any experiences with lamictal or topomax? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-30-2007, 03:17 PM
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Hello all.

Recently I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I am starting a new medication regimen, beginning with topomax to address symptoms immediatley. Then, I am to add in lamictal in small doses, and once I am on a theraputic doseage of lamictal I go off the topomax. I am also supposed to stop using the Zoloft I was on- my last doseage was Sunday at 2:00PM.

I wanted to know if anyone had any experience with either of these medications and what they found. Also, were you able to consume alcohol on these medications without major problems? I'm just really needing some support right now. I wasn't expecting to be diagnosed bipolar.
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#2 Old 01-30-2007, 04:25 PM
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You're better off not drinking while bipolar, especially on meds. I know that's easier said than done. What's most important is that you're honest with your doctor about your alcohol consumption.



You're not alone. Treatment works.
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#3 Old 01-30-2007, 05:16 PM
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My daughter takes both lamictal and topomax for a seizure disorder. She started out on Lamictal years ago, and they added the topomax when she started having some breakthrough seizures. Originally they were going to wean her off the lamictal, but we ended up on a dosage of both where her seizures are controlled so well it's amazing. Funny, though, she takes Zoloft (generic) for some OCD issues. She doesn't drink, so I can't help you there, but I can tell you that after being on both of these drugs for years, she's had no real side-effects.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#4 Old 01-30-2007, 07:21 PM
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I've been on Lamictal for a few years. Haven't had any weird side effects that I remember. I have temporal lobe epilepsy.



Also on Paxil & Effexor for depression. but am currently weaning myself (w/Dr's advice of course) off of the Effexor to protest WyethAyerst for still using Huntingdon Lab Science. Besides I would love to be on only 2 meds!!!!



My doc says that Lamictal also has some antidepressant effect as well. But it's SO expensive! Something like $500/month, if I recall correctly.
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#5 Old 01-30-2007, 08:11 PM
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Oh my lord! I wonder how much the Lamictal will be with my copay. I'm a college student and its difficult to find room for new expenses. But, this is something I've got to do.
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#6 Old 02-01-2007, 06:53 PM
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My fiance takes lamictal and topomax for neurocardiogenic syncope. He does drink, but he waits till the next morning, or about 12 hours after legal drinking amount (average of 1.5 beers in a hour) and its completely out of his system. But of course he waits about that long because he has a higher bmi than most people. (6'3, 225 lbs) and it takes longer. On average for women it takes about half as men, and seing as your a veggie, I would assume your body fat is a little lower than most peoples( assumption for mathematical reasons) so maybe your about 5'4-5'6, 125-150 lbs, you would have a bmi of 13-17, meaning your fat content, would absorb the sugars in the alcohol ( beer and wine alike ) a lot faster. Say you have 5 drinks in a 4 hour period, you average 1.5 drinks per hour, at an average of 12% alcohol( by drink), 18% body fat, you would take 5.72 hours for your body to detox the alcohol by itself. You start drinking at 7 drink til 11:00 pm, your body will detox approximately around 4:12 am.



Be careful and remember to never mix alcohol and meds in your system.

I know because they drilled it into us during nursing.
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#7 Old 02-01-2007, 08:45 PM
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Lol, no I'm quite rotund. But thats ok. I guess I really need to give up alcohol, which is going to be extremely difficult. I LOVE drinking alcohol and I am a frequent drinker as well. I was instructed to take my medication at night, too, I guess I can't really take it in the morning. We shall see, though.

Other questions. Will these medications make me stupid? Why am I so thirsty? Why am I so sleepy?

I am on the topamax and later, lamictal, because of bipolar disorder. I went off the Zoloft I was on and started the Topamax and came into the hugest depression EVER, especially this morning. When I called my psychiatrist she told me to restart the Zoloft and I found my agitation and anxiety returning once again. Dammit! I just want some relief.

Oh well. Still hanging in there.
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#8 Old 02-11-2007, 03:47 PM
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I have been quite pleased with Lamictal. I take it for bi-polar disorder. I have had no side effects. It is very expensive but if you are going to be taking it long term ask your doc about patient assistance. I am on patient assistance and I get Lamictal for free.
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#9 Old 03-04-2007, 08:27 AM
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I took Topamax briefly for migraines and was very unhappy with it. I stuck out for six weeks and quit because the "cure" was worse than the migraines. You're taking it for different reasons, so you may find the side effects more tolerable, or you may not experience them the same way I did. The most common one (and the worst for me) is that it makes it very hard to concentrate and remember things, and it's sometimes derisively referred to as "Dopamax" for that reason.
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#10 Old 03-04-2007, 09:23 PM
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I take lamictal for bipolar depression. I really like it but I do have side effects. I seem to supersensitive to everything now and dry skin will give me a mild rash, the wrong lotion will inflame it to painful burning bright red welts. (On lamictal if you have a rash they usually take you off it. The idea of losing it was more upsetting to me then any rash and so I'm still on it but ANY rash I have has to be looked at by the nurse and reported) I also have a headache. It is almost constant, most days I go to bed with it and wake up with it. Mild enough most of the time I can ignore it, but occasionally it flares up really very badly. I carry 800mg Ibuprofins with me at all times, just in case. Also my periods are far more painful then they have been in a long time and I think thats related to the lamictal. Also I think my eyesight might have changed due to the lamictal and I'm having hotflashes that seem to med related (im only 32 and we are pretty sure its the medication).



