I think some very natural things helped a lot with the withdrawal symptoms. The feelings of dizziness, shakiness, spaciness and nausea was really helped by drinking a GNC product that seems similar to mud, but isn’t so bad if you gulp it all at once in 6 oz of ruby red grapefruit juice. It’s called “SuperFoods Supreme” (complete formula), but I secretly call it “So disgusting, yet so effective.” To help my mood and energy stay “ok” I made/make protein smoothies every morning with 1 scoop of GNC (I swear I don’t work there) protein powder, two scoops of the GNC’s “Women’s Ultra Mega” powdered vitamin formula (I’m sure some of you can understand why I have no desire to take another stupid pill), some frozen strawberries, a banana, a little plain yoghurt and soy milk. The next thing I did that helped me stay … sane, calm… was to simply walk on the treadmill for about twenty minutes while listening to music. At first, I really felt the impassioned anger of the song “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine (relating the “F*^&%#% you I won’t do what you tell me” to all the psychiatrists that messed up nine years of my life while I trusted their “art” of psychiatry), but now I just feel tired and a bit more at peace. Of course I still could get mad at them, you, me, everyone, the leaf on my porch, or my glass of water, but I see no point. The actual point is that I’m not a naturally angry sort of person (though of course I can get angry just like the next person), but while I was experiencing the heightened emotions of anger and frustration, working it out through the music and exercise was sooooooooo helpful in calming my nerves.

So, I was on 300 mg of Lamictal and am now down to 50 mg. I am tired, but my head is no longer shaking. My speech is not slurred. The daily moodiness, feelings of agitation, anger and aggressiveness have all but dissipated. I am able to think more clearly, but I think it may still take a while for me to return to my full cognitive capability. I still feel a bit spacey, but people on this site have assured me that my brain will return to me in time. I’ve hated feeling “dumbed down” this whole time. Sometimes I’ve wondered what the differece between this drug and a street drug is. Then it would occur to me that a street drug is at least supposed to make you feel happy or something, right?…

I’m going to end this negatively positive comment with another “Thank you” and a wink of encouragement to any other strugglers out there. While I was feeling like absolute crap coming off of this medication I just kept reminding myself that I was continually feeling awful on the medication too. So, what’s the difference? Either way I felt sick… This thought, too, gave me heart. But, I have to say, the first few taperings off the medication were the worst. Seriously, I felt like a drug addict desperate for a fix. But, after that, it kept getting easier and easier. Good luck.

Posted by: Penelope at June 7, 2009 01:56 PM

Penelope,
Welcome.
Sherry (who somehow missed Lamictal, thank goodness)

Posted by: Sherry at June 8, 2009 04:30 PM

I would like to stop taking all medications – cold turkey. I am currently on 10mg Lexapro, 200mg Lamictal, and 100mg Welbutrin. I stopped the Welbutrin about 3 days ago – no problem. The doctor was ok with me doing that. Now, we are in complete disagreement on how to come off the other drugs. Can I please hear some stories, if any, of people who have stopped Lamictal/Lexapro cold turkey – together?
Thanks.

Posted by: Stacy at June 18, 2009 11:44 AM

Stacy,
Definitely do some serious research before cutting any psychotropic drug cold turkey. I wouldn’t call 3 days a success story–yet. Hopefully it will be.

My experience, and that of many other people, is that stopping cold turkey is like taking a long walk off a short pier. You feel fine. For a while. Then, kersplash. It can be very dangerous.

Most people here have found that doctors know very little about withdrawing from psychotropics. It’s a field in need of research at the moment.

I’d advise you to proceed very slowly, only do one med at a time. There are several blogs and information here that describe people’s experiences and specific strategies to withdrawing from the drugs you’ve been taking. Please be kind to yourself and read a lot more about this stuff before doing anything.

Best wishes,
Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at June 18, 2009 02:46 PM

Hi,
I am a 22 year old female that was put on lamictal for anxiety/moods over a year ago. I am now coming off of it, and have experienced anxiety and headaches. However, this is also the off week of my hormonal birth control. I was only on 50g of lamictal now cut to 25g. I am getting so scared reading this forum..Does any one know anything about pms and lamictal?
help!

Posted by: gina at June 18, 2009 05:31 PM

Thanks, Sherry. I have read everything on this site (which seems to be one of the only sources of patient information). After reading it, I actually feel even more inclined to do this cold turkey. 1) I have the support system around me (24/7) to go through the “crash” and 2) I can take a month off work at one time. I get the sense from others’ comments here that when you taper down, you experience some of the same symptons, to a lesser degree, each time you decrease the dosage. I cannot afford to have this sort of sporadic effect on my job. About 7 years ago, I came off my meds (not lamictal), tapering down over 4 months. It was tolerable, but not an easy 4 months. I would rather take this all at once, than stretch it out.

Having said this, I do not want to encourage anyone else to do this. I do believe, having talked to my doctor and reading the accounts listed on this site, that tapering down is the best way and safest way to come off lamictal. Unfortunately, given my work situation, I cannot take the chance of sporadic time off.

I will probably not start this until Monday after 4th of July. I will check back in and “journal” my experience, to hopefully help others’ quest on these paths. Many people do not understand, but we are not alone in this! This is a wonderful forum to encourage and advise each other. Stay connected with a support group (friends, family, religion, or organized group).

One last note, I would like to become active in getting mental health care coverage to be equal to other health coverage. It is ridiculous that amount of money I have to pay for this. Many people cannot afford it and must go 1) without meds, 2) without doctors, or 3) without support. This is not only unfair and poor treatment to the individual experiencing life in this manner, but it can be a danger to society. Does anyone know of a group/company that advocates for mental health insurance coverage equality? Please let me know.

Posted by: Stacy at June 19, 2009 07:44 AM

Wow, yeah Stacy, do keep in touch here.

This may be a dumb question, but have you looked up “mental health parity” on a search engine or two? It’s a hot topic, for sure.

Posted by: Sherry at June 19, 2009 11:41 AM

I take Lamictal for bipolar. I am completely out of my 200mg per day Lamictal. I have not taken my dose for 3 days. I go tomorrow to get a refill. Are there any dangerous withdrawal effects from stopping abruptly, until I am able to get my script filled? Thanks =)
Corinne

Posted by: Corinne at June 20, 2009 01:52 AM

I have been trying to withdraw from Lamictal for about a month now after being on it for a little over two years (300mg). I have never been so miserable – brain fog, can’t think/talk/write clearly, fatigue, nightmares…I think I am tapering too quickly, so after three days of 0mg, I went back to 75mg in hopes of arresting the awful symptoms. It doesn’t seem to be helping much. All I hope is that this withdrawal doesn’t last too much longer. It is almost worse than the depression for hwich I was originally prescribed Lamictal.

Posted by: Lori at June 21, 2009 12:44 PM

Lori,
If you were taking 300mg for two years, you definetly tapered to fast. Going back to 75mg is probably not going to help. I would go back up to 250mg or 200 at least, wait until you feel better and then drop by 25mg at the most, stay at the next dose at least a week if you have no withdrawal symptoms then decrease again, and so on. Unless you are pregnant or have a rash or some other reason you need to get off quickly.

Posted by: Becky at June 21, 2009 04:33 PM

I wish I knew what I know now when I was originally prescribed this drug. The psych that prescribed it is a “bipolar expert” and, I suspect, everyone that goes to him has bipolar disorder. Subsequently I’ve seen 3 different doctors and none of them agree with the bipolar diagnosis.

I originally went to him with a diagnosis of Adult ADD and depression. I was on Celexa and Straterra. He didn’t like either of those drugs and he decided I was bi-polar so he moved me to Adderal & Lamictal. Soon after that I went into some sort of “crisis” I’d never had before and he hit me with zyprexa which was like an elephant gun

Bottom line, with every new symptom he added a new drug. Finally I said enough when after 4 years my wife said that I was far worse off than when I started. In the end I was on:

Lamictal – 600mg

Carbamazapine – 600mg

Addrerall XR – 20mg

Provigil – 400mg

Clonozepam – 2mg

He had been trying to get me up to 800mg of both lamictal and carb. but I just couldn’t tolerate them. He wanted me to take the 600 of both at the same time before bed. I did that exactly once, I fell asleep on the couch watching TV and by the time my woke me up awhile later I didn’t recognize her. I didn’t know where I was or who I was.

Finally I shed the bipolar diagnosis (with other psychs) and started cutting back on the drugs. I’m now down to the Provigil and 250 mg of the Lamictal. But… I wish I’d known about this thread months ago, I am suffering. I feel like I can’t give up the Lamictal because every time I go down I get worse until I start feeling a little better. I guess I should have realized these were withdrawl symptoms but I didn’t.

I am exhausted all the time, I often feel suicidal (though I know I won’t, I tried it once when I was a kid, not going to do that again).

I finally convinced my new psych that Lamictal was evil for me but that I couldn’t give it up without something to give me a soft landing. He prescribed welbutrin which was great for my mood but I ended up in the ER with heart palpitations. He took me off that and said “there is no reason for you to have any kind of adverse reactions if you miss a dose of Lamictal or if you start getting off it.” He would not give me anything else and just said that I had to get off Lamictal (if I wanted to) before he’d give me anything else.

Over and over I told him that when I forgot a dose I ended up sitting with my head in my hands until I got some more into my system. After fighting him for an hour of him telling me that it must be my imagination, I left dejected and found this and other threads. He actually was so convinced he was right that he was going to get a pharmacist to create random pills of placebo and lamictal so that I did not know which was which. This would prove to him and to me that my reaction to missing a dose was all in my head.

Now I’ve dropped them Welbutrin and have gone to 250 from 300 of Lamictal. Since I started Welbutrin 2 weeks ago I’ve been showing up to work but haven’t been able to work. Now even though I’m off the Welbutrin, I’m still not able to work and I’m starting to get worried about my job.

Posted by: Scott at June 23, 2009 04:27 PM

Stacy’s Journal Part I: Lexapro withdrawal.

I said I would journal my experience as I withdraw from Lexapro (10mg) and Lamictal (200mg). I am starting my Lexapro withdrawal today. I took my last scheduled dose yesterday at 8pm, and tonight will be my first day without it. I have been on Lexapro for 3 years now, and I will be very glad to be off of it!

Will write again soon – the good, bad, and worse.

Posted by: Stacy at July 1, 2009 03:30 PM

Stacy’s Journal Part I: Lexapro Withdrawal
2nd entry.

I’m 48+ hours into this. Last night, I felt anxious and a little shaky for about 30 minutes, but today I feel fine. I am taking vitamins and fish oil and eating a good diet, which I think is very important in helping myself through this wihtdrawal process. I like to eat whatever I want, but I’ve added lots of fruits and vegetables to it.

So far, so good.

Posted by: Stacy at July 3, 2009 07:02 AM

Stacy’s Journal Part I: Lexapro Withdrawal
3rd Entry.

I am on day 5. In general, I’m doing much better than expected. I have felt weepy and crying a few times, but it hasn’t lasted long. No headaches, but my eyes are bothering me… not sure what that is about. I will be going off Lamictal very soon – thinking about dropping it tomorrow morning. I meet the doctor on Friday, so I might wait until then, but I’d like to go ahead and get it over with.

Posted by: Stacy at July 6, 2009 04:54 PM

Stacy,
Paxilprogress.org is a good website for info about getting off of meds (In case things don’t continue smoothly).

Posted by: Damaged at July 9, 2009 01:06 PM

sounds like a majority of the posts have taken it upon themselves to self regulate dosages. you are probably not experts or pharmaco-psychiatrists. may i suggest you stop adjusting your own doses and find a good pyhsician who is an expert. taking an assortment of meds does not make you the expert, it makes you a patient. keep your appointments, report how you are feeling and follow the physcian’s advice. if he or she does not listen, change doctors!

Posted by: pat carlson at July 9, 2009 01:20 PM

Re:
“sounds like a majority of the posts have taken it upon themselves to self regulate dosages. you are probably not experts or pharmaco-psychiatrists. may i suggest you stop adjusting your own doses and find a good pyhsician who is an expert”.

I believe the majority of posters tried that route first and ended up in horrible shape mentally and physically; then in desperation, after being let down by the “experts” (usually more than one) found themselves with no choice but to figure out what was killing them and how to get well on their own.

“taking an assortment of meds does not make you the expert, it makes you a patient.”

Taking an assortment of meds makes you a customer. Being sick should make you a patient.

Posted by: Damaged at July 10, 2009 07:01 AM

Stacy’s Journal Part II: Lamictal Withdrawal
4th Entry.

I’m on day 4 of Lamictal withdrawal and day 11 of Lexapro withdrawal. They say that a day or date is burned into your mind, but I don’t know what date it is and will not remember the date of this withdrawal in the future. I’m still pleased that things are going better than I thought they would be, based on reading the stories and comments on this blog. So here’s what I’m feeling: Dizzy. Slow. Confused. Reality is blurred. Time is warped. Sometimes, I feel drunk. Sometimes, I feel hung over. My thoughts are not my thoughts.
Someone is with me all the time. It should be this way. I cannot say enough: Do not do this alone. Talk to a doctor. Have a support system set up around you.

What do you lean on when the rubber meets the road? This is been a mantra for me: “Why are you downcast, o my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” The Bible.

Posted by: Stacy at July 12, 2009 10:51 AM

Pat,
Psychiatrists are not experts in withdrawal from psychotropic medications. They are trained to diagnose and prescribe, and taught that there are few withdrawal concerns with these meds. Psychiatrists that want to learn about withdrawal effects must do so by listening to their patients. Unfortunately, not enough of them do.

Posted by: Holly at July 12, 2009 09:16 PM

Stacy’s Journal Part II: Lamictal Withdrawal
5th Entry.

I’m in the 3rd week of cold-turkey now. Darkness seems to be settling in. Thanks to the comments on this website, I was prepared for this inevitability, so I’m staying “positive” about starting to feel “depressed”… does that make sense? The big crash wave I expected in the beginning never really came, but now I feel kinda like I’m floating in the middle of the ocean with no shore in any direction. Again, preparations help. My husband and my mom are my biggest supports right now. I can call one of them at any time to come home and be with me. I made plans to be off work for a month, and I still have one more week off.
I am so grateful for the comments on this website, because I can know that this is withdrawal and not depression. That is great fuel for fighting the mental battle.

Posted by: Stacy at July 25, 2009 07:11 AM

Stacy,

Try some of these things in your dark moments:

1. Recall the best thing you ever did for someone.

2. Get some exercise. Whatever you can muster.

3. Look for an opportunity to say something nice or pleasant to a complete stranger

4. Have a nice meal. treat yourself to an ice cream

5. Positive thoughts beget positive results. It sounds trite and superficial, but it is so very true. Work this as you would that you most cherish.

6. Don’t miss your meals. Drink your water, Take your vitamins (if you do – I’d recommend you should if you don’t)

Most important: This takes time. You’re entitled to setbacks. Get back in the game. You have friends who care and love. Take some solace in this. One day at a time.

Posted by: Paul at July 25, 2009 08:25 PM

Stacy, thinking of you and wishing you peace.

Posted by: Lisa at July 26, 2009 09:32 AM

I just wanted to say I’ve been reading your comments here too, Stacy and there are a lot of ppl sending you good thoughts, you can do this.

Nice comment there, Paul, good advice for all of us.

Posted by: Stephany at July 26, 2009 06:27 PM

Am I the only one who see’s this as dangerous?

Quitting Lexapro Cold Turkey after 3 years, then 4 days later quitting 200mg of Lamictal Cold Turkey?!

Even the Pharma/FDA Label says to taper the dose in order to prevent seizures.

Positive happy thoughts are great but they can’t always overcome this poison that has physically altered your brain.

I’m sorry, to be negative but don’t be surprised if you’re NOT okay by next Monday.

I truly wish you the best, but am also truly scared for you.

Posted by: Scared at July 26, 2009 11:33 PM

Cold turkey isnt the way to go folks. Ive been on lamicatal for 4 plus years now and I must say that it has been good but that is only coming from me and the mind of a lamictal user. I now realise how bad this drug is and how un normal it has made me. Yeah it has its up sides but it has taken away some normal sides as well such as feeling emotionless in situations. Ive recently quit smoking cold turkey alo ng with cutting my dose from 200 to 100mlg within 2 weeks and this is after had taking 200 for 4 years. I have felt fine up until now. Ive tried to put myself on 25 but that hasnt done me any good and it has come out of knowhere. I figured I could be super man and quit smoking and exercise every morning and eat well which I have been doing but one month and now being on 25 mlg after being on 200mlg….no way. Im in my bed right now writing this cause I feel all panicy and weird. I really cant describe it but i get these chills down my lower back every now n then and numbness in my hands and short of breath and then it turns into a slight panic attack. I hate it so much sometimes I feel like a ghost about to die or somethin but I know it all mind over matter right. It doesnt matter if you mind. So Im gonna do my thing and lay here and weigh it off then get back on 100 tomarrow and cut it 10% every other week and see how that works out. I want off of this stuff and I pray for streagnth to those who are in this process as I am.

Jeff

Posted by: jeffrey at July 31, 2009 02:57 PM

Hi,

I’m so happy I found this site. I’m going through a terrible time with lamictil. I’ve been on 25 mg for the past 3 years for “bi-polar II, rapid cycling” .

When they first put me on it, they did an MRI of the brain which came back normal. The psych test at that time showed bi-polar symptoms.

I recently had an MRI that showed a remote infarct of the right thalamus, and cortical shrinkage in the frontal temporal lobes. The doctors don’t know why my brain has shrunk, but tell me to continue on Lamictil. I’ve decided to begin withdrawal starting with tomorrow’s dose.

Today was the last straw, when my cell phone dropped out of my hand into the toilet. I want to get my brain back and think the clumsiness, brain fog/rot, weight gain, inappropriate comments, and inability to think clearly,& hair loss is due to this drug. Does anyone have dizziness and throbbing in the brain? It’s affected my hearing, and perception of noise as well.
What’s the best way to withdrawal from this dose?

Please help….

Sarah

Posted by: sarah at July 31, 2009 05:21 PM

Im so sorry to hear about this sarah. I know its hard and Im sure your probebly feeling a bunch of different swings here but just know that the more you aknowledge it the more power you give it. I had a random attack today and its casuse of my dose transition but ive learned alot over the past hours about coming off this drug through other blogers and profesors. The best way is to exercise in the morning such as running or swiming wich I do and it has helped me so much that along with eating healthy. Most of this is pshycologic. Its amazing what we can convince our minds and how far in left field it can take us but try doing this. cut your dose every 2 weeks by 20 or 15 mlg and continue the pattern. roughly 6 weeks and you should feel better Im hoping cause I was on 200mlg and now im at 100 and its been 1 month and i have only had one freak episode which was today lol. but I hope everything works out for you. Its so normal and your not alone on this at all. Seriously your not, it feels good knowing that there are others who are going through the same or similare things. Work out, try to be productive, eat well and get sleep and find someone you can talk to at anytime like a relative or close friend and if you smoke, quit cause that just magnified everything for me and stay away from caffiene. I will make you dizzy and give you the shakes and that can easily strike mood changes. I hope I have helped. Good luck and write back if you need to.

Jeffrey

Posted by: jeffrey at July 31, 2009 08:07 PM

Sarah,
I think you are right to get off Lamictal. I’m surprised the doctors would tell you to stay on it with MRI results showing damage, when they have no other reason for what caused/is causing the damage. Is Lamictal the only medication you’re taking? What type of doctor(s) are you seeing?

What was the reason for the initial MRI and the follow up? I’m curious because it’s rare that anyone gets to see those types of results (what our brains looked like before meds and after).

Most of the time people (people who have gotten off meds and doctors who have written books about it) suggest reducing the dosage by 10%, wait until you’re not feeling withdrawal symptoms and then reduce again. However; with the dizziness, throbbing in the brain and hearing loss, it sounds like what you’re going through now is pretty bad and it may be that you should get off immediately.

