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Advice On Going Off Lamictal And What To Expect


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Brooke

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:38 PM

Hello,
I've always gotten good advice on CrazyMeds and thought I would ask for some in regard to this. I am currently tapering off Lamictal. I was taking 125 mg and have now been on 100 mg for 8 days. I have felt no effects.

What is your advice on a taper schedule to keep from having withdrawl symptoms? I have read the worst horror stories online. Is it possible to stop taking Lamictal without it being a traumatic experience? I am in no hurry, so I can do this as slowly as possible.

The plan was to lower to 75 mg in a week and see how I am. If good, go to 50 in two weeks, etc... Is that advisable? Does the titrating need to be really slow when getting to low doses? Like going to 12.5, then 6, etc?

Thanks for your advice.

Brooke
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#2 Rane

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:43 PM

i'd do 12.5 increments.
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Lithium (0.9 @ 750mg/day), Lamotrigine (400mg/day), Levoxyl (88 mcg), Lorazapam (prn).

Fails: amitriptyline, zoloft, prozac, wellbutrin, depakote

#3 notfred

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 10:00 PM

You taper off the same way you did going on it, but in reverse.
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I am in full remission (DSM IV 296.36) from Depression. Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, and the Pseudoparkinsonian tremor are well controlled.

 

Psyc Meds: Forfivo XL 450 mg (Wellbutrin XL), Aripiprazole 15 mg (Abilify), Eszopiclone 6 mg (Lunesta), Vyvanse 70 mg (Lisdexamfetamine), Levetiracetam 2,000 mg (Keppra), Propranolol ER 60 mg (Inderal)
PRN: Clonazepam 1-2 mg (Klonopin), Lorazepam 1-4 mg (Ativan), Alprazolam 1-2 mg (Xanax), Dextroamphetamine 10-40 mg (Dexedrine), Propranolol 20-40 mg (Inderal), Ondansetron 8-16 mg (Zofran)

Supps: Multi-vitamin/mineral, Vitamin D-3 2,000 IU, Omega-3-acid ethyl esters 4 g (Lovaza), Hemp seed oil 2 g, CoQ10 100 mg, L-Glutathione 200 mg

Dx: Depression, Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, Dyspraxia, Tremor

I also take allergy and diabetes + it's complications meds.

All doses are a daily total.


#4 Brooke

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:28 PM

Yeah, cannot remember the titration schedule. Been way too long.

Thanks guys.
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#5 Nurse Ratched

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:46 PM

If you can't remember, go by 12.5. 25 at the very most. I had to stop all at once because of "bad" rash and it was quite miserable. Tapering slowly should help you avoid all of that. Good luck!
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Current Meds:  Seroquel XR 300 mgs, Vistaril 100 mgs prn

Former meds: Topamax 200 mgs, Risperdal 2 mgs, Wellbutrin 300 mgs, Klonopin .5 mgs, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Remeron, Elavil, Abilify, Lamictal, Geodon, Zyprexa, BuSpar, Xanax, Depakote, Trazodone, Ambien, Lithium,  Doxepin,  Cogentin, Haldol, Saphris, Latuda, Neurontin, Lexapro, Ambien


#6 Brooke

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 02:58 PM

thank you!
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#7 PatientZero

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:15 AM

I've slopped it from 200mg over 1-2 weeks several times without problems. YMMV
I have permanent sleep and cognition issues with lamotrigine, that's why i lost patience with it several times. Turned out though that nothing else helps my depression without making my hypomanic. That's why i am back on it now after 3 years of trying other meds.
So far only Ambien helps my sleep, but that's something thats not supposed to be taken long-term, so i am fucked i guess.
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Past meds:
Lithium, Lamotrigine, Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), Quetiapin (Seroquel XR), Valproic acid (Depakote) Pregabalin (Lyrica), Venlafaxin (Effexor), Citalopram, Zuclopenthixol, Chlorprothixene, Bupropion (Wellbutrin), Doxepin, Agomelatine (Valdoxan), Moclobemide (Aurorix), Flupentixol, Mirtazapine (Remeron), Geodon, Abilify, Tianeptine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Sertraline, Duloxetine,


#8 Brooke

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:28 AM

Thanks. I'm glad you were able to stop taking it with no problem. The horror stories I read are scary. Hoping I don't experience any of that.

