Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 238206

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Re: New to Board: Frustrated with Lamictal BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on May 23, 2004, at 14:36:45

In reply to Re: New to Board: Frustrated with Lamictal katia, posted by BarbaraCat on May 23, 2004, at 13:02:01

Hi Barbara,
He's just manic and that's why he can't reason. He's in love with the mania. He feels GREAT and is getting tons done w/ work. I think he's starting to come around to the fact that this COULD be mania; but FORGET about medicating it. It's his first real manic episode. he's just been dxed. He has been depressed all of his life, he says. he's 33. So he is just beginning the game. As they say, it's sometimes hard to dx because bipolars don't seek out help when their manic, only depressed. He will eventually crash. He probably has to just go thru' the ride a few times to get it, that the highs aren't worth the lows. His father took him to get evaluated, brain scan and so forth because of his bizarre behavior. So family is definitely there for him.
Funny that you mention Tolle, he is reading that right now too! It is a great book. I read it a couple of years ago when I was in the midst of my rock bottom hell. I listened to the tapes rather, normally at 4am when sleep wasn't an option.
Thanks for your advice. I'm definitely taking care of myself in relation to him. I don't have to time to be a caregiver to toxic mania anyway.
re: other website. I think you can still peruse the other postings while waiting for your email. Whatis this other website about sensitive people?
Keep in touch!
Katia

 

Re: New to Board: Frustrated with Lamictal katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on May 24, 2004, at 0:45:22

In reply to Re: New to Board: Frustrated with Lamictal BarbaraCat, posted by katia on May 23, 2004, at 14:36:45

Toxic mania. Very apt. Those who haven't been there think of mania in such romantic terms - a brilliant nutty Lord Byron adventure. I'd love to bottle hypomania but toxic mania is so un-fun for everyone - E.A. Poe on bad acid. Everyone has their path to follow and karma to reap but I hope he doesn't crash and burn too badly. World doesn't need any more walking wounded. Fortunate he's got family there for him.

> Funny that you mention Tolle, he is reading that right now too! It is a great book. I read it a couple of years ago when I was in the midst of my rock bottom hell. I listened to the tapes rather, normally at 4am when sleep wasn't an option.

**"Liberating the Consciousness and Dealing with the Pain Body" is maybe the same tape you listened to. I got alot out of that one, how the pain body needs melodrama and frantic energy as its favorite food and will manufacture nasty events to get it. The ego in other words. I've listened to it probably 6-7 times and again just recently. Its like a whole new talk each time, perfect for what's going on. Very soothing. If you still have the tapes, be interesting to check'em out again.

About the hell you were in. You mentioned you had some terrible experiences after Scotland that led to some dark times. Was this a first time trigger or had it been brewing in other forms?

> re: other website. I think you can still peruse the other postings while waiting for your email. Whatis this other website about sensitive people?

**Funny you should ask. I thought you were the one who turned me onto it. But maybe it was a link from the DSI website. Its very good. Here ya go:

http://www.sensitiveperson.com/

Thanks for introducing me to this new way of looking at things. I like 'highly sensitive person' so much better than the other labels. It gives a sense of hope and even pride ("Yo, I'm not weird, I'm 'highly sensitive' and you should be so lucky!").

BTW, are you still working in the wine restaurant? Probably not with all the other stuff going on. At least I hope not with all the other stuff going on!

> Keep in touch!

**You betcha. Keep me posted about your friend. He's now officially on my prayer list. Here's to God helping those who are willing to help themselves. - Barbara


 

Re: New to Board: Frustrated with Lamictal BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on May 24, 2004, at 2:49:15

In reply to Re: New to Board: Frustrated with Lamictal katia, posted by BarbaraCat on May 24, 2004, at 0:45:22

>>Very soothing. If you still have the tapes, be interesting to check'em out again.

**Yes, I will when I unpack everything someday soon.

> About the hell you were in. You mentioned you had some terrible experiences after Scotland that led to some dark times. Was this a first time trigger or had it been brewing in other forms?

Oh boy. Long story. Let's just say that my cycles became cyclical (redunant I know); more and more obvious every time and the same circumstances happening each time. But everything being wayyyy more intense each time. So I guess you could say this past time was my rock bottom b/c it was worse because "here we go again, here again when I thought I'd evolved from here" and b/c the crashes get harder as we age I think. (until treatment is implemented). I only sought out a dx and treatment just after this time. I lived in the dark for a long time. Blind to my patterns and cycles. In retrospect, I would have mainly dysthymia, hypomania, disasterous results from (normally an affair and then pregnancy) dealing with the pregnancy (and I say this b/c I know you in cyber terms at least, it was the end of the world for me everytime), and the inevitable crash HARD into a MAJOR depression, and stay there for a good year and then lifts a bit, mild depression, then zippity do da, zippity day, my ole my what a wonderful day! And then crash....but the despair just got worse each time and the suicidal tendencies became greater and the self-inflicting harm got worse. In retrospect, I can actually laugh at how crazy I was in Scotland. I was a classic "nutter".

But enough of that! So in short, yes, I've dealt with this all my life, with it getting progressively worse where I finally couldn't ignore it anymore and sought out help.
and you? How long ago did you seek out help for meds for the first time?

