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TiminATL Tapering off and getting rid of Lamotrigine


TiminATL

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Hi. I am new here. I live outside of Atlanta Georgia. I was on Wellbutrin and Paxil since 1999 and have recently (in the last 6 months) tapered off and quit taken them both. Now I have started (today) to taper off Lamotrigine (the last one, other than lorazapam which i take only when I have major anxiety). I have been taking 250mg a day since 2008. I have not visited a doctor since moving to ATL three years ago except for a new PCP who has just continued the meds, with new presciptions every six months. I know a psychiatrist who is advising me how to wean myself off these meds. Side effects for getting off Paxil: electronic waves (the best I can descibe them) through my body with the sound and feeling of it all. Slowly went away. Wellbutrin - feeling angry, frustrated, more outspoken on things that bother me, anxious. Want to smoke more. Less patient. Body ache! That has all slowly gotten better and feel better that i am off both. Started tapering off Lamotrigine today - dropped from 250 to 200 and will stay at that for a couple of weeks, then probably drop to 150, then 100, then 50, then 25 and then off - maybe taking...4 months? I am anxious to read some of the threads about this on this site, as I have no idea what the side effects may be, or how this will effect me (or more importantly, my partner). Thanks and look forward to keeping up with you all. Tim

1999 - situational depression diagnosed, although always slightly to majorly depressed.

1999 - built up to 400MG Wellbutrin
built up to 30MG Paxil
Take .5 lorazapam for situational anxiety

2008 - built up to 250 Lamotrigine

2012 - tapered off and quit taking Wellbutrin (2 months)
tapered off and quit taking Paxil (3 mos.)

2/28/2013 - today, dropped from 250 to 200 Lamotrigine. Want to continue tapering off until I am off this med also, without jumping off the bridge or biting my partner's head off.

 

9/10/13 - update.  Been steadily tapering off Lamotrigine since posting 2/28.  Friday, 9.7.13 stepped down from 50 MG to 25Mg and have had the worse side effects yet.  Will stay at 25Mg for a week or two and see how it goes, and then stop.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Tim.

 

Here's a topic about tapering lamotrigine http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/

 

Yes, it has withdrawal symptoms like other psychiatric drugs, for which we recommend a 10% taper. You might want to start with a 20mg decrease for a few weeks to see how this affects you.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Tim,

 

I'm glad you found us, this is the best place for support and good advice!

 

When you get a chance, would you mind adding your drug history by following the instructions in this link:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

It is a helpful tool for those reading because it allows to be seen under all your posts.

 

Thanks and again, welcome!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome, Tim, and please read up on tapering Lamotrigine before startng another taper. Judging from the symptoms you describe from getting off of Paxil and Wellbutrin and the time period, I'd say that you got off of them way too fast and also that the Lamotrigine may have alleviated the withdrawal somewhat. If you go off Lamotrigine just as fast, you may well find yourself in a "pile-up" of withdrawal symptoms.

 

Please at least read the topic that Alto suggested, and browse the site even further, especially the Introductions. Perhaps if you get an idea of how bad withdrawal can be you'll be willing to slow down.

 

In any event, you'll find solid information and friendly support here.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Tim, I agree with Alto and Jemima, please go very slowly from here on. Your symptoms may get much worse if you don't and it sounds like they are bad enough already.

 

I AM better, I'm NOT completely recovered. It sounds like you came off Paxil and Wellbutrin way too fast. Give yourself some healing time. I know it's tough doing this, but socialize as much as you can tolerate. Keep to yourself as much as you need to, it's a balancing act.

 

Hugs and healing!

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Tim, I agree with Alto and Jemima, please go very slowly from here on. Your symptoms may get much worse if you don't and it sounds like they are bad enough already.

 

I AM better, I'm NOT completely recovered. It sounds like you came off Paxil and Wellbutrin way too fast. Give yourself some healing time. I know it's tough doing this, but socialize as much as you can tolerate. Keep to yourself as much as you need to, it's a balancing act.

 

Hugs and healing!

 

Thanks everyone. My partner and family, friends are happy that I am geting off the meds, but they all expect me to "get going" and be motivated. They are disgruntled and seemingly disappointed when I want to take a day, or hour, or more or less, to take it easy and get through the moment. It appears as though I am lazy or need a slap in the face. I wish that would help. I am hoping to go slow on the tapering off of the Lamotrigine as you all suggest. Thx Tezza - I put my med history in my signature - hope this helps. xx

1999 - situational depression diagnosed, although always slightly to majorly depressed.

1999 - built up to 400MG Wellbutrin
built up to 30MG Paxil
Take .5 lorazapam for situational anxiety

2008 - built up to 250 Lamotrigine

2012 - tapered off and quit taking Wellbutrin (2 months)
tapered off and quit taking Paxil (3 mos.)

2/28/2013 - today, dropped from 250 to 200 Lamotrigine. Want to continue tapering off until I am off this med also, without jumping off the bridge or biting my partner's head off.

 

9/10/13 - update.  Been steadily tapering off Lamotrigine since posting 2/28.  Friday, 9.7.13 stepped down from 50 MG to 25Mg and have had the worse side effects yet.  Will stay at 25Mg for a week or two and see how it goes, and then stop.

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  • Administrator

Tim, one of the challenges of going off psych drugs is remaking our lives so we can better take care of ourselves. Sometimes this conflicts with the agendas of the people around us. Stay strong and focus on staying stable and healthy no matter what anyone tells you.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks. Sure makes sense. Just wondering if I should just stay on the meds - but will just take one day at a time....thanks again.

