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11/21/2011 06:16 AM

I'm not sure if Lamictal is working for me.

hjs1975
hjs1975  
Posts: 8
Member

This drug and my psychiatrist are brand new to me. So, after discussing my ongoing issues (including anxiety and depression) she had me begin on the Lamictal starter pack (10/4/11)... I believe it was 2wks of 25mg, 2wks of 50mg, then on to the 100mg. Then we bumped it up to 150mg (11/2/11) and she said I should increase my dose by 50mg each week until I feel a difference in my mood...

She hasn't officially diagnosed me with bipolar, however I've tried MANY SSRIs and SNRIs over the past decade, most of which had adverse side affects and basically made me feel 10x worse... Cymbalta was THE DEVIL!!

This Wednesday I continue on to 300mg, and honestly, I don't feel any different from when I began (which could be a good thing considering the adverse affects of the other drugs I tried).

I work a high stress job at night, which means that when I get home, I can't just "shut off" and go to sleep. Even if I try, my thoughts chatter away (reflecting on the past days events or what's to come of the next day)...

For many years past, I have basically lived in a "hibernation" state during the winter months... Deeply depressed!.. I don't want leave my apartment, I don't want to talk on the phone, I don't want to see my friends or family... All I do is sleep and go to work (if I didn't have to pay my bills, I probably wouldn't even get up for work).

And then when the spring arrives, it's like I'm a social butterfly! I'm energetic, the creative juices are flowing (I've got a brand new plan to keep me out of the "FUNK"Wink, I want to spend money on all the family and friends that I've neglected for the past few months...

I don't know... Like I mentioned earlier, my winter months were always the worst! I'm hoping for the best, but still feel really stressed!!

Any thoughts?! Thanks Smile

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11/21/2011 08:01 AM
Joy75
Joy75  
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You know, when I started Lamictal, I thought it wasn't doing anything for the longest time. Then 2 years after I'd been on it, my doctor tried weaning me off of it. I got really depressed. So, it was doing something. I was then convinced that it worked. I think it's a great mood stabilizer if you are able to take it. Is this the only medication you are on? If it is, you probably need other medications with it. I take 5 medications and some even take more. That's the norm with bipolar. The least the better, but a lot of us require many. It sounds like you have seasonal affective disorder. That's when the seasons affect you with depression. I'm not a doctor though, so you'll want to ask your doctor about that. A special light can help you in the winter months. All that you have said is good to bring up to your psychiatrist. He knows best. As far as Lamictal goes, if you don't think it's working, be sure to tell your doctor. Like I said though, when I was starting to wean off, I got really depressed. Once it was increased again, I felt better. You are going to love all the support you will get here. Many friends are to be made and everyone is so nice. I welcome you to the group!!

11/21/2011 08:16 AM
uppitywoman
uppitywoman  
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Welcome to the group! I hope you find folks as supportive as I do. Like Joy, at first I didn't notice a difference, but I finally did on a high enough dose. I take 400 mg daily, but I also supplement it with Wellbutrin. I have no doubt that if I stopped taking it I would be affected adversely. It takes a little while for it to really kick in, so hang in there and give it a chance. You may need to have a higher dose just like I do.

11/21/2011 09:08 AM
sarahtroy
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Hi there, A warm welcome to MDJ. This is a very encouraging, supportive and informative group. If you have any questions, you can send a private message (PM) to me or any other group leader.

I take Lamictal, 400mg HS. I regard it as one of my single most important medications. Lamictal takes a while to build up in the blood stream, so I think it's too early for you to notice much of a difference. It's a marvelous mood stabilizer with antidepressant properties.

My experience was similar to Joy's. After being on it a couple of years, I decided it wasn't helping me anymore and went off of it. HUGE mistake. I became so unstable and depressed, nearly suicidal, that I almost had to be hospitalized. It took me 6 months to become stable again.

So, I encourage you to stick with your doctor's plan for the Lamictal.

As an aside, I am also on multiple meds (see my signature, below).

Best of Luck and welcome to MDJ.


