medication (lamictal xr) question

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Hey all,

I'm about to be starting my sixth week on lamictal xr (200 mg), and just saw that it may have an effect on birth control. I'm also on dilantin, and I know that one of the side effects is that it makes both control less effective, and that is one of the reasons I want to get off of it (aside from the other side effects). So, my neurologist put me on lamictal so I can start tapering off the dilantin, now I'm wondering if I'm done with it if I'll still need to use a different form of birth control, which my partner and I are not exactly fond of...

My neurologist of course knows what form of birth control I'm on (still using it because I get migraines and cramps without it, plus I really don't want to get pregnant so the extra bit of caution eases my mind). I'm also on dilantin, keppra, vimpat, clonazepam, a woman's multi vitamin and another supplement prescribed by my doctor.

I'll be seeing my neurologist tomorrow so obviously I can ask him, but there's a nasty winter storm in Rhode Island so I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it plus I'm impatient. Any input is greatly appreciated.
I'm currently on Depakote, Tegretol XR, Keppra, Lamictal and folic acid. I'm sure I may have been on some of the other meds that you are on because I've been on several different ones through the years. I'm allergic to Dilantin.

I was on Depo-Provera birth control for 8 years, since I was first diagnosed with epilepsy and before I was, and never had any problems with it. I really liked that in general because I didn't have a period. My periods were very heavy and I had horrible cramps. They were irregular at times and had spotting even when I was taking the pill.

I did have a hysterectomy 3 years ago because I didn't want children and really didn't want the chance of getting pregnant. It took me about 3 years to convince my gyno to do one when I was 35 because I think he wanted to make sure it wasn't just an impulse thing that I wanted. I don't know how old you are I wouldn't have a hysterectomy unless you are positive you don't want children because this can't be changed once you have it. You could have your tubes which cannot be undone either.

There is another form of medical birth control the IUD, this has to be placed and replaced by a dr about every 12 years. I know this can be removed if you decided you want children. This doesn't let sperm to go up to the eggs so you can't get pregnant.

I don't know how serious your relationship is but a man can have a vasectomy which isn't reversible.

There is also The Ring. It is a medical form of birth control, something similar to the pill in the general way it works. It is put into the vagina and replaced with a new one every month, you do it yourself.

You can always use a condom, or use it as a back up even if you are on some other form of birth control.

A good website to read about things is
I've been on the same birth control for years, no problems with it. I'm only 24, and there's a definite possibility of wanting kids in the future. I'm living with my boyfriend, we are very serious and both dislike condoms so some other form of birth control is preferred, which is why I want to be able to rely on the pill and why I'm wondering if the lamictal will effect it... I have thought about an IUD, but a friend of mine got one and she said she gained 20-30 pounds.... if anything I'd like to lose that sooo... not exactly what I'd like to do either

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The issue is that I was told dilantin makes birth control 50% less effective, so I thought when I was off it I'd be home free- then saw the comment in the lamictal information about interacting with birth control

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When I switched to Lamictal I changed my birth control to IUD, and I'm very happy with it. No problems with weight gain. (If anything, I gained weight on the Pill). I recommend the Mirena over the ParaGard.
My neurologist said the IUD works with hormones too so it wouldn't fully work for me right now..

He said the lamictal doesn't effect the birth control, the birth control effects the lamictal. Opposite with the dilantin, and he said another one of the medications is effected, I forgot which one... I just really hate condoms and worrying about getting pregnant so I'm looking for options

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As with many meds and other operations it may work in different ways for different people. Someone may have side effects from it and someone else it may have no effect on it at all. It's sort of a trial and error type of thing to find out what would happen to you in which form you take. Not a fun error thing that you want to deal with however if you don't want to get pregnant.

As I said I was taking Depo-Provera and loved it. Neither my gyno or neuro said anything about it having any effect on my meds or my meds having any effect on it, which I don't think it did. After I stopped taking the Depo-Provera and had my hysterectomy no changes to my meds were made.
My neurologist said the IUD works with hormones too so it wouldn't fully work for me right now.
Not true! Your neurologist is mistaken and needs to get straightened out by your Gynecologist. :) The Mirena releases a very small amount of progesterone into the uterus which remains almost entirely localized and does not affect the brain in any way. There is a tiny amount that might enter the bloodstream -- but more to the point, it's PROGESTERONE! Progesterone is beneficial for people with catamenial epilepsy since it is what keeps estrogen in check. And the ParaGard IUD uses zero hormones, so it's another option.
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