> **Funny you should ask. I thought you were the one who turned me onto it. But maybe it was a link from the DSI website. Its very good. Here ya go:

I was. I just didn't know the sensitive website.


> Thanks for introducing me to this new way of looking at things. I like 'highly sensitive person' so much better than the other labels. It gives a sense of hope and even pride ("Yo, I'm not weird, I'm 'highly sensitive' and you should be so lucky!").

me too. The thing that makes sense to me is meds are addressing and supporting my symptoms of that. And that's ok for me.

> BTW, are you still working in the wine restaurant? Probably not with all the other stuff going on. At least I hope not with all the other stuff going on!

YOu know!? I am. And I"m working TWO jobs now as well! I've been so crazy busy. But I"m doing ok relatively speaking. I've changed soooo much in the past four or so months. I feel like I'm coming into my own finally. It's hard and I feel scared, but it's good. I am on meds, but that's ok. It's my support.

> **You betcha. Keep me posted about your friend. He's now officially on my prayer list. Here's to God helping those who are willing to help themselves. - Barbara

I'm sure he'd appreciate that Barbara. Thanks.
He's family is amazing BTW. I lived w/ his Mom and DAd for two years about five years ago in petaluma on a farm. It was wonderful. I'm best friends now w/ his cousin as well. similar travel experiences.

If you're ever in Cal. we should meet up.
My thoughts are with you.
Love,
Katia

 

My med story katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on May 26, 2004, at 14:37:36

In reply to Re: New to Board: Frustrated with Lamictal BarbaraCat, posted by katia on May 24, 2004, at 2:49:15

HI Katia,
> and you? How long ago did you seek out help for meds for the first time?

**I remember periods of weird feelings of sadness and gloom starting at around 10 but my childhood was very difficult because my father was severely mood disordered and was alternately depressed/raging. PLUS toxic Catholicism (from which one never entirely recovers). So I figured my moods were understandable psychological problems given my early conditioning (which they were of course, but not entirely). I was able to maintaine life, school, work, etc., but nothing much helped the severe incapacitating spells that hit now and then. Long term but infrequent cycling with good periods in between. Probably my earliest medication was lots of self-medicating with meth in my late teens. Made me feel better but I know it caused some major brain miswiring. Plus some horrific acid trips taught me how to be nightmare psychotic. No, my druggy hippie daze were not good for my growing brain with my family history. I started in therapy in early 20's and tried Elavil during this time but hated the side effects and was mainly limping along on nothing.

In my early 30's during an awful episode I found a good psychiatrist who prescribed a TCA, Surmontil, and I was amazed at how it pulled me out of a suicidal depression within a few weeks. I then went on to Trazadone which was the new kid on the block - don't remember why I switched because the TCA was working pretty well but I think it started pooping out, plus my shrink retired and I got a 'new school' shrink. Trazadone helped the anxiety part but I was left with a lethargic dysthymia and didn't like the morning tiredness. Switched briefly to Prozac when it first came out but it was too activating - then Zoloft in 1986. It worked pretty well for a few years but the severe depression would always break through and my dose would increase until I was up to 300mg which I think was way too high for a long-term course.

Of course, life doesn't stop and I also had my share of very traumatic incidents throughout my entire life including two near-fatal accidents, a stillbirth, substance abuses, financial, job, and relationship problems, etc. that added to the anxiety level. Soul-less stressful jobs as well, working long hours in more and more demanding positions in high-tech companies (which SUCKED). Arrrghh! Truly challenging life circumstances that went on and on and got more and more complicated with every year. Stress piled upon stress with a growing sense of hopelessness about my ability or desire to cope in a harsh hostile world. I think a person can go through just about anything as long as there's even a little hope. But I had very little, felt unfixable and unlovable. I believe it was this wit's-end hopeless despair that caused things to eventually break.

By mid-90's I was starting to unravel but still maintaining. I'd always had good energy and vitality except for the 'nutter' times, but I think perimenopause started the downhill physical trend, sleeplessness which was always a problem become more so, and the mixed states stuff was becoming more frequent. And let's not forget the nightly coupla glasses of D swampwater to cope! I was shuffling around trying to find a good pdoc but all anyone thought to do was to try another SSRI med and give higher doses when it pooped. I'd stop meds every so often, do OK, then somthing destablizing would happen and I'd get scared enough to try again. My pattern had been healthy stretches and highly functional hypomanias with a crash thrown in now and then, but the panicked mixed states were taking over and eventually stayed pretty constant.

Then in 1999 I went under and had a breakdown and spent 2 weeks in a psych unit. My health really started suffering - I felt toxic and wired and sick - with the eventual fibromyalgia dx. No one can live in that exhausting state for long and something had to break down, as in multiple systems pain/fatigue syndrome that gets called fibromyalgia. I became convinced that there was something off physically and not just the typical depression neurochemicals 'cause what I had wasn't typical 'depression' but something else. I'd been on-top of everything it could possibly be with many doctors - thyroid, candida, epstein-barr, hypoglycemia, lyme disease, mycoplasma, etc., etc. On and on but no remedy ever 'took'. Also tried Zyprexa but it made things worse.