1999 - situational depression diagnosed, although always slightly to majorly depressed.

1999 - built up to 400MG Wellbutrin
built up to 30MG Paxil
Take .5 lorazapam for situational anxiety

2008 - built up to 250 Lamotrigine

2012 - tapered off and quit taking Wellbutrin (2 months)
tapered off and quit taking Paxil (3 mos.)

2/28/2013 - today, dropped from 250 to 200 Lamotrigine. Want to continue tapering off until I am off this med also, without jumping off the bridge or biting my partner's head off.

 

9/10/13 - update.  Been steadily tapering off Lamotrigine since posting 2/28.  Friday, 9.7.13 stepped down from 50 MG to 25Mg and have had the worse side effects yet.  Will stay at 25Mg for a week or two and see how it goes, and then stop.

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Just checking in - writing for my own benefit probably more than others. But, if anyone else is getting off Lamotrigine, here is my experience so far, fyi. Today is one week since i tapered from 250 to 200. Reactions so far - extremely tired and my whole body aches - lots of hot, hot showers. I couldn't sleep Monday night or last night due to everything hurting, some anxiety and maybe paranoia, and just general discomfort. I am not sure if this is all due to cutting down on the Lamotrigine, or if some of it is side effects from quitting wellbutrin and paxil in the last 5 months, and now it is catching up with me now.

I am trying to keep as busy as I can, even if it is making a list in the morning and just plowing through the rest of the day without trying to look up. My appetite seems down a bit (I can use to lose weight) and sex is the last thing I am thinking about. Weed and a lorazapam helped with the pain, anxiety and with sleep, but not sure I can recommend either. So, a week later, and that is where I am. Later afternoon naps here and there also helped. I am planning to stay on 200 for a while - until I am feeling better for some time. Thanks.

1999 - situational depression diagnosed, although always slightly to majorly depressed.

1999 - built up to 400MG Wellbutrin
built up to 30MG Paxil
Take .5 lorazapam for situational anxiety

2008 - built up to 250 Lamotrigine

2012 - tapered off and quit taking Wellbutrin (2 months)
tapered off and quit taking Paxil (3 mos.)

2/28/2013 - today, dropped from 250 to 200 Lamotrigine. Want to continue tapering off until I am off this med also, without jumping off the bridge or biting my partner's head off.

 

9/10/13 - update.  Been steadily tapering off Lamotrigine since posting 2/28.  Friday, 9.7.13 stepped down from 50 MG to 25Mg and have had the worse side effects yet.  Will stay at 25Mg for a week or two and see how it goes, and then stop.

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  • Administrator

That 50mg decrease may have been to much for your nervous system. For safe tapering, we recommend decreases of 10% per month. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 6 months later...

Decided to post an update on the discontinuation of Lamotrigine.  I have been tapering off since 2/13 and I am one step away from what I think will end my prescription for this medication.  Although I can't be sure if that is true, or if I should be on some other medication.  I have had some pretty bad side-effects in getting off this drug - and the worse have been in the last 2-3 weeks, heading down from 75, to 50, and now, as of 9.7.13, to 25.  Since then, I have had major body aches, sharp, shooting pains in my feet and legs, major nausea and diarrhea, headaches, and just generally feeling crappy.  I am tired and cranky all day and sometimes cannot sleep at night.  The last 3-4 days led me back here to this site as I really feel like I need help.  My regular doctor does not agree with me that I should be getting off this medication (he is not the one who prescribed the medication) and says that if it isn't broken - why fix it?  Last year I made the decision to get off the anti-depressants and Lamotrigine to see who I am and if I can live without meds.  I am happy that I am off the wellbutrin and paxil and now only wish and pray that I can finally get off this med and feel normal.  I am so tired of feeling sick and tired and mad and sad.  I should see a psychiatrist probably and see what a professional thinks about it all.  How do I know if that person knows what is best for me?  Bottom line - I feel like the end is in sight (getting off the meds, not the "big" end) and I am hoping that once my body is used to not having the meds, it will even out and I can start to feel better. I think that I have been prudent in tapering off (started in February, it is now Sept, and have one more step down, which will be zero).  But, with feeling sick alllll the time, not wanting to go anywhere, do anything, see anyone, just lay in bed and feel sick all the time (or in the bathroom sitting on the throne), I wonder if it is worth it - or if I am doing the right thing??  I will stick it out and hope that sticking to 25 for another week or two will settle in before I drop it completely.  Thanks for listening.  Tim 

1999 - situational depression diagnosed, although always slightly to majorly depressed.

1999 - built up to 400MG Wellbutrin
built up to 30MG Paxil
Take .5 lorazapam for situational anxiety

2008 - built up to 250 Lamotrigine

2012 - tapered off and quit taking Wellbutrin (2 months)
tapered off and quit taking Paxil (3 mos.)

2/28/2013 - today, dropped from 250 to 200 Lamotrigine. Want to continue tapering off until I am off this med also, without jumping off the bridge or biting my partner's head off.

 

9/10/13 - update.  Been steadily tapering off Lamotrigine since posting 2/28.  Friday, 9.7.13 stepped down from 50 MG to 25Mg and have had the worse side effects yet.  Will stay at 25Mg for a week or two and see how it goes, and then stop.

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  • Administrator

Tim, those symptoms are from tapering too fast. Please read http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

and http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/

 

Very, very few doctors know anything about tapering people safely off these drugs and mistake withdrawal symptoms for a psychiatric condition that requires medication.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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