You have an advantage over most in that you have actual proof that it is not psychological at all but that your brain has been physically changed. You should take those MRI results to another doctor; one willing to help you get off this drug. Then, if you start having new symptoms and aren’t sure if they are withdrawal, come back and read some more of these posts and maybe check some of the links.

Best of luck; I hope you get the help you need and get better soon!

Posted by: Damaged at August 1, 2009 08:31 AM

Hi Damaged,

Thanks for answering. I’ve been to neurologists at one of the top hospitals in the nation as well as a good hospital in NYC. No one has mentioned, it was the lamictil. When the phone dropped out my hand in the toilet the other day, that was the turning point. I started tapering off yesterday with 10% but will go down to 25% today and see what happens. I’m still slightly dizzy and very tired. I’m taking HRT (hormone replacement therapy), 15 mg of zoloft, and thyroid medication. I’ve been tested for everything including the thyroid, and it’s in normal range.

I first started noticing more hair loss after taking lamectil for about 6 months or so, but nothing cognitive. Then, about 10 months ago, I noticed my memory fading. The other symptoms including mild dizziness, etc. started happening in Feb. this year, thus all the recent tests.

I advise anyone taking this medication to get an MRI just to make sure.

BR,

Sarah

Posted by: sarah at August 2, 2009 07:48 AM

Jeffrey,

Many thanks for your good advise. I have been exercising in the mornings for the past few years (it helps with sleep) and eat wisely e.g. no fried foods, low carbs, high vegies and fruits, etc.

I think if more of us do the same it would help get off this stuff. I do meditate every morning so that helps too, but since taking lamectil, my cognitive problems are serious enough to entitle me with mild cognitive impairment (post lamectil).

This is the best site around. Real stories from real people. Thanks again Jeffrey!

Best wishes,
sarah

Posted by: sarah at August 2, 2009 01:40 PM

Zoloft (sertraline) causes an increase in the level of lamictal in your blood, causing toxicity (see the link).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9627209

I found this out when I was switched back to Zoloft from Cymbalta. My hair loss doubled and I just about went insane (hard to explain the details). That was when I decided to get off meds. I also have hypothyroidism. My TSH went from .249 to 4.59 at that time. A few months after I got off Zoloft, Vyvanse and Lithium and was down to 50mg of Lamictal, my TSH was at .11. Then when I finally was off Lamictal completely, it went up to 21.78. These meds definetly effect your thyroid functioning!

Another FYI: In one of the Lamictal clinical trials (from the label), between 1 and 5 percent of 227 patients being treated for Bipolar reported Amnesia.

Dr. Peter Breggin still sees patients in his office in Ithaca, New York. Not sure how far that is. I bet he’d love to see that MRI. He’d probably write about you in his next book!

His book; “Your Drug May Be Your Problem” was an wonderful help to me. If for nothing else, it let me know I wasn’t crazy. The title was right.

Good luck! Be careful driving AND walking! All the side effects that you get from the meds, also can be withdrawal effects. So, the dizziness might get worse before it gets better. Strange but true.

Posted by: Damaged at August 2, 2009 03:51 PM

Stacy’s Journal Part II: Lamictal Withdrawal
6th Entry.

Thank you for the comments. It was so nice to login and see responses – I feel warm arms around me now. Well, it’s back to work tomorrow, and I’m scared. I’m scared of losing my job, and I’m scared that I won’t care. Emotions are generally good. I’d give myself a 7 out of 10. The problem comes in the dark moments (angry or sad). These moments are brief but low. I’d give them a 2 or a 3. I keep talking to my husband, my journal, my doctor, etc. As long as I keep saying everything that I’m thinking, then I’m doing ok. I will push through this. God is helping me through the love and support of people.
Again, thank you for the encouragement. Paul, I love every word. For the others, I agree that this type of withdrawal is not ideal, but this is what I think was best for me in my current circumstances.

Posted by: Stacy at August 2, 2009 05:50 PM

I am losing it. I just finished detoxing from Effexor, an extremely difficult 4 month process, while beginning Lamicatal for probable bi-polar, up to 300mg.

Once the effexor side effects began to subside, I began feeling worse, dizziness, eye issues to the point I couldn’t read or drive at times, memory loss, headaches. So I began going down off the lamitacal, around 50 mg at a time, down to 200 mg. Felt great for about 4 days, except for irrabilty.

Now the eye issues are worse than before, can’t close eyes without flashing lights and strange shapes, blinding headaches, difficulity sleeping, out of body feeling, EXTREME sudden irrabilty, extreme mood swings.

Are these side effects from going down, side effects in general from lamictal, or bi-polar getting worse from going down on Lamictal?

Posted by: Sherri at August 15, 2009 04:43 AM

Sherri,
Re: “…dizziness, eye issues to the point I couldn’t read or drive at times, memory loss, headaches, can’t close eyes without flashing lights and strange shapes, blinding headaches…”
These types of symptoms have nothing to do with bipolar or any other psychiatric diagnosis. If you were taking Effexor for depression, then diagnosed with bipolar, your symptoms were most likely caused by the drug.
All of the things you are experiencing, including; difficulty sleeping, out of body feeling, EXTREME sudden irritability, extreme mood swings, are common withdrawal symptoms.
It’s hard to know whether they are withdrawal symptoms from Lamictal or Effexor at this point, it’s probably both. There is some good advice to be found in these posts on here. You can probably do a search of Effexor Withdrawal and find a lot of people with similar experiences too.

Posted by: Damaged at August 18, 2009 06:45 AM

I have usedLamictal for five years in conjunction with Prozac. I stopped taking Prozac over two months ago and then began decreasing my Lamictal because I want to try and get pregnant with my husband.
I had terrible symptoms of withdrawal from the Lamictal. Headaches, nauseau, cycling and suicidal thoughts.
I have gone back on and am now at 75mgs. The symptoms have gone away, but now I am experiencing itchy sensations all over my body. It makes it difficult to sleep well at night.
I never had that going on five years ago.
Has anyone had this happen or know why it may be happening?

Posted by: itchyscratchy at August 26, 2009 03:03 PM

Can I get some good responses on how long the withdrawals lasted for most folks? I quit 100mg cold turkey about a month ago(I was on 200mg but had come down to 100mg for a couple weeks before I decided to quit cold turkey). I havent been feeling very well the last couple of weeks. The biggest thing is I’m extremely tired. I don’t sleep the best but the tiredness is unreal. Also feel unwell, just kind of a sick feeling. Achy, my eyes hurt, headachy. I’m wondering if this might be from the stopping lamictal. Can this withdrawal last well into a month or more? I already know what the doctors will say……It’s depression returning. I’m not so sure.

Posted by: Brian at September 2, 2009 02:32 PM

Wow. I was diagnosed as having bipolar 1 ten years ago after having a “religious experience” and b/c of this experience, I could not sleep for days, and something doctors are not understanding is that sleep deprivation is basically mania. They pumped me full of lithium, I finally got smart and stopped taking it but my parents keep kidnapping me and making me take it because some dumb ass dr. old them I have bipolar. I was lucky enough to go to college for about 5 years and tried to major in Psychology. The best classs I ever took was a Culture and Mental Health class that had an amazing book which talked about the craziness of America and how psychiatrists only look at symptoms instead of the whole situation/person and what has happened in their lives to cause them to be depressed. No other country has even close to the number of bipolar diagnoses that the U.S. has. If you do any research, you cannot find anything about HOW these medications work, dr’s just think they do. But the mind is a very powerful thing and dr’s do not realize how susceptible we are to everything. Anyways, I just started Lamcital and am super psyched about it! You guys make it sound like a super drug. Cant wait to get on a high dose and record all my symptoms!! Thanks psychiatrist, you are an absolute doll. I had a great idea the other day: wouldn’t it be great if before a psychiatrist could prescribe a medication, they would have to physically take it themselves?! lol.

Posted by: Kari at September 3, 2009 01:44 AM

Brian,
Yes, what you’re experiencing is most likely withdrawal. Not only can it last over a month, sometimes symptoms don’t start until a month after stopping.
I went from 200mg to 100mg and then tried to stop also but I had to get back on 100 and taper off slowly. The headaches were too painful. The fatigue, even tapering off (75mg for a month, then 50, then 37.5, 25, 12.5) was tremendous. Cold Turkey was much worse though. I could barely move off the couch.
You may want to get back on and taper off slowly. If you’ve been off for two weeks or more and decide to do that you need to start at 25mg and go up slowly. Too fast going off OR on is dangerous (see the label). I was able to get an Rx for 180 25mg pills so I could go at my own pace (almost a miracle; I had to be very assertive with the doc).
If you would rather stay off and try to fight through it, there is a lot of helpful info in previous posts (recommended books, links, products, etc.)
You might want to get your thyroid checked also. Lamictal really messed up my thyroid (TSH) levels. I believe it will correct itself but if the fatigue is unbearable and thyroid tests show Hypothyroidism, treating that could help (thyroid meds are nothing like psych meds). Best of luck!

Posted by: Damaged at September 3, 2009 11:10 AM

dizziness from withdrawl of lamictal…has been approx three months and the dizziness is still here…even have it at night when i turn my head from side to side. Did not have the dizziness while taking lamictal but did have eye problems….flashing lights…so the dizziness came with discontinuing medication….other depressive symptoms i’ve been able to handle when they come, i.e.stress, fears….but the dizziness bothers me the most..any support or hopefully,good news out there…will the dizziness gradually go away? Have reported this to my physicians…with no help coming from them. Should I just add this symptom to my giant bag of other symptoms?

Posted by: lv at September 24, 2009 12:38 PM

Products from The Road Back program helped the dizziness for me when I decreased from 200mg to 100mg. I had to wean from 100 to 0 over several months though. Any faster was unbearable.

Posted by: Damaged at September 24, 2009 07:11 PM

My name is Leslie, my daughter has been on lamicital for 8 years. She was diagnosis with epilepsy at the age of 5. She had Absence seizures. We are now tapering her off the lamicital slowly. We started in June at 200mg a day and now we are at 25 mg at night and 12.5mg in the morning. My question is has anyone ever hallucinated when coming off this medicine? I just found out yesterday that is has been seeing things in the house a women in a white dress and a shadow of a cat. At night she wakes up saying that she can’t see the lady but she can feel her presence in the room and she tenses up. I wonder if these are not panic attacks or she is having seizures. I would really like her off this medicine.
Thanks , Leslie

Posted by: Leslie at September 29, 2009 08:29 AM

Leslie,

I never had hallucinations but I’ve heard of that happening to others. I’ll see if I can find the link and post it.

They’re not Panic Attacks. I don’t know about seizures but I would bet it is because of decreasing Lamictal too fast. That can also cause seizures in people who never had them before.

How are you decreasing the dosages? What time table are you using (Ex. Drop 25mg per week)?

When did the hallucinations start? I would increase the dose back up to where it was before they started and taper MUCH slower.

When I got off Lamictal, I tapered from 100mg to Zero over a period of 7 months. The smaller amounts at the end took longer. I decreased every 3 or 4 weeks depending on how I felt. (Ex. If I got headaches and dizziness, I would wait to decrease again. If it got really bad, I would go back up to the previous dose and try again in another week, sometimes a smaller amount).

Posted by: Damaged at September 29, 2009 02:59 PM

I just came off 400 mg a day of lamotrigine to 200 mg. It’s been about a week now. Why? Because my hair is falling out. I have (did have) long super thick hair that is now so thin on top in the front you can see my scalp. To those of you that have asked in this posting if Lamictal (sp?) causes hair loss. I have researched all over the net and have found hundreds of forums asking the same question, which leads me to believe that it does, and no one knows if it grows back!! Oh yeah and it gets way worse when you stop the Lamictal!!!
As far as withdrawals I woke up at 4 am this morning with my scalp burning and then it traveled to my neck and upper back and shoulders.
Nightmares have begun as well. I am now terrified after reading this blog to taper any further, I am getting married on Thanksgiving, moving to Texas late January (my fiance is army) and I have 4 kids. I am already hard enough to live with 😦
But I want off this crap, I still take ativan when needed and 30mg temazepam to sleep.
(yep, 2 benzo’s) This thread has led me to the conclusion that I would rather be crazy than all the side effects and withdrawals that come with med’s. (they are always switching me I am apparently drug resistant)
I am now left terrified but determined!!

Posted by: Michele at November 2, 2009 12:26 PM

yep, Lamictal does cause hair loss. Half of my hair fell out in a month. At only 150mg, too.

It does grow back; my hair is pretty much just as thick as it was… a year and a half later. It takes a good 6-8 months to grow back. Hair grows- and if chemotherapy won’t cause you to be bald forever- lamictal’s not gonna do it. Don’t worry about that.

Posted by: kimbriel at November 2, 2009 07:22 PM

Dropped 50mg Lamictal cold turkey 15 days ago, and am now feeling dizzy, increased anxiety, headache, very similar to Prozac cold turkey.

Posted by: anonymous at November 9, 2009 12:40 PM

Hello everyone. I’ve been reading through everyone’s posts and don’t really have anything too original to add. I just wanted to add my story the list and wish you all well. I have been treated for OCD for the past 9 years and have done pretty well with therapy and medication. But have never been able to get back to “normal” always had these awful down times about three times a year. My therapist after several years of talking to me, convinced me that I probably had bipolar disorder too. So, I was sent to se a mood specialist who convinced me to start on a mood stabilizer – you guessed it Lamictal. Only got as high as 75mg and just was about brain dead. He backed it off to 50mg and then for some reason to 25mg. At 25, I have felt awful for the past several days. I’ve gone through this with other meds when I’ve had to switch and it always sucks. I don’t care how many times they tell you that a drug has no side effects or no withdrawal symptoms – They Lie!! Anything that changes the way your body or your brain works will have some side effect. Even caffeine in coffee has side effects and withdrawal symptoms. My experience is to try to do it gradually if you can and give yourself a break. Your body and mind are going through some pretty awful stuff. Light exercise seems to help and drink plenty of water. Be good to yourself and don’t feel so bad about feeling so bad – it’s not your fault.

Posted by: Dan at November 21, 2009 02:25 PM

Wow,

surreal i stumbled across this just now. I tapered off Lamictal from 250mg to 0 from January to March 2009. I did it in conjunction with the TrueHope program – which has done miracles for people with bipolar.

The withdrawal symptoms included extreme dizziness, stiff neck & back, funny twitches in my face and limbs, sleeplessness, panic attacks, strange food cravings, deep depression and hypomania (even though these may be just plain bipolar symptoms). Yes, and it seems as if I lost my sense of time. Somehow everything’s been this blur of life passing me by.

And now almost a year is over and I still am still struggling with the apathy. I have almost zero motivation. I can sit around the whole day and do absolutely nothing. Literally. It seems as if it is slowly getting better though.

There’s no question, I needed something to rectify my mood swings at some point, but Lamictal had turned me from an outgoing, active, well dressed athletic marathon runner to an overweight, unkempt, numb and antisocial slob with serious cognitive and memory impairment and zero drive.

I have been doing the True Hope program for 9 months now and I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope I get back to a somewhat livable and socially active life.

I wish you all the best on your way to recovery.

It IS possible.

Posted by: Thomas SF at November 30, 2009 04:00 PM

down from 400 mg’g to 200 mg’s in two weeks. i just have to get off this stuff. idon’t believe i am bi-polar, and am tired of people telling me i am this and i am that. i just want to be back to me…….
karen

Posted by: karen at December 8, 2009 05:55 PM

friday…down from 400 mg’s to 200 mg’.i started backing off 2 weeks ago…i have to get off of this medication….it gives me ‘brain waves.’ that is the only way i can descibe the after affects of this drug. please respond.
karen

Posted by: karens at December 9, 2009 05:09 PM

This stuff does ‘fire’ or help fire chemicals in your brain. I imagine you would feel brainwaves. Like i said, im on 100mg for type2 bipolar. I would have to imagine that going from 400(which seems extreme) down to 200 is complete hell. Are you able to work? It aint good to drop 200mg just like that. Be careful. I feel like i wouldnt even be able to put a sentemce together if i cut my dosage in half.

Posted by: max at December 13, 2009 01:20 PM

Hi everyone!

Just chiming in, I’ve been on Lamictal since last summer (2008) and gradually built the dose up to 200 mg á day. Now, like five weeks ago, I went cold turkey. There was a series of events that led to this happening that I won’t go into, but safe to say, the drug should be out of my system. However, I didn’t know about the side effects of going cold turkey and I really am starting to feel them for real now.

First off, I feel more detached now than when I was on the drug. I see myself from the outside and I feel I can’t relate to anyone or anything around me. Second, my concentration is waaaaay off. I can’t work. When I set myself to do something, I end up just surfing the web or watching youtube. I’ve been more unproductive the last week than I have an entire year… and it scares me because I am a workaholic and I have a lot to do! Third and probably the worst of the side effects I’m experiencing are the mood swings. I feel fine one second, the next, I’m yelling and throwing a tantrum. Then I apologize and 1/2 hour later, it begins again. My girlfriend is really patient with me but I don’t know how much more she’ll take.

Finally; I can’t sleep at night, I sleep maybe 4-5 hours a night because I’m afraid of going to bed. Once I rest the head on the pillow, all kinds of weird thoughts come rushing in. Don’t know how to stop them.. 😦

I don’t know what to do. I wish I had been more careful and tapered the drug down like reocmmended. Now I don’t know if I should start again on a lower dose and build it up to 100 mg and taper down again or what.. ??

Maybe I should just call my doc, though he’ll probably scold me for being so stupid.. :p

What should I do?

Posted by: Noc at December 13, 2009 03:24 PM

“I don’t know if I should start again on a lower dose and build it up to 100 mg and taper down again or what.. ??”

I think thats a very good idea. I had to do the same thing when I quit.

Posted by: Damaged at December 14, 2009 04:46 AM

I had been on ritalin for 10 years, and lamictal for 6 years and quit both of them cold turkey 5 weeks ago. the withdrowal has been hell, but I feel so much ‘clenaer’ now that I am off them. As the poison drains from my brain and body, I can see, think, feel and experience emotions on a level I haven’t sinse 1999. my name is Doug and my cell is 641-680-3353 if anyone waqnts to talk. I ewas on 400 ml of lamictal and 60 ml or ritalin. I flet ‘evil’ on them and I now feel ‘human’ offf them. Each day is a miracle as I experience more ‘drainage’
I think the profession of psychiatry is a joke and the drugs do infinitly more damage than they cure. I hope someone will calll me so we can talk. Thank God for this site. Theyre is a delay from when I type and when I see the letters so theat’s why so mnay typols. Get off these things. Gio throught the hell of withdrawal and get free!!!

Posted by: doug at December 19, 2009 06:02 PM

My typing used to be really good before I went into this withdrawal. NOw the coordination between my hands and my eyes isn’t where it needs to bge. EAch day I come down off the drug I can type and speak faster and more accurately. I feel like I have been given my life back and am waking up fro a nightmare. I am so excited about what the next few weeks and months will bring. Jesus is my only hope and He is able to protect me from the pain of detox. I think pharma is old testament sorcery and we are really opening uourselves up to extreme demoinc powere when we use these drugs. The ‘real’ me has been gone for the past ten years and I love being able to acturally ‘feel’ life again. As I detox, I can say all of my dreams are comoing true. My email is dougpmr42003@yahoo.com.

Posted by: Doug at December 20, 2009 05:05 AM

Doug,
Please be aware of the possibility of delayed withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes they don’t show up for months. I’m not trying to “burst your bubble”, I’m glad you feel SO much better and I hope it lasts a lifetime. But if things change, I don’t want you to think that it’s because you were wrong and need meds. 400mg is a large dose and 6 years is a long time. You MIGHT need to get back on and taper off slowly. I hope not though.

Posted by: Damaged at December 20, 2009 05:50 AM

Please keep this site open. Had I know the potentioal side effects of going on this stuff I never would have allowed myself to be drugged. I am a tennis teacher and my coordination is getting so much better as I detox. I have had some dreams that would be like a telephone pole telling a grasshopper to teach english to the solar system, literally that strange and disconneced. Iam just now starting to be able to really think and speak again. These drugs, both the Ritalin and the lamictal are evil and I have fully lostt a decade and am experiencing the Rip VAn Winkle syndrom. I will spend the restof my life trying to educate people about what I wndt throught. The craxy thing is my psych doc and I are good friends and I really like him.