12/02/2011 12:19 AM
hjs1975
hjs1975  
Posts: 8
Member

Thank you for the warm welcome! Smile

I finally saw my pdoc this past Wednesday. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see her any sooner, because of the Holiday and other scheduling conflicts... However, during my last visit (beginning of November) she told me to increase my dose of Lamictal by 50mg each week until I noticed a difference in my mood ... When I saw her on Wednesday (I was up to 300mg of Lamictal) I told her that although I wasn't experiencing my normal, seasonal depression, I was still feeling very "blah" (unmotivated and lethargic) like I always do this time of year…

A bit more about me before I continue… I mentioned in my last post that I work a “high stress job at night”… More specifically, I work in the restaurant industry which keeps me on my feet (literally) and my on my toes (dealing with patrons and their various needs and wants)… As a whole, I love what I do for a living (I've been doing it for 18 years and for me, the pros outweigh the cons)! It's hard to describe the ups and downs of this industry, but in general it keeps me feeling like I'm an active part of society, being able to physically interacting with people each day (as opposed to working a “corporate/desk job”, which I tried and hated) …

For me, there are only three major downfalls to this industry. They are dealing with the “needy patrons” who you just can't seem to please, trying to keep the peace with the late-night customers who have been cut off from alcohol and still want more!! And finally, (but most importantly), having to have this “off switch” at work (putting on that “happy face”, even when I feel at my worst), then getting home early in the AM and having to deal with my own issues… I am sure that there are other people with late-night careers (ER doctors and nurses come to mind… Lol…), who might experience similar situations. Smile

With that said, I'll move on to what my pdoc prescribed for me during my visit this past Wednesday. She increased my dose of Lamictal from 300mg to 400mg and added 5mg of Abilify. She said to begin the Abilify next Wednesday, as she increased the Lamictal this week and said that it's not good increase one med and start taking another in the same week… I take the Lamictal before I go to bed and since beginning the Lamictal, I've still had issues with falling asleep as my brain continues to churn after I get home from work (she is hoping that the increase in dosage will help with my nightly racing thoughts)… Once I'm finally asleep, I'll sleep for 9/10+ hours (normal for me)… And I explained to her that I'm tired (for lack of a better word) of feeling like I'm sleeping my days away and that I was really hoping that the Lamictal would help me with this issue too!

Most nights I get home from work around 1/1:30am and realistically would like to fall asleep by 3/4am and be up and feeling alive by 10/11am… My pdoc prescribed the Abilify and said it should give me a “boost”?!? I Googled the Lamictal/Abilify cocktail which generated many results… None of which I related to… Hence my in-depth post!

My question is, does anyone relate to what I've described and/or been prescribed the Lamictal/Abilify combo? And if so, I'd love to hear about your experience!! Smile Sorry about this lengthy explanation of my situation and the meds that I have been prescribed, but I figure the more I share, the better the response! Thank you for taking the time to read my post! Smile

P.S. I think it might be to my benefit to start a new thread with the post “Lamical/Abilify Combo”… So, I'm sorry if you see this post as a repeat. Smile


12/02/2011 12:32 AM
pheonixanime
pheonixanime  
Posts: 1647
Senior Member

never appologize for needing to go into depth it helps us better understand you can never have too much info. now. Im no doctor but I agree with joy i think you have S.A.D, i do too it sucks. also since you work a night shift ask your pdoc about ritalin it will stimulate you. my sleep specialist reccomended it for me since i am a swing and grave worker but i was already on it for ADHD so that worked out lol. abilify has been amazing for me. lamictal i just started and am only at 25mgs. but i want to think its helping cause i feel less blah, if you need more energy try a B-12 suppliment it is AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING and did i mention AMAZING? you would be suprised what vitamins and minerals you could be defficent in, B12 is one that most people are low on also vitamin D. with vitamin d you want the 10,000 ui and with the B12 you want one dropper full. you WILL notice more energy. I also want to tell you how happy i am that you get so much sleep. alot of us on this site have sleep problems so kuedos to sleep!!! hang in there, you will feel much better on the abilify (hoping for you)

12/02/2011 04:43 AM
Aravis
Aravis  
Posts: 681
Member

Hello! I also just started lamictal, only a couple of days ago! Am praying it will work well for me. I have a good friend who has been taking lamictal for many years and really likes it - she has remained stable for a long time!

Fingers crossed for us eh? Smile


12/02/2011 04:44 AM
pheonixanime
pheonixanime  
Posts: 1647
Senior Member

lets all keep our fingers crossed and hey! statistically it will work for atleast one of us right?

12/02/2011 07:35 AM
Joy75
Joy75  
Posts: 16594
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

I'm on Abilify and it stopped my racing thoughts for me. It's a great drug in my opinion. I does also augment the antidepressant, but it makes me tired, so I have to take a stimulant. I hope this works out for you with this combination of medications.
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