I'm sorry lamotrigine causes such problems for you. Have you tried the brand instead of generic? I was unable to take the generic. It messed me up.

Right now, for sleep I am taking 5 HTP (Pure Encapsulations) + Magnesium Glycinate + B6, as prescribed by not my pdoc, but another doctor of mine. Pdoc has approved. It is very helpful to give me good deep sleep. I notice a huge difference without it. You have to be careful with 5 HTP b/c it increases Serotonin, so if you have any med that does the same, it could be a problem.

I take Lunesta too. Have you tried up to 6 mg? I once had to take that much. Now I take 3 and am hoping to stop taking it with a few other natural sleep aids I am going to try per my doctor. I liked Lunesta better than any sleep med I tried. I only tried Seroquel (I do not recommend) and Ambien though. Anyway, Lunesta can be taken long-term.
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#9 PatientZero

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:42 AM

My pdoc says i can't take Ambien long-term, same goes for the other Z meds (Zopiclone and Zaleplon) which have a similar way of working.
I only had different generics so far, and it was the same with each one of them. Therefore i doubt it would change much. Good thing about several generics is, that they are free.
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Past meds:
Lithium, Lamotrigine, Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), Quetiapin (Seroquel XR), Valproic acid (Depakote) Pregabalin (Lyrica), Venlafaxin (Effexor), Citalopram, Zuclopenthixol, Chlorprothixene, Bupropion (Wellbutrin), Doxepin, Agomelatine (Valdoxan), Moclobemide (Aurorix), Flupentixol, Mirtazapine (Remeron), Geodon, Abilify, Tianeptine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Sertraline, Duloxetine,


#10 Nurse Ratched

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 06:58 AM

Just want to point out that 5 HTP could be BAD for people with bipolar. Sorry. Just a warning. :)
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Current Meds:  Seroquel XR 300 mgs, Vistaril 100 mgs prn

Former meds: Topamax 200 mgs, Risperdal 2 mgs, Wellbutrin 300 mgs, Klonopin .5 mgs, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Remeron, Elavil, Abilify, Lamictal, Geodon, Zyprexa, BuSpar, Xanax, Depakote, Trazodone, Ambien, Lithium,  Doxepin,  Cogentin, Haldol, Saphris, Latuda, Neurontin, Lexapro, Ambien


#11 Brooke

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 07:34 AM

i wondered about that with bipolar. Glad you posted.
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#12 in_media_res

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:57 PM

Just want to point out that 5 HTP could be BAD for people with bipolar. Sorry. Just a warning. :)


How so?
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dx: Not sure anymore. Depression. Some features of borderline personality. Suicidal ideation but no actual self-harm. Self-diagnosed PTSD. Ennui. 
rx: Clonazepam .5 mg prn x/2 daily, Temazepam 15 mg nightly for sleep. Synthroid 125 mcg

hx: Stuff that didn't work: Cymbalta, Seroquel, 
Ziprasidone, Lamotrigine, Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Straterra (for attention), 5-HTP, supplements. Some sort of a TCA early on -- don't remember which one. Switched out Zolpidem and Lorazepam.

 

May you be held in compassion.
May you be free from pain and sorrow.

May you find rest in a peaceful heart.


#13 Rane

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:47 PM

Here is some completely unverified opinion from Squidoo, BUT I've heard here and elsewhere that 5-HTP can work like a SSRI, which can cause mania in some bipolar people.

Just to say, I heard voices when I tried St. John's Wort. My pdoc was angry that I tried it without telling her. She said that it acts like an SSRI and just because it's herbal, doesn't mean it's safe.

link to squidoo about 5-htp
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Lithium (0.9 @ 750mg/day), Lamotrigine (400mg/day), Levoxyl (88 mcg), Lorazapam (prn).