Posted by: doug at December 20, 2009 05:47 PM

Great to find some good information about Lamictal on here. I was put on it for my seizure disorder (I’ve been epileptic for about 15 years) after I realized how much of an asshole Keppra was making me and discontinued use of it a few months back. My seizures are pretty well controlled with Dilantin, but my doc thought I should have another med as a backup to it and decided that Lamictal was the one to try next. The starter packs for us epileptics starts at 50mg for 2 weeks, then 100 for a couple weeks and then up to 200mg. Just a few days in it proved to be instant asshole in a pill. I was VERY irritable with BAD mood swings. I was also VERY dizzy, double-vision and blurred vision, and uncoordinated to the point of almost falling down. After 8 days of this I decided to call my doctor, who told me to call with any problems or questions. That was 2 days before Christmas, and when I called I got a message that my doctor and her nurses were off for the holidays and wouldn’t be back until Monday. I couldn’t believe that they would put me on something so bad and then leave me in a position where I could not get in touch with them. The only thing they warned me about was the rash. Nothing about any of the other side effects, and they didn’t bother telling me that it was a psychotropic medication. I finally got in touch with an on-call doctor who told me that if it was messing with my quality of life that I could go ahead and stop taking it and to get ahold of my doc on Monday when she returned from the holidays. I stopped taking it and the first day was feeling much better. The next day, however, it was BAD. The on-call doc told me that being on it just 8 days I wouldn’t have any problems coming off of it. WRONG!!! Back to having terrible mood swings and horrible irritability. That was on Christmas. I actually made Xmas rotten for my family by being a real prick, and couldn’t understand what was happening to me as I had been told that I shouldn’t have any withdrawal symptoms. For the next 2 days I was dizzy, my memory was terrible, and I was actually stumbling around work spaced out. Today, day 3 off of it I feel much better, but I still feel a little spacey and am not remembering things that I constantly use like passwords and such for my job. Thankfully I had told my boss at work about going onto this new med and that I was having problems adjusting to it so they knew I may have some issues at work, where I have constant interaction with different types of clients. If I hadn’t told them I probably wouldn’t have a job right now as I did snap at a couple of them inadvertantly. I also space out every now and then for a little while, have a sore neck, am VERY TIRED, and my brain seems a little foggy…that’s after just 8 days on Lamictal at 50mg. I’m hoping that I continue to feel better every day. I would rather live with the possibility of a seizure, and I have tonic-clonic, formerly known as grand mal, seizures that are very bad. Has anybody else stopped this medication very early into it and had these problems? I’m just wondering how long I might expect to have these withdrawal symptoms. What an evil drug. I agree that our doctors should have to take this shit for at least a couple of weeks and then to come off of it so that they know what they are puting their patients through. Also, if they are going to prescribe this shit they should be available for questions and problems and so if they are going to be out of the office at the beginning of the titration they should have their patients wait to start taking it. I still have most of the starter pack as well as my first month’s supply of Lamictal XR 200mg that I’m ready to throw away now. Anyway…everybody stay strong and keep the faith that things will get better. I hope everybody has a good support system. Mine kind of sucks. Even though my dad is a psychologist and doesn’t believe in meds for the most part, he thinks that I should be able to control my anger and mood swings. I partially agree with him, but don’t think he understands how powerful these withdrawal symptoms are, which makes me mad all over again so it’s like a viscious circle that can only be ended by me leaving and going to bed. I hate it that I ruined Xmas for my nephew by being an asshole. I REALLY didn’t want to do that and now feel aweful about it.

Posted by: ken at December 28, 2009 01:44 AM

Just started my 7th week of cold-turkey withdrawal from 400 mlgs. Today I was reading and noticed that my eyes felt ‘normal’ for the first time in over a decade. I can’t exactly describle what it’s like buy they feel soft , moist and totally ‘focused’. Every few days I deiscover a ‘lost’ feeling or emotion that this poison stole from me. Of course cold trukey was stupid, but I’m not ever taking another one of these pills again. I fully expect my detox to take at least 6 months, and it haqs beeen hellish is many ways, but I well make a full recovery. I’m exercising alot, drinking a ton of refined water and taking a steam bath or sauna every day. Just starting to get all my emotions back is enough to motivate me to continue. I stilll have tons of muscle tightness in the neck and back, but this too wil go away. I look at life with excitement again. Thor Nystom’s article “To hell and back”, really motivated me. He coldturkeyed adderall and some other nasty stuff, shed 100 pounds of soft blubber and is doing great.

Posted by: doug at January 4, 2010 03:32 PM

I commented several times on my withdrawal from Lamictal, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin during June/July of 2009. From August 2009 till now, I have been keeping a personal calendar where I record how I feel each day and if I take xanax or not (the only medication I’ve been on “as needed,” since the withdrawal). It’s a simple task of listing a number 1-10, where 1 is ok and 10 is awful. I recommend that everyone keep this type of calendar. Now that it’s early 2010, I have 5 months that I can look back on and see patterns of feelings, moods, etc. I am not happy with where I am, and although therapy and natural vitamins have been helpful, I have finally decided (with the help of seeing the “hard evidence” of my calendar) that I need to take something again. My doc suggested Lamictal, and I thought I was going to chew his head off, verbally. Ok, so he put me on Depakote instead. I’m on day 4, which means I increase the dosage tonight. I just wanted to update to keep my experience, documented here to hopefully help others, real and honest. Here we go again… Anyway, best of luck to all. We are not alone. Keep fighting.

Posted by: Stacy at January 11, 2010 08:50 AM

I will have finished 9 weks of cold turkey withdrawal on MOnday the 18th. I am starting to feel ‘close’ to normal again. Drinking filtered water and taking staeam baths has been very helpful as well as taking fish oil. I am hitting the tennis ball harder and with more control thatn I have in 12 years and I am ‘seeing’ the ball better than I can remember. These drugs are very ‘toxic’ adn I need to have an alkaline system to getr set free from all of the muscle tightness I have sufferend from over tha past 12 years. I am determined to eat healthy and exercise adn regain the flexilility I had before all of the drugs. I am going to make yup for the lost years with a vengaence. I still have a couple more months of detoxing to go, but I am seeing the light at the end of the rainbow. Lamictal sucks!!!

Posted by: doug at January 17, 2010 01:58 PM

Hello,

First off I need to say that this site was very helpful and wish I had done more research on Lamictal before I even started taking it.

My story: I was diagnosed with OCD, now going on 10 years. I have been on meds for anxiety related to OCD for about 6 to 7 years now. The 2 drugs I was taking for my OCD were Lamictal (400mg) and Effexor (450mg). I was taking both these for about 5 years. At that dose for the Lamictal and Effexor for about 4 years. I say was because I am no longer taking either the Lamictal or the Effexor. These drugs and doses were prescribed by one doctor.

One month ago I started to see a different Psyc. Doc., who told me to drop my Lamictal from 400mg down to 200mg and drop my Effexor from 450mg down to 300mg. because he said my doses were way to high and exceeded the recommended FDA dose. This is what he said he told me to do, but what I heard him say was wean yourself off the Lamictal and drop the Effexor down to 300mg, which I did. I never asked him how I should wean myself off the Lamictal nor did he prescribe a way to do just that. It took 2 weeks to get off the Lamictal, I did it myself and what a HUGE mistake that was. This is truely a drug that is hell to DETOX from. Under my own accord I stopped taking the Effexor 3 days ago and here is why.

For 2 weeks now I have been extremely dizzy, somewhat of an out of body experience, forgetfully walking around in a haze. I can not concentrate on anything, which in my case might be a good thing, hence OCD. lol. I have also been nausea and I can be watching tv and just start crying for no reason and there’s nothing wrong. I thought the Effexor was causing all these symptoms which was why I stopped taking it 3 days ago. 2 days ago I went to a walk-in clinic because of my state of mind. I told him the meds I was taking and my symptoms. Although he said he wasn’t a psyc doc he did say he doubts very much the meds or lack there of are the cause of my symtoms. He said I have a cold and it just had to run it’s course. I do want to stress that he’s a family doctor and not a Psyc. He did prescribe meds for nausea and dizziness. The med for nausea has worked very well but the med for dizziness hasn’t even begun to work. It’s called Meclizine.

As I sit here and try to even type and place things in order/sequence it has been a very difficult challenge to do so.

How long do these symptoms last? Is stopping Effexor also the cause of my symtoms? Does anyone know if the Meclizine will work? So far it has not helped at all. I do know I’m afraid to start taking any anti-psychotic drug again. I definitely know I will not take Lamictal again.

I never knew the withdrawal symptoms so the last

Posted by: Kyle at January 28, 2010 02:09 PM

Kyle,
I know it’s the last thing you want to do but PLEASE consider getting back on both meds TEMPORARILY and start a slow taper once you’re feeling better (dizziness and nausea).
Your doctors did a number on you. The first having you on such high doses and the 2nd not telling you to taper slowly (which is unfortunately common).
Get back on for your own sanity, not for them and not because there is something wrong with you. Your body has adjusted to them and now it’s very dangerous to stop Cold Turkey.
Stopping Lamictal too fast can cause seizures even if you’ve never had them before. And Effexor is one of the worst drugs known for withdrawal problems.

Once you are a bit stable and can do some research, you can figure out which drug to come off of 1st. I suspect the doc gave you Lamictal because Effexor was causing manic side effects (OCD?). That’s how it often happens. And most people wean off Lamictal last.

Some resources:

Paxilprogress.org (become a member and you can do a search for “Effexor” and find people weaning off and whats working for them)

http://www.topix.net/forum/drug/effexor/TCDBCBLD99KUQ56BF
There’s 5000 Comments on this Effexor Withdrawal thread.

https://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2007/12/20/lamictal-withdrawal-from-hell/

Dr. Peter Breggin’s book; “Your drug may be your problem”. There are other books but this is the one I read which helped me understand I wasn’t going crazy (the docs were crazy!)

Posted by: Damaged at February 1, 2010 03:37 AM

Kyle, If you want to call me and talk, that would be great. I am on my 77th day of a cold trurkey detox from both Ritalin and lamictal.I feel quite close to ‘normal’, yet I know I still have at least 3 more months to go. My number is 641-680-3353. Whether you go back on and taper down, or just keep going, it will still be nasty. There IS light at the end of the tunnel. I simply want to be totally normal by the start of Summer. June 21st. I ignorantly started my detox in Novermber thinking I would be ‘ok’ in a couple of weeks!!!! I now know how stupid I was. You are in for a long road, but I suggest you ‘brave’ through it and keep going cold turkey.

Posted by: doug pumroy at February 2, 2010 10:44 AM

Well counldn’t take it anymore and I started back on the Effexor again this morning 450mg, after talking with my p-doc. I told him I still have Effexor but I am out of Lamictal. I told him when I stopped taking both of them what I have experienced. He told me Effexor is causing the withdrawl symptoms and he is not going to put me back on the Lamictal because there are no withdrawl effects. Not sure I buy that one considering I stopped taking the Lamictal first and have the same withdrawl symptoms. I couldn’t take another day of the dizzy brain zaps being the worse for me among many other withdrawl symptoms. Well see how tomorrow goes. So far no change in symptoms of course just took the Effexor this afternoon. Hopefully I can just get by only going back on the Effexor and weanning from there. I’d hate to have try to wean off both meds again. I am some what worried about my p-doc not having me start Lamictal again as well because of the chance of a seizure. Not that I want to start it again but the more research I do the more I think I should be taking Lamictal again. I have never had a seizure but it doesn’t seem to be of concern to my doc.

Damaged, I was taking Lamictal a year before I started taking Effexor. He put me on Effexor because I reached a point where Lamictal wasn’t helping. Once on Effexor the doses started to go up from there. It’s funny how that works out… Not really but it seems to be a pattern with the doctors I choose to see. They either like to push the meds and doses or are completely the opposite and say stop taking it all at once. Which was the case with the Lamictal I was on but didn’t help myself with the Effexor. Tomorrow’s another day..

Posted by: Kyle at February 2, 2010 03:32 PM

I am beginning a taper down from 100 mgs of lamictal to switch to topamax after experiencing intense constant suicidal ideation. I start on 50 tomorrow. Can’t wait to see what happens. Sigh.

Posted by: Michele at February 2, 2010 04:57 PM

AND FROM another post on similar topic

Fear is one of the biggest inhibitors to coming off psych drugs and anyone doing it has got to realize that the moods one gets as one tapers has nothing to do with who you are as a person and everything to do with how these drugs affect the brain. You’re irritable and angry because of the toxic effects and adjustments your brain is having to make to get back to some healthy balance of its own. Give it time, take it slow, and don’t blame yourself. Blame the paradigms that made someone recommend this form of treatment in the first place.

Posted by: Sara at October 15, 2007 01:50 PM

So tell me… how rare is it to be on 300 mg of Lamictal? I was on 200 for several months and using a microscope to search for some difference it had made. So my doc asked me to try 300. He’s game for 400 if I am. I am still making with the microscope, trying to decide if I am just a little teensy bit calmer. (Note: I have never been manic — and if I’ve ever been hypomanic it might take a microscope to detect it.)

It’s not the first time I’ve been asked to exceed the standard adult dose when that failed to work or stopped working. Cymbalta was the worst. If 60 mgs does not do anything good for you, please: don’t let anyone talk you into 120.

Posted by: Johanna at October 15, 2007 03:32 PM

I ran out of Lamictal for 3 days. By the time I got into the psych last week, I had the most horrific back pain and what I can describe as spasm/charley horse type of pain all over my back. Once back on the Lamictal that stopped.

Posted by: Stephany at October 15, 2007 03:50 PM

My daughter took this drug, allegedly for bipolar depression. Catastrophe ensued, as she was acutely suicidal in between her “time of the month”, had hot flashes; the works. Tapering off required inpatient hospitalization due to the danger of the suicidality. Others like Phil have had good luck with it, and we told the FDA Medwatch and Glaxo about it. Haven’t heard a word. Thinking about bringing suit. Almost lost her.

Posted by: Affecta at October 15, 2007 07:54 PM

I have been on Lamictal since May of this year. I started to have a rash, but didn’t tell my doctor because I was doing so well. When I finally did call my doctor he advised me to stop taking immediately, but then I started to have several symptoms. So I started taking it over the weekend until I could see him today. Some of my symptoms are swings of fatigue and hyper, unable to concentrate, moody/snappy, lips tingling, thoughts of amd I crazy and am I ever going to be normal.

As far as being hard on Glaxo or suing for unacceptable withdrawals, we must remember that the origin of the disease of bi-polar is unknown, which makes it nearly impossible to cure or treat. I am just happy that in these times there are drugs that we can try to help with this horrible disease. And even though these symptoms are difficult to go through, I consider them far less than when I didn’t have medication at all. The reason we are incouraged to keep in close contact with our physicians are because of the side effects.

I tried suicide twice, the last time I was almost successful. It was ten years ago and because of the severity of the slash on my left wrist I was unable to do the right and still have very little feeling in my left hand.

I’m just trying my very best to stay positive while trying to find the best medication for me and not hinder the progress of a medication that is more than likely a miracle worker for others.

Posted by: Betty-Kay at October 16, 2007 07:25 AM

I’ve been on 200 mgs Lamictal now for several years. It has worked pretty well although like Johanna, I had not experienced hypomanic or manic symptoms until just this year. I’m also on 75 mgs of Effexor, which I hate cause of the sweats. I’d like to try a different anti-depressant but in view of the current new hypomanic symptoms, I’m scared to change. These hypomanic symptoms have only been in the last few months and since I keep a mood and journal, my stress levels are no better or no worse than the past. I also have to take synthroid due to thyroid cancer, and hormone replacement therapy due to age, etc. (Sweats are not caused by menopause since I take HRT) Other than that, there have been no changes in medications. It’s a bitch getting it all in sync, but these rapidly changing moods is starting to get on my nerves. I think some type of change is in order and will talk to my Pdoc at next appt.

Posted by: Betty at October 17, 2007 11:19 AM

Hi.(sigh). Where do I begin? Well, I’ll tell you where I am now. I have decided to come off Lamictal. I’ve decreased the dosage from 200mgs. to 100mgs. In time, I hope to be off it completely. I used to take it at night, but now I take it in the morning. Something inside me says that Lamictal is very wrong for me and is doing more harm than good. For me, that is. I have to listen to my body an my mind and my spirit.

The funny thing is, is that I didn’t really “become” bi-polar until I started taking medication. I used to smoke alot of marijuana. I no longer smoke, by the way. My parents(they do love me, and do want the best for me) took me to a psychiatrist when they noticed that our constant arguments and disagreements became increasingly aggressive on my part. The alternative was to get “kicked out”, thus my indoctrination into the world of prescription medication. I was initially treated for depression, and my doctor put me on to Effexor to treat it, even though I told him I smoked. He said I was self-medicating. While taking Effexor,I experienced hours of hyper-ventilation at a time, and an embarrassing side-effect of when I would urinate, the flow would stop, and semen would come out,and then urine. This happened everyday. I figured it was one of the sexual side-effects that the pamphlet wasn’t too specific about. I told my doctor about it, an he didn’t really say anything. So, I accepted it and continued the treatment. One evening I experienced a weird thing(if that wasn’t weird enough) of… I just felt uncontrollable, I was aware what was happening, but could do nothing to prevent it– shouting, my body felt super-charged, out-of-control, confused feeling, racing thoughts… I screamed, trying to hold myself together and told my Mom to call the doctor. Dad got Haloperidol and Depakote. I calmed down after taking the Haloperidol, and that was my introduction to bi-polar medication.

My doctor said I was bi-polar. So, I was on Depakote for about…eight months? Diarrhea every day. I went to the bathroom between six and fifteen times a day, everyday. Difficulty urinating(the weird thing stopped happening, thank God). My doctor didn’t say anything about it, so I accepted it as part of getting better.

Eventually, he put me on to Risperdal. I can’t remember all the side effects of that one, but I didn’t like it either. I continued with it for a for another four to six months, and now I’m on Lamictal. I’ve been on it since late last year.

Once, some time this year, I was without my medication for two days. My prescription had run out and I couldn’t get in touch with my doctor. He was away at a seminar. I felt like I was “losing it”. I knew it was an effect of not having any medication, but there was nothing I could do at the time. My Mom knew the pharmacist, and though it was highly irregular to dispense medication without a prescription, I got some “medication”. The effects were immediate. I felt “normal” again.

Last November, I told him that I still felt depressed. He suggested another anti-depressant — Paxil. I was very wary of taking it because of my prior experience with Effexor. Well, after a few weeks of contemplation, I decided to take it because I couldn’t deal with the depression any longer. I took it for three weeks and stopped of my own accord. It helped. On my next visit to him he told me to stop taking it because recent studies indicated that anti-depressants could trigger manic episodes in bi-polar patients. I kinda figure that would have been common sense, and that was partially the reason I stopped taking it before his advice.

This is embarrassing, but I have to say this, since being on these prescription medications, I haven’t had an erection. Not that I think it’s any measure of being a man, but it’s a normal bodily function. I never had this difficulty before. I know it’s an indication that’s something’s terribly wrong, but it’s passed off as “just” a side-effect. I’ve thought of some of the symptoms that indicate the bi-polar disease, and while I don’t deny that I’m bi-polar, many of them do not apply in my case. I’ve never been suicidal, or sexually indiscriminate. I did and do have spells of depression and hypo-mania. I had never experienced hyper-mania until my encounter with Effexor. Since being on these drugs, I have had incidences of extreme aggression, more so than in the past,and still do to some extent, although fleeting, but this was since being on these drugs. My doctor says that chances are I will end up being hospitaliszed or in a psychiatric ward if I discontinue my medication. Needless to say that I am still somewhat depressed.