Lamictal is the only medication that has really helped/worked for me in the last 18 yrs, so I'm very excited to be on it. I feel so much better and have gotten so much better that all those seemingly excessive painful side effects are quite tolerable for me.

The lamictal does not completely control my moods, but I havent noticed much depression on it at all. I still get into a hypomanic state. Lamictal seems to work well on the depression side of the bipolar (not my actual diagnosis, but how my treatment is going). I also have thorazine to take when I feel I'm getting hypomanic, agitated and can't sleep and ambian to take when I wake up in the middle of the night and need to sleep more but dont want to take the thorazine, or its close to morning. All my meds I am on very low doeses of. The lamictal might be upped to 200 mg (i'm only 125 after three months, very slow going).

I have no experience with topomax, but should the lamictal stop working it would be one of the few other meds I'd be willing to try.



I really like this site and find it helpful for drug info http://www.crazymeds.org/



* I think there is a 1800NEEDMYMEDS number where you can call if you cant get your medication and they help you get them. For free in some cases. I'm not sure thats the actual number, but I think it is.

this has a list of programs that might help http://www.needymeds.com/ and also the crazymeds had some good info beyond just stuff about the medications.
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#11 Old 03-05-2007, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatboyLovesTofu View Post

Lamictal is the only medication that has really helped/worked for me in the last 18 yrs, so I'm very excited to be on it. I feel so much better and have gotten so much better that all those seemingly excessive painful side effects are quite tolerable for me.

The lamictal does not completely control my moods, but I havent noticed much depression on it at all. I still get into a hypomanic state. Lamictal seems to work well on the depression side of the bipolar (not my actual diagnosis, but how my treatment is going). I also have thorazine to take when I feel I'm getting hypomanic, agitated and can't sleep and ambian to take when I wake up in the middle of the night and need to sleep more but dont want to take the thorazine, or its close to morning. All my meds I am on very low doeses of. The lamictal might be upped to 200 mg (i'm only 125 after three months, very slow going).

I have no experience with topomax, but should the lamictal stop working it would be one of the few other meds I'd be willing to try.



I so completely feel for you; I've tried so many meds since 1988, and the whole experience, w/trying to find a stable & therapeutic dose w/my other meds also being adjusted, and dealing with insurance on top of depression and trying to function in other parts of life...



Is hypomania much different from unipolar depression when you experience it?



I hope you get to stay on Lamictal for a looong time and don't have to change!!!



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#12 Old 03-05-2007, 07:41 AM
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Hypomania is much like being manic but not as severe. It can lead to a fullblown mania and you will crash back down into depression. I found this definition:



"Hypomania: A condition similar to mania but less severe. The symptoms are similar with elevated mood, increased activity, decreased need for sleep, grandiosity, racing thoughts, and the like. However, hypomanic episodes differ in that they do not cause significant distress or impair one's work, family, or social life in an obvious way while manic episodes do.

Hypomanic people tend to be unusually cheerful, have more than ample energy, and need little sleep. Hypomania is a pleasurable state. It may confer a heightened sense of creativity and power. However, hypomania can subtly impair a person's judgment. Too much confidence can conceal the consequences of decisions.

Hypomania can be difficult to diagnose because it may masquerade as mere happiness. It is important to diagnose hypomania because, as an expression of bipolar disorder, it can cycle into depression and carry an increased risk of suicide."



The lamictal is good for the depression part of the cycle more so then other mood stabilizers and thats why dr picked it. Its also weight neutral and thats why I agreed to try it, although in the state I was in I probably would have tried it even if it wasnt. As long as I get enough sleep I dont get too close to the manic line and do very very well. I think the lamictal really helps clear up my thinking and i'm able to function and help myself more then I was able to before.
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#13 Old 03-28-2007, 12:38 PM
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I just withdrew from Lamictal & Paxil, unintentionally, after deliberately weaning myself off of Effexor. Left the house exactly once for two weeks straight. Now I've finally convinced myself (Dr. helped, but wasn't as persuasive as I'd expected) that I have to get back on, but now I have to deal w/gradually increasing it. Doc doesn't know exactly how gradually I have to increase after being completely off for a week & a half.



I wish to GOD I didn't have to rely on these things. Every time I go for a refill, things go wrong at the pharmacy or the insurance company or the prescription etc. and then I'm all scared again that I'll run out. Well I finally did. But I couldn't tell if I was unable to concentrate b/c I wasn't on the med or if it was a withdrawal effect or if it was purely psychological...
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