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11/09/2007 04:34 PM

When does Lamictal usually start helping?

polarbear
sheilabeila  
Posts: 262
Member

I know it differs for many people, but how long did it take for those of you on Lamictal for it to start working for you? I've been on Lamictal combined with Effexor for 17 days now and I know it takes awhile to start working, but I havent felt any difference yet. Actually, Im having another nite of MANIA after two days of depression! Ive noticed that most posters have said that they are taking like 100 to 600 mg of Lamictal a day, and I have just now got to the point of taking 25 mg a day. For the first 2 weeks, I had to take one 25mg Lamictal a day every other day and I dont feel any difference besides loss of appetite. I do feel a little dizzy, but it hasnt helped with the depression or manic epidosdes yet! Im staying positive and going to keep taking them as the doc prescribed, but Im so scared of being let down again. Oh yea, I havent mentioned that I have tried Depakote before and it made me INSANE and also have tried just about every antidepressant available! Im feeling very manic right now and I cant seem to shutup! I didnt sleep at all last nite, I havent eaten a bite all day, my teeth hurt from grinding them and its all given me a huge headache! Ok, I will quit complaining for now!!
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11/09/2007 08:55 PM
momof2rugrats
momof2rugrats  
Posts: 1176
Senior Member

polar - im with you, trying to stay positive!I counted out my pills the other day..I was like 'ONLY 10 days I have been taking this stuff?' I am still with the 25mg..Said I could bump up to 50 at 2 week point..That will be next week..She said it varies..She said some feel different in 6 weeks, 6 months & she said mothers could take up to a year!!I was like WHAT...I guess all the added daily stresses..Im with you on the mania..Watched a move, then I have been cleaning house, its almost 11pm here and I told hubby I would be in bed 15 minutes ago HAHA..Im tellin ya the teeth grinding thing is driving me INSANE!I have had a headache every day..I dont even realize im doing it UGH

Anyways, i hope it starts working soon for us!!!

Hang in there

Amber


11/09/2007 10:46 PM
sblaque29

I understand how you feel. My son was diagnosed 3 weeks ago. He is 14 and he is taking Vyvanse and Lamitcal 25mg for 2 weeks and then he goes up. It worked with him (I think) the second day he started taking it. However, he did have an episode at school the other day. Im thanking God for the medication because I was about to loose my mind dealing with his episodes. He is a very good kid. Hang in there when you get to the 50mg it will hopefully get better for you. Im praying for all here who are going through this trying to get their kids as well as other loved ones well (for the most part). Its going to be a day by day process and not all days will be bad ones.

sblaque29


11/10/2007 07:08 AM
Lustrious

Polarbear,

I have recently been diagnosed with BP and was started on Lamictal about 6 weeks ago. When I was diagnosed I was in the one of my deep deep depressions. My doc started me on the 25mg every other day dosing for the first two weeks, then 25mg every day for two weeks and now I am on 50mg every day. My doc told me at my first visit that I would probably not even notice a difference on lamictal - not because it wasn't working but because it is one of those meds that does not mess with the mind. She was referring to how Lithium and Depakote can make people feel drugged and out of touch. My depression continued to last for nearly a month of taking the Lamictal and then gradually and I mean gradually my depression started lessening. My mood went from depressed to one of not being happy but not being sad either. I was not sure about that because I don't believe one should go through life not feeling any emotions - like what is the point of living if you don't feel anything? Today I am no longer depressed (not sleeping 12 to 14 hours every night). I finally have some energy and can get things done that need to be done. I am still a bit anti-social and do not want to go out and do anything or be around anyone for more than 30 minutes to an hour at a time. I am forcing my self to get out of the house at least twice a week right now and find once I do get out I am ok with it. I know for every medication the theraputic range is different. Some require a higher dose than others and some react different for others. It was hard for me when I first started taking the lamictal because I am one of those that do not like waiting for anything (I want it yesterday not tomorrow - LOL) I guess what I am trying to say is give it some more time. Hope your moods start stabilizing for you soon!


11/10/2007 07:38 AM
Lustrious

Oh my I forgot to address the inability to sleep. For me when I am manic (which I prefer to call my Up days) I have noticed that no or little sleep only fuels the fire and makes the mania worse! The less sleep I get the less sleep I need until I am going 3 to 4 days without sleep and at that point I will bite peoples heads off for no reason!

