Rejoicing yes, but still dealing with toxic meds

Warning: rambling ahead!

Ever since I’ve been on Lamictal I’ve had problems with varying degrees of nausea. Sometimes quite severe. I’ve missed work for years due to Lamictal nausea and I also spent years trying to figure out what was causing it by going to gastro docs repeatedly who gave me a panoply of medicines which did nothing. My psych doc never told me it could be Lamictal making me sick. I finally figured out it was the Lamictal—don’t remember how, but when I stopped taking a morning dose and only took it at night the daytime nausea remitted and I didn’t miss as much work, though I stayed up many a night quite ill.

The strange thing now is that though I’ve gone from 400 mg of Lamictal down to 50 mg as of tonight the nausea continues and strangely enough has even gotten worse.

I hope some day I can better relay what my current doctor does for me, but in healing my body it seems I get more and more sensitive to the toxic nature of these meds. I cut down the Lamictal and the nausea gets a little better but a day or two later it’s back with a vengeance.

It wakes me up and it’s truly agony—a strangely painful nausea. I don’t have it in the day time most days, though occasionally it sticks around all day. Generally it’s time limited after having ingested the Lamictal. And one odd thing about it is I have never vomited though it can be quite excruciating.

The last three days as I’ve been preparing to move (we moved today!) I’ve had very little sleep because of the nausea. I wake up groaning and try to sleep through it as long as possible, but generally at some point it gets me out of bed and I’m up for a few hours. I drink ginger tea made from fresh ginger and that helps. Tonight, god bless him, my husband went to a 24 hour market as our ginger was left at the old house. We don’t have a refrigerator in the new house until tomorrow. We’d both gone to bed early as we were both wasted with the moving. I was up less than two hours later with the horrible nausea and my dear husband got up with me.

The lack of sleep caused by the nausea has made me cranky and unpleasant to be around. Granted moving is stressful in any case.

Anyway, on a brighter note, we’re in our new home!! It’s so beautiful. I can’t begin to express how happy it makes me. I never felt at home in our last house. Never.

I’m funny in a way about architecture. I love old homes. 1920’s or earlier but especially Victorian and Arts and Craft homes. I especially love built in cabinetry and the architectural features like the windows. When I live in a home from these era’s it feels profoundly different to me. There is an energy in these homes that make me feel like I belong and that I am at home.

It makes me wonder about reincarnation. Was I particularly happy in a past life with this sort of architecture surrounding me? I’m only being half facetious, but I’m such a practical and skeptical person by nature that I feel embarrassed to say such things. It’s simply I don’t know how else to explain the profound peace I feel in this house and in the other houses of this era I’ve lived in previously.

The animals love the house too. It’s much bigger and they can move around freely. Our dog loves the yard. It’s very large and all fenced in. At our other home she was on a very generous lead, but a lead is a lead…

Of course, our dog calls the shots and she’s in the house with us most of the time!

The cats will get to venture outdoors in a week or so. There are many very large old trees in the yard. One of my cats in her younger years used to get stuck up trees. I hope her relative old age will keep her out of the trees. I’m sure she has a great time getting up there, but once she disappeared for 3 days before we found her up a neighbors tree all wet after a rainstorm. It was a horrifying experience.

Anyway our whole family is happy here. And if my cat gets stuck up a tree at least she’ll be nearby and we’ll be able to find her easily.

We need so many things for the house. It’s very expensive to move. We will be living in a sparsely furnished house for a while I think. We’ve already bought a refrigerator and a washer and dryer. That pretty much broke the bank. They arrive tomorrow so we can start living in a move civilized fashion. Right now we’ve got an ice chest with very little in it.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful messages of congratulations and joy at my accomplishment in finishing the Risperdal withdrawal. The outpouring of support was deeply satisfying.

18 thoughts on “Rejoicing yes, but still dealing with toxic meds

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  1. Hey, I have two good friends who used to be drug reps…anyone can be redeemed!!

    That 5 day Lamictal withdrawal sounds insane…

    I suggest you look at my “About” page at the top of this blog. There are tips on diet, nutrition and emotional care…with resources that take you off this blog.

