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Re: Lamictal Side Effects Over Time, esp. Dreams

Posted by Orion on November 23, 2003, at 20:59:47

In reply to Re: New to Lamictal - Side Effects, posted by mnomad3 on November 21, 2003, at 18:26:03

Hi. I'm somewhere in the Bipolar II / Cyclothymic Disorder spectrum. I've been getting dulled "abnormal" dreams on lamictal (I've been taking it for 6 weeks and have been up to 100mg/day for 10 days). It actually feels like it's affecting my cognition to some degree, at least when I'm tired. I've included a longer description below, but my question is:

Have people found their Lamictal side-effects to lessen with time? (I'm especially interested in cognitive side effects and dreams.)

=========Longer Description==============

I have just been skimming the 50 page document, "Prescribing Information" for lamictal on Finally, on page 31, I found what I'd been looking for:

"Adverse events that occurred in at least 5% of patients and were numerically more common during the dose escalation phase of LAMICTAL in these trials (when patients may have been receiving concomitant medications) compared to the monotherapy phase were: headache (25%), rash (11%), dizziness (10%), diarrhea (8%), DREAM ABNORMALITY (6%), and pruitus (6%)."

(Note: reduce these numbers in your head a bit, because folks on placebo report complaints, too, albeit at lower numbers.)

Ahah! My stilted dreams have precident!

I've slowly ramped up to 100mg a day. Based upon the studies that exist, I was wanting to go higher. I had been very optimistic about this drug. Right now, I don't know how I feel, except to say that while it might be better on average in terms of side effects than lithium, it ain't perfect for me.

I've been noticing a peculiar cognitive effect.

As is typical with our type, I have a very active mind and--like the books say--I make connections between very disparate ideas. But for me, the connections are generally sane. I'm an interdisciplinary scientist. I use chemistry, biology, physics, economics, sociology, history, and my own experience, as different ways to look at the same world. Making cognitive connections between these disciplines is second nature to me.

I have complex mental models going on in my head, perhaps not unlike the mathmatician in the movie Pi who sees numbers everywhere. (I've never seen
the movie.)

Since starting lamictal (and trazodone some days to help me sleep), I've noticed that sometimes I'm a little tired and my mind "goes to sleep" for a few moments (or half asleep), at which point I have little dream fragements. And I tell you honestly, it's seeing the machinery of my cognition be partially disassembled: certain wheels are spinning, but they aren't connected the way they were. It's literally like that. I have spatial models spinning in my head that normally would be a part of a larger mental machine, but it's like I've taken the motor out or disconnected some belts and the motor is just spinning on its own. It's accompanied by a dullness and mild confusion.




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