I’m very artistically inclined. I used to write alot, keep journals, write poems, write songs, paint and the lot. But since being on these drugs, I feel creatively AND emotionally blocked. Very numb. I struggle to keep my band together, and I haven’t painted in a while. I do feel I have a strong will-power that helps me to carry on in spite of these drugs, and m depression, and my blunted emotions. Please understand, I’m not knocking all these medications. I think it’s a blessing, truly, that they have medications to treat us who are suffering from these types of illnesses, but I don’t think that they work for everybody. I also think that most of them are still experimental, especially with words and phrases like “seems to” and “appears to”. And from my understanding and reasoning, and after a round about conversation with my doctor, he finally admitted that persons, though not in all cases, who have no prior history of mental illness, were they to take these(ie.Lamictal) medications, and abruptly discontinue them, would exhibit symptoms of a psychotic nature. I don’t know what that means, but it kinda says to me that if nothing was wrong with them before, well…

The cost is great — financially, but far more importantly, to the patient — to the Human Being who is being treated. I don’t think doctors should be too heavily involved in capitalism. I think it conflicts with the “business” of making people better. I think the business is to keep us sick.

I agree with Phillip Dawdy that Lamictal has fewer side effects than the others I’ve taken, but I don’t feel it’s all that great for me. I have difficulty urinating, erectile dysfunction, some kind of acne, rashes, creative and emotional numbness… And in the two to three years since I’ve started taking prescription medication, I’ve never felt so miserable in all my life.

I’m now seeing a different psychiatrist, and spoken with my former doctor about my consideration of discontinuing my medication. He insists that I will end up in a hospital. That’s his faith. He says I can discuss this with my current physician. Somehow, I think he’s afraid of being sued or something, but to my knowledge, I don’t know of any cases where this is true. I don’t even think they can be held liable if anything happens to their patients or “clients” as we are now called. I mean, if we “flip-out”, they can always say it was bound to happen, and wash their hands of it. Regardless, I just want the Truth. I just want to be well.

Currently, I am seeing another type of doctor in conjunction with taking this medication. He’s a doctor with a PhD. in traditional Chinese acupuncture and herbology, and has Master’s degree in psychology. He says to keep taking my prescription medication and to keep seeing my psychiatrist, whom, by the way, approves of my being treated with acupuncture. I was a little shocked by that response by my psychiatrist.

This treatment that I’m undergoing, accupuncture, rather than introducing a foreign substance into my body(which is a guessing game anyway when it comes to regulating dosages), will enable my body, over time, to produce what it needs to be healthy. I have been receiving positive results in the one month of being treated. My depression is subsiding. I’m recalling my dreams now(I haven’t remembered my dreams since being on these medications). I have an increasing sense of well being. AND my “friend” is starting to wake up now. Not fully, but at least I know something is happening.

I just feel that there’s more to this “medication” game that we’re not being told. I know how desperate we are to be Well, but right now, psychiatry is still in it’s infancy, otherwise they wouldn’t have been so many drug re-calls, and that ever so soft voice you hear on the t.v. sugar-coating all the devastating side-effects of the drugs.

I am in no way suggesting that anyone come off of their medications, but I have to do what works for me. I have to do what’s right for me.

I’m really glad to have found this web-site, and relieved to know that I’m not the only one going through stuff like this.

Take Care.
Be Well.
And find YOUR Way.
P.S. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Posted by: Petrus at October 22, 2007 12:39 AM

Hi. It’s me, again. Just wanted to say before I forget. I just visited another site where one person reported not being able to rememb(e)r things. Easy stuff like spelling words that he knew that he knew. I’m experiencing similar symptoms. I have difficulty doing simple mathematical functions, and retention of p(h)one numbers now. I’m sure some other stuff is messing up in my (b)rain, but it’s hard to kee(p) track of since, to paraphrase someone, What I comprehend is with the faculty of my mind. And if my brain’s not all here, well…

Anyway, just thought I’d let you know. Also, if there are are any typos in m posts, I can (b)lame it on my keyoard. The keys stick.

* “()” inserte(d) (m)issing letters due to sticking keys. The spacebar sticks,too.

Posted by: Petrus at October 22, 2007 12:57 AM

Hi. Okay, where do I start. Right now, I’m worried about how I am going to pay for my Lamictal. I have been on Lamictal 150 mg./twice a day for 3 years or so for epilepsy. I recently heard that it was also being used to treat Bi-polar disorder.

I got married this past April and went from my old insurance which I only paid a $15 co-pay to my husbands insurance which has a $3000.00 deductible per person! We have a HSA acct but between my dr. visits and Effexor XR, I’ve depleted that acct down to about $40. I went to the pharmacy yesterday to get my Lamictal filled and when he came back and told me that it’s $252.00, I freaked! Had to tell him that I had to wait until Friday.

I’m so worried about withdrawal symptons. I have 2 pills left, which I’m going to take 1 per day instead of 2 but I’m not even sure I’ll have the money come Friday because this was not in our budget. My husband is going to change his insurance plan at the beginning of the year but I’m not sure how we’ll manage until then.

I know, I tried to come off of my Effexor last month and…. OH NO!! It was absolute hell. My husband went to the pharmacy on a Sunday morning and was waiting at the door when they opened. I thought I was going crazy!

I’m on Effexor for anger outbursts that I was having when I found out that my ex-husband was having an affair 4 years ago. So, I thought that I could come off of it now that I’m no longer going thru that.

I’d like to know that since Lamictal is being used for Bi-polar disorder, I wonder if I could be on it alone, instead of Lamictal AND Effexor. Effexor has really helped me but coming off of it is worse than anything I’ve went thru. I didn’t make it. I had to stay on it.

I guess I will be going thru Lamictal withdrawals for the next few days and I hope that I don’t start seizing as I haven’t had a seizure in several years.

Can anyone tell me what I’m in for (withdrawals)?

Thanks!

Posted by: Sonya at October 23, 2007 12:24 PM

I have been on Lamictal since December 06 and received all of it free–per Pharma reps leaving samples. Ask your psych if they have samples.

Posted by: Stephany at October 23, 2007 06:30 PM

Thanks Stephany! I hadn’t even thought of that. Did he give you enough for the whole month? I’ll check into that today. Thank a bunch!

Posted by: Sonya at October 26, 2007 12:40 PM

I hate Lamictal…
I got the Rx 2 weeks ago, stareted the day I got it, even after almost having a stroke when the Pharmacist told me my script was going to cost $329.00. I took it for 13 days…on the 14th day my skin turned bright red and became hot to me and to the touch. I decided that this was too close to a rash for my taste or comfort. So I stopped taking Lamictal. The day after I stopped, I am exhausted, look gray, was throwing up, had a headache, backpain, bloody noses, disorientation..I told my husband that I felt like a drunk kindergartner. This has been going on for 4 days!! My Dr’s only suggestion is “wait it out” you are having withdrawals. Withdrawals?! I olny took it for 13 days. Had I known about the possible nasty withdrawal symptoms….I would have never agreed to take this crap! I have enough problems with my brain lol I don’t need to add to the fire.

Posted by: Kitty at October 29, 2007 08:20 PM

im taking myself off lamictal at the moment. i was on 200mg a day for bipolar along with topamax and risperdal. for personal reasons that i strongly feel. i am reducing meds to come off as much as i can with out going nuts. i have come off the risperdal ok . am still on the topamax. but coming off the lamictal is proving tough. my skin has broken out completely. i have aches everywhere which feels like i have been beaten up. i feel completely dehydrated. my skin, lips and hair is so dry and my throat. im so thirsty. my body is thirsty if you can understand, its very uncomfortable. and its making me high nearly, manic feeling. in general i feel very strange physically and mentally. but you know what i never felt like it really did anything for me anyway. my doc always kept upping it and it never made me feel any different. ?

Posted by: row at November 2, 2007 05:25 PM

I was extremely happy to find this website, because it let me know different things that I didn’t know about Lamictal. I have been on Lamictal for about 2 years now. The doctor currently has me taking 400 mg a day and 300 mg a day of Seroquel (both at night). When I miss a dose of my Lamictal I feel like I am going through withdrawals. I get dizzy, a massive headache and nauseous. These symptoms go away shortly after I take it. Some of my friends are constantly telling me how bad it is for me, but it helps keep my moods semi stable. I still have “flare–ups” of both mania and depression, but they are not as bad as they were on other medications. I have been on just about all the psych drugs out there for my bi-polar, and both my Lamictal and Seroquel are working the best for me so far. I don’t plan on trying to stop taking my Lamictal or Seroquel anytime soon, but if I do decide to try to come off of either one, after reading these posts I will talk to my Dr first. As far as the financial cost I feel extremely lucky having the insurance that I do, because I only pay $20 for a 60 day supply. However I have been to previous psych doctors who have been able to give me samples for free when I couldn’t afford my medication. Good luck to everyone who is on this medicine, and you all have made me feel like I’m not alone in taking it.
Nicki

Posted by: Nicki at November 4, 2007 11:22 PM

I have been taking 25 mg daily for mood swings, depression and anxiety with hyperactivity. We went up to 50 mgs and although I felt less hyper and more calm, I felt more depression that I ever have before beginning this medication. We went down to 25 mg and I am doing better. We decided to try and taper off of it completely as the decision was made that it may not be doing much. The second day I was Lamictal-free I was very hyped up throughout the day and then extremely depressed in the evening. I started taking again immediately. I am terrified of this horrible feeling of depression and depersonalization I felt upon discontinuing this medication especially since the dose is so very small. I also take 25 mg Seroquel each evening. I take 150 mg of Zoloft each am. Does anyone out there feel that depression and anxiety/mood swings gets any worse with age?

Posted by: Andrea at November 5, 2007 08:12 AM

Andrea, I’m not a doctor, but from my daughter’s experience with 150mg. a day of Zoloft, that created wild mood swings and severe[suicidal]depression. I also take Lamictal, and could not tolerate Prozac. Just a thought, that it might be better to keep a mood stabilzer on board and reduce [slowly]the Zoloft.Just my opinion, not medical advice.

Posted by: Stephany at November 5, 2007 12:13 PM

I am starting to get very frustrated with all of these medications. I am beginning to think that some of these make matters worse especially in a person like myself who has not had a clear diagnosis. I have been diagnosed with OCD and Panic Disorder. I was placed on Zoloft 50 mgs daily in my late teens. I did quite well. I struggled with depression occasionally and had some substance abuse issues, but nothing intolerable.

I did not have severe problems with depression until last year after the birth of my second child. Both the depression and the panic disorder got significantly more serious and intolerable. I was placed on 150 mgs of Zoloft and the panic issues resolved for the most part. But, I became more hyperactive, had racing thoughts, became more intense and irritable. But it was not disabling, just annoying and anxiety-producing. I went to a shrink.

When I was a kid I was diagnosed ADD and placed on Imiprimine which made a great difference in my grades. I thought maybe the hyper-activity and racing thoughts were just resugence of ADD and went on Strattera. I became VERY moody and out of control.

I think I may just go back to just Zoloft and deal with being wild and hyper. Hey, I sure got a lot done. My neighbors say I have the cleanest house on the block!

Posted by: Andrea at November 6, 2007 07:25 AM

for those of you who are interested, i created a guide to lamictal since there seem to be lots of questions out there. you can find it by clicking on this link.

Posted by: Philip Dawdy at November 13, 2007 04:48 PM

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. I was ready to walk out on my job today, which I’m not crazy about, but it’s not THAT bad. Luckily, my husband also suffers from major depressive disorder and is a therapist so I can tell him what I feel and he actually gets it. I feel so guilty for feeling this way. He is busting his rear renovating our new home, and I don’t have the energy or desire to do anything. After reading other posts, I am hopeful that this too shall pass in a short time. 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.

Sincerely,
Lynne

Posted by: Lynne at November 13, 2007 05:31 PM

Hey, the new guide is GREAT. Keep it up. I hope you do more drugs. Maybe Cymbalta next? And put a link to this guide on your home page.

Posted by: Sara at November 13, 2007 06:30 PM

I agree the new guide is excellent, and i pick Seroquel next! Thanks for the hard work and information.

Posted by: Stephany at November 13, 2007 08:40 PM

I am going off Prozac and Lamictal for Depression and mood swings. My side affects are disorientation-dizziness-and I’m unbalanced. I’ve almost been in two major car accidents. I was only on 100 mg/day and slowly went off them. It’s been a few weeks and I think I’m going to go crazy. I just want this crap out of my system. Don’t go on this stuff if your symptoms are mild-it isn’t worth it. Excersise, eat nutritionally balanced food and see a therapist regularly before getting addicted to this crap. Does anyone know how much longer this might take? I pop 75 mg of Lamictal or so when it gets to be too much and the sympoms go away. That’s been every 3 days. I’m off the Prozac-I think.

Posted by: Kate at November 14, 2007 12:47 PM

I have been on 200mg of Lamictal for a year now. I ran out a few days ago and have not refilled the scrip. I am having some serious back pain and headaches, also a general feeling of despair, I guess. I am not sure if any, or all, of these are symptoms of withdrawal from Lamictal or not. I made an appointment with the Dr. for later this week, I think I am going to ask him to get me off the Lamictal. (I am also taking 20mg/day of Lexapro, which I have not stopped, yet.)
I would love to be off all of it soon.
What are the most common side effects to withdrawing from Lamictal?

Posted by: Mike at November 26, 2007 09:54 AM

Due to a change in insurance, I am having to involuntalily take myself off of Lamictal and Effoxor XR at the same time. I am 3 days in to going cold turkey, and I feel worse than I did when I went into the psychiatric hospital. Can anyone tell me if the auditory sensations, dizziness, nausea adn vomiting, and pretty harsh paranoia are normal for my situation? Unfortunately, my dr. cannot seem to return calls and i am on the verge of calling 911. help!

Posted by: Michelle at November 26, 2007 11:53 AM

Here’s a link to the wikipedia entry about brain shivers that I stumbled across while coming off Cymbalta. It specifically mentions Effexor as one of the meds that can cause them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_shivers

In my case, these shivers manifested as dizziness, a feeling of receiving an electric shock, vertigo and a sort of buzzing “sound” which I know wasn’t there. I was also more than a little agitated. I don’t know if telling you what what you’re experiencing is normal is worthwhile, but I also tapered off my meds and followed a plan of approximately 1 1/2 months that my doc and I planned out. You might want to see if you can afford to taper down off the med that you had the highest dosage of.

And regardless, CALL YOUR DOCTOR. They might be able to give you samples to help you taper down at no cost to you.

Posted by: Puckett at November 26, 2007 12:39 PM

I agree, this has got to be a slow removal of both of those drugs. Lamictal has a warning to taper down slowly due to possible seizures. I experienced nausea,dizziness,brain shivers,vomiting,diahrea, severe confusion–coming off of Seroquel cold turkey. There is also something called withdrawal psychosis, that could be happening. In any case, call the doc and get some samples and 1/4 it down over weeks if not months to make it easier on yourself. Good luck.

Posted by: Stephany at November 26, 2007 01:17 PM

Another useful withdrawal information site for those coming off of [any psych med in my opinion]is Taper Safely,Inc.

Posted by: Stephany at November 26, 2007 06:14 PM

Wow I was just looking for a reference point to take with me to a doctors appointment today. I am going in for pain. Back ache head ache dizzy dizzy dizzy, my balance is off and I just cant follow through with anything that is if I even get out of bed. After reading this thread i realize it has been 5 days today since my last lamictal (300mg day). I wass going to bpick up my refill today but now I am really wondering if I should leave it there.

Posted by: Diana at November 28, 2007 01:23 PM

Diana, after 5 days of hell, you’re probably through the worst of the withdrawal. I really hope you consider stopping now.

One of the nastiest withdrawal effects is what I used to call vision swim. I’d turn my head and my vision would lag for a few seconds. I was extremely dizzy and fell down frequently. It pretty much burned itself out in a week, though.

My advice (not that you asked!) is to brew a big mug of tea and go back to bed until you feel better. Hope you’re feeling well soon.

Posted by: Francesca Allan at November 28, 2007 05:46 PM

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. I plan on

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.

So why does it do this?
First, I’m not a doctor, but nonetheless: I think this could have something to do with Lamictal’s combined sigma-opioid receptor activity, calcium-channel blocking (which reduces how much neurons fire, hence Lamictal’s use as an epilepsy med), and serotonin receptor activity. That means it may be like withdrawing from at least 3 separate meds at once. Don’t forget that it has those odd melanin-binding and immune system (“The Rash” and Steven Johnson’s Syndrome) effects. Strange stuff indeed.

From the drug pamphlet:
“Although the relevance for human use is unknown, the following data characterize the performance of LAMICTAL in receptor binding assays. Lamotrigine had a weak inhibitory effect on the serotonin 5-HT3 receptor… It had weak effects at sigma opioid receptors…”
(http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_lamictal.pdf) – Pg. 3

So my advice: Work with your doctor, take it slow, slower if you need too, and plan ahead for the effects. Do not stop abruptly, since it can cause seizures. Let friends and family know you may need some support and that you might get a bit irritable. Please be careful about driving, the irritability alone is reason enough to stay off the road for a few days.

I really hope GSK informs doctors and patients about this. Even with all this horror it is a wonder drug for many, but it absolutely needs a proper warning. Again, talk to your doctor, I’m a student and in no way an authority on this stuff.

Posted by: Josh at November 30, 2007 07:32 PM

CRAZYMEDS is now located at a new domain:

http://crazymeds.us/
I highly recommend this peer supported psychiatric medication website. There is a message board forum, links to the drug companies and clinical studies. Extensive information about: What are these types of drugs approved to treat? How will the pills make you feel? How do the medications work? How to correctly start and stop taking psychotropic medications (1st get your doctor’s approval). also a good resource: http://bipolar.about.com/od/medications/Medications.htm
I have had wonderful success on Lamictal. I took 200mg for 2 years then late last year I told my doctor that I still felt edgy and agitated. I suggested that we lower the dose to 150mg and it worked. Attention people, increasing medications is not always the answer. I’d seriously consider trying a new drug if your doctor is going above the recommended dosage. I have been medicated for 23 years for Bipolar 1. I have finally found a cocktail that has kept me relatively stable for the past 2 years with no uncomfortable side effects: Lamictal, Lexapro, Trazodone and Ativan as needed.

Posted by: Mewdypurrs at December 1, 2007 10:03 AM

started lamictal in may gradually up to 150 mg now also on bupropion sr 150 mg twice a day and fl;uoxetine 1/2half 20 mg Eevery other day. depression has returned and the meds never really succesful. my therapist (md) says stay on longer but i question the wisdom since i see no real improvement in six months. becoming more depressed with the failure of all these meds. what do you suggest?

Posted by: jane at December 3, 2007 09:03 AM

I was on 200mg Lamictal for 8 months and I recently decided to stop taking it to see how I do without it. I have been taking it for depression and I’ve been very happy with the results it’s given me. (I began it when I was with another doc, who I was later told wrongly diagnosed me with bipolar. His intention with this was to treat me for bipolar, but all I had was depression and anxiety. It worked so well, however, that I stayed on it.) The only side effects I really noticed were pretty bad difficulty concentrating and restlessness. Anyway, I’m stopping now because I’ve had fine periods without meds that can go for almost 2 years, so I think it’s healthier for my body.

I had no problems starting up Lamictal, but that’s probably because the starter pack went up sooo slowwwllllyy. I should have taken that as a warning that it would be just as hard to go off. I cut back to 150mg for 4 days, and that was going okay except for some pretty bad fatigue. So 2 days ago I cut down to 100mg. Bad idea. I am EXTREMELY tired. I’m also dizzy with a headache, the feeling of a full/heavy/congested head, trouble concentrating, feeling really “out of it.” I guess my only choice is to taper off just as slowly as I can on, which is going to suck. This drug is horrible to come off! Why can’t docs just warn their patients…it’s not like we want to stay on these pills forever, you know.
I was also on 5mg Lexapro. I stopped that cold-turkey without any problem (most likely because it’s such a low dose). Let me just say I HATED Lexapro…My doc started me on 10mg and immediately I had insomnia, worsened anxiety, and horrible heart palpitations (which is especially bad for me because I have a pre-existing heart condition). Once I was at 5mg those symptoms went away, but I started taking Klonopin for anxiety instead so I can’t say if Lexapro did anything at all. So much for that.