I had to stop working in 2001 and spend alot of time trying to learn and piece things together, follow threads. It was my idea and not any pdoc's that SSRI's didn't seem to be doing me much good, and given what was now known about SSRI's and bipolar and the fact I'd had some whopper hypomanias, perhaps I was Bipolar? I never considered myself bipolar mainly because I'd had a misinformed idea of 'mania'. It didn't occur to me that my father and his family's dysfunction now looks alot like bipolar mixed states. Makes me wonder how things would have evolved had I had a good mood stabilizer instead of only high-dose SSRI's early on.

So, the experiment with lithium and Remeron, then lithium and lamictal began, was pretty good for a time but quit working and lithium exacerbated the hypothyroid. Close but no cigar.

Probably the most successful of my meds were the TCA's but the side effects were intolerable. I suspect our current arsenal of psych meds, no matter the type, dosage or combinations, are not the answer for me and only create additional physical burdens. Since January I'm off everything (even quit recent St. John's Wort trial which was started to spin me into that ol' agitated feeling). I occasionally take Neurontin which helps if I don't take it consistently. Occasional anti-anxiety meds, nutrition, exercise when I can do it, and lifestyle things that calm my nervous system seem to be the keys. Right now I'm concentrating on getting out the mercury (my lab levels were reallly high and that's GOT to be contributing - mad as a hatter).

So my quest is now to answer: What's going on upstream that's keeping this brain/body malfunction locked in? Addressing the symptoms hasn't worked for me. So here I am, barenaked in the psych med department, doing all I can to learn and assist Mama Nature in getting me healthy. Probably the greatest healing has been learning to tolerate and honor the impacted grief and fear that needed to emerge - which it did bigtime this past Winter. Letting it flow up and out transformed alot of that despair and taken away much of the stuck toxicity. Learning to trust that I'm not 'wrong' to feel such pain and proably won't die from it until it inevitably transforms (bless Eckhart Tolle!) has probably been the greatest medicine so far and may end up being worth the getting there. But first the ol' bod had to get alot stronger cause detoxing from all that stuff that wasn't working was a wild ride! And of course, haaving a best friend husband - he surely has his own toxic stuff he's working through, but he and our furry ones have been my rock. I'm amazed he's stuck it through with me.

Well, that was interesting. I think I got more puzzle pieces in the process of recalling all that.
>
> If you're ever in Cal. we should meet up.

**Ohh, that would be a hoot! We'll have to make it so.

 

Re: My med story BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on May 26, 2004, at 16:36:58

In reply to My med story katia, posted by BarbaraCat on May 26, 2004, at 14:37:36

Hi Barb,
When first starting to read your first paragraph, I was a little confused as to if I'd written that earilier or if that was you! Such similarities. (Depression starting at 10/11 - and a Catholic upbringing). Altho' my father wasn't mixed and rageful (only ocassional temper tantrums), I think he's dythymic for sure w/ a severe sleep disorder. Love him to death though.

Thanks for your story. While reading it, it just reminded me that we are always in process, hopefully moving towards more and more awareness and "enlightenment" in the process, like a spiral just moving upward. "Been here and here I am again, but at a higher level sort of thing".
sounds like you're giving your body what it needs. A break from dxes and meds. Sometimes we have to start from ground zero with a clean slate in order to sort out what's what.

So the St. John's spun you out agitated-wise?
I wonder about that. Like if it confirms more of your BP dx?
Keep doing what you're doing; it seems to be working and making you well. Furry critters are magical wonder healers.
I've recently adopted my new next-door neighbors neglected and (previously abused by someone else) 8 yr. old black male Pit Bull! I'd never have guessed that this would've ever happened. but we are so in love and he's given me joy and love and an outlet to get out of my head and give to someone else. I'm a mother now! I always had the misconception of Pitbulls. but he is so wonderfully sweet, playful, humorous, funny mannerisms and a big ball of energy - very mindful and wants to please. That's why they get into trouble with the fights. They are a breed that wants to please and bad owners ask them to do these things and they do it.

I'm feeling pretty well. a little exhausted and busy, but possibly found the righ med cocktail (in conjunction with everything else I've been doing). 450mg Trileptal; 6.5 mg of Paxil; 20mg of seroquel. and of course the Carlson's Fish Oil; which I just reduced in half to 6mg from 12mg. I'd been having chronic diahhrea for months and maybe it's correlated with (lots of things) but with an increase in fishoil? who knows. it seems to be working. My bowel movements are getting back to normal. (that you'd like to know ;-)
take care-
Katia

 

Re: My med story katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on May 26, 2004, at 18:20:30

In reply to Re: My med story BarbaraCat, posted by katia on May 26, 2004, at 16:36:58

> Hi Barb,
> When first starting to read your first paragraph, I was a little confused as to if I'd written that earilier or if that was you! Such similarities. (Depression starting at 10/11 - and a Catholic upbringing).

**yep, that was you. I'm not sure about if St. John's was making me feel weepy and despondent but decided to back off and see. Feel pretty good since but these cycles have their own life.

Pitbulls are wonderful critters and so misunderstood! My husband had one - a Staffordshire Terrier which is an American pitbull family. She was an absolute love, loyal and fiercely protective of his ex-wife's child, so smart and funny. Only problem was Pitbull's need to CHEW CHEW CHEW. They have such big strong jaws. She chewed through everything including her wire dogrun cable and a fat wooden post that held up the porch. Such a funny sweetie. Sounds like your baby finally found a good Mommy!

