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Author Topic: Lamictal and anxiety?  (Read 16867 times)

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Offline FLPrincess82

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Lamictal and anxiety?
« on: October 01, 2011, 03:54:42 PM »
I've been through the full run with medications and have gotten fed up and very anti psychiatric drugs.  I recently, about 4 months ago, got the best psychiatrist in the area due to frustration and bad medication management of my previous doctor.  My new doctor, in many ways, has been very helpful.  He figured out the Zoloft I had been taking for 3 years was creating mental issues in itself and pulled me off it.  I did feel a lot better after being off it.  I also was on a lot of benzos for 3 years and he has been helping me taper off, which is going fairly successfully.  In my appointment yesterday to check on my taper, he surprised me by pulling out a Lamictal starter pack.  I said am I bipolar or something?  He said I'm 100% sure you aren't.  I asked him why and he said this is an off label use but I've had anxiety patients before who have been resistant to traditional treatments that have found success with Lamictal.  My goal was to be completely off medication.  However, he did make some good points about having a low frustration tolerance and poor impulse control.  I said isn't that bipolar?  He said you aren't bipolar again.  He said the entire SSRI spectrum is not something he would ever allow me to be on again as I tend to get suicidal and self injuring on those medicines.  He also said once I'm off the benzos, benzo treatment in the future is no longer an option.  So I've been debating last night and today if I should really even take this medicine.  He said I don't know if it will help, but it has helped some in the past.  At least he's honest, but I'm tired of medicines and having crazy reactions to them. I'm also tired of benzo detox.  If something weird happened with this pill I don't know if I could even cope with it at this point.  Has anyone had a doctor use this approach and had success with it? 
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Offline gcalex

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Re: Lamictal and anxiety?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 07:30:58 PM »
Many drugs are used off label in psychiatry, see a similar thread I posted about dilantin a couple of weeks ago.  This person sounds pretty smart to me, most shrinks just want to cycle every antidepressant in the book, this one is observant enough to understand those are not going to work.
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Offline TarheelBabe1980

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Re: Lamictal and anxiety?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 09:14:53 PM »
Let me know how that goes.  I see my psych tomorrow for med management, and may inquire about a mood stabilizer.  I have GAD, OCD, and depression.  In the past I have tried: Luvox, Paxil, Effexor, Cymbalta, Buspar and Welbutrin.  The first four caused sexual side effects.  Buspar made me feel drunk.  Wellbutrin was the most effective AD, even though it is not prescribed for anxiety!  Stupidly stopped it in 2009 because of weight loss and some dizziness (which turned out to be neck issues), and tried to take it again recently.  For whatever reason, it didn't help this time so I'm off it again. :(   My biggest issue when not medicated is that I feel physically unwell, even when all medical tests are normal.  No natural remedies, or heavy CBT have helped me in that aspect. 
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Offline sarah5147

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Re: Lamictal and anxiety?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2011, 05:10:01 AM »
I took lamotrigine (generic for lamictal). It seemed to help even out my anxiety. However after taking the lowest dose, preparing to taper up ***** 2 weeks I had the rare severe reaction they warn you about. Keep watch while on it. If you get a sore throat, rash, fever, swollen/painful neck glands etc, stop it right away...they aren't kidding. Stevens Johnsons Syndrome is serious. Most don't have it happen, but just be vigilant when on it. I wish I could have stayed on it. It did seem to help. Good luck, let us  know
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Offline FLPrincess82

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Re: Lamictal and anxiety?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 12:04:27 PM »
It's good to know that it helped you Sarah, but that rash thing is scary.  They made it sound really rare, but it seems like a lot of people have experienced the rash.  I have health anxiety so I'm sure I would notice a rash within 5 minutes lol.  Are you ok now?
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Offline sarah5147

