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What exactly does Lamictal do for you?
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Joseph F Goldberg, MD posted:
Hello all,
There have been many comments and queries on this site lately about Lamictal and what to expect from it in bipolar disorder. The formal research studies conducted by its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, showed that (a) it had no value in acute mania, (b) it had some modest value in bipolar depression, especially if more severe but not treatment-resistant, (c) it prevented depressions and manias, but did a better job preventing depressions than manias, (d) it worked better in bipolar I than bipolar II, and (e) it had no clear benefit for anxiety symptoms. Apart from the risk of rash (related to rapid dosing), it also appears to have few side effects, and is weight neutral. Does real life mimic research findings, or is your own experience different? For those of you who have taken Lamictal, let's have a poll.

Take the Poll

Which (if any) of the following is/are true of your own experience taking Lamictal (check as many as apply)?
  • helps with anxiety
  • reduces irritability
  • prevents mania/hypomania
  • reduces depression symptoms
  • relatively few side effects
vote
View Poll Results
Reply
 
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maddie8415 responded:
I've been taking this for over 5 years so it is kind of hard to know exactly at this point...but I think it reduces irritability (a big problem with me when hypomanic/manic), prevents hypomania/mania, reduces depression, and has had no obvious side effects in my case.
 
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ddnos responded:
Dr. Goldberg,

I don't remember exactly why we (my doctor and I) did this, but back in Sept. 2002 she put me on Lamictal along with the Nardil I was taking. If I remember right, I think I was having some what proved to be temporary difficulty with the combo of Nardil and Lithium i was taking and was having depression issues. So again, my guess is that we tried the lamictal to try to augment what I was on. Well, it turned out to be a disaster. I am diagnosed with bipolar 2 - I was on lamictal for approx. 6 months before weaning off it (which took a month) I was in bed depressed for most of those 6 months. It was only as I increased Nardil by a half a pill did I start to feel somewhat normal again. Once I was completely off Lamictal and back on just my regular meds, I was functioning again.

It's a long story as to why I was on Lamictal for so long when it obviously wasn't working for me, and that was a period of time where I becamse quite angry with my dr - though I'm well over that long before now.

Anyway, I don't know if it's because of my diag of bipolar 2 that it was so bad for me or because I have a history of being treatment resistant to non-MAOI meds, or a combination of both.

I just wanted to share my experience with Lamictal - me and lamictal are not friends. lol
 
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snowyowl33 responded:
lol... sorry just finished my post to you, then read this.. ok

Seems to help with depression, haven't really had too many side effects that I can't handle, does nothing (so far) for anxiety/irritability/aggitation , we'll see about mania (I'm BP1) as I'm seeing some red flags right now with my moods. But I am in all fairness only on a low dose so far......

I think this is a great idea re the med Poll, it helps us all to see how others feel/react to a drug, as sometimes I think the research drug co. findings and real life people, can be quite different in some aspects.....
Snowy
 
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skypper responded:
as a side note, i do remember when i had to suddenly stop the Lamictal because of itchies and a rash that i then became very severely and dangerously depressed
 
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bipolargal responded:
I wanted to pick more than one category in the poll, so I didn't vote. I like my Lamictal, I has been the best drug for me. It helped me with mania and depression. But it didn't make either one disappear completely, possibly because I'm on a really low dose 100mg. My pdoc keeps me on low dosages of my drugs, because I am paranoid about taking the drugs and she says I am impulsive (who me?) and will go off my meds completely if I don't like the psych meds regimen. She is right, I would. I already weaned myself of one of my drugs, but shhhh don't tell her. The only thing I dislike about the Lamictal is that I lose more hair when I shower and brush my hair, to the point that it is noticeable to myself and my spouse.
 
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slik_kitty responded:
can't pick just one, plus the polls don't work for me.

i think it works on the mania and depression symptoms. i'm bp 2 and it works well for me. no side effects, other than hair loss, but that i can deal with.
 
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Chris_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi all,

A quick note to say, unbeknown to Dr. Goldberg, there is no "check as many as apply" option in these polls. That is something I'm going to send in and suggest they fix! I'll be adding that to our list. Thanks for a great poll Dr. Goldberg!
 
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bpcookie responded:
All of the above. I love Lamictal. Lamictal saved me.
 
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DizzyJgirl replied to bpcookie's response:
I tried lamictal...i was so hopeful. It did nothing for me. I am BP 1. I don't remember what else I was on at the time, other than lithium. Depression has been more of an issue for me.

Thanks


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