I was also wondering if anyone had any muscle pains while on Lamictal. I don’t know if this has anything to do with it (and I suppose there’s no way to know), but shortly after upping to 200mg I developed a horrible muscle spasm in my neck that required me to take muscle relaxers. Then a few days ago I’ve got one in my leg. If this sounds familliar, please let me know!!!

Posted by: Shane at December 3, 2007 03:13 PM

wow I haven’t kept up with this thread and I’ve missed a goldmine. I’m withdrawing from all my drugs one at a time. I did half my lamictal (200 mg) a few months ago and I’m planning on doing the rest (another 200 mg) starting as soon as I know whether I’m going out of town for christmas or not. If I am I’ll wait until Jan.

In any case when I went off the first 200 mg at approx 25 mg every week or two it triggered severe chronic fatigue. I’ve now been dealing with this severe fatigue since May of this year. I don’t know if it’s withdrawals anymore or if it’s just an underlying problem that the trauma of the withdrawal triggered.

Anyone else have long term fatigue associated with your withdrawal? I really want to go ahead and get off the next 200 mg. For now I’m assuming the fatigue is a complication of my whole withdrawal process that has been going on for 2 years as I was on 6 meds—it’s just the really severe hit was in synch with the Lamictal taper—unraveling this may not be possible.

For resources and information on withdrawal visit my about page:

https://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/about/

Posted by: Gianna at December 3, 2007 03:57 PM

Is there any recovery here? Maybe I missed it. If anyone has recovered and is off the lamictal and all psych meds.. can you please contact me? I really want to see some hope… cuz this is f*cking hard.
I am down to 50mg (25 AM & 25 PM) I’m good for a few hours after I take each dose… the rest of the time I experience an intense physical anxiety, morbidity and extreme agitation. And a metallic taste in my mouth and feeling in my chest… (not sure if that’s related – does anyone else have this?)
I am intent on ridding myself of all psych meds and other substances. I don’t want to be blocked and dumbed down any longer. Also… I would like to have children a few years from now. Lamictal es no bueno for unborn babies.
I have been on meds for 12 years. I have to have hope that my brain will repair this. Because this is painful and uncomfortable and sometimes I feel like I am going to crawl out of my skin.
I just have to believe I can do it. And I can heal the brain damage.
Does anyone out there relate to any of this?
Has anyone persevered over this?
Are there support groups?
There should be.
Would anyone be interested in being part of a support group for psych med withdrawal?
Any comments on this would be really help.

Posted by: *8% at December 3, 2007 10:05 PM

Hey 8%,
It’s been awhile so I don’t know if you’ll see this, but my blog is all about psych withdrawal and you’re asking for community.

I just came back here because I just started my second round of coming off Lamictal. I did the first 200 mg a few months ago.

I have 200 mg left. I cut down 25 mg three days ago. Holy shit—I’m in hell right now. I don’t know if I’m relieved or not to see these entries again.

However, you ask about recovery after withdrawal and the author of this blog did it. He is fine and he made it through a withdrawal. People do recover. Also I know several people from my site who have gotten off Lamictal successfully and are fully recovered. I hold these people in my sight now, since I know the next couple of months are going to be shit.

Posted by: Gianna at December 19, 2007 04:54 PM

Philip I posted this a few hours ago….I’m trying again since you have posted stuff in that time I’m wondering if it went missing…

I’m also in the process of attempting to post on this issue if I can muster the concentration through my Lamictal withdrawal haze.

Hey 8%,
It’s been awhile so I don’t know if you’ll see this, but my blog is all about psych withdrawal and you’re asking for community.

I just came back here because I just started my second round of coming off Lamictal. I did the first 200 mg a few months ago.

I have 200 mg left. I cut down 25 mg three days ago. Holy shit—I’m in hell right now. I don’t know if I’m relieved or not to see these entries again.

However, you ask about recovery after withdrawal and the author of this blog did it. He is fine and he made it through a withdrawal. People do recover. Also I know several people from my site who have gotten off Lamictal successfully and are fully recovered. I hold these people in my sight now, since I know the next couple of months are going to be shit.

Posted by: Gianna at December 19, 2007 08:34 PM

Lamictal is hard to come off of. It is difficult to discern between the returning symptoms of bipolar depression/mania, and the withdrawal symptoms. I have attempted to stop taking it for years but the withdrawals always send me back to the pharmacy. I was up to 300mg a day but I’m trying to go to college and was advised by my psych that the memory lapses I was experiencing were due to the lamictal, he called it cognitive blunting. He was amazed that I was holding a 3.75 GPA on 300mg! So, I dropped to 100mg and am now attempting to ween off it completely. I’m scared. Since taking it I have developed a wonderful relationship with a man I love and I fear sabotaging that.

Posted by: beth at December 31, 2007 02:05 PM

Thank god I found some other information on what I am experiencing!

I am 16 and was taking 250 mg of lamictal a day. I no longer want to be on medication, but this is the only one of my meds they are considering eliminating. We dropped it to 200 mg last week, and since then I have been very moody, irritable, and anxious. Some paranoia has been in there, too. I have been having a sort of anxiety attack tonight, and it has been very uncomfortable.

Posted by: Anna at January 13, 2008 10:24 PM

I was on lamictal for two years straight (125mg). I decided it wasn’t doing much for me so I started tapering off the drug a few months ago. All I have to say is that I’ve never felt so bad and zoned out like a zombie in my life!! Nasuea, dizziness, weight gain(yes coming off the drug) etc. I slowy tapered off and it’s been one month now that I’ve not taken one pill of lamictal. Why am i still having such sever withdrawal symptoms?? I’m stoooo frustrated, I couldn’t function with the drug, now I can’t function off the drug!! Has anyone had such severy withdrawal even having not taken the medication for a month or so?

Posted by: Dee at February 3, 2008 09:45 AM

Can someone please give me the positives about getting off of Lamictal? I know its going to be hard, but someone has to be out there that has done it and can reassure the rest of us that we will be fine without it (if we are sure it isn’t for us).

Posted by: Nat at February 19, 2008 01:05 PM

I have been up to 175mg Lamictal and hit some bizarre side effects — severe brain fog, respiratory infection, even my teeth hurt! But I came dowm to 50 pretty fast and without trouble. This time I got to 175 without Trileptal but I just got this: “I don’t care about anything” attitude — like paying bills or answering the phone. So I’m back to 100mg but feel anemic and anorexic.

Did a lot of research and am taking a ton of vitamins, minerals, etc. These anticonvulsants devour B vitamins. Like the old Kris Kristofferson song: “was the going up worth the coming down?” Something like that. Sorry Kris, if I spelled your name wrong.

Posted by: Jo at February 25, 2008 06:19 PM

I have been on cymbalta 90mg and cymbalta 300mg for 4 yrs.
At first it worked liked gold, my deppression and anxiety gone.
The past year and a half it hasn,t ben working.
My doctor was unable to get my cymbalta to me through no fault of my own, they were very buisy, by time i got to doctor i very very sick, vommitting, diahreah,crying, very tempermental towards husband and very irratioal.
This is when i decided with doctoctors help to get off these meds.
I have been tapering off slowly for 2 weeks now and start effexor on monday thankgoodnes!!!!!.
I have been nauseaus, volitile,emotioanal, very big deppressive waves and crying.
I want to be be on effexor for one yesr while i get my self help skills down pact and work on my workbooks
Iv,e come to the conclusion the meds are causing more harm than good.
The withdrawal is terrible which no doctor will tell you about, i am hoping i dont have brain damage as result of these meds.
Cant actually find medical evidence on line to support this.
Im also giving up 3 beer a night habbit and smoing at th same time but i want to be well and it has to come from me.
Any knowledge on this welcome.
Thankyou So much!

Posted by: claire Bruning at February 29, 2008 09:34 AM

i am happy I found this site. i take lamictal for bipolar disorder. i’m stopping my lamictal i was on 300 mg a day for the last six months,i’m down to 75 mgs now and feel like hell. i walked out of my job today and thought that i was going nuts. i feel foggy, i have terrible headaches and thirst and am lethargic. this drug isn’t worth it. i’ve stopped taking paxil in the past and thought that was as bad as it gets but this is worse by far.

Posted by: beth at March 6, 2008 10:02 AM

I have recently come off lamictal. I was taking 150mgs and took my last 25mg dose last Sunday (1 week ago). I didn’t like it, I didn’t think it was working for me. It was prescribed mainly for anxiety. Anyway – I am feeling tired, irritable and pretty anxious and this is on top of the lorazapem I am taking. Is this still part of withdrawal??

Posted by: kim at March 8, 2008 07:12 PM

I’ve been on Lamictal for two years for epileptic seizures. I started on 200 mg and then went up to 300 mg. I am now coming off it since it hasn’t worked. My experience with withdrawal is that it almost always makes sense to go much slower than the docs recommend. I am going down 25 mg every 10-14 days and one week in, my feelings are all over the map, my head is full of all kinds of images and jumbled fragments of ideas and I forget what I’m thinking in the middle of the thought. Some of these are typical head injury symptoms, which I’ve had for some years, but very suddenly worse since I started withdrawal. I’ve had seizures from following medical instructions on withdrawal, (Xanax, Keppra, Atavan, Klonipin) and intense physical and emotional symptoms with Remeron, Prozac and Depakote. Withdrawal is always rough but it helps to take charge and decide what level of rough you can handle and adjust the speed accordingly.

Posted by: Aurora at March 10, 2008 04:47 PM

Can anyone tell me how long the nausea lasts
Hope at the end of the tunnel

when comming off Lamictal?

Ive been on it for 2 yrs for Bipolar. Befor i compain about it i have to stres how effective it has been for me in stabilising my mood and how i dont think id still be here without it.
I started slowly tappering off in December 2007 from 50mg to 25mg once a day. Then in January i started taking 25 mg once a dayfor 3 weeks and then in Jan 2008 i dropped to 25mg every other day. I stopped taking it completely a month ago and have felt terrible nausea where i feel like its all being held in my throat. Terrible dizziness 3 weeks ago and migrane. also been feeling really out of it and not able to concentrate in class-(i stupidly did a 5 week intensive tefel course as i thought keeping busy would keep my mind off the withdrawl effects) other side effects more mood swings but not the depressive ‘i cant live life’ feeling.Just been feeling sad and crying a lot. Because i havent been feeling suicidal im keen to stick with this and get off the meds. Actually my main worry has been that i have been getting this bad lip peeling on my lips. The skin is so sore and flakey and it leaves my lips blisterd and raw pink with little skin on them. im really worried about it coz i know people can get a rash and that is potentially fatal. Ever since tappering down and stopping my meds my lips have got better. But the headache, anxiety, slight panicky feeling, hear racing and nasea proved to be too much for me yesterday so i took a full 50mg and today a 25mg and feel much better today. Do you think i shouldpeserveer and stick with this nausea in an attempt to gett off or do you think that it means I need to go down even more slowly? im really very confused and feel a little bit lost and lonely. in the UK lamictal isnt legally prescribed for mood disorders so i alsways end up wasting my time and have to watch the docs as they flip through their drug guide books as they try to advise me of how much to take and what to expect. ps when i drink alcohol its disasterous as the next day i feel hungover 1000x worse& that is with just 1 glass of wine. That never used to happen, even when i was on lamictal. does anyone else have it as a side effect?

Posted by: Julia at March 30, 2008 06:46 AM

It’s me again…the woman who wanted to come off Lamictal in order to have a baby. After (finally) getting off Lamictal, I went to a new therapist because the Zoloft just wasn’t cutting it for my depression. She sent me to a well-respected psychiatrist who put me on Prozac. Well, guess what! It threw me into what they call a “hypo-manic episode” and declared me to be bi-polar. Fabulous, eh? All this time I was being treated for major depressive disorder. So, said psych cut the Prozac in half and put me on Seroquel and Klonopin. Not working so great. Can’t sleep. Puts me on Geodon, LAMICTAL, and gives me Ambien. Guess what. Not working so great. Can’t sleep. Anxiety attacks. So I down the bottle of Ambien and as much Seroquel I can lay my hands on before my husband holds me down while he dials 911. After spending a week at the “Medical College of __” being poked, prodded, tested, interviewed, harrassed, and taken off all meds except ONE Klonopin a day, I’m discharged on a Friday with a NON diagnosis (Mood Disorder NOS) and told to see my shrink and therapist the following Monday. As soon as I get home, I freak out and start cleaning the house. I sprayed my husband with bleach because he wouldn’t get out of my way. He called my shrink who told him to give me Klonopin 3x day and to start back on LAMICTAL ASAP. I had to resign from my job and now have more sleepless nights than ever. The power surges, or panic attacks, are still ongoing, but hey, at least I don’t have to go to work in the morning. My husband took away my credit cards and ATM cards, which is probably a good thing since my hobby had beocme shopping. No job = no money. I’m back on Geodon at 180mg a day and up to 150 on Lamictal and popping Klonopin like candy. I wake up groggy just from the Geodon and can barely walk in the mornings. But hey, the house is clean! By the way, no chance in hell of having a baby now. Thank you so much DRUG LORDS FROM HELL!!!! Phillip, any wise suggestions???

Posted by: lynne at April 20, 2008 10:01 PM

I had a bad couple of days. Ran out of Lamictal for the first time. I take 400mg daily. When I went to fill them they said I was denied. i couldn’ afford out of pocket, so I couldn’t get it. The main problem was feeling like I was in the prodrome of a seizure. I had a dull headache, racing thoughts, weird dreams, mental lapses, confusion about where I was, basically feeling out of it. Today i called the insurance, and they said I was fine. Apparently the pharmacy was
using the old insurance. I felt more and more out of it and disorganized with racing thoughts over the 2 days. I don’t really trust anything I was thinking during that time. I was able to pick it up this morning. Though I feel only a little better so far, I feel quite relieved.

Posted by: deb at May 5, 2008 03:33 PM

Hello. I’ve been on 300 mg of Lamictal for a little over a year and I’ve been trying to go down to 225 mg because of water retention and slow weight gain that has been creeping up, despite going to the gym more than 4 x a week and watching my caloric intake. I’m also on Effexor 300 mg, which I’ve been on for three years, so I don’t know which is the culprit. I’ve been feeling very upset and also depressed, then agitated and it’s a bit frightening. Is it normal to feel this way when coming down and how long does it take for each dose to balance out? Your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: sandra at May 6, 2008 12:40 PM

I was on lamictal for the duration of my pregnancy with my second son. 300 mg. It was my only med (I’m bipolar). There were no complications at all, he is a completely healthy, normal 2 1/2 year old, talks at a 4 year old’s level, knows every color under the sun, has a huge library of songs he has memorized, etc. Just a thought, although I know well enough to know I’ll get railed for this comment. Lamictal is actually considered safe for pregnancy. My son is proof of that.

Posted by: Jill at May 10, 2008 05:24 PM

I have been on lamictal for 7 months and have been taking 200mg a day.I just recently noticed my teeth turning grey and discolored, nothing you can bleech out. otherwise i loved the medication. I have heard horror stories about hair loss, so i decides to ween off over a three week period and got down to 50 mg, and that night i went into a siezure like experience, my nerves were freaking out and my arms and legs felt like they were going through shock therapy, it was terrible. So now im not sure what the heck to do. tonight i will take 150mg. until i get to my doctor to confirm if teeth stains can be caused by lamicatl. I might retry many of the other dozen or so antidepressants i already tried. my discolored teeth is not worth it. I might need veners to cover the damage. Has anyone noticed this or red ruff skin on there face. please comment. thank you

Posted by: BRANDY at June 1, 2008 09:59 PM

Awesome Blog!

Let me start by saying that yesterday I quit taking my 200mg of Lamictal — cold turkey. This is my second day. So far so good. I have been drinking a lot of water, maybe that is helping. Or maybe tomorrow I will be crawled up in the fetal position wondering what I have done to myself. LOL!

Two years ago because of many stressful life situations I was “asked” to go to a doctor as my mood swings were out of control. This decision was based on the fact that my mother was bi-polar. She went through it all as I was growing up. Electro shock, lithium, going on her medicine, going off her medicine. etc, etc. Very challenging at times.

So because of her past and my need to salvage a 23 year marriage for my kids sake, I agreed to go to the doctor. It was my General practitioner. I explained the situation. She said try Lexapro until things became more stable in my life and then we should be able to come off of the medicine.

I find it interesting that when we find ourselves in very stressful situations in life and our moods tend to swing because of – financial ruin, a failed marriage, job stress, etc., etc. that the common answer in this generation is that we need to be on something.

It is viewed in today’s society as “not normal” to express anger and — unfortunately — rage to cope with the most extreme difficulties one might encounter. No matter what the severity of the crisis may be.

I will agree that because of my mothers past, I have some of her bi-polar traits in me. I react very similar to situations as she did. Although, for people to say that “it is hereditary” or “it’s family genetics” and that you need to be on something is totally false. If there is no test or proper diagnosis for bi-polarism — then why do we need to solve the issue immediately with drugs????? The counceling sessions become secondary.

I told the General practitioner that put me on Lexapro that I was embarressed to take the medicine as I never wanted to be like my mother. She laughed and said that they should put these drugs in our water supply. She said I would be surprised how many people are taking something for their nerves and some very prominent in the community.

I believe that through my years that I have had a certain level of anxiety and at times didn’t deal with stress well, and I wished that I did have something to calm my nerves (in college alcohol seemed to do the trick).

But if solving my issues means taking drugs that make me tired, suck the life and creativity out of me, kill my sex drive, shortness of breathe, IBS bleeding, etc., etc., etc.,

It is even worth taking the medicine?

I now go to a psych. He put me on the 200mg of Lamictal saying it would change everything the Lexipro was causing. Let’s see after a year — I seem to have the same symptoms – shall I quote myself –

“But if solving my issues means taking drugs that make me tired, suck the life and creativity out of me, kill my sex drive, shortness of breathe, IBS bleeding, etc., etc., etc.,”

When I go see him it is a 5 minute appointment. “How are things going” – I say “Great”. He tells me that it is the medicine helping me with my mood swings. And that I should never quit taking it. I asked him if the fact that my life has done a complete 360 degree turnaround to the positive — financially and marital wise — where does that come into play? He doesn’t really know how to answer that but again to say, it is the medicine…. LOL

Doe’s a positive change in one’s life account for any positive change in personal behavior? Or is it always going to be the medicine, that creates the change?????

I believe that the medical community has found a way to thrive on the “walk up traffic.” They are more sales people / order takers trying to make an easy “commission.”

It reminds you of Lucy and Charlie Brown – “The doctor is in.” They know that people like us are easy targets, easy income, customers for life….

I have come to the conclusion that I will not live in a world that I cannot feel. One that will not allow me to express my basic human emotions in any given situation.

I cherish my life everyday, and the wonderful gift that God has given us… LIFE.

I look at the circumstances of others in this world…. starvation, aids, famine, drought, cancer, homelessness. We all know the list is endless.

Who am I to feel that I have problems? Mine are insignificant to what is happening to others in this world.

Anyway, with all that said… I am choosing to stop the medication. The first 44 years of my life without it, I did extremely well. Because of severe changes in my life circumstances two years ago, (and everyone on the planet that was taking something, was telling me I needed to be on something), I decided to take this magic carpet ride.

But again, I will no longer relegate myself to this “MEDICINAL PRISON”….

I pray that the Lord will grant me my freedom. And provide me the guidance I will need for a medicine free life. I can no longer put my hope in pills, 5 minute doctor visits, and others that have worse (mental) problems than mine, telling me how to live my life.

God Bless you all, thank you for listening!

Posted by: Bill at June 9, 2008 07:57 AM

I would like to hear from anyone who has successfully stopped taking Lamictal. When did you start feeling better? Did your cognitive impairment lessen at all? Did your complexion clear up? Did you sleep better? Did you rediscover your libido?

I stopped taking it for a week and ended up going back on it because it was a fresh hell I could not bear.

I would like to hear the positive side of Lamictal withdrawal and I appreciate any and all input.

