My wife is taking Lamictal

N Sperlo

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So, folks. The title says it. My wife has started Lamictal. I apologize for stepping out of the regular bounds, but she is in no way epileptic. I hope I'm not shunned. I'm guilty of the epilepsy. We have recently discovered she is bipolar. Now, don't worry about that one. We have been together without injuring each other (excluding my simple-partials that include flailing in bed) for eight years and very happily married for two years... I think... Crap.

Anyway, she is starting a slow ramp up to 200mg and has so far only encountered drowsiness as a side effect. I have talked to my friend who is a social worker to find out what to look for in regards to her behavior. Very cool of an old friend... well ex girlfriend to take the time out of her day and help in such a way.

So, the question I have for the CWE crew is what types of side effects should I look for and to what degree. I already know that rashes warrant a drive to urgent care, but this group can tell me more than websites about side effects because you can be more specific to what experiences there may be. I have read that some are on it, so please if you could take the time to step in and let me know what to expect, it would be tremendously helpful. If it matters, she is 28 years old.

Thanks in advance!

... now back to bobbing my head gracefully to Steve Winwood.
 

Nakamova

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I'm on Lamictal (175mg/day). My ramp-up was very, very slow (no more than 25mg every two weeks, and at times, cutting the 25mg in half). I didn't have any problems with A Rash (some people have an allergic reaction) or The Rash (Stevens-Johnsons syndrome, which is much rarer).

Side effects I had at first that went away after two to three months: Vivid nightmares and poor, restless sleep. Mild dizziness (where you move your head and what you're seeing takes a second or two to catch up). Hair loss. Mild but persistent headaches (Tylenol helped). For the first month, I was extremely "perky" and focused -- the kind of mood where you label and organize all your rolls of tape -- but alas, that didn't last :)

Side effects that persisted: Blurry vision -- I had perfect vision before starting Lamictal (due to laser surgery 8 years prior), and almost as soon as I went on the Lamictal I started having to squint at things. It comes and goes throughout the day. (My reading vision is fine though). Another persistent side effect is chin acne. Also weight gain, though it stabilized, and I've since managed to lose most of it. Also a craving for salt, particularly in the evening.

I have friends who have taken Lamictal for bipolar, without any ill effects. As with epilepsy though, you have to take it consistently and you can't quit cold turkey. Best of luck to you and her!
 

N Sperlo

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Awesome. Thanks. My friend could give me a general idea of things, some of the things you mention cross, but very informative from a 1st hand point of view.

Thank you very much
 
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