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Old 06-11-2011, 04:57 PM
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coming off lamictal


i had been on lamictal for about 5 years and a few weeks ago my doctor started weaning me off of it , and i've been exhausted ever since ! i dont mean a little sleepy , i mean it's all i can do to get off the couch to get a bottle of water out of my kitchen , or take a shower ! In the past when my doc put me on a new med or raised the dosage of one it made me really tired ( not like this tho) but i wasnt expecting it to be like this cming off of one ! is this just me or is this normal ??
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:18 PM
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The drug companies haven't done any organized studies about side effects during Lamictal withdrawal (they have no real incentive to do so), but I did a quick web search, and many, many people have reported extreme fatigue when they're withdrawing from Lamictal. So anecdotally at least, you're not alone. Are you having any other side effects during the withdrawal process? Have you gotten checked out by your regular doc to make sure nothing else if going on? I know that Lamictal can give you "tired blood" -- i.e. low red and white blood cell counts -- so it might take awhile for those to rebound as you taper down. You might want to have your doc do a blood test to see if that's contributing to the fatigue.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:40 PM
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other than being exhausted , my feet have been swelling a good bit , and i've been really emotional , everything stresses me out more than normal , and i've been "whiny" if something doesnt go right i'm ready to break down and cry , which is nothing like me
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:45 PM
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I was on Lamictal, taken off, then put back on again. The first time around, when I was taken off, I slept like a rock at night and pretty much laid around all day. So I'll confirm the anecdotal evidence of tiredness. I was on a low dose at that time so it got better pretty quickly - a couple of weeks.
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:54 PM
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i'd been on 200 mg and last night was my last night on it at all so i sure hope so , this is crazy
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:07 PM
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I had only gotten up to 50 the first time around. LOW low dose. It'd be harder this time. 300mg
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:00 PM
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i'd been on 200 mg and last night was my last night on it at all so i sure hope so , this is crazy
People have reported having emotional side effects as they withdraw too. Hang in there, it's the Lamictal affecting your moods, and it should go away as your body adjusts.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:10 PM
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A few of the sites say people sometimes take months to go off Lamictal, with their last step down being 25mg for a month, then 12mg for a month.... then nothing.

If it gets too bad, call your doc. He may be able to prescribe something to take the edge off, or may back you off for awhile. (Like we need more drugs, but any port in a storm)
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:09 PM
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no i came off of this junk in 15 days ! i was on 200 , went to 150 for 5 days , 100 for 5 days , and 50 for 5 days ! good to know it's not just me bcause i've been a mess ! and your right about "like we need more meds " i already feel like a pharmacy
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:19 AM
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In my opinion, that's way too fast to taper off Lamictal (unless there's an urgent reason like the rash). The slower you go, the less likely you are to have seizures from the withdrawal process, and allowing your brain time adjust at leach level means the side effects are less dramatic as well. I hope yours start to lessen soon.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:55 PM
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yeah no kidding ! and no urgent reason to come off , and even worse is the doctor told me i could do each step for 3 or 4 days at a time !!!!! i did 5 because the titration pack had enough in it to do 5 days of each !!! and thank you , i hope so to
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:03 PM
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Fifteen days? I agree, that's way too fast to go off this particular drug. I think some people have done it, but that doesn't make it a good idea. The lower and slower your dose reductions are, the fewer side effects you'll face.

I've heard that the last dose reduction, to nothing, is particularly hard.

Is there a reason your doc wanted you to go so fast? If not, will you consider going more slowly? Now that you are off completely it may take your doc's help to figure out what dose to be on now and how to taper off again, more slowly this time.
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by lovemyladybug View Post:
other than being exhausted , my feet have been swelling a good bit , and i've been really emotional , everything stresses me out more than normal , and i've been "whiny" if something doesnt go right i'm ready to break down and cry , which is nothing like me
My neurologist tried me on Lamictal, and the emotions were just horriable! I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride. He had tried me on Vimpat before that, and I started to feel depressed, not caring about anything no more, and started crying over anything. After decreasing my dose on that, and still having those symptoms I was taken off and everything got better. But the lamictal did the same thing, not as bad though, but I had days where I felt terriable and I would break down and cry out of the blue on things. I noticed a great improvement just three days after my last dose of Lamictal. I was only on the Lamictal for 16 days, and got up to 50mgs. So when my dr found out about the allergic reaction I was having, (swollen glands in my neck area which caused severe swelling) he just said to discontinue it. My dr kept trying to tell me it was the Keppra rage, but Im still on Keppra Xr @ 3000mgs a day and I havnt had the emotions since coming off the Lamictal.
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Left Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Keppra XR (3000mgs)
Carbatrol (400mgs)

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Old 06-12-2011, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Endless View Post:
Fifteen days? I agree, that's way too fast to go off this particular drug. I think some people have done it, but that doesn't make it a good idea. The lower and slower your dose reductions are, the fewer side effects you'll face.

I've heard that the last dose reduction, to nothing, is particularly hard.

Is there a reason your doc wanted you to go so fast? If not, will you consider going more slowly? Now that you are off completely it may take your doc's help to figure out what dose to be on now and how to taper off again, more slowly this time.
no reason for coming off that fast , and im off it for good now ( hopefully) so it wont matter about how it went now . But i do know one thing after having been on dilantin for the last 10 years , when i come off of it ( if i do , he seems to think it's not necesary right now , evn tho , my previous doc before i moved 3YEARS AGO told me i was already showing signs of toxcicity )I WILL NOT do it like that , im coming off of that crap at a snails pace
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by momof3boys View Post:
My neurologist tried me on Lamictal, and the emotions were just horriable! I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride. He had tried me on Vimpat before that, and I started to feel depressed, not caring about anything no more, and started crying over anything. After decreasing my dose on that, and still having those symptoms I was taken off and everything got better. But the lamictal did the same thing, not as bad though, but I had days where I felt terriable and I would break down and cry out of the blue on things. I noticed a great improvement just three days after my last dose of Lamictal. I was only on the Lamictal for 16 days, and got up to 50mgs. So when my dr found out about the allergic reaction I was having, (swollen glands in my neck area which caused severe swelling) he just said to discontinue it. My dr kept trying to tell me it was the Keppra rage, but Im still on Keppra Xr @ 3000mgs a day and I havnt had the emotions since coming off the Lamictal.
my current problems are being caused from coming OFF lamictal ( though i didnt care for being on it either ) but as far as vimpat goes im on that now ( started about 2months ago) and it seems to be doing okay but i never could get up to the 400mg he wanted me on , everytime i went up 100 at night before i took it i would get shaky , and start sweating and pacing around like a mad person ! then after i took it i would itch like a mad person ! it would get better after a week or so , but i tried & triedto get from 300 to 400 and never could ! so i dont know
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:38 PM
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The dosages are often part of a range, not an absolute. So if you get bad side effects, or feel "toxic" while ramping up to 400mg of the Vimpat, then there's no point in going there. My neurologist wanted me at over 300mgs on Lamictal, but I stopped at 250mg and proceeded to taper down to 175mg (where I have complete seizure control). The docs can mean well, but they aren't the ones taking the meds, and they often forget that dosages and side effects are very individualized.
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