When I first started taking the Lamictal I also noticed that I was constanly keeping my jaw locked and was doing the teeth grinding. I am still doing that but not nearly as much (more like occassionally now). I think when I do the locking of the jaw or the teeth grinding is when I am feeling stressed or experiencing anxiety. Because it is not as frequent now I am not as concerned about it and believe it will completely stop soon. Even when I am depressed there are nights that I can not get to sleep and have to take Ambien and sometimes Valium - there are nights that does not even help but most of the time it does. You might want to talk to your doc about taking something to help wind you down and relax. I refuse to take antidepressents as a sleep aid!

I hope you keep us updated on how the lamictal is affecting you - I think you need to give it more time. Just because others require a much higher dose does not mean you will. You may stabilize on 50mg or 100 mg a day - only time will tell. Are you seeing your doc monthly to monitor how Lamictal is working for you? My doc has me coming in once a month right now. Keep your chin up as much as possible and try to be patient (I know that is easier said than done)but to me it would be better than having multiple medications prescribed when in reality you don't need all of them. I told my doctor when she first diagnosed me not to hand me a bunch of prescriptions because if I ever started getting a drugged/drunk or out of touch feeling I would not take the meds. I guess that is the R.N. in me Wink


11/10/2007 08:03 PM
carmen33
carmen33  
Posts: 8702
VIP Member

Hi, I find it interesting that most of you were started on the one every other day, mine started me out at 25mg per day and then after a couple of weeks, we went to 50, then 100, then 150 and now at 300 per day.

I was started on it after a suicide attempt back in July and noticed a difference in just a week or two, of course that could have been my normal reaction after coming out of a depression. One thing that I love about the Lamictal is that it doesn't make me feel drugged or in a stupor..

Give it time as each of us is different,

Carmen


11/10/2007 08:27 PM
kohdah65
kohdah65  
Posts: 4
Member

Polarbear,

I have been on Lamictal since January/February. I was started on it using the same regimen as Carmen33, but I am only on 100mg of the medication. My moods are pretty stable now after having been in a more depressed state for quite some time. However, right now, I really wonder if the medication is right for me or if the dose is correct.

I currently am on Lamictal 100mg and Zoloft 100mg for my bipolar (mixed state). I just went the other day to see if I would qualify for a research study for persons with bipolar, and I did not meet any of the criteria for any current studies, but the psychiatrist that interviewed me substantiated the fact that I have mixed-state bipolar.

I was wondering if anyone out there was privy to any medication additions, changes, etc. that I should ask my doctor about? I was thinking of maybe asking about switching to Abilify or Geodon, or maybe even have my lithium levels checked to see if I should be on that instead.

I'm sure, Polar, that you will soon see the positive effects of the Lamictal. Just give it a litte time. The doc that put me on it said that it may take a little while to actually notice any changes.


11/10/2007 08:50 PM
MsBimbo
MsBimbo  
Posts: 681
Member

Polarbear,

I had the build up with the 25mgs and stuff like the others, but every day until 6 weeks passed. I had the mania still, but the allergic reaction was the reason we had to go slow on the build up.

My doctor told me above the 200mg dosage is the border seems to be it is no longer effective as an anti-depressant. Dosages above 200mg are usually seizure control. It is originally a seizure medication.

I'm at 200mg now for about a month, I think. I do not have depression and neither do I have the super high mania. My concern is that my mind is not up to its usual sharpness. Perhaps after a few more months that will come back as it has with other medications. (Zoloft) was the best of all I've had so far other than the hopes with Lamictal.

I wonder if we really do know what it is to be at our balanced best? I still have trouble like I said with staying on task, finishing thoughts, repeating myself, repeating myself, and critical writing for college is not there for me either. I have to write down everything or I forget the details within seconds. That has never been a problem in my whole life. I hope this gets going soon....

Hope this is helpful for you, Dear!

MsBimbo

Post edited by: MsBimbo, at: 11/10/2007 22:55


11/15/2007 09:01 AM
Clover
CloverPosts: 182
Member

Hi,

I am on 200 mg and my doc too says that is as much as will help, after that adding another drug is the best option. So I'm just starting on Wellbutrin.

I guess you know the slow increase of lamictal is to avoid that serious rash. I started the end of August at 25mg a day, a each week went up 25mg, until 100mg then jumped up to 150mg a day for a week, then 200mg everyday to stay.

I started seeing really nice results at 100mg, and even better now.

Another great thing . . . No side effectsCool


11/15/2007 04:07 PM
polarbear
sheilabeila  
Posts: 262
Member

Welp, I went to the doc yesterday and she decided that we were progressing to slowly so she upped mine to 50 mgs in the morning and then 50 mgs at nite. My fingers are crossed that I will show some kind of improvement in the next week or so! Thanks for sharing your experience with me! :o)
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