    DBT helps some people a lot.

    I’m finding ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) helpful now and I bought the textbook for professionals. I don’t like stuff written for patients…they tend to think we’re dumbshits. So I’m my own therapist now.

  2. Don’t hate me but I was a drug rep. I sold drugs for depression along with a few other (non-psych) disease states. The irony- I got crushed by a manager and am now (years later) still dealing with the PTSD, depression and other crap that resulted from it. Oh, yeah, I had lots of crap built up prior to this break; it just took this manager to break me.

    Now I’m still broken but trying to find my way back. It’s difficult- I was always a very high achiever (when interested) and now wonder if it was a fluke. Nothing like having the person you were die to make you wonder if you were ever alive at all.

    My inpatient supervised taper from 300mg of Lamictal to ZERO (five days) has left me shaky in more ways than one. The tic in my left eyelid is driving me crazy (short drive), I’m itchy (no rash), nauseous, have virulent diarrhea, sleepy, teary/emotionally unstable, and have more issues that I ever knew I could relate to drugs and the withdrawal therefrom. No more rages yet (had one in the hospital that required a shot of Haldol- first time thing for me) thank goodness. Just anger and quite a bit when I have the energy.

    Here’s a question for all of you. The social worker in the hospital and the doctor who followed me (not my psych) both recommended DBT. It’s not really common around here but want to know if anyone has had luck with it. The guy who followed me in the hosp said I don’t have BPD but do have a lot of anger (childhood crap- go figure) and that the BPD may help. CBT was also recommended. I’m one of those ‘all or nothing’ people with very few boundaries. If you meet me- you get me- no ‘personas’ for different situations. I always thought that was a good thing and now find out it’s not supposed to be. I know- we’re always looking for an ‘expert’ to tell us what “should” be…when we should be listening to the expert within. It’s so hard to hear her when we’ve been told we’re just plain messed up. After all, how can you be an expert when you’re not mentally “healthy?”

    Sorry for the rambling. Some of you know where I am right now. Thanks for the understanding.


  3. Thank you for this… I was just taken off of lamictal for depression. I did a supervised (in-patient) withdrawal and am now home. I have not taken Lamictal for five (including today) days. I have been SO sick!! Tons of nausea, dizziness and diarrhea. I didn’t know what was wrong and they didn’t seem to know (in the hospital) that this withdrawal was the problem. Ginger beer (Reed’s e-tra) has been a saving grace for me. I hate taking another med but Pepto Bismol tablets have been my saviour along with the ginger beer. Now that I read this, I know it’s not just all in my head…at least not anymore! 🙂

  4. Hi bipme,
    thanks…my nausea doesn’t happen until the drug is well within my system…it’s not while it’s sitting in my stomach, so eating something with the drug does nothing…

    however once I’m nauseas ginger tea helps take the edge off for a couple of hours at a time…

    glad you’re being cautious…if that’s the only thing I impart here I’ll be happy…

    though there have been people who have blamed me for being too doom and gloom.

    the truth is there is a vast spectrum of what can happen during a withdrawal…if you’re lucky and can do it willy nilly good for you, but people should always be ready to listen to their body and be ready to take gentle cautious care…

    be well.

  5. I too, recently began to take myself off of Lamictal. I did have a very uncomfortable night after reducing mgs. Figured I was coming off too fast. Felt like my head was going to explode. Upped lamictal mgs just a little the next day. One psych prof. told me on rough days, to pretend it was like having the flu. Get LOTS of rest, take it easy, no physical exertion, etc. I’ll bet all the moving you’ve done recently and the upheaval, (even though you looked forward to moving) was tougher on you than maybe you thought?? After reading about giannakali experience, (Very helpful, and thanks giannakali for sharing that) I am doing my best to be cautious. Reading it taught me to take care of MYSELF in my quest to rid my life of lamictal. The quest in an of itself may not benefit you if handled without maximum selfsupport. The two (yourself & the lamictal reduction) go hand in hand.