 

Re: My med story BarbaraCat

Posted by harryp on May 28, 2004, at 23:20:37

In reply to My med story katia, posted by BarbaraCat on May 26, 2004, at 14:37:36

Hi!

Have you tried a MAOI? Nardil would probably be worth a trial. It is a great AD/antianxiety drug, and it's side effect profile is probably better than most TCA's. MAOI's seem less likely to set off mania than SSRI's, although I would try using a mild MS with it like Lamictal.

See what your doc says...but I agree it's definitely time to try something new. The MAOI's operate totally differently from all other AD's, and should always be considered in persistent depressive illness.

 

Re: My med story BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on May 29, 2004, at 3:10:48

In reply to Re: My med story katia, posted by BarbaraCat on May 26, 2004, at 18:20:30

Yes, my baby finally found a good mommy. I just hope I can remain a good mommy and NOT go psycho when the pressures get too much! Pit bulls need loottttsss of attention!

How're you? Have you tried MAO or Mao Ze dung?
just kidding.
keep in touch.
love,
S(katia)

 

Re:lamictal for depression

Posted by Latina on May 30, 2004, at 13:25:31

In reply to Re: My med story BarbaraCat, posted by katia on May 29, 2004, at 3:10:48

has any one out there tried Lamictal and Geodon? I've been on it for about a month and I am better than I've been in years. I have bipolar and fibromyalgia. I've had to quit work as an R.N.I'm not 100% by no means but better. Latina

 

Re:lamictal for depression Latina

Posted by sac on May 30, 2004, at 21:07:23

In reply to Re:lamictal for depression, posted by Latina on May 30, 2004, at 13:25:31

Hi, I am curious about your post because I am currently on Lamictal (for bipolar II) and my doctor has also given me Geodon for it's calming and mood stabilizing properties. I took it once or twice and I did feel calmer at night but I have been reluctant to begin it on a regular basis. Can you elaborate on your experience with this combo and what dosages your on? Thanks. -Stacey

> has any one out there tried Lamictal and Geodon? I've been on it for about a month and I am better than I've been in years. I have bipolar and fibromyalgia. I've had to quit work as an R.N.I'm not 100% by no means but better. Latina

 

Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) St. John

Posted by BeckyB on June 16, 2004, at 19:02:48

In reply to Re: Lamictal side effects, posted by St. John on May 11, 2004, at 15:02:27

> > Isn't it facinating that NONE of the literature indicates that Lamictal has the gastrointestinal complications I'm mentioning--nothing that says like other mood stabilizers, some people have the nasuea/distress. Oh well, got to preserve the market.>>

I've been lurking on this board today because I was just given a Lamictal Rx by a neurologist for off-label treatment of spasticity. I've been on some pretty potent drugs for several years and thought I was immune to the "Oh my lord!" effect of reading the "adverse events" section of drug prescribing info, but the one for Lamictal is in a league of its own, so I've been searching for any real life experiences, which brought me here.

Anyway, the package insert for Lamictal lists nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, flatulence, gastritis, constipation and diahrrea as possible adverse GI effects. It also includes a "black box" warning (repeated several times) of symptoms of a possibly dangerous hypersensitivy reaction: not just the rash and itchiness that have been mentioned several times on the board, but fever plus swollen lymph glands, even without an evident rash.

The entire insert is on-line at http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_lamictal.pdf (but be prepared for an "Oh my lord!" reaction; I'll bet GSK's legal department was more involved in producing it than was their marketing department.)

There's also a discussion of Lamictal pros and cons by a patient at http://www.crazymeds.org/lamictal.html, which points out that "when you look at the PI sheet and actually look at the odds you have a 1 in 10 chance of getting some kind of rash with Lamictal. Not necessarily The Rash, just some random rash." I think he underplays the potential seriousness of a rash (e.g, he says "Once you see the first symptoms and stop taking Lamictal, The Rash goes away and you're safe! Problem solved!" -- not necessarily so, according to the PI. But the site still has good info, including what seems to be a decent translation of some of the incredibly complicated titration/discontinuation schedules recommended by GSK, and potential interations.

 

Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) BeckyB

Posted by barbaracat on June 17, 2004, at 17:24:31

In reply to Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) St. John, posted by BeckyB on June 16, 2004, at 19:02:48

Hello Becky,
I hope you will benefit from some hard-won experience from Lamictal and 'the Rash'. I've related my story in other posts, but if I can do anything to forwarn another, here goes again...

I was on Lam at 75mg for over a year and it seemed to be doing the trick. At least I felt more 'sparkly' and felt it was helping along with 600mg lithium to control my spins into bleak mixed states depression. I was maintaining. Then my life unraveled during a series of personal trajedies. Depression naturally broke through but was becoming debilitating. So, of course, my pdoc suggested raising the Lam and I slowly titrated up to 150mg. With each increase I felt a little more agitated and began to feel an unbearable intense itch, as though little needles were stinging my skin and scalp. I didn't associate it with Lam since there was no visible sign of rash, more like a heightened skin tenderness. I cut back and it subsided somewhat, increase and it came back. Lam had lost its magic and felt inflaming at every level. I stopped taking it in January of this year.

