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Lamictal (lamotrigine) to calm post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS)

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Altostrata
11 hours ago, Armorall said:

@Altostrata Does it matter which version of lamictal we get?

 

Brands: Lamictal XR, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal, Lamictal Starter (Orange) Kit, Lamictal XR Starter (Orange), and Lamictal ODT Starter (Orange)

 

You will need to read this topic from the beginning to even consider doing this.

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Armorall

I did! I printed out all the pages and was going to show my husband tonight. 

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Altostrata

From your reading of this post, what kind of lamotrigine do you think you'd need for this experiment?

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Armorall

Low-dose? But I don't see that as one of the options. I guess I don't know what the letters that come after Lamictal mean?

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Altostrata
On 10/3/2011 at 3:21 PM, Altostrata said:

As you will want to start at 2mg or lower, the only form of lamotrigine that comes in 2mg tablet is the chewable, dispersable tablet. (Otherwise, the usual starting dosage is 25mg immediate-release lamotrigine.) You might also use a compounded liquid to take a small amount. See Tips for tapering off Lamictal (lamotrigine)

 

Any extended-release form, such as Lamictal XR, will not be appropriate, as the dosage sizes are too large and you will not be able to make a liquid from the tablets.

 

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Armorall

Ok thanks! So, if I had to choose between trying the Lamictal and attempting reinstatement of Risperidone, you would pick Risperidone first?

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Altostrata

If I thought lamotrigine was a better choice, I would have suggested it. Please put questions about your particular situation in your own Introductions topic, as further discussion takes this topic off-topic.

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Armorall

@Altostrata I saw someone in Egypt (can't find their thread) post the other day about asking if they could get  info on the psychiatrist in San Francisco regarding this treatment. I know I had asked the same months ago, and understand why it's not a good choice for me at this time (having not been withdrawing for very long, relatively speaking). But what about others like Hell and so forth? 

Surely this psychiatrist must know about the rampant suffering going on within the community? Is there no way that he/she would be up for Skyping or using a platform like wecounsel.com to regularly coach people on Lamictal usage (for a fee)? Or could they train a bunch of other psychiatrists to administer the drug? Wouldn't that be a huge contribution that the doctor would be willing to make? 

I see that the info is out there, but it looks like something that would need regular guidance from the one who treated you. And if that doctor ages out of the profession, it'd be so valuable to have the info passed on to other doctors. I know it might not work for everyone, but it seems worth a shot for those in protracted. Just a thought. 

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Superwoman

@Armorall

 

I had a horrible reaction to this drug.  It made me manic, delusional and I had a full blown panic attack.  These are symptoms I had never had before.  It was one of the scariest experiences of my life.  I had side effects from the start but it wasn’t until several weeks of taking the drug that it built up enough in my body to cause a mental breakdown.  It made me high as a kite.  As it was leaving my body I was talking about the meaning of life and all sort of trippy things.  If it wasn’t for the bad trip they could sell that s***.  I talked to 2 pharmacists who said that I was having an adverse reaction.  The pharmacist said I had the rare symptoms, less than 1%.  But like he said if you are that 1% it might as well be 100%.  I honestly think that this drug was just not compatible for my body. Other people may not have a problem with it.  I will say though that I was astonished that this drug was so incredibly powerful and is legal.  

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Superwoman

I don’t recall.  I would have to look at my med records.  I am sure that it was higher than the dose Alto recommends.  It was titrated up as the Effexor was titrated down.  With the lamictal side effects I was experiencing It is impossible to know if I was experiencing any withdrawal from reducing Effexor.

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Superwoman

Does lamictal affect serotonin like an SSRI?

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Armorall

@Superwoman Off the top of my head, it affects the glutamenergic (sp) system responsible for the hyper-alerting type withdrawal symptoms (insomnia, anxiety). It is an anti-convulsant. 

From what it looks like, people are trying lamotrigine because of the success of Alto, but none have started at the recommended .5 dosage. They end up taking a therapuedic dose that starts at 25mg or much higher it seems and then claims it doesn't work. I'm not sure why they miss that part of the guidelines, but it is also why I am wondering if there is a way that participants can have access to the one that treated Alto or a push to have psychiatrists trained in this method. It sounds like there needs to be more supervision in order for it to work, and perhaps a breakthrough could be made in the WD community if there is one. I don't think it is recommended for people who are still tapering, though. 

