Posted by Ponder on August 31, 2003, at 14:08:56
In reply to Lamictal Survey, posted by Ima on August 31, 2003, at 12:50:17
I started on Lamictal during the summer of 2001. At that time I was in a protracted hypersomnulent, overwhelmed-with-fatigue kind of depression. After years of med trials, Lamictal was the first one that really seemed to work. It did not make me symptom free (well, actually, for a few days at a time, it would) so Wellbutrin was added. The last few years have been a hellish climb out of the worst of that depression and I would not have made it without Lamictal.
Now to answer your question more directly. How long did it work for me? I'd say quite well for over a year at a relatively low dose (150 mg/day.) I had break-through symptoms, but nothing like the zombie-ness of before. Recently I raised the dose to 200/day. In the last six months I've had some scary suicidal ideation, huge anxiety problems, etc. My p-doc has wanted to add or change things, but I cling to my Lam/WB combo with what is probably irrational loyalty and eschew other meds. Oddly, when you finally find something that works, you are reluctant to give it up even when it's not working very well anymore. At least, that's my reaction.
The other consideration for me was side effects over the long haul. I had gained weight on other drugs which brought on all kinds of other problems associated with being fat--arthritic pain, high BP, stress incontinance (this may not be a problem for younger women.) So weight gain was something I was determined to avoid. I've lost 50 pounds (that I had gained on Effexor)while being on the Lam/WB combo. Part of that is because the drugs are sufficiently activating to make me want to keep going all day and I've added very regular exercise to my daily therapeutic efforts.
So, it's been a mixed bag, I guess. But for now, I'm still on it. I recently had my first full-blown panic attack (situational? drugs too activating? emergence of yet another comorbidity?--who knows?) and my care providers are pretty hot to put me on an SSRI. Me, I've just become a damned scaredy-cat about med trials and wd prefer to just take Ativan as needed.
My med choices may not be the most rational, but there they are, for what it's worth.