I have a doctor who prescribed me Lamictal, when I was on last check up. Unfortunately, after a week and a half of taking it, I finished in the hospital. I had a rash on every inch of my body, and I had a temperature. Moreover, since I had to stop to Lamictal while in the hospital, I had many seizures as well. Can anyone tell me more about Lamictal withdrawal symptoms, because now I am not sure this is appropriate medicine for me?
I could share my experience with you, because Lamictal has not been great for me either. I started with Lamictal last July, ramping up slowly, and the only major side effects so far are loss of short time memory, dizziness, and dry mouth. I finally reached a dose that worked, at least for a while. After being on Lamictal for 6 weeks, and increasing weekly by 25mg, it went so far, until I spent the last two weeks on 100 mg. Then I realized I have the same problem, because a rash appeared. Although the rash stayed on my legs, I had spots beginning to appear on my arms and my stomach. Everything was beginning to itch, and I felt like my skin was so bad. My problem with the rash was bright red and just kept spreading. That is why, my doctor told me to go ahead and stop taking the Lamictal. What is interesting, she did not think I should have to back off slowly, so I guess there are no withdrawals symptoms. However, few days I was off the Lamictal, I am begun having problems with dry eyes, headache, fatigue, and dizzy all the time. I guess those were Lamictal withdrawal symptoms, but now everything passed.
In the past week I have tried to quit cold turkey. It didn't work, which brought me here to check out withdrawal symptoms. I just want to be able to manage it myself
It was pure hell. I could not function, I felt dizzy, drunk, no coordination, tired, my head felt lop-sided. IT truly was like being in a different world. I became so ill, I didn't even look like myself. I started feeling a manic episode coming on.
You may ask WHY, I would put myself through that? It's simple. It is totally scary to me to depend on something that you can't live without. What if sometime, for some reason I can't afford them, or simply can't get them???
I have resolved to ask my doctor to take me off of them after the holidays. At the risk of going into the hospital!! My doctor's office like to send you to a rehabilitation facility, without your consent if you even ask!!! Actually IT'S A MENTAL INSTITUTION!!There has to be something better then lamictal... Does anybody know of anything?
BTW I went back on it today....
Thanks for your time.
Let's see, I am 28 years old and was prescribed Lamictal for Bipolar II.
Well, everything was fine, I ramped up to 200mg as I was supposed to.
I was on this for 8-10 months and I decided that I was on too many medications and Lamictal wasn't really helping that much anyhow, so I stopped taking it one day.
Well, on the third day with no Lamictal I began to feel really, really strange.
I have stopped taking Paxil and Lexapro before, so I expected the headaches and feeling crappy stuff. This was very different.
I was at one of our schools (I work for a school district) and I ended up wondering around the basement. I was down there to get something, but then I was just, lost or someting. I had no idea where I was or what I was supposed to be doing or anything!
I ended up having a Dr. appointment right after that and I drove to the office (I really should not have) and got lost at least twice.
I go to this office once a week at least and it is less that a few miles away from where I was. I just suddenly had no idea what I was doing again.
I kept thinking I was in Tennessee for some reason! (I live in Indiana)
At the Dr's office, I started to lose the ability to focus. I couldn't really control my movements very well and it was getting worse and worse.
Anyway, I ended up going to the hospital, and they ran all of these tests on me. I forgot that I was not taking the med anymore until later that night. The next morning, they gave me all my meds, including the Lamictal, and suddenly I was fine again!
Are you kidding me?
Then, two weeks after that I starting noticing all of this itching.
I though I was perhaps allergic to something.
All of these tiny bumps, almost like braille starting appearing on my groin, ankles, feet, and forearms. The Dr. gave me all of this stuff, creams, anti-biotics, anti-fungal meds....
I went to the specialist and he said that it was Pityoriosis Rosia?
A mystery virus you get for no reason.
Months later, it is still there, barely, but it is.
Could this just be from stopping Lamictal suddenly and re-starting it?
I don't really even want to be on this anymore.
I missed ONE dose and I felt like I was going crazy after about 30 some hours since the last dose? Has anyone else experienced that?
Can anyone recommend to me? I'll talk with my psychiatrist, but at this point I really don't trust them. I'm thinking of cutting bak to half - 100mg immediately for maybe a week or two, then 75 mg and see how I react.
At 200mg I'm finding the side-effects of Lamictal too intolerable. My hair loss, sexual dysfunction (ED) and lack of concentration threatening my job performance, it's time to get off this c**p. Doctors are horrible at masnaaging lamictal. All they want to know is how my depression and BP2 are feeling, and never ask about the side effects. They are convinced that the side effects are trivial compared to the benefits. And over time this can change drastically as in my case.
Ironically the symptoms of hair loss and sexual dysfunction are causing more stress and depression than the drug is preventing. So it's time to get off the drug.