Then in March I began a course of oral DMPS to chelate a high level of mercury toxicity I tested positively for. Most people don't get any reaction to DMPS but it does depend heavily on methylation and detoxing itself can be a heavy drain. I first got severe racking chills, then a fever. But I continued taking it thinking I was coming down with a cold or something. Then came the severe external rash that quickly spread to my internal mucous membranes. Not fun. I ended up with Stevens Johnson Syndrome, spent time in the hospital and was quite ill for 5 weeks. Although it was not directly attributable to the Lam, I feel that the itching and skin sensitivity was a prelude and sensitizing. Something in my chemistry was being constantly irritated. I was being harmed and I was being warned.

I've since found out much about sulfanization, methyl doners, and some of us are genetically deficient in an enzyme needed in this process. But the immune system is pretty adaptable, and as long as it has what it needs, life goes on. Glutathione is what bolsters the immune system to withstand assaults. However, very depressed, stressed, worn out and ill people have been shown to have low glutathione reserves. In other words, one may be genetically predisposed to a particular weakness, in this case, one that depends upon methyl doners and conversions of sulfer type compounds. Lamictal and many other drugs use this pathway. We take hits on our immune system constantly. If there's a hiccup along the way, the immune system can usually handle it, but put enough stress into the picture and it can't manage anymore and inflammation results. Inflammation and it's by-products is the key to a whole host of ills, and a skin rash is just one manifestation. Yes, fever, aches, swollen glands, headaches, are other indications of an inflammatory process. Some people are just flat out allergic to a substance - bee venom, peanuts, etc., and know right away. For some it's a slower acclimation process, an allergy that eventually becomes stronger than a weakened immune system can handle.

In hindsight, I now know that my reaction from Lam was a warning that something was awry. It was the straw and set the stage and now I've become sensitive and allergic to many things I never was before. I've learned alot and am now taking nutrients that support the methylation process and my liver and dextox pathways, but I don't know if this is the answer or not. Recovery has been very slow.

You could research deep into the bowels of genetic mutations, thiol groups, cytokines and mast cell involvement until you're up every night until the wee hours. It's very interesting but time's a-wasting. It's enough to know that if you get any kind of adverse inflammatory condition from a med - DON'T IGNORE IT. A 'little rash' is a warning that something ain't kosher with this substance. A big red flag should wave if a doctor tells you, 'oh it's just a small rash and will go away so continue taking your meds'. Grill your doctor - what do they really know other than what the drug companies literature tells them. They're not in the trenches.

Stevens Johnson has been a relatively rare occurrence, but hospital ERs and Urgent Cares are seeing a disturbing rise in cases and they are concerned about indiscrimate prescribing of anti-convulsants. Kids especially are very suseptible. And it's not just Lamictal. Depakote has a bad track record here too. We take these meds so trustingly. I've come to realize that most docs do not have in-depth expertise. It's really up to us to be accountable to our bodies.

Most experience nothing and enjoy the meds many benefits. Maybe the symptoms just mean you're coming down with a flu, contracted a rash somewhere, can shake off a minor allergic reaction. But caution is always necessary. Any rash, weird itch, inflamed touchy skin thing, fever, chills, gland involvement is INFLAMMATION and is your body's way of saying 'Hey! SOMETHING IS WRONG!!'. It might be your medication. That doesn't mean stop all at once, but by all means, reduce your exposure to the allergen. Put it this way - if you suddenly realize you've been sitting in a patch of poison oak, it would be wise to beat cheeks out of there. But you know, most people really don't listen to any of this, and probably hope that living in a patch of poison oak will be preferable to living with depression. - Barbara

> > > Isn't it facinating that NONE of the literature indicates that Lamictal has the gastrointestinal complications I'm mentioning--nothing that says like other mood stabilizers, some people have the nasuea/distress. Oh well, got to preserve the market.>>
>
> I've been lurking on this board today because I was just given a Lamictal Rx by a neurologist for off-label treatment of spasticity. I've been on some pretty potent drugs for several years and thought I was immune to the "Oh my lord!" effect of reading the "adverse events" section of drug prescribing info, but the one for Lamictal is in a league of its own, so I've been searching for any real life experiences, which brought me here.
>
> Anyway, the package insert for Lamictal lists nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, flatulence, gastritis, constipation and diahrrea as possible adverse GI effects. It also includes a "black box" warning (repeated several times) of symptoms of a possibly dangerous hypersensitivy reaction: not just the rash and itchiness that have been mentioned several times on the board, but fever plus swollen lymph glands, even without an evident rash.
>
> The entire insert is on-line at http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_lamictal.pdf (but be prepared for an "Oh my lord!" reaction; I'll bet GSK's legal department was more involved in producing it than was their marketing department.)
>
> There's also a discussion of Lamictal pros and cons by a patient at http://www.crazymeds.org/lamictal.html, which points out that "when you look at the PI sheet and actually look at the odds you have a 1 in 10 chance of getting some kind of rash with Lamictal. Not necessarily The Rash, just some random rash." I think he underplays the potential seriousness of a rash (e.g, he says "Once you see the first symptoms and stop taking Lamictal, The Rash goes away and you're safe! Problem solved!" -- not necessarily so, according to the PI. But the site still has good info, including what seems to be a decent translation of some of the incredibly complicated titration/discontinuation schedules recommended by GSK, and potential interations.

