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Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal Malthus

Posted by BarbaraCat on July 30, 2004, at 14:37:49

In reply to Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal, posted by Malthus on July 28, 2004, at 7:02:32

Hi Malthus,
Hopefully I can answer your questions now.

>>I have a question about Ambien at night. My doctor prescribed it last week when she took me from 50 mg. to 75 mg of Lam., but said it was only for the times for when I need to reach into the medicine cabinet because I can't sleep (only prescribed 20 pills).

**25mg is a high dose for Ambien. I take 10mg, but to tell you the truth, I'm not able to sleep lately even taking extra pills. These past two weeks seeing my cat suffer so have traumatized me. The only thing that gets me to sleep finally is taking a benzo along with the Ambien. I take 5mg Valium to relax my muscles which are currently tight and in knots. Ambien doesn't seem to do much in the way of chilling me, which is what I need most right now - to zone out.

>>I've been staying up so late at night because I have all this energy which is unusual for me as I'm usually so depressed that sleep is the only relief.

**Lamictal can be activating, especially in the beginning and with each dose increase. The best way to deal with this and make it work for you is to find an active outlet. Hard exercise is the best, but any way you can channel that surge of new energy is important. Otherwise it tends to build into tension and insomnia, as you're experiencing.

>>She is conservative and says that it's only a short term medication. Well, I've been using it every night (one 25mg. pill). I STILL have trouble falling asleep. How long have you been on the Ambien.

**I've been on it about 1-1/2 years. Ambien is probably the best of the sleep meds as far as tolerance - much better than the benzos. But you will build tolerance eventually and if your doctor pulls the plug, don't be surprised if you can't sleep for a few nights. You can try benedryl. I take 50 to 100mg on some nights and depending on how wound up I am, it will sometimes push me over the edge into sleep. Sleep has always been a problem for me. I recall lying awake as a child for hours. Some people have a circadian sleep cycle disruption. There's some new evidence that this may be implicated in bipolar disorder.

Perhaps as the Lamictal settles in, sleep will come back and you won't need a sleeper. But if you do, and find that you're just not sleeping, your doctor has to take that as first priority. Sleeplessness is a no-no for bipolars. Really, exercise is the best solution, even though it's the last thing we want to hear. - Barbara




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