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Re: Lamictal and anxiety?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2011, 06:07:37 PM »
FL-it can be scary but it really is rare. From what I read it seems the generic caused it more often in the posts I read. Anyway, i'm good now, glad I recognized it right away and stopped it before the docs even told me to. I looked back in my journals and there were some other symptoms that probably were it (I.e. told I had stress hives, but was just after I started lamectil.) But the rash, fever and heat were the giveaways. My new pdoc even said its very rare and was surprised.  Good luck with it, sounds like you'll keep a good eye out so don't worry.
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Offline Davevanza

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Re: Lamictal and anxiety?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 12:38:14 AM »
I've been through the full run with medications and have gotten fed up and very anti psychiatric drugs.  I recently, about 4 months ago, got the best psychiatrist in the area due to frustration and bad medication management of my previous doctor.  My new doctor, in many ways, has been very helpful.  He figured out the Zoloft I had been taking for 3 years was creating mental issues in itself and pulled me off it.  I did feel a lot better after being off it.  I also was on a lot of benzos for 3 years and he has been helping me taper off, which is going fairly successfully.  In my appointment yesterday to check on my taper, he surprised me by pulling out a Lamictal starter pack.  I said am I bipolar or something?  He said I'm 100% sure you aren't.  I asked him why and he said this is an off label use but I've had anxiety patients before who have been resistant to traditional treatments that have found success with Lamictal.  My goal was to be completely off medication.  However, he did make some good points about having a low frustration tolerance and poor impulse control.  I said isn't that bipolar?  He said you aren't bipolar again.  He said the entire SSRI spectrum is not something he would ever allow me to be on again as I tend to get suicidal and self injuring on those medicines.  He also said once I'm off the benzos, benzo treatment in the future is no longer an option.  So I've been debating last night and today if I should really even take this medicine.  He said I don't know if it will help, but it has helped some in the past.  At least he's honest, but I'm tired of medicines and having crazy reactions to them. I'm also tired of benzo detox.  If something weird happened with this pill I don't know if I could even cope with it at this point.  Has anyone had a doctor use this approach and had success with it?

Hi,

At one stage, my Neurologist prescribed me Lamictal ( Lamotrigine) 5mg.
My Psychiatrist is the one who referred me to a Neurologist, as I have been having Chronic headache.

So apart from the medications prescribed by my Psychiatrist, I am also prescribed something else by my Neurologist.

Even Lamictal 5mg, taken daily, made me having paraesthesia, and throbbing headache, so I called my Neurologist within 2 days, ( bcoz I thought the side effects was from food, or something else), and he adviced me to stop, and see him in next appointment.

Well, that is my case with Lamictal 5mg.
And I think it is a very low dose, as it comes also in 200mg tablet.

The same thing when I was switched to Tegretol ( Carbamazepine), my blood result showed I got Neutropenia ( Reduction in a component in blood that functions as an immune system).

As both medications, as far as I know, can cause serious Drug Induced Cutaneous Reaction. And this has got something to do with the Genotype HLA-B. I read the research paper about it, and found that Asians are proned to get this adverse reaction than Caucassian. But again, the research is not concluded as it is done with only small samples of subjects.

Lamotrigine is the only anticonvulsant which has an antidepressant effect.
The same with Aprazolam, it is the only Benzodiazepine that has an antidepressant effect. But again, as with chronic use of high dose for long term, it actually causes depression.

Some anticonvulsants are used as Mood Stabilizers.
Pdocs seldom prescribe Phenytoin, Vigabatrin ( potentially causes macular-kind off side effect), Tiagabine, Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Levetiracetam ( which is an L-Isomer of Racetams, called Etiracetam. While other Racetams are used as so called "Nootropic" which helps us to concentrate and retain memory better, such as Piracetam, Oxiracetam, a fat soluble- Aniracetam).

Well, I think your doctor knows you better of your current condition, and if there happens to be side effects, he is the one who will decide the substitute. I wrote the information above, as I had tried Lamotrigine, and tried to give info as far as I know.

Kind Regards,
Davevanza
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