    I also take Daypro and a little tramadol for arthritis and I must eat a little bit to avoid nausea even if its just crackers or a slice of bread. Any meds on an empty stomach makes me feel nauseas. Hope this helps. I hope you get some time to kick back and enjoy your new home. bipme (bi-polar in Maine)

  6. Gianna,

    The house sounds wonderful! Congrats on making the move…glad everyone, including the pets, are happy and at home…

    I too have morning nausea pretty regularly (which has at times made me think “am i pregnant?”), but fortunately it doesn’t sound as severe as what other people have posted, and it’s pretty short lived…seems to go away if I eat…and actually may not even be connected to my meds, since I remember having this characteristic as a kid (if I woke up too early, I’d feel nauseous).

  7. Susan,
    vomiting daily…what we put ourselves through in the name of medical treatment??!!

    that’s interesting…it makes me rather confused. I definitely have had it as a toxic reaction and when I cut it down it gotten better in the past…but I’m wondering now if maybe the opposite is happening and I’m having withdrawal symptoms??

    The thing is I cut down by only 2.5 mg at a time…but maybe it’s caught up with me?? Who knows…

    I’m just so tired because it keeps me awake!!

  8. I didn’t have stomach problems with the Lamictal unless I missed a dose, and when I started weaning off it at the doctors pace (50 mg at a time) I got terribly sick. I connected the two right away and slowed down the withdrawal. I am almost free!!!!

    Congrats on your house, look on for a clawfoot tub. In my neck of the woods there are TONS for FREE.

  9. Gianna,
    I sure know about the nausea. I think I vomited almost every day for six years. Hope you feel better. And congrats on being in your new house. That’s so very exciting, and you sound so happy!


  10. I’m with Jazz, I had such horrible nausea from trazodone that I couldn’t continue to take it. I was losing weight because I couldn’t even eat. (Should have kept some around as a quick weight loss method when I needed to lose a few pounds – just kidding!).

    It is wonderful that you are in your new house and loving it. Nothing feels as good as being comfortable and at ease in your home.

  11. wow…I’ve been on both Lithium and Trazodone at various times and neither caused nausea…it’s so strange how drugs act so differently with different people.

    I’m just glad that soon this too will be over.

    I was up for four hours last night with nausea so bad I couldn’t sleep and now I’m up after sleeping a bit—another night with too little sleep and the nausea continues—it’s generally been going away during the day, but not every day.

    Gonna have more ginger tea now…

  12. I had terrible nausea from trazodone….every night while I was on it.

    The new house sounds wonderful…I’m so glad you love it and feel a connection there. I’ve never really felt a connection with any of the places I’ve lived…even in the home we’re in now, which we built ten years ago. It’s just another place to live.

  13. Oh yes, the nausea. It’s a constant companion with me and lithium. I’ve learned to live my life around a bathroom or a bucket, and carry a toothbrush and mouthwash everywhere I go.

    I love hard wood floors too. For the last 11 years, I have had them in my apartment, with beautiful old (and I mean 100 year old) Orientals I inherited.

    I wish I had a claw foot tub too. So romantic.

    About reincarnation and buildings, Yes, I understand that too. Never felt it living in America, but when I worked in the UK, I felt it a great deal.

    Glad your move went OK and the animals are settled. Your hubby sounds great getting you the ginger. And you know what they say… a good man really is hard to find.

  14. oh my god, I missed that part…wooden floors are a must!! And I’ve lived with carpet for the past 8 years…

    our floors are gorgeous!!

    the only thing missing is a claw foot tub and I intend to remedy that situation eventually! someone “remodeled” with an ugly new boxed in tub and shower…I WILL get a claw foot tub back in there eventually!!

  15. Gianna,

    Hope you get the nausea under control – glad to hear you’re still doing well in so many other ways!

    I agree – there is something very special about the older homes – from that era….

    They are very special – they have character, and feel much more like homes than just houses….

    Also, getting away from carpets and into a home with hardwoods should really help – no formaldahyde in old wooden floors – besides, they’re beautiful.

    So happy for you!


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