I wonder about another strategy and wonder if anyone has been recommended this. To cut back to a half or third of the dose and keep some minimal (non-therapeutic) level in my blood, and then I can quickly increase blood levels if/when symptoms of BP2/depression reappear? I think lamictal is very fast-acting compared to other anti-depressants, and think this might work. I hate to self prescribe myself, but I fear that doctors are trained by the drug companies - where else would they get post-graduation training? I resent that the medical profession relies on the pharmaceutical companies for "objective" information on drug side-effects, training, and alternative dosing strategies.
In retrospect, I think I need to be much more inquisitive with my doctor, take responsibility and make them respond to my concerns about negative side-effects of the drugs. I can't blame my doctor alone.
Lamictal can have other serious side effects. For bipolar patients, it's quite possible that the initital side effects are better than what you experience with your illness. However, as you are better able to manage your disease and the medication causes symptoms to decrease, some strong persistent side effects may make you feel worse than you otherwise would. Xana, Monica, Guest, please find doctors who understand this. Two years ago, I believe that Lamictal gave me the strength I needed to quit my job, dedicate time to therapy, and live in hope. During the personal sabbatical that ensued and saved my life and marriage, a little fatigue or nausea was no big deal. Now, the incredible fatigue Lamictal causes me and the interference with word recall are really damaging my ability to work an 8 to 5 as a professional writer. My life siutation has changed, the progress of my illness has changed, and now my meds should change too.
Remember that you take medication to increase your quality of life not to please your doctor. Only you know how much one thing or another affects your daily ability to function. If you are having a difficult time with your doctor, keep a daily journal of your physical and mental symptoms as well as daily health indicators like how much you are able to sleep, eat, etc. This data will help you evaluate how much the medication may be affecting you negatively. The data will also help your doctor to understand what you experience and how often. You may discover other helpful information from your journal such as how too little sleep affects your emotions, etc.
You NEED to be honest with your doc about reducing or quitting your medication. It can take many weeks for the Lamictal to fully clear your system, during which time you can develop some serious side effects - chronic headaches, seizures, agitation - or you may have questions. Without complete information, your doctor will not be able to effectively treat you should the need arise. Also, a symptom that you might think is minor, your doctor might identify as significant if he/she knows that it could be related to the withdrawal process.
Even for those who become unstable when off of Lamictal, there are plenty of alternative medications and medication combination. If a doctor says otherwise or pressures you to use something that doesn't feel good for your body, find a new doctor immediately.
All of this said, I decided after 18 months to stop Lamictal. The fatigue, lack of balance, and interference with word recall were dampening my ability to participate fully in my professional life and my hobbies. However, before I cold taper my dose, I developed a crushing migraine that may or may no have been related to Lamictal. Under the care of two doctors, I discontinued the drug immediately. For the past three weeks now I have had a series of brutal headaches which may or may not be related to withdrawal. Only a full 8 weeks to allow for all of the metabolites to clear my body will indicate for certain whether the headache is related past medication therapy. Fortunately, I am being closely monitored to ensure my health and safety moving forward. As well, I have a therapist and a psychiatrist who are watching me to be sure that I don't slide in a bad direction while off medication and feeling physically unwell. These supports are critical to my comfort as side effects develop and critical to my long-term health and safety. Please do not violate your doctor's trust and put yourself at risk by managing your own withdrawal.
Recently I lost my prescription beneift and found out it would cost 400$ a month to conitnue this drug. I am out of work and the psychiatrist said I could try being off of it and see how I do. I tapered myslef off over several days, the last dose being 5 days ago. Today, I am suddenly having those same withdrawal symptoms again. I pray for no seizure activity. I will not take pyschotropic drugs again if I can help it.
Anyway, that aside, I have come off of several of my 7 drugs since that time and now am down to just 2. One of them is Lamictal. I started to come off of this when I finally realized that my migraines were caused by this drug. If I do not take the usual 300 mg, I do not have them. If I take the dose, I have them. Simple. So go off of it. Ahhh, now here is the problem.
I have only gone down from 300 to 200 for the last 3 days. I feel disoriented, dizzy, nauseated and I really don't care about eating until I am actually starving. On the up side, no headache, but a loud buzz in the head instead. I do feel a little confused and strange which makes me leery of continuing the cessation. I'm thinking going down by 50 mgs at a time might be safer.
I agree that we don't talk with our shrinks as we should because some of them will simply start switching you around instead of really listening to what you're saying. I am going to attempt a dialogue with my doc on this at the risk of listening to his long winded explanations of how drugs work that have little to do with my actual medication. Well that's my choice, to continue to see someone that doesn't help too?
But I do understand the comment of why we take the stuff in the first place. That is another concern altogether. When I was in the hospital the mantra was "stay on your meds" at least once or twice a day and that does stick in the mind. But after all of these years, it would be great to be migraine free and not so tired every single day of my life. Oh and I'd like to remember my bosses last sentence too.
You're supposed to take it down by about 50mg every 2 weeks.
I decided to come off them because i was worse on the meds than off them, miserable, fatigued, exausted, couldnt move, couldnt concentrate, short term memory loss.
Ive come off them now but i didnt give each dosage 2 weeks and ive coem off them too fast, im now suffering from mild but regular headaches, dry mout and irritability but hopefully it will all pass soon!