Posted by: Vetta at June 11, 2008 08:50 AM

Hi Vetta,

Everyone’s experiences with these medications are different, and it’s impossible to say with certainty, “I feel X because of medication Y.”

Virtually everyone who posts comments here has had serious problems with many medications, but that may be a selection effect as much as anything. If they weren’t having problems they would be less likely to come across or repeatedly visit Furious Seasons, so take people’s opinions here with a grain of salt.

For myself, I’ve been taking Lamictal (lamotrigine) now for over two years. I stopped once cold turkey after running out and having to wait for the next paycheck. Like many people report on there were virtually no side effects, either starting the medication or stopping abruptly. And it seems to actually help in evening out my mood. How fast did you drop the dose when you stopped taking it? Slow titration down with these medications seems the key to successfully stopping them. Best of luck.

Posted by: cairn at June 11, 2008 09:38 AM

cairn, you are wrong at least in reference to myself. i’ve actually said nice things about lamictal–to the degree it actually worked as an anti-dep for me–but the withdrawal was nasty. you’re lucky.

and don’t disparage the readers of this site or minimize them or their experiences.

you speak for the few, not the many.

Posted by: Philip Dawdy at June 11, 2008 09:44 AM

Vetta,

I took 400mg lamictal for 2 years then went cold turkey. If I knew then what I know now I would have titrated slowly. Next three months were hellish for my family, but I am so glad to now be free of it. There are may good resources for coming off psychiatric drugs. The protocols typically involve metering your doses and supplementing your diet with vitamins and eliminating trigger foods.

It took quite some time to get my sleep back to a normal state. I can directly credit melatonin for my recovery. I’ve had circadian issues as long as I can remember, but the psychiatrists somehow automatically assume mania for insomnia. I don’t take it every day, but I did for a few months and my sleep has never been better.

I suggest you work up a withdrawal plan first and discuss this with whoever is treating you. It’s better if they are receptive and amenable, but if not then you still have to make a decision. Be prepare for difficulties and don’t try to rush – it’s not a race.

Warning – you can’t split extended release formulation pills. If you are taking anything of this sort you’ll want to switch off before titrating down. Also, lamictal comes in different dosage/pills so that can help. but you’ll need help from your prescriber as you switch to lower dosages.

Best of luck and stay positive!

Posted by: Paul at June 11, 2008 10:35 AM

I wanted to give everyone an update.

This is day #5 of not taking my 200mg of Lamictal. I would not recommend this to anyone. You need to be quite strong mentally to struggle with the changes that occur primarily in your brain and head. WOW, is an understatement of how I am feeling, not good at all. Although, as I am this far along, I am going to stay the course.

A real struggle emotionally, it is taking a major conscience effort on my part to control my emotions and get through this. It is working because there have not been any noticeable changes in my behavior. Trust me my wife would flip if she knew I quit taking the “MAGIC LAMICTAL.”

Internally though, it takes everything I have to get through. The dizzyness is the main thing, and I try not to make quick movements.

The first two days were very rough. Dizzy, nauseous, my mind raced, could not sleep at all. The past 3 days have been primarily dizzy, although things are better. I am extremely thirsty and drinking a lot of water.

The only thing truly helping is my desire to rid myself of this stuff. It upsets me greatly to know that I have been pulled this far in.

One thing I didn’t share in my first post is that my new doctor initially told me that I would be on this a year, and then he would wean me off the Lamictal as things got better emotionally at home. Several visits in, he changed his tune (even though he agreed things seemed to be better at home and in my life). He determined it was that Lamictal and that I would always need to take it.

Trust me, I am not going through this little experiment out of spite to prove a point to my doctor. Let me assure you, that working as an IT professional, the last thing I need is to jeopardize my career by not performing on the job. [Plus the Lamictal only allows for non-performance in the bedroom….LOL.] [Hopefully, there will be a part of this story when that starts working again…LOL.]

I am stopping the medicine because I believe my issues started based on severe emotional changes in my life circumstances. I agreed with two doctors that I needed some help i.e. taking medicine.. [first the Lexipro, now the Lamictal], to help me get through the rough times.

Now that many positive changes have occured in my life, I don’t see why a doctor would insist that I need the Lamictal forever???

Thus this little experiment…very harsh experiment I might add.

My determination will win out, it is unfortunate that my mind is taking such a beating during this withdrawal.

One upside I would like to share is that on day #2, my IBS literally went away. That was driving me crazy as I was losing a lot of blood. I then attributed the loss of blood (not the Lamictal)as the cause of my severe shortness of breathe, lack of strength, and lack of energy. Since not taking the Lamictal, I have been working out in the heat putting a brick patio on, cutting the grass in this 90 degree weather, etc., etc. So it definitely was the Lamicatal with it’s negative side effects working on my body and causing the problems.

Hopefully, this is good info!

Posted by: Bill at June 12, 2008 10:56 AM

Bill,

Some things to consider:

1. Make sure you take vitamins everyday (I split mine twice a day): a multi, B complex, Omega 3, and C at a minimum. There are many good resources on the net for this.

2. Sleep issues: 50mg benadryl and or 3-5 mg melatonin.

3. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and anything that you know activates you. I tried to eat simple foods as often as possible.

4. Get outside and exercise – do this do this do this.

5. Try to get some social interaction outside your home – go to library, coffee shop (ok, a coffe once in a while is ok, just not at night), aquarium, etc…

6. Stay positive. This won’t be easy and you might have some setbacks. That’s ok.

7. Make a simple weekly schedule for yourself. Too many activities/chores and it becomes a stressor, to few and it won’t be as effective as it could.

The physical symptoms you speak of sound familiar. Take it slow and easy and give your brain and body time to adjust.

Warm regards,
Paul

Posted by: Paul at June 12, 2008 05:52 PM

Paul,
Thanks for the comments, I appreciate the support. I will try all your recommendations. I am especially interested in trying the Benedryl and Melatonin. Very strange feeling coming down off of the Lamictal and how it won’t let you sleep. It’s like your mind is locked up and won’t respond to your bodies request to close your eyes and go to sleep. It seems goes in intervals, I am only getting little bits of rest, but not really sleep.
Amazing that Lamictal can alter the brain patterns so dramatically. More amazing is that the medical community knows this, but yet still prescribes all these drugs with their known side effects. That would be part of their customer for life program.
I’ll give you an update and let you know how it works.

Posted by: Bill at June 16, 2008 08:44 AM

Melatonin was a Godsend for me. I have had circadian rhythm issues since youth and it gave me natural sleep for the first time ever. It’s not sedating like Benadryl, but I wouldn’t take it during the day either. Benadryl is an anti-histamine which can really help you get to sleep as you titrate down. So-called mood stabilizers (aka neuroleptics) also have a very strong affinity for histamine which is why they are so sedating.

These two aren’t substitutes for each other, more complementary. You may find one is better for you than the other at different times. YMMV…

Posted by: Paul at June 16, 2008 11:40 AM

I know this is kinda of late, but this is one of the main sources of information I’ve had when I’ve been dealing with this withdrawal. It helped so much so I thought I’d add to my experience.

Last November I was having a tough time with life situations. In 40 min the doc told me I was bipolar. Which I realize 6 months later I never was bipolar.

In February, I had a major anxiety issue. not exactly an attack but I had to take a whole day off from it. As the dosage got higher the more anxious I was. I couldn’t enjoy myself. I realized that I had NEVER felt this way and that its from the Lamictal. As I told my doc this he wanted to up the dosage and give me something else. I realized that I was with the wrong doc. I started to wean myself off.

Apparently I did it wrong. I went from 100mg to 50mg to 25mg. I am still on 25mg and I am slowly coming off of that. But 2 weeks after I went down to 25mg I had been crying, panic attacks, fear of death, fear of everything. Thank God I have the best support system in the world. I went to a therapist who confirmed that I do NOT have bipolar disorder and that a lot of this anxiety is coming from lamictal. Of course while I am at these sessions I’m working on a few things but nothing that would cause this havoc.

It was terrible and I was searching for anyone to tell me that they came off of it okay. I had a week of anxiety and a few days of major depression.

I prayed alot, but when I finally had the energy to try and run I felt like a different human being. So I suggest that when you are able to start feeling well again to exercise. I felt brand new. I still wake up with a little anxiety in the morning but I know I’m getting so much better. Plus I have a little more to get off of.

But as of now… I feel so fantastic and I want people to know that there IS hope and you can get through it.

Posted by: bee at July 31, 2008 08:28 AM

lamictal has made me severely depressed would rather be dead than to wake up crying everyday in front of my children and feeling hopeless and isolated, oh and my crappy dr. said i have bipolar after one time of meeting this person how rediculous is that? I read that these drs are so quick to blame everything on bipolar instead of doing real work to find out what is wrong with you

Posted by: annyonamous at August 16, 2008 09:54 AM

4 years ago I switched from Topomax to Lamictal. Clinician suggested that it might be a better option to help congitive function. (That was my only probem with a slight back injury discomfort and arthritis in my feet).

After switching to Lamictal, I right away developed a dyskinsia, uncontrollable tongue thrusting into my teeth, such that at the end of the day, my tongue would bleed. Dentist filed one tooth down flat. If I wasn’t doing that, I was clenching my teeth so hard my face hurt. I also developed a habit of sticking my fingernails between my teeth. The arthritis in my feet seemed to get worse and I had them operated on. My back pain, from a previous injury became excrutiating, for which I went to cortizone shots, and pain meds. and also had othopedic body manipulations. I was told that I may soon need a back operation. By now I was walking with a cane and trying not to use a wheelchair. The last manipulation took my breath away and was very painful, such that I quit going and tolerated the pain with more and more pain meds. The fatigue that set in along with the new muscle pain was diagnosed as fibromyalgia. I developed a non-serious rash/acne after having been prescribed lyrica and sulindac (allergy/no one listened to me) which has yet to go away since I refused to take it. The many ulcers in my mouth were so painful, I could hardly brush my teeth, or talk. I developed a yeast infection in my mouth that just would not go away with med. and a UTI that was so bad I had blood in urine. I went for a mouth biopsy which left a portion of my lower lip completely numb. I developed an insomnia for which I was prescribed Trazadone, along with the benedryl I was already taking. I was prescribed famotadine for hearburn, Not one day in three years has suicide not crossed my mind. I am more irritable and cross and impatient with my family. Neck, shoulder and elbow pain sometimes prevented driving, not to mention that I could no longer walk in the mall or on store floors for back, hip, knee and foot pains. 2007/2008 winter was the worst in all my life. Infections, colds, flus and all the aforementioned kept me going to the doctor once or twice a week. I eventually was so sick of doctors I refused to go. In three years I have gaind 50 lbs. I have three times suggested the these symptoms were side effects from the lamictal. But since there was no information listed in the Pharmaceudical info, there was no reason to blame Lamictal. In desperation I again researched on the internet for Lamictal Info. Of course any site that advertises meds. touts the wonders of Lamictal, including Lamictal.com. What helped me most, were all the blogs and forums of Lamictal consumers. My suspicions were validated and I started to wean myself off ever so slowly. Nonetheless, I lost 6 to 7 lbs in the frst week of cutting back to 275 from 300 mgs. Then cutting back to back to 250 megs. Started feeling fewer body pains, mouth ulcers started to fade away. Getting better and better with each cut back, I am now taking 150 mgs per day. I am walking my dog at least 1 or more miles a day with no cane. I can cover 1 mile in 20 minutes. No body pains until about middle of the day for which I take over the counter acetaminophen. (I take the Tramadol, only if necessary, and no more unprescribed percoset.) Took up crossword puzzles and soduko as brain function improved. No more hot flashes (that I thought were menopause). My life has improved at least 75% and I suffer very little muscle pain still and no other diffculties. I am elated, not manic, elated. Thank you all for taking your time to participate in the forums and blogging. You all have helped me more than any doc. and more than I can say. THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Can’t wait to get off all Lamictal. I know this is a long post but I just wanted to share my lamictal experince. It’s been a very long three years.

Posted by: bipme at August 23, 2008 01:07 PM

Lamictal causing all my new/recent symptoms….now looking out for any withdrawals.

I have only recently realized that taking Lamictal has been the cause of multiple symptoms. I was happy just to figure out what the problem was, and again found hope for better days. I had reduced my dose to 100 mg, from the regular 200 mg dosage, for about a week. I have not taken any Lamictal for 3 days now. I now find myself wondering if I will experience withdrawal side effects? How long will it take until I feel any improvement? And is there any risk that permanent damage or changes have happened to my body systems or organs? This is scary stuff, and I am outraged!!!
First of all, I experienced a rapid onset of new and worsening sympoms over 1 year ago. Then, recently, another onset/worsening of the same symptoms. All of the symptoms resemble hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and of course depression and anxiety. What finally made me settle on Lamictal being the culprit, was when the glands in my neck became swollen. I also have a very mild rash on the left side of my face (between my eye and my hairline), which has neither worsened or gone away for months. Any rash or any single blisters can indicate an allergic reaction to Lamictal, it does not have to be a severe or life-threatening rash!! After reading other testimonials online, people have had blisters or heat-like rashes anywhere from the top of there head to their feet. Looking back, I have had individual blisters occasionally, on my scalp, behind my ear, on my face, on my legs, etc. That, coupled with the swollen lymph nodes and glands, finally explained the cause of all the other symptoms I have had, at differing levels of severity, over the past 3 years!!!
Symptoms:
trouble with food or pills getting stuck
difficulty falling asleep
fatigue/low energy
brain fog, groggy, light-headed
desreased coordination
shortness of breathe/shallow respiratory pattern
tigt, rigid muscles or tension(which ultimately led to anxiety and panic attacks)
hypersensitivity to noise and crowds
morning stiffness
impaired memory/concentration
dry skin, lips, eyes, mouth
body aches
restlessness, tossing/turning
swelling,numbness,tingling hands and arms (and later legs and feet as well)

The first onset of these symptoms led to my first and only panic attack. I was told that anxiety had caused all of the physical symptoms, even my throat feeling loke it was closing up!!! So, I was given anti-anxiety meds….and suffered with it all for more than another year before the most recent onset with worsening of symptoms. I am glad to stop taking Lamictal….yet I am afraid of withdrawals and any possible permanent damage…and am not quite ready to deal with finding a new medication for my depression/bi polar, etc. Frustrated, mad….and FOGGY!!!

Posted by: Denise at September 22, 2008 03:25 PM

I have always had mild depression but never required medication. I controlled it through excersize and keeping busy. A year ago I was going through a terrible time in my life. I found out I had cervical cancer, my husband was in a near fatal atv accident and we were in a horrendous custody battle for my step daughter. My depression got much worse. So my primary physician tried a few different anti depressants, none worked. He then decided that I was bi-polar. He put me on lithium. I got a terrible rash, started halucinating and got a terrible head ache. I went to the emergency room they told me the lining of my brain was inflamed. I decided maybe a psychiatrist was a better option. He put me straight on lamictal. I have to be honest it was a god send for me. or so I thought. I started it in november and never got a period in december or january. I never thought that the lamictal could be causing it. I have not had a regular period since. I have to take medication to start my period and stop it. I recently started seeing a new gynocologist and he diagnosed me with pcos. It turns out the hormone imbalances caused by polycystic ovary syndrom can cause depression and many of the mood changes that bipolar disorder does. I trusted a more than qualified psychiatrist that he knew what he was talking about. In the end you need to trust yourself. Talk with your family, and those closest to you. research every thing they tell you. Don’t just believe. My family never believed that I was bipolar. In all honesty I don’t think I am either. So now I am going off of the lamictal. I started at 200mg and I have been slowly reducing my dose. I am doing this on my own. my psychiatrist refused to participate, because he felt I should not go off. So I did my research and found out how to do it on my own. Had I not done that I could have become very ill by just stopping taking it. These drug companies need to establish a web site on how to safely withdraw from these medications. I am doing good so far I am down to 100mg and have only had headaches and some crying spells. I suppose in the big picture I am lucky. Good luck to everyone on your journey with this medication. It really did help my depression but in the end I had to consider my over all health. I am going to go at it drug free for now and see how I do. I have faith in myself that I can get through it. sometimes medication isn’t allways the answer

Posted by: Brooke at October 7, 2008 02:43 PM

(sorry for the interruption, pressed the wrong button)
Anyway, as I was saying…
I was hospitalized 11 or 12 times (lost count), twice for three-month stretches. I wasn’t an eager consumer of medications. I shudder to think what would have happened to me had I been more “co-operative”. I nearly died from medical malpractice and Klonpin about 9 years ago, got off all meds and swore never to have contact with a psychiatrist again.

A little over a year ago I was finally diagnosed correctly–by my local physician’s assistant. I have hypothyroidism. Ten dollars a month of levothyroxin has enabled me to leave my home and get a part-time job. I still struggle with intermittent major depression, still have to manage my PTSD symptoms (mainly depression and intermittent agoraphobia and reduced energy and stress tolerance). The dysthimia that was killing me was caused by the low thyroid. Waking up dysthymic each and every morning made me suicidal, frankly. What was there to live for?

A close friend of mine has had PCO since early adolescence. It was undiagnosed for years and years, caused her much suffering with severe depression. Treatment has helped.

Best wishes to you.
Sherry

Posted by: Sherry at October 8, 2008 05:01 AM

Stephany, I was interested in your first comment. My current concern is related to being off Lamictal suddenly. I ran into a problem with my RX assistance program and then my pdoc has been difficult in working with me for a solution. It seems I might run out in a few days without a way to obtain the drug.

I have found that while taking this, while doing wonders for me, I experience strong and disruptive side effects if I am a half hour past my daily dose time.

In truth I am quite scared what the abrupt discontinuation will do. I could bet money that I wont be able to function at work.

I think what I’m asking of you is a response in which you can expand for me your experience of stopping cold turkey.

thank you!

P

Posted by: P at October 25, 2008 05:44 PM

Hi….I have had four hospital stays this year, lost my job, filing for bankruptcy and cannot afford medications paying through a regular insurance plan. I got a job that pays me 8.75 an hour even with this I could not afford to pay for the lamictal, lithium, klonopin and gabapentin that is prescribed to me for my Bipolar 1. I found a walk in clinic two days after running of my lamictal and just before my other prescriptions would run out. It has a pharmacy right there and I got charged only 12.00 for all of them. It was pretty scary….I felt different
without the lamictal luckily I don’t think I got the full effects of not having any

Posted by: Phil at November 3, 2008 03:49 PM

I am wondering if I should go on Lamictal or not… I am 23 and was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 in July of this year. I had been hospitalized and then tried Intensive Outpatient Therapy for weeks until the insurance messed up my outpatient therapy visit allowance. I have now been seeing a psychiatrist who allowed me to come off of all the medications that I had been tried on from July to September/October….there were ten -such as Ativan, Depakote, Lithium -HORRIBLE FOR ME BY THE WAY, Klonipine, Propananal (for the horrible tremor side effects from the Lithium), AmbienCR and then Lunesta, Zyprexa, Abilify-which made me HORRIBLY suicidal..and also Lamictal ..The Lamictal was something I was only on for about 3-5 days ..I don’t even remember the dosage.. because when I went on this it was to increase the 1800 mg of Lithium I had been placed on..Well, buddy, it worked. I was then overdosed and actual got Lithium Toxicidity… It was awful..and it took me days to get the people at the Intensive Outpatient Program I was a part of to believe it was real. I then decided to get off everything I could. I was taken down to just the Lithium …then the new psychiatrists let me come off of everything under supervision. I did and I have to say that ALL of the psychiatrists and other Mental Health Professionals I saw that SWORE I would go back to a manic state if I came off of all the medications were WRONG. I have had NO signs of mania at ALL. I am not “depressed” now. I am just not really active at all. I am still not believing that I am actually bipolar but in effort to keep my short term disability in tact I am thinking I may try a medication to help me get some energy and desire to do something. The medication this psychiatrist is recommending is Lamictal. I just got my “starter kit” today and am very fearful of taking it. What are your thoughts??….
THANKS!