 

Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) barbaracat

Posted by BeckyB on June 17, 2004, at 17:55:16

In reply to Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) BeckyB, posted by barbaracat on June 17, 2004, at 17:24:31

Many thanks, Barbara. My neurologist is pretty familiar with Lamictal since it's used for epilepsy, and his emailed instructions to me included: "REPORT ANY RASH PROMPTLY" (his "shouting", not mine).

 

Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) barbaracat

Posted by katia on June 18, 2004, at 14:17:02

In reply to Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) BeckyB, posted by barbaracat on June 17, 2004, at 17:24:31

Hi Barb,
How's it going? You are always such a wealth of information. I briefly did a little research on glutathione and it is interesting. About a month ago I did a round with milk thistle as suggested by you. I sometimes do this as I know my liver takes a beating. But I didn't realize how important glut. was. Besides whey protein, what other ways can one increase it? What are you doing now with supplements and diet?
Katia

 

Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) katia

Posted by barbaracat on June 18, 2004, at 15:47:45

In reply to Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) barbaracat, posted by katia on June 18, 2004, at 14:17:02

Hi Katia,
Glute is majorly important, not only for general immune health, but some studies have found that it's low in depression - chicken or egg, who knows. Mood disorders sure use up alot of energy. It isn't easily supplemented by itself and seems to work better using precursors. The brand I use, ala naturopath, is Glutathione Precursors by CFS Nutrition (www.cfsn.com). Has N-acetyl-cysteine 257mg, l-glutamic acid 128mg, L-glycine 64mg.

I was taking Immunocal whey protein because I was told that it was the best 'whey' to get glute, better than the precurser route. In fact, this was from someone who stressed that glute was really important in building up stores of stamina and strength to get off ADs and the stress caused by depression. I may go back to it in addition to the precursers.

How am I doing? Doing OK, today at least, but yesterday was a bear. It happens when I overextend, don't meditate, get hyper and forget to breathe. Sometimes I simply don't believe that all things pass. Being out of work can be really hard at times. Isolating and stuck. I end up feeling like nothing is getting accomplished or changing, life is a waste, I'll end up poor, sick and alone -- all those dark bag-lady thoughts. But I slept well, it's a new day and life seems kinder.

I'm back on St. John's Wort cause I was drowning in depression. But I've started taking lithium orotate as well and I think it's offsetting the jaggies from SJW. In fact, it's helping alot. I don't think it's a good idea for us bipolars to not be on something. I come back to that every time I try to be pure and natural. I'm only taking 2 li orotate pills a day which is a teeny amount compared to the 600mg lithium carbonate I was on before. It's reputed to be better bioavailable than li carb, which some say is hooey, but I think there may be something to it. I'm not getting any of the lithium side-effects either and hopefully my thyroid won't get dinged like it did on the other. I tried lith orotate last year but didn't feel it was strong enough at the time, especially since I'd stopped li carb and was in the midst of major hypomania. It wasn't enough to pull me out. Recently, with all the detox and lifestyle changes I think I'm in a better position to benefit from it.

My diet is pretty good. Healthy but nothing radical and try to keep it simple. Fresh veggies, fish, chicken, mainly organic, very little sugar. I cook and eat at home mainly, not having many worthwhile eateries nearby, just the usual smalltown watering holes. I'm also taking folic acid 800mg twice a day since it's supposed to be a good antidepressant, sublingual methylcobalamin B12 ditto as an AD and it's the only kind that gets taken into the brain. 1 T Carlson's fish oil, 6M Vit C and a bunch of the usual vitamins and antioxidants like extra CoQ. Taking 1.5 grains natural thyroid and a compounded hormone cream. Ambien to sleep. That's about it, except for periodic neurontin. As long as I don't take it all the time, it helps with occasional real bad anxiety.

I'm also doing a mercury chelation protocol using NDF products (www.bioray2000.com). I sure hope it does the trick. NDF has a good rep and supposedly pulls the mercury out of the brain, which DMPS does not (plus the Stevens Johnson I got from it sucked). So far (3 weeks) I've noticed a lessening in my leg pains and electrical muscle 'pops' that are supposedly mercury caused. We'll see. I know you had your amalgams pulled a while back and it didn't make much of a diff. I don't think I'll go that route. Don't have that many exposed amalgams and I can't afford it anyway. Have you ever had your mercury levels checked? Mine were extremely high and it can't be doing me much good. In fact, I think it's fouling up everything else I try, clogging receptor sites, and responsible for my fibro symtpoms. Of course, exercise is hands down the best thing of all, but I can't (or won't) always do it. Seems like beating a dying horse sometimes.

How are you doing? Sure hope you're still feeling on the upswing or at least steady. It seemed your current medication mix was helping. What's your protocol these days as far as meds and nutritionals?

How's school going? I was signed up for some dance classes but had a crash for a week. Of course, always happens. I'll still go when I can though cause can't let this stuff continue to keep me a recluse. How are you doing with the swampwater and bitches blood? I can't abstain. I just can't and have to admit it. As long as it's moderate and not abusing and I can hold it to a few times a week, it's good enough. Also, wine seems to affect me worse than spirits, so I'm trying to make do with vodka or tequila instead of vino. But it's chardonnay I crave.