Fails: amitriptyline, zoloft, prozac, wellbutrin, depakote

#14 jackeeanne

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 11:50 PM

I am going of lamictal because the side effects actually became unbearable around the 75 mark. I was not sleeping, every muscle in my body ached so much it was hard to walk even with tylenol, i couldn't look at anything bright without having to lay down and close my eyes, my mental confusion was actually scary, and i was naseuous pretty much all the time.I could go on but really , but really the point is  I was beyond miserable and unable to function. I tried to hang in there and only stopped cause I had to miss so much work. My PA told me to go off it over the phone by titrating off at 25 mgs for a week. Well I've been done with that for almost a week and while I still feel MUCH better I am still achy,my sleeping is ridiculously disrupted, and I continue to have weird mental confusions breaks.I never had those problems before I went on this drug. I'm really scared that by taking this drug (for over a month which isn't really that long?) that these things are permenant. Am I being paranoid? or is this possible? Does it just take this long for it to get out of you system?I feel like I've poisoned myself in some way with how badly my body reacted to this drug and I've been on lots of different medication none of which has really worked but I didn't have these scary things happening.

 

If anyone has had any similar experiences or knowledge I'd appreciate it. I did have an appointment this week which i had to miss because my boss is really mad that I've pretty much used up all my sick/vacation days because of this and the problems that led to this. The next available appointment is over a  month away and I can never seem to get straight answers from my psych or the PA when  I do see them. They didn't warn me at all about anything that could happen besides the rash and pretty much dismissed my telling them how bad the side effects are getting however, there is very little mental health care here. Ugh! I'm rambling any information would be helpful sorry for the long post. I'm just frustrated and tired of feeling physically crappy on top of all the mental issues. Thanks!

 


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#15 Sedublin

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 06:59 PM

I take Lamictal for Bipolar Disorder. For so many reasons I am sick of being on it. My psychiatrist also seems to be quite unreliable and inconsiderate, so his advice and monitoring doesn't really exist anymore.

I would like to taper off this drug by 15-25mg every two weeks. I've been on it for about two years, but until February, I was on a low dosage. For the past 3 or 4 months I've been at 200mg a day. I'll explain the main reasons why I plan to quit this:

 

a. thrush tongue,

b. absolutely horrible long term memory

c. subtle speech issues (delivery)

d. physical balance

e. dry mouth

f. acne, AND what was the final straw,

g. I learned that it is the reason I have been mentally and physically lathargic for the entire 2 years.

 

I am very young and in law school. I blame my old energy and ability to do whatever grandiose things I believe I can do on my hypermania. I went through high school and college doing everything to further my career, before I even began it. I've been in programs, leadership roles, and have managed multiple projects at one time. I thrived off of that, loved it, and was great at it. Just months after starting the drug, all of this energy and ability diminshed significantly. I am still an ambitious person, but my actions and [seeming] abilities no longer reflect that. In the most important and exceptional academic period of my life, I no longer can operate exceptionally. This is so heartbreaking to me that I've cried on multiple occusations over the matter; I went from feeling like superwoman, or just an active and inspired person, to someone gettng average grades, participating in no programs or groups, and taking on no projects (okay, obviously law school has something to do with that).

Obviously, the drug has helped me to get through a lot of chemical imbalances and has saved me from pretty bad episodes. But if I have to choose between my energy and capability and bouts of depression amongst long periods of mania, I'll take the fun ride mania gives me and improve my lifestyle to fight the depression.

 

Now that I've explained that, I'd like opinions on whether tapering off of Lamictal [slowly] will be dangerous for me [subjectively] considering the following adverse circumstances:

a. I don't live alone, but I don't live with family or friends that I can depend on in time of need (must leave the house)

b. I plan on starting birth control soon [hormonal imbalance?]

c. In the past, I've gone cold turkey with all of my meds for dumb reasons. Needless to say, I suffered constant panic attacks, real bad depression, drug abuse, and landed in the hospital twice for suicidal ideation.

d. I will be starting my 2nd year of law school in a couple of months

e. I used to be on Lithium too, but ever since my psychiatrist essentially booted me, I've been off of it with no apparent problems (in fact, since then, my short term memory and some balance has been relatively restored);

f. I currently do not have a psychiatrist (will get one ASAP)

 

I hope nobody says this is a bad idea. I'm so sick of this drug. I know some of yall can relate. If I had known how crappy drugs would make my health and life, I wonder if I would have made the same decision to start them. Probably so. Being crazy isn't so fun either.

 


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