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kari727


Member

Posted Sun Feb 5th, 2012 6:16am Post subject: medication advice - lamotrigine

i know very little about medications for bipolar and have never been treated for it. I was just given a prescription for lamotrigine but had concerns about whether it would help alleviate any of my anxiety and panic. I'm not entirely sure if its being caused by my daily cycling OR a seperate issue. I've been treated in the past with a medication (paroxetine) that solely helped with panic and anxiety (which all but went away) but had manic times and went thru 2 depressive episodes on it (and other issues). I'm hoping this will work for me without the need of another medication but Im reading that it may not do much for the anxiety.... which can take front stage above all other issues due to how socially debilitating it is (I can function better depressed than when panicked or super anxious - okay... both are bad of course). I've been off medication for over a year now and have been going out of my mind - finally broke down and went to a psychiatrist and this was the medication she thought best to start on.

Any advice would be great - I just joined this forum hoping to connect with some people in similar situations as me.


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elTweeno


Member

Posted Sun Feb 5th, 2012 9:02pm Post subject: medication advice - lamotrigine

Hi Kari!

Welcome to the forum

I don't know how much/what you've read about Lamotrigine, but going from what my psych said to me it's a common 'starter' medication for those experiencing many of the common symptoms of Bipolarity (mood swings, inability to focus, anxiety, etc). He started me with it for that reason - sadly, I turned out to be spectacularly allergic to it & was pulled off it. However, I do know that it's quite a common medication for those symptoms, and that may be why your psychiatrist has started there. It's certainly less potent than drugs such as Lithium, making it a far 'safer' starting point.

As far as anxiety goes, there is little concrete evidence one way or the other that Lamotrigine helps, but it's possible that it'll help alleviate other symptoms, thereby reducing your likelihood of getting anxious quite so easily (if that makes sense).

Have you started on a low dose, with a view to building it up? I only ask because if so, you may not be able to judge how helpful it is to you for a couple of months yet...

Hope that helps.

eT

I'm also on Twitter: elTweeno (of course!)

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kari727


Member

Posted Sun Feb 5th, 2012 10:18pm Post subject: medication advice - lamotrigine

Hi Et,

Thanks for the response! Im being started out at 25mg for 2 weeks then up to 50mg - does that sound about right? I havent filled it yet....wanted to get some opinions first and read more about it. It does make sense that it would help alleviate my anxiety due to stabilizing my mood swings. Just this morning even I could make a one page list with how frequently - its all over the place - my doc was thinking at least 2-3 weeks to notice anything different.


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elTweeno


Member

Posted Sun Feb 5th, 2012 11:04pm Post subject: medication advice - lamotrigine

That sounds like the usual starting dose, yes. 25mg doesn't really do anything at all, it just introduces your body to the drug. 50mg is where it actually does something.

In about 3 weeks you should know if it's going to have any impact, but you'll only really know after a month or so - just like most drugs, I suppose. The important thing is to keep an eye out for any unwanted side effects after upping the dosage. Skin rashes with Lamotrigine mean an allergy which can turn serious quickly, so if you get anything like that go straight to your GP. Otherwise, just monitor everything carefully & hopefully you'll find things begin to improve!

eT

I'm also on Twitter: elTweeno (of course!)

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kari727


Member

Posted Mon Feb 13th, 2012 5:46am Post subject: medication advice - lamotrigine

Hi eT i pmd you couple days ago.... lamotrigine didn't work out - had an allergic reaction. I was going to give an alternative a try first (truehope) before my doctor's next suggestion which is lithium.


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Vampyros


Member

Posted Tue Feb 14th, 2012 6:48am Post subject: medication advice - lamotrigine

For Bipolar Lithium is the best as long as you are not intollerant. However if you take it inconsistently or if you are sick and cannot keep it down it can make you worse - from experience.

Also you must get blood tests regularly to check your kidney and liver function.

Vx

The Katy Sara Culling Tribute is ready in e-Book form http://chipmunkapublishing.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2326 Charity/Bipolar

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elTweeno


Member

Posted Tue Feb 14th, 2012 7:45pm Post subject: medication advice - lamotrigine

Kari - I've pm-ed you back.

Sorry for the late response, I'm really quite unwell at the moment so I've been avoiding the internet a lot.

eT

I'm also on Twitter: elTweeno (of course!)

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