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Superwoman

My situation was different because I didn’t take the Lamictal for antidepressant withdrawal.  My doctor was cross tapering me from Effexor xr to Lamictal b/c the Effexor was not working anymore.   I am sure I was started at the therapeutic dose.

I also think the drug just did not agree with me.  Maybe I wasn’t able to metabolize it or something.  Everyone’s body is different so other people may be perfectly fine with it, especially at such a low dose.  I was just shocked at how potent the drug was!  I then got a different psychiatrist.  This doctor said that the drug may have made my dopamine levels too high and caused these symptoms.  @Altostrata, have you ever heard of Lamictal making someone high?

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Altostrata

No, lamotrigine does not affect serotonin. It is not an antidepressant. It is an anti-seizure drug.

 

As explained above, if dosage is too high, people may have different kinds of adverse reactions to lamotrigine. I don't know what you mean by "high." Too much lamotrigine can make you feel disoriented or confused.

 

Probably your doctor started you on too-high a dose and you had an adverse reaction to it. Please read this topic from the beginning.

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Armorall

@Altostrata any comment on what I said and tagged you into regarding Skype or training others?

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Superwoman
3 hours ago, Altostrata said:

No, lamotrigine does not affect serotonin. It is not an antidepressant. It is an anti-seizure drug.

 

As explained above, if dosage is too high, people may have different kinds of adverse reactions to lamotrigine. I don't know what you mean by "high." Too much lamotrigine can make you feel disoriented or confused.

 

Probably your doctor started you on too-high a dose and you had an adverse reaction to it. Please read this topic from the beginning.

I didn’t take the lamictal for withdrawal. Several years ago my doctor prescribed it for depression at a therapeutic dose.  She cross tapered Effexor xr down and Lamictal up.  I have no idea why she even prescribed it because it is not typically used for major depression but bipolar disorder. 
 

 By high, I mean tripping.  It made me “high as a kite.”  It was as if I took acid.  It seemed like the drug reached too high a level in my brain because this didn’t occur until a few weeks on the drug.

 

 I was walking outside one day and I told me husband, “my brain feels weird”.  I felt oddly calm and euphoric and I didn’t know how to explain it.  I was sort of giggly.  I felt more off throughout the day and like something was wrong and I started feeling like I was crazy because by brain felt funny. 
 

That evening my husband and I were watching this movie about a woman who people thought was crazy, but she really was not.  It was the perfect storm.  I lost it and just burst out crying saying that I was afraid I was going crazy b/c my brain felt weird.  Then I had a complete panic attack.  I had a psychotic break.  I was delusional and thought I could read my dog’s mind.  I became manic and was talking a mile a minute.  I am not bipolar and have never been manic, only down.  I was really scared.  I felt like I was holding on to reality by a thread.  It was like a bad trip.  
 

That night as the drug was wearing off I was like a space cadet.  I was talking about all sort of trippy things.  I was talking about  the universe and meaning of life and these deep philosophical things because suddenly I felt like my consciousness expanded and I perceived things differently.  I have never used drugs other than marijuana a few times in my life.  But I have heard that when people take recreational drugs like acid you perceive and think like this.  It is possible I may have inadvertently taken too much.  I had side effects of forgetfulness and confusion and couldn’t sometimes remember if I took the medication or not.  

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Jmizz

@Superwoman 

you mentioned you were cross tapering from Effexor when this happened? A few weeks after I came off lexapro cold turkey I tried two separate drugs (cymbalta for 5 days and buspirone for 11 days). I had a weird manic state on both, but I have no doubt it was the withdrawal from lexapro that caused me to react the way I did. Maybe the Effexor lowering combined with Lamictal created that effect for you. When I came off lexapro too fast, everything effected me different, even the meds I had been on.

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Superwoman
36 minutes ago, Jmizz said:

@Superwoman 

you mentioned you were cross tapering from Effexor when this happened? A few weeks after I came off lexapro cold turkey I tried two separate drugs (cymbalta for 5 days and buspirone for 11 days). I had a weird manic state on both, but I have no doubt it was the withdrawal from lexapro that caused me to react the way I did. Maybe the Effexor lowering combined with Lamictal created that effect for you. When I came off lexapro too fast, everything effected me different, even the meds I had been on.

Yeah, I am wondering if this was the case. I was having dizzy spells which I attributed to Lamictal side effect, but it could have been withdrawal as well.  

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