> How's it going? You are always such a wealth of information. I briefly did a little research on glutathione and it is interesting. About a month ago I did a round with milk thistle as suggested by you. I sometimes do this as I know my liver takes a beating. But I didn't realize how important glut. was. Besides whey protein, what other ways can one increase it? What are you doing now with supplements and diet?
> Katia

 

Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) barbaracat

Posted by katia on June 18, 2004, at 18:39:56

In reply to Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) katia, posted by barbaracat on June 18, 2004, at 15:47:45


> I was taking Immunocal whey protein because I was told that it was the best 'whey' to get glute, better than the precurser route. In fact, this was from someone who stressed that glute was really important in building up stores of stamina and strength to get off ADs and the stress caused by depression. I may go back to it in addition to the precursers.

Hi Barbara,
I may go this route as I know my body is rundown from the past few months, not to mention all of my life before this busy time. I'm feeling like I want to live and appreciate this life and fall in love with it and am hoping all the darkness and destruction hasn't already taken it's toll on my body - disease-wise. So I"m trying to implement some support and I seem to be so good at implementing the destructive stuff, like stress, cigs, and alcohol, and coffee.

>
> How am I doing? Doing OK, today at least, but yesterday was a bear. It happens when I overextend, don't meditate, get hyper and forget to breathe.

**That's me too. I hate to have to be so hypervigliant about "taking good care of myself".

> I'm back on St. John's Wort cause I was drowning in depression. But I've started taking lithium orotate as well and I think it's offsetting the jaggies from SJW. In fact, it's helping alot. I don't think it's a good idea for us bipolars to not be on something. I come back to that every time I try to be pure and natural. I'm only taking 2 li orotate pills a day which is a teeny amount compared to the 600mg lithium carbonate I was on before. It's reputed to be better bioavailable than li carb, which some say is hooey, but I think there may be something to it. I'm not getting any of the lithium side-effects either and hopefully my thyroid won't get dinged like it did on the other. I tried lith orotate last year but didn't feel it was strong enough at the time, especially since I'd stopped li carb and was in the midst of major hypomania. It wasn't enough to pull me out. Recently, with all the detox and lifestyle changes I think I'm in a better position to benefit from it.

** good to hear that Li. Oratate is helping you. Sounds like there is more balance happening in your life.

**Do you take AMbien every night? I'm still on Seroquel and can't seem to find a reason to stop taking something that works.

>Have you ever had your mercury levels checked? Mine were extremely high and it can't be doing me much good. In fact, I think it's fouling up everything else I try, clogging receptor sites, and responsible for my fibro symtpoms. Of course, exercise is hands down the best thing of all, but I can't (or won't) always do it. Seems like beating a dying horse sometimes.


*Nope I haven't. I don't have insurance so I can't see it happening anytime soon. I'm kinda getting to a point where I'm tired of thinking of things that could possibly cause me to be me; even though when it gets bad enough, I can't help but look for reasons as a way out of hell.

I suppose my current med cocktail must be doing something for me. 450mg Trileptal 12.5 Paxil and 25mg of Seroquel and 1 tbl spoon Carlson's. I've recently started to do yoga again (which i have to go soon so I"ll make this short(ish).
I'm just done with therapy, coaching, self-help stuff. I need a break and read fiction and stare into the sky and day dream and walk my dog. I've taken another break in grad school and made some changes which I'll go into later. I'm eliminating things now as I took too much on.

>
> How's school going? I was signed up for some dance classes but had a crash for a week. Of course, always happens. I'll still go when I can though cause can't let this stuff continue to keep me a recluse.

**I know what you mean. I've own two belly dancing skirts from times of starting and never following through.

**Swamp water occasionally and skunk's blood more often. But normally no more than 1-3 gl. I've been drinking quite a bit over the past few months, but as I stated above - nothing too excessive in one sitting. But too much for me overall. Now I'm taking at least two/three nights "off" a week. Last night I had 1 1/2 and didn't want anymore. I'm starting to feel more centered and when that happens, I don't drink as much.
Keep in touch. Gotta run.
Katia

 

Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal

Posted by Malthus on July 28, 2004, at 7:02:32

In reply to Re: Lamictal side effects (GI, The Rash others) barbaracat, posted by katia on June 18, 2004, at 18:39:56

Hi Barbaracat and Katia:

I've just spent the past forty five minutes reading your posts to each other and learned so much. (woke up at 5:45 am, didn't get to bed until 2:30am, pretty sure it's the effects of Lam 75mg.) You are both such creative writers! I have a question about Ambien 25.mg/1 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). 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. 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 (can't remember if it was Bcat or Katia). Hope you read this as your last posts on this topic were a while ago. Thanks for your input. Malthus

 

Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal Malthus

Posted by katia on July 28, 2004, at 21:24:55

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

> Hi Barbaracat and Katia:
>
> I've just spent the past forty five minutes reading your posts to each other and learned so much. (woke up at 5:45 am, didn't get to bed until 2:30am, pretty sure it's the effects of Lam 75mg.) You are both such creative writers! I have a question about Ambien 25.mg/1 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). 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. 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 (can't remember if it was Bcat or Katia). Hope you read this as your last posts on this topic were a while ago. Thanks for your input. Malthus

Hi,
I'm not the one who took ambien, it's BarbCat. Sorry i can't help you. I know for me Lamictal was activating in a euphoric way the first time I took it and the second time it was dysphoric and I had to stop. Maybe the side effects of Lam. will wear off. If not, maybe try something else? or use something to help you sleep if it's working for you. I use Seroquel for sleep and it works. Barb tried it and it didn't work for her.
Thanks for the compliment on my writing! I"m not feeling too creative at the moment as my dog just passed away last week and my heart is broken now.
Good luck with your meds.
Katia

 

Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal katia

Posted by BarbaraCat on July 28, 2004, at 23:35:06

In reply to Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal Malthus, posted by katia on July 28, 2004, at 21:24:55

Oh Katia,
Oh, I am so sorry. Your little pup. I'd grown to love the little critter - he just reached out over the waves. My heart is with you and I know yours is with me.