Posted by: Brittani at December 16, 2008 09:30 PM

Brittani:

Lamotrigine is only indicated for the maintenance phase of bipolar treatment, and appears to work better to prevent future depressive rather than future manic episodes. If you are going on it, then it must be titrated very slowly in order to avoid Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a potentially life-threatening rash).

Lithium actually has the best evidence in bipolar disorder. I am wondering why you were on 1800 mg of Lithium? That’s a really high amount. What was your Lithium level at the time? For the maintenance phase, your level should have been 0.6 to 0.8.

Also, was your manic episode in the context of using any other medications, herbal remedies, OTC pills, street drugs, medical illness? Or did it come out of the blue?

Just wondering.

Posted by: dguller at December 17, 2008 05:40 AM

Hi dguller and anyone else who wants to respond to my comments :-). ..in answer to your question about the Lithium.. my level went over 1.5.. I was started out on a lower dosage but the Intensive Outpatient Program moved me up rapidly to that amount because I was very unresponsive to alot of the prescribed drugs..and my mania took quite a while for me to come out of… And..no my manic episode was not related to anything that you listed. It was totally out of the blue. The only thing that was different was my job was VERY, VERY stressful at the time.. I was working 10-12+ hour days but that was the only main difference.. It was very out of the blue and unexpected… I still am not sure about the Lamictal ..I haven’t been able to convince myself that going back on prescriptions will help me.. And I definitely do not know if Lamictal is the right choice for me…. Thanks to anyone who is out there to help a new Bipolar (if that is actually what I have lol)!

Posted by: Brittani at December 17, 2008 01:53 PM

Brittani,

From reading your two posts I gathered this information; you were prescribed 10 different drugs within a 4 month period, experienced horrific side effects including tremor, feeling suicidal and lithium toxicity (which could have killed you).

You got off all of the drugs and you have NO signs of mania at ALL and you are NOT depressed (contrary to what the doctors told you would happen) and you don’t believe you are bipolar.

Previously, you were hospitalized due to a manic episode. At that time in your life you were under tremendous stress and working 10-12+ hour days.

Your current problems are; you have no energy or desire to do anything.

If I have all of this correct, THE BENEFIT OF ANY MEDICATION DOESN’T OUT WEIGH THE RISK (to say the least!).

Please read some of the previous posts under Lamictal withdrawal from people who have experienced side effects of using Lamictal as well as coming off.

You’re only 23, if you want to have a baby someday; I’ve heard many people say the doctor told them Lamictal was safe, it is not. There are lawsuits; babies being born with cleft palates. And that is just ONE issue. Personally, I have severe memory loss (for one) and can’t remember raising my kids. They are only 18 & 16. I also have severe hair loss. Lamictal messed up my thyroid.

I would also urge you to have your thyroid function (TSH) checked. Hypothyroidism causes low energy and symptoms often diagnosed as depression.

P.S. dguller is a psychiatrist. Please take what he says with a grain of salt and see what others who have been there (as you have) have to say.

I’m not totally anti-psychiatrist; Dr. Peter Breggin has some excellent books that I’ve found extremely helpful.

I wish you the best. It sounds like you are going through a rough patch in life.

Posted by: Becky at December 17, 2008 06:29 PM

I take Lamictal and the best part about this ongoing comment thread, is the patient anecdotal stories; I appreciate those.

Posted by: Stephany at December 17, 2008 08:36 PM

Brittoni:

Perhaps Lithium could be helpful for you if it was dosed properly. I wouldn’t necessarily jump to Lamotrigine if a proper trial of Lithium wasn’t completed.

Oh, and Becky is certainly correct that you should have a medical work-up to rule out any organic causes of your low energy and motivation.

Regardless, I would have a frank discussion with your physician about all your options and the risks and benefits of each. Just be sure to make a decision that is in keeping with your values as a person and that meet your needs. 🙂

Posted by: dguller at December 17, 2008 08:38 PM

Thanks for your comments. I have actually tried it and my psychiatrist has already taken me off of it. Sunday was my last day taking it. It gave me little headaches (that felt like they were about the size of my fist) that seemed to move from one place to another. The headache would be in one spot for like 2-5 minutes and then move and repeat the same pattern. It gave me some calf pain as well and some headaches in the sinus area. It didn’t seem to help me at all and dguller in response to your comments about the Lithium. No, that drug did not work for me and the doses were lowered after I became toxic. I was on many different dosages of it and I know it is not for me. Thanks for that though. I am now (as of last night) on Geodon. I am not convinced any of these medications will do anything positive for me as the only positive (and I hardly even think it is positive now because I’m so lethargic and unmotivated) these prescription medications did for me was get me out of the manic episode I was apparently in. I HIGHLY miss the upbeat person that I was and am not convinced any of these medications will help me get that back. I am wondering if I was on so much stuff that I now have permanent brain damage….

Posted by: Brittani at December 23, 2008 08:47 PM

I have been on Lamictal for 2 1/2 years. I have always had a tendency for depression. I was going through a “rough” patch and my doctor decided Lamictal would be a good solution to what he guessed was a “mild case of bi-polar”.

Due to the desperity I was in I did not research the drug. At that time in my life it seemed like a quick solution….and it was ar the begining.

In retrospect, I still have the same tendencies now as i did then. I still have the inclination to stay in bed many a weekends. So I believe to a certain extent, it my choice wether I decide to wallow in my misery or get up and do something.

Regardless of the many diagnoses I have had, I know that there is a certain amount of self will (and gods help) I have the option to use here… I can hide behind the diagnosis and the meds or I can be proactive.

I’m tired of not being able to feel basic things…like tingles down my back when I smell a pretty flower or am inspired by something. I havent had the ability to trully experience the joy of life because of this drug enduced fog…and I believe that FOR ME it’s worth it to come off.

If I already have deppresion spells on it and cant trully feel the good in the world…then I might as well have the same and get to enjoy the good more.

This thread had scared the crap out of me!

I have been on 200mg for the entire duration of treatment. The first 2 weeks I took 175mg each day, so I wouldn’t shock my system. Today I began
the process of weaning 25mg off each week.

YES I’m scared…and foggy. But I refuse to look at the multitude of symptoms listed above and ask myslef every 5 minutes if they are happening to me, because I do believe I have the power to create them… We have a choice to dig deep into this withdrawal or get on with it. And I trully believe that I will come out of this with little adverse reactions…because I’m dedicated to healing my brain form these chemicals, healing myself from my self impossed problems, and because I have faith.

I hope that if someone reading this thread is not paralized buy the fear I experienced while reading it…and hears that there is hope…there is recovery…and it is very possible to live a healthy life without drugs, especially if you have a “mild” case such as mine.

Good luck and I hope you find the peace of mind you seek.

Jessica

Posted by: Jessica at January 3, 2009 03:14 PM

I just ran across this blog researching another topic and felt the need to weigh in even though this thread is pretty hoary at this point.

Although never one to be characterized as “happy go lucky,” up until about ten years ago I was fairly content with my life. My wife and I would often joke that I was bipolar except I never had even the – illusory – benefit of a manic phase. I simply cycled from angry to depressed with a major helping of anxiety thrown in for good measure. I finally admitted that I could no longer drag myself through the day in such a state and saw my GP who prescribed a SSRI, which greatly exacerbated my situation.

Always a heavy drinker, my alcohol intake progressively increased over the years until I started putting away the hard stuff like the lead in a 1940’s film noir. This, of course, led to all types of problems culminating with the departure of my dear wife. “Rock bottom” as they say. The following day I embarked on my recovery addressing my addiction to alcohol and visiting my gp, who prescribed effexor and gave me a referral to a pdoc. The next week until I could get in to see the pdoc was the very worst of my life, and was only made worse by the presence of the effexor, which regularly gave me violent “brain zaps” and the most horrific nightmares I’ve ever experienced.

Within fifteen minutes of my walking into the pdoc’s office, I was introduced to the concept of “baby bipolar,” “bipolar lite,” “bp ii,” or bipolar spectrum disorder. The doc explained that in my case i rapidly cycled from depressed to enraged with no hypomanic component. Turns out that my wife and I were not so far off in our initial dx. The doc immediately took me off of the effexor and started me on 25 mg. lamictal, slowly titrating up to 200 mg. Sometime during this process, I noticed a great change in my most basic outlook and for the first time in at least ten years felt something akin to hope and maybe even approaching peace and contentment. In short, lamictal changed (saved) my life.

As I’ve subsequently explained to many friends / family members struggling with depression / mood disorders, the meds don’t solve any problems on their own, they merely provide a foundation upon which deeper change may be effected. Having said that, I have no plans on giving up my daily dose. In regard to side effects, I absolutely do suffer from C.R.A.F.T. (can’t remember a frickin’ thing) Syndrome, experience considerable muscle ache, and have blurred vision.

In regard to memory issues, I am an attorney and as such rely upon my ability to quickly internalize, analyze and communicate complicated matters. In this respect, lamictal has somewhat hindered my performance. I often find that I have to force myself to focus where it used to come naturally. Perhaps most frustrating is my inability to recall a specific word. For example, in the sentence above it took me about half a minute to come up with the word “internalize.” I obviously knew the meaning of the word and could tell what letter it began with, but just couldn’t quite grasp it. Annoying? Yes. Deal-breaker? No.

Although I’ve always managed to stay in decent shape, I haven’t been to a gym since it was called a gymnasium and dodgeball – not pilates – was the order of the day. Nonetheless, I often feel as if I did ten rounds in the ring the previous night. I forget where I read this, but someone posited that the muscle pain was a byproduct of lamictal’s utility as an anti-seizure med and served to keep those so afflicted from collapsing in a heap on the floor. I tend to agree as I often find that all of my major muscle groups are tensed at any given time. Annoying? Yes. Deal-breaker? No.

As far as the blurred vision is concerned, I’ve been to the eye doctor several times and told that my eyesight is just fine, which it is if I make a concerted attempt to focus. Annoying? Yes. Deal-breaker? No. (Besides, it helped me justify the purchase of an enormous HDTV.)

To describe how precisely lamictal has helped me, I need to resort to an analogy from audio engineering (my passion – the lawyering just pays the bills). A compressor is an effect which analyzes an audio signal to identify the loudest and softest portions. Once identified the loudest portions are reduced in volume and the softest portions are increased in volume. The ultimate effect is an audio signal that stays within a defined and narrow boundary. A compression feature is offered on most televisions to help reduce the effect whereby tv commercials are twice as loud as the programmed content. In my case, the floor of my depression is raised to a manageable level, and the ceiling on my anger is lowered to a manageable level. I’m very much the same person only the range of my moods now have hard limits.

Another way I like to describe the positive effect that lamictal has had on me also has its root in electronics. A resistor is an electronic component that serves to slow down the flow of electrons in a circuit. I don’t know the slightest thing about the underlying principles of psychopharmacology, but do believe the human brain to be in some ways analogous to an electronic circuit. In this sense, lamictal serves as a resistor, providing me with an extra millisecond to consider consequences prior to acting from emotion. Lamictal has – by slowing down some brain function – allowed me to consider consequences before I act. Whereas in the past I would let fly verbally at the slightest – perceived – slight, now I am able to consider the repercussions of such a reaction. I hate feeling angry and lamictal has allowed me to perform a split second cost / benefit analysis in reaction to various stressors. The result of this analysis is almost always to let the stressor slide. Patience in a pill.

I understand that there are no guarantees in regard to the efficacy of pmeds, and that for many (most?) the right med / combo is never discovered (if it even exists). For that I am truly sorry, because right out of the gate I happened upon a drug that has really improved my quality of life.

Posted by: Milo at January 27, 2009 03:35 PM

At the direction of my neurologist, I started taking lamictal to control my mood swings. For over three years I have been taking anticonvulsants to manage my epilepsy. I began vomiting, had diarrhea, I was very dizzy, even with 5 layers of clothing and a blanket I was freezing, and my seizures which had remained dormant for 3.5 years, resumed. I have been living a life of hell for the past few weeks and therefore decided to quit the medicine cold turkey. I read up on the internet about the medicine after noticing these symptoms and saw that frequently this medicine can lead to depression and suicide. I am already depressed and teetering on the edge. If I end up dead, whether through this medicine, the hell that I am going through as a result of it, or some other manner, believe me, my ghost will come back and haunt the doctor that mindlessly prescribed it without warning me of the potential side effects. If this doctor was not aware of what side effects the drug could cause or what ramifications might occur by taking it in combination with my anticonvulsants, then they should have referred me to someone that was qualified.

Posted by: Heather at March 2, 2009 02:33 AM

I am having a real hard time with doctors…I guess it must be their egos. I have been on a lot of medications over the years for depression and even though they made me feel really great my intestinal track reaped havoc not to mention agitation and a lot of aggression. So then I was started on bi-polar drugs…I guess the thing that surprises me about doctors is that I cannot (if my life depended on it) take any drug for depression or bipolar and I live in a city where the doctor knows best. It has been really frustrating for me. Right now I am literally on a crumb of Lumictal and can’t walk up the stairs without my lungs hurting me and I am noticing how snippy I get on this drug and I have only been on this stuff for two days.

Posted by: Stephanie at July 12, 2009 01:40 AM

I was on 400 mg of Lamictal for about two years. It has taken me six agonizing months to taper off to 200 mg. The psychiatrist who prescribed this poison decided I was bi-polar upon my completely a 10-some-odd “check yes or no” test in his office. I have never experienced mania, or marked mood swings, but I trusted the quack’s judgement, and here I am; hooked on a drug subsequent doctors have told me is inappropriate for my real issue…major depression. Those same helpful people just tried stacking more pills on top of the ones I was already taking, until I said, “Enough already!” Lamictal “gifted” me with a reduced ability to grasp instructions, has limited my vocabulary, impacted my spelling, caused me to become apathetic, sluggish, exhausted, sweaty, disengaged, hopeless, and the list goes on and on. The withdrawl is hellish. When I go down a tier, I feel like I have the worst flu ever coming on, and can barely function. The saddest part for me, though, is that my loss of cognition has left me in such a state that college, which I can finally afford, is too daunting to consider. After all, if Lamictal left me, at times, unable to recall my phone number of 10 plus years, how am I to retain any NEW information?

Posted by: Della Street at July 21, 2009 04:10 PM

II was put on Lamictal for bipolar disorder. It is a hassle to get it through bridges to access. The cost of the prescription is ridiculous! Run around after run around just trying to get this med that I thought I needed drove me crazy. I ran out and have been off of lamictal for two months… recently I had cramping, then spotting and now Im bleeding heavily non stop. I definitely think its from the medication. I will let you know more after I see the doctor. I just want everyone to know how much better I feel NOT taking Lamictal. I believe I was misdiagnosed. I should have been treated for anxiety and depression. If you have any doubts about meds your taking. Talk to your doctor and to others taking the meds and figure out the best solution for you and your future health. tnx n god bless

Posted by: shannon at August 5, 2009 09:23 AM

Hi All.

I’m all most done with reading this long list of personal stories. There is a lot to take in. Part of me is sad about having to deal with the effects of coming off of Lamictal. The other part of me wants to stay on as it has helped me control my thoughts.

Now,my husband and I would like to have a child. I am VERY scared about the effects of taking this drug while pregnant. I absolutely plan to come off because we want a child. I’m also about to take a new job in a month or so and am scared that my moods will be noticeable or even unmanageable.

My doctor will be back in the office next month where I will come up with a program to come off the drug. I will then use this blog as a journal so that anyone else who has a similar situation to mine can read it and even benefit from it (I think).

I so wish I never got on it and was fully informed about the negative effects of Lamictal. If there is advice about how to best deal withdrawal symptoms, please post a message.

Best,
Dez
(Btw, while on this drug, I am dealing with forgetfulness, headaches, yellowing of the eye, difficulty spelling, weird blinking of the eye)

Posted by: Dez at August 9, 2009 09:45 PM

Dez,
Yellowing of the eye??? Are you sure your liver’s okay?

Posted by: Sherry at August 10, 2009 12:35 PM

Hi Sherry,
I believe the yellowing of the eye is part of the symptoms of using this drug. I had a physical a month ago and all of the typical tests came out okay. But I’ll call my Dr. tomorrow to see if they checked for any problems with my liver. thanks sherry.

I have an update for everyone. I spoke with my doctor, and he directed me to go from 200 mg to 100 mg for two weeks. Then for another two weeks I will take 50 mg and stop after.

I started taking only 100 mg Monday. So far, I’ve felt tired, but that’s my typical pattern. I also noticed that I haven’t really felt hungry, which is NOT typical for me.

I just learned anti-depressants can also harm a fetus. So, I will be coming off of this in a few months. I don’t want to come off of Lamictal and Cymbalta at the same time.

That’s all I have for now.

Posted by: Dez at August 13, 2009 08:47 PM

I can’t believe the amount of responses to lamictal withdrawal I found in this blog. Why does it surprise me?

I had a left temporal lobe bleed, (stroke of the unusual variety) 18 months ago. The bleed caused the stroke, through pressure on my brain, and in turn triggered a grand mal seizure. (Tonic clonic seizure think is their preferred name now.)

I was lucky, my darling wife was with me when it happened, and we were next to the Royal Perth hospital, (and public health treatment in Australia is paid through our taxes). I can’t speak highly enough of the care I received to cope with my stroke.

It was after the initial stroke trauma that I lost all control of my life to the “medical go ’round, and by circumstance I found myself in the hands of private (medicine for profit) medical specialists. Gradually, through medication, control of my life taken from me and put in the hands of “specialists”.

Immediately after the stroke I had surgery. Due to a lot of fortunate circumstances came out of the whole business, physically, relatively ok. Some problems with short term memory recall, getting better I think. Three crushed vertebrae from the grand mal seizure haven’t helped recovery because of constant pain, but overall I’m pretty good all things considered.

Anyway this is not a whinge, this is about my experience with lamictal, how I came to be on it, and what I’m experiencing getting off it. I hope my experience can help others, like what I’ve read in this blog is helping me.

The hospital put me on phentoin to prevent any possible further seizures. My liver reacted so badly they immediately took me off that and put me on epilum. Ten days after my stroke, I was discharged from Royal Perth on a low dose level of Epilum.

I take pains to point out that all treatment and rehabilitation I have received through the public health system, (not for profit), has been wonderful. In conjunction with strong support from my wife, members of my immediate family and my close friends, recovery is happening.

Epilum caused problems; at least that’s what I thought. Two weeks after brain surgery is probably not a good time to make personal decisions about medication. At my request the dose level of epilum was raised to fall inside what was accepted as a dose that controlled seizures. (I learned dose levels from the internet.) What I didn’t consider was what this would mean long term.

Problems were such that I was changed from epilum to keppra within two weeks, by a private practice (for profit)neurologist (for profit). I was told each time my medication changed, that what I was being put on was “the gold standard medication” for my needs.

Before my discharge my brain scans had shown that I did not have brain waves associated with epilepsy. That didn’t mean a lot to me at the time, but it does now. So more on my “needs” later).

Keppra was an absolute disaster for me. Like everyone who reaches the ripe age of 56, I’d had my ups and downs in life. But the depression I experienced under Keppra was a nightmare that wouldn’t stop. I’ve have never felt that distraught, helpless, hopeless and futile in my life.

I spent much of the time in deepest depression, in fits of inexplicable crying that were uncontrollable. There was no rhyme or reason. I hadn’t had depression like this under either of the other two drugs.

In fact before this I felt lucky to be alive and as able to function as I was, even though I was traumatised and teary and somewhat distraught.

I was talking, walking, eating even trying to plan and undertake some daily activities. Not all beer and skittles I might add. Lots of time sleeping. Balance problems etc. I soon found out that depression to the point of suicide and beyond, was a common side effect of the drug Keppra.

By this time I was back in Melbourne, my birthplace, and soon to be under the control (literally), of yet another private (for profit) neurologist. I had seen few people outside of my family and closest friends at this point.

Unfortunately, the day of my new neurologist’s appointment, needed because of the depression, coincided with a visit from much loved family members I hadn’t seen for 7 years.