My wonderful kitty just passed away tonight. My little Merlin was so sick, hanging on for love of life and his folks. He just got so sick and we had our wonderful vet come and send him into the great beyond, the great Adventure. Oh, Katia. Talk to me, sweetie. We have so much in common, my dear sister. Love, Barbara
>

 

Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal Malthus

Posted by BarbaraCat on July 28, 2004, at 23:45:18

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

Dear Malthus,
Thanks so much for your wonderful words. Helped me so much since I just lost my beloved kitty tonight. I know Katia was touched as well, for similar reasons. It's amazing how simple reaching out, kind words, can have such a powerful effect, a sweet kindness. Reminds us of what is really important - until we forget once again.

I will get back to you with your question. Right now I can't quite wrap my mind around anything, except to know that Life is a gift to be treasured, no matter how shitty it gets. I guess that's the solace and gift we receive from losing a loved one.

BTW, Ambien is pretty great as far as sleep meds go and I think your doc should consider how important good quality sleep is right here and now and not be too concerned over trivialities.
But we'll talk later, Barbara

 

Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal BarbaraCat

Posted by katia on July 29, 2004, at 0:36:56

In reply to Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal katia, posted by BarbaraCat on July 28, 2004, at 23:35:06

> Oh Katia,
> Oh, I am so sorry. Your little pup. I'd grown to love the little critter - he just reached out over the waves. My heart is with you and I know yours is with me.
>
> My wonderful kitty just passed away tonight. My little Merlin was so sick, hanging on for love of life and his folks. He just got so sick and we had our wonderful vet come and send him into the great beyond, the great Adventure. Oh, Katia. Talk to me, sweetie. We have so much in common, my dear sister. Love, Barbara


Hi Dear Barbara,
Grief is a powerful thing. One minute I'm fine and the next, like a wave passing over me I crumple to the floor in agony. I'm sorry about your sweet little Merlin.

Oh god. Such an awful awful thing happened right at a time when Rock and I had shifted through things. I had to put him down in my arms at 4 a.m. kissing his head and telling him "Mommy loves you" over and over again.
Five days eariler we had spent three hours with an animal communicator and boy I got such a story from him. He had it FAR worse than I can even imagine. He was soooo smart too. He had so much understanding about our relationship, me, and him and his own demons. At the end of it, we both love each other so deeply and want only the best for the other even if that means sacrificing everything. I've never experienced such a beautiful unselfish unconditional love from both ends. I talked to the communicator just hours after it happened and she said that Rock was grateful for what I did and that he'll only be ok if I"m ok. I was sobbing screaming "I only care about him! I only care if he's ok. Don't worry about me; I can't rest if he's not at peace." Now, I'm at the part of missing him terribly. Something terribly important is missing from this life and that is him. I got his ashes back yesterday and he has shrine in the living room complete with tennis balls and bones. My heart has broken. The animal commuincator says she has rarely met such a special spirit as Rock. She said he was a very old soul. She said he said that he'd never experienced such unconditional love before and these four months have been the best in his life. He now knows he's worthy of such love and will choose such a dignified life in the next one. I just hope we can pass each other again if that is what he wants too.
The communicator told me something like: the level of your grief is only a reflection of the depth of your love.
Your kitty knows it was best for him. He loved you so much that he hung on all those months because of that. But he needed to go and you honored his life by providing that outlet. It is a courageous selfless act.
If we get rerouted to social Barb, just follow the link.
My thoughts are with you Barbara.
Love,
Katia

 

Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal - Question??

Posted by starlight on July 29, 2004, at 11:36:27

In reply to Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal ? Malthus, posted by katia on July 28, 2004, at 21:24:55

How would you describe being dysphoric?

 

Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal - Question?? starlight

Posted by katia on July 29, 2004, at 14:02:46

In reply to Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal - Question??, posted by starlight on July 29, 2004, at 11:36:27

Irritability and agitation. Racy in those ways. Not good ways.

 

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 25.mg/1 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

 

Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal

Posted by katia on July 30, 2004, at 16:31:11

In reply to Re: Bcat and Katia posts and lamictal Malthus, posted by BarbaraCat on July 30, 2004, at 14:37:49

Hi Barb and Malthus,
In Orlando, my mother gave me something to sleep when I got there (plus my seroquel). I was so hysterical, I thought I would die from the grief literally.
Let's see it was - Hydroxyzine HCL 25mg (Atarax). I've never heard of it before, but it helped relax me and I slept for twelve hours that night and then woke up to my 34th birthday. what timing. try celebrating a wedding and birthday while trying to hold grief at bay.
Have either of you heard of this pill?
Katia


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