This made me very tired. After their visit we travelled to see the neurologist. I was pretty exhausted when we got there. When I got out of the car I had an identical experience to one I’d had days after surgery. I could see tall gum trees blowing in the wind in front of me, both eyes could see perfectly. But my brain was unable to put the two images together. I knew what I saw but couldn’t process what I saw.

The first time this happened I was taken straight into emergency at Royal Perth. I was put under observation for 4 hours. Nothing untoward was found, no diagnosis, and I was discharged.

This time, we went straight into the neurologist’s rooms. I was crying and distraught beyond belief. Not understanding what was happening to me was frightening, like the first time.

The neurologist asked me what I’d experienced and I explained. All the while, I was breaking down, in tears, distraught, unable to communicate much of the time. The neurologist said I’d had a seizure (more on this later), and that the depression was undoubtedly caused by Keppra.

I was told the depression was fixable by changing me to lamactil. That lamactil was the “gold standard in epilepsy treatment next to Keppra.

This was 15 months ago and the lamactil saga began then.

Until five days ago, after initially reaching a daily dose level of 300mg of lamactil, I’ve taken lamactil daily. Now I’m coming off it.

I want to go through what the last fifteen months has been like with all the warts, and hopefully will continue writing in the next few days. I need to tell my story, for my own health as much as anything else.

I hope I’m not boring people, it’s important for me that I share this.

Writing this has made me tired and I want to finish by describing the last five days of withdrawal from lamactil.

On advice I’ll describe later, I’m dropping my daily dose so that in 2 months I’ll be off lamactil completely. That’s how I found this site; I needed feedback on my withdrawal symptoms.

I have been exhausted beyond belief for the last five days. So tired, I spend most of the day in bed. Lots of that time just staring at the wall. And I’m still exhausted.

I feel nauseous, a third to half the time, just ill. My emotions initially were yo-yoing, and I still have times over emotional reaction outside what for me is “normal”. Teary and emotive for no real reason.

I can’t trust myself to go out on my own; the waves of nausea and exhaustion knock me flat with no warning.

For anyone reading, the upsides are worth it. For the first time in 18 months my brain is clearing. My thoughts aren’t always clouded.

Incomplete bladder control has ceased. Constant visual haze is lifting.

I have hope for a future, without being on the medigoround. I’m fast coming to the belief that the “cure “has been worse than the disease.

I know its early days yet, but I’m determined to free myself from this medical regime. Either I’ll be off the lamactil and all similar drugs completely, or as close to free of them I can be.

Next time I write I’ll update my withdrawal symptoms. I really want to talk about my diagnosis of epilepsy, I think has relevant to all diagnostic processes.

Thanks for reading, if anyone has more advice I’d be really greatful.
Michael.

Posted by: Michael at August 16, 2009 06:43 AM

Michael,
Best wishes on your lamictal withdrawal.

For what it’s worth, strokes and heart attacks are notorious for causing major depressions. I used to be a medical social worker and, in fact, never saw anyone who’d had a stroke or heart attack who didn’t have serious depression.

I’m hoping that if I ever do have a stroke/heart condition that I’ll remember depression is part of the package so I’ll be able to wait it out instead of succumbing to what I know will be a big, fat campaign to take psychotropics.

I have no idea if this is helpful information to you, but I’d bet at least part of your most unpleasant depression was a result of the stroke, not to mention the fact you’d undergone major surgery at the same time. Phew.

Thanks for writing.

Posted by: Sherry at August 17, 2009 08:55 AM

After surfing the web for hours, am finally happy to have stumbled across this site. I was traveling with friends abroad and ended up for a few days without my lamictal. I’m on 150 mgs which I have been on for 2 years after having been diagnosed with bi-polar. I am really not bi-polar but do get a very slight depression at times. I think it is hormonal, as it is near menopause. Also, trying times in my marriage that never seem to get resolved. Anyway, after a huge amount of anxiety about not having the meds, (including Trileptal, 300 mgs) I decide to just pray and take as many vitamins as I have and drink a lot of water. It’s been 5 days and apart from some major jet-lag and some dry mouth, there has been not anything grand to mention. I don’t know how much is the actual jet-lag and how much is the withdrawal. Am tired, spacey and unfocused, but hopefully that will go away once I am back on my normal time.

I don’t think that the pharma companies can just tell people that quitting cold turkey will be okay because if they do, many folks will just stop taking their meds. The fear factor kept me taking them long past the time I should have. I can’t wait to have my full cognitive function again. I really hope that my memory returns. Best of luck to you all.

Posted by: Sally at September 20, 2009 12:47 AM

Sally,
Are you planning on stopping the Lamictal and Trileptal all together? If so, PLEASE read more of the posts here. There are 2 other “Lamictal withdrawal” threads on this website.
Many times withdrawal doesn’t even begin for a few weeks. Both of those drugs are anti-seizure meds and abrupt withdrawal can cause seizures even if you never had them before.
Please keep us posted. I’m hoping you receive a miracle and have no withdrawal but I fear (based on experience and much research) that won’t be the case.

Posted by: Concerned at September 21, 2009 04:48 AM

I will be going to the psych later in the day, but am hoping for other patients opinions here. The side effects I’m experiencing from lowering my Lamictal from 150 to 100 is severe shaking to the point of my ribs and hip bones hurting, extreme nausea without actually vomiting, sweating from my palms, armpits and soles of my feet in 18 degree weather, panic/anxiety attacks and absolute insomnia, as in not sleeping AT ALL at night, not just getting a bad nights sleep. Are these some simular symtoms to other people or could I be experiencing something more severe?

No side effects affecting my mood or anything though – probably because I don’t have “bipolar” which is what I’ve been taking it for for the last 3 years. UGH!

Posted by: Alysa at December 2, 2009 09:07 AM

Alysa,
Withdrawaling too fast from Lamictal can cause seizures in people who have never had them.

I had the extreme nausea, I’ve heard many people mention sweating, insomnia and anxiety. I can’t remember the rest of my symptoms right now.

If nothing else has changed in your life (no other meds added or stopped, etc), I would definetely say those symptoms are due to the reduced dosage. It sounds extreme and I would go extremely slow in reducing it. Go back up to 150 and see it those symptoms subside. That should confirm it. Were you on a higher dose than 150 before or was that your maximum? If you were on a higher dose and this just started between 150 and 100, it could be withdrawal took some time to start (which happens with Lamictal often).
Don’t be surprised if you have effects on your mood during withdrawal too. Just be prepared.

Good luck.

Posted by: Damaged at December 2, 2009 02:28 PM

I had severe nausea, tremors and a feeling of wanting to rip my head off, the nausea lasted a month. Heart racing, and fatigue. This after dropping 50mg cold turkey. Seems to be getting better, mostly all physical symptoms, some weight loss as well.

Posted by: anonymous at December 2, 2009 07:53 PM

I had been taking lamictal for 5 or 6 years and at 400ml the past year. Before that I was taking 300ml for the previous 2 years. I was also taking 60ml of Ritalin for suppossed adult ADD. Twelve years ago I went on my first psych drug at ate 36, paxil, for depression. It made me laugh and smile but the sexual side effects were horrible and I had no energy. In January or 1999 I was put on Ritalin and Wellbutrin. I stayed on Wellbutrin for 5 years untill I was switched to Lamictal. I went throught a very traumatic experience last Winter where I went into a dissocaiated state and felt like I really ‘lost it’. . I think these drugs cause me to go into a type of ‘trance’ state that makes me very vulnerabvle to being demonized. I read 6 weeks ago that our modern pharmacy is just a dressed up version of old testament sorcery and if I was taking any of these mind-altering drugs, regardless of the reason, I was sinning and needed to repent. At that moment I quit all my drugs. I repented and felt very ‘clean’ and at peace. Today is my 35th day of cold turkey withdrawal. I have asked God to protect me from having any permanent damage, but what I have endured is such a nightmare. I have back pain, confusion, dreams that defy explanation, acute paranoia, feelings of worthlessness, and yet, I have HOPE!!!! I am a tennis instructor and national level racquetball player and playing these sports going through withdrawal is so hard. I see the ball and there is a slight ‘pause’ before everything else starts to operate. Each day I get better. Each day my visions improves and my emotions get closer to normal. These drugs stole so much from me, and I am determined to regain all of it. I will need to fast and pray and eat correctly to make it. I am so upset with the phychiatric community and the arrogance they have. People’s lives are being royally messed with and they either don’t care or are so greedy it doesn’t matter to them. My phone number is 641-680-3353 if anyone would like to talk and share stories. I have suffered a great deal as a consequence of these drugs.

Posted by: doug at December 22, 2009 10:25 AM

lAMICTAL SAVED MY LIFE. i AM ABLE TO PAUSE AND THINK ABOUT CONSEQUENCES. MY LIFE HAS IMPROVED ANd FOR THE FIRSTN TIME IN 30+ YEARS I FEEL NORMAL. INTERPERONAL RELATIONSHIPS-WORK ETC IS BeTTER THAN EVER.iF i HAVE TO TAKE IT FOR LIFE. SO BE IT; IT IS BeTTER THAN THE BI-POLAR MISERABLE EXPERINCES MY LIFE PRESENTED TO ME BEFORE. gOD, FRIENDS, UNDERSTANDING MY TRIGGERS ANF PROGRESSIVELY LESSENING ANY NEGATIVE RESPONSES HAS IMPROVED MY LIFE DRAMATICALLY. mAYBE IT DOES NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE, BUT MY LIFE IS BETTER SINCE MY DOCTOR GOT ME ON IT. THERE WAS A WAITING PERIOD BEFORE I flt results; but so much hppier and feeling “normal” has well been worth it for me.

Posted by: lynne finally at December 22, 2009 09:45 PM

I was started on Lamactil about a week ago by my neurologist as a secondary medication to Dilantin after Keppra started to make me very irritable. When I stopped the Keppra I did have 1 seizure, but that was when I hadn’t taken my Dilantin on time and I think that as long as I’m meticulous about taking it I’ll be OK, which is what I told my doctor. Of course we don’t know what is best for ourselves though. The doc decided that it was a bad idea for me to go down to just the Dilantin, and started me on this shitty Lamictal. Right away I went back to having severe mood swings, but this time blurred vision and double vision accompanied my shitty attitude. Afer 8 days of 50mg (starting dose for epileptic patients), I tried to contact my doctor who had told me to call with any questions or concerns. This was a couple days before Christmas and when I tried to contact them I got a message they were gone for the holidays and wouldn’t be back until the following Monday. This was on Wednesday though. I finally got someone to let me talk to the guy that was “acting” as the on-call physician, and found out why they call it the “acting on-call physician”. The guy was clueless. When I explained my problem with the new drug he basically told me that I could just stop and not worry about withdrawal since I’d only been taking it a short while. What a stupid fuck (pardon my language, but I am really starting to hate the medical community and their arrogance). I stopped and the next day I felt great. Of course today is the 2nd day off of it and I’m starting to feel withdrawal symptoms. I am dizzy, clumsy, and have BAD mood swings, which are threatening my employment already. When I started on this shit, and I do understand it may work for some people but not me, the only side effect they told me about was the rash. No mention of any long-term effects, dizziness, mood swings, irritability, withdrawal effects…etc… MY DOCTOR PISSES ME OFF!!!! I was only on this crap for a week and after just a day off of it (couldn’t do my work without being able to see straight), I’m having symptoms of withdrawal. Having just been on it for a week, does anybody know how long I might expect to have to deal with this. I am starting to feel nauseaus, my back is killing me, I am light-headed, and am losing my concentration after just a day. I’m hoping it will go away after just a day or so, but since the doctors prescribing this shit aren’t even trained to know the negative side effects and symptoms of withdrawal how are we as patients supposed to know them??? I personally feel like I as a person have been criminally violated. Of course I’m very irritable right now probably due to coming off of Lamictal (but who really knows since they won’t say and the doctors won’t admit it?). I think there’s probably a healthy kickback from GSK to the doctors prescribing it. I will be taking them to court if I flip out due to these awful withdrawal symptoms. Those greedy fucks should be ashamed of themselves. I was very happy to find this site while researching why I am feeling so shitty and it’s been a very big help. If anybody starts up a class-action suit against them please let me know. My e-mail address is kenevans@netzero.net good luck to everybody and I hope my input has helped somebody. It sure feels good to get it off of my chest – it’s the only thing that’s really felt GOOD for the past couple of days. Happy Holidays all. Dont let this Lamictal crap ruin you. I’m just glad I decided to get off of it early. I’d rather have an occasional seizure than to deal with this drug.

Posted by: Ken at December 25, 2009 09:22 PM

Ken,
Don’t you just friggin’ hate it when they say “call if you have questions” but they’re never available? I can so relate to the feelings you’re having about the medicos.

Keep hanging in. You might want to step back on the Lamictal at a very low dose, then step down at a slower rate. I suspect you’re correct, the docs won’t be much help with withdrawal. I haven’t had any problems myself in tapering off things but have read a lot about it here and mostly it seems common sense and patience gets you pretty far. Unfortunately, as you’ve noticed, both those traits are pretty lacking in the medical profession.

Keep researching. I have a friend who’s a logger. He has a seizure disorder, sounds as if it’s more petit mal in nature. Or at least he always gets an aura. When he feels a seizure coming on he turns off his chain saw, puts it down and waits for it to be over. He got off all meds a year or two ago, saw no difference in the frequency of seizures but felt a whole lot better in general.

Posted by: Sherry at December 26, 2009 01:24 PM

I’ve been on Lamictal since last spring…400 mg I think. I was on it to try to control my ADHD and Borderline, and for a while it worked great – totally levelled me out. But a while back it just stopped and I was back on the emontional rollarcoaster. I was almost out of the perscription and since money is tight I didn’t refill it. Dumb move :/

I’m all twitchy and jittery and shaky. I feel like I’m hungry all the time, even though I’m not. Im getting headaches and those odd vertigo-type twitches. I’m on edge and irritable; can’t sleep, but am always exhausted…its horrible.

I’ve thought I should get back on and try to taper, but having been off I could get the rash :/ And my husband – who used to love how I was when the stuff was working – insists that I stop altogether, which is probably a good idea since I’m already partway through th DTs

Just a bit nervous now tho from reading some of this…worried about getting seizures or dropping into worse depression/suicidal thoughts etc. I almost had a complete meltdown at work yesterday because I couldn’t stand the noise coming from the coffeemaker! I’m worried about comments from people who are still tapering down months later too – is there any way to make this a little easier?

Posted by: Maeve at January 10, 2010 07:43 PM

Maeve,
Your husbands insistance is cruel. Well…cruel if he knows what cold turkey could do to you mentally and physically… most likely just ignorant. And what you’re going through could last a long time.
You don’t say how long you’ve been off; if it’s been just a few weeks, I would get back on (slowly up-dosing).
I totally understand wanting to get it over with but it just doesn’t get you back to normal any faster.
When I quit taking 200mg, I had to go back on 100mg and reduce slowly because it was unbearable; the piercing headaches, extreme exhaustion, weird dizziness, etc., etc. I ended up having to quit my job. You could try going back up slowly until the withdrawal symptoms get better, stay at that dose for a month and then reduce. ANY tapering is better than cold turkey. There’s generic now too.

Whatever you do; don’t let your doctor talk you into anything new! That’s what happens when you ask for generic sometimes (sometimes even when you don’t).

GOOD LUCK!

Posted by: Damaged at January 11, 2010 07:10 AM

Does lamictal cause headlight lights in both eyes when they’re closed? And does the Lamictal rash itch?

Posted by: Jane at January 11, 2010 07:47 PM

I seriously cannot take this anymore. I should have fallen asleep 3 hours ago, but I’m absolutely wide awake. My mind feels tired, but it’s running wildly. My body feels exhausted, but it’s quivering. I have no idea how I’m going to work overtime tonight unless I stay up all day and all night, but if I’m lucky that might get me back into my normal sleep schedule…though that’s not terribly likely.

Is this what a manic phase feels like? How is it that more people don’t off themselves?? I’m horribly tempted to right now, sadly enough – my brain seems ti be on some other frequency altogether.

I need to get that perscription refilled today…I just don’t know how fast to go up or down. I just want this shit out of my system now! Why is this stuff making me feel like I’m losing my mind?? I’m never taking psych meds again – the illness isn’t half as bad as the cure…

Apologies for the rambling…I am hoping that someone might know the best amount for getting back on the dose as quickly as possible?

Posted by: Maeve at January 13, 2010 07:09 AM

I seriously cannot take this anymore. I should have fallen asleep 3 hours ago, but I’m absolutely wide awake. My mind feels tired, but it’s running wildly. My body feels exhausted, but it’s quivering. I have no idea how I’m going to work overtime tonight unless I stay up all day and all night, but if I’m lucky that might get me back into my normal sleep schedule…though that’s not terribly likely.

Is this what a manic phase feels like? How is it that more people don’t off themselves?? I’m horribly tempted to right now, sadly enough – my brain seems ti be on some other frequency altogether.

I need to get that perscription refilled today…I just don’t know how fast to go up or down. I just want this shit out of my system now! Why is this stuff making me feel like I’m losing my mind?? I’m never taking psych meds again – the illness isn’t half as bad as the cure…

Apologies for the rambling…I am hoping that someone might know the best amount for getting back on the dose as quickly as possible?

Posted by: Maeve at January 13, 2010 01:20 PM

Dear Fellow med addicts,

I had a nervous breakdown when after my son was born 5 years ago. With this breakdown I was being pushed and pressured by my evil mother-n-law (who I must forgive) for things that at the time I couldn’t produce. So I lost it and was hospitilized. At the hospital I was introduced to Head doctors (who only guess, wouldn’t call what they do as practicing medicine) and the beggining of the end of life as I knew it. I left that hospital on 13 different medications. I had no time at all to regroup because who I was suddenly became lost in a sea of psych meds. For the next three years I had so many ups and downs, I couldn’t get on my feet or grasp reality. I was hospitilized like 6 or 7 times in those 3 years. Doctors where like OMG your feeling this now, oh’ heres a pill for it.

It wasn’t until the last time I was hospitilized that I met the doctor who would wake me up. At the time I was on so many different medications. One to put me to sleep, one to wake me up and one to numb me to anything and everything life had to throw at me. H etook me off all of those others and put me on Lamictal 200mg and Seroquel 100mg and Ativan when needed for anxiety. Some off the fog that had become my exsistence had been lifted.

My father came to live with us and he drank heavily. He had my whole life and beat me and my mother as a child. But we let him in. I often spoke to him about his drinking and he would throw my medication right back in my face. So I quit the Seroquel and Ativan, but remained on Lamictal. It has been almost 8 months since Seoquel and Ativan. It was hard at first, but I am waking up more and more evryday. My family have noticed that the Rudy they knew is coming back 5 years later. Funny how we are there, but not present in the moment. I don’t remember the first 3 years of my sons life. Now I am here and moving forward.

I was called to preach 7 years ago and lost it 5 years ago. With all that medication I was not fit for God to use. How could I when I could not here his voice or feel his presence. Not to long after stopping the Seroquel and Ativan did a man of God come into my life and call me out without ever talking to me before. We had only hung out at work in groups and I never told anyone of my calling. It w is amazing how God works. I am in awe everyday at his glory and the scope of His wisdom.

I have been fasted for 1 week at the first of Janurary and many things were revealed and doors were opened , but I was afraid. I am now the Out Reach Pastor for a contemporary church focused on mission work. My hearts desire is missionary work. Now it is Janurary 25th and I will fast again for 30 days. Through God I will retrieve domain over my body. It will be hard. I am coming of Lamictal, it is the only thing I take now. We must be a willing vessel for Him to use. In order to help Pastor this church my head must be clear.

So I am coming off of this medicine and will repost when it is over. No food, no medicine, only the Word of God. This is the last time for 30 days that I will be on the Internet or watch television. Full trust and complete surrendor lead to that comforts all. My emotions are normal. Ups and downs are normal. These are all part of life and we need to learn to accept ourselves for who we are. God’s love is perfect and without limit. His grace will feed me and and His love will keep me. May your endevors be successful.

Be the Blessing,

Rudy

Posted by: Rudy at January 26, 2010 09:21 AM