Tell Me About Lamictal, Please

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Janna, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Janna

    Janna New Member

    because, I've heard several things. I suppose I could read the website, but I'd rather get it from people with experience.

    I heard, initially, it was great for both BiPolar (BP) mania and depression. Then, I heard (God knows where) it doesn't do much for mania, mostly depression.

    So, I'm wondering, those with kiddos on it, how does it do for the mania. There's such a question with regards to depression with D, but the hypomania, we all feel, is definately present.

    I really feel uneasy about discussing anything else with psychiatrist until we try MS's. We had such great luck with the Lithium - maybe I just need to consult an endocrinologist and see if there's any other way to take care of the thyroid besides medications - or Synthroid/Levothyroxine.

    Anyway - just curious about the Lamictal - got Occupational Therapist (OT) there LOL! My ADHD is high today.

  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My husband took it for seizures, however, the psychiatrist who knows him told me that the reason his mood improved so dramatically on Lamictal was because husband tends to be more at the depressive end of the mood spectrum. It caused insomnia and gave him a rash so he had to stop taking it (much to my chagrin!)

    difficult child 2 took it briefly with Depakote ER when he started becoming depressed (he's more manic most of the time). I can't remember why we stopped it... he had other issues going on (movement disorder) that we were also trying to treat so things got complicated for a bit...
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My understanding is pretty much what you described- it is more effective when depression is a bigger issue than mania, but it is a MS and does help with both. But, given that it was started on my son when he was cycling more on the upper end of the spectrum and it made him worse (increased mania symptoms), I have wondered if it's effectiveness has something to do with what cycle, if any, the person is in when the medication is started.

    I have heard others on the board have had wonderful experiences with it. I would try it again for my son if the need arised and he was in a depressive state and we could wean him off lithium without a catastrophy.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My grown son has been on it for years. He loves it. Says it has no real side effects and works really well, especially for his very serious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and depression. If I was forced to go on a mood stabilizer, Lamictal is the only one I'd take because it seems to be better tolerated and good for depression. I have no idea what it does for mania. My son doesn't get manic. But he has a lot of Aspie traits. and definitely some sort of mood disorder.
  5. Lamictal works very well for my difficult child; just one increase a few weeks ago stopped some of the major cycling/mania that started breaking through. It was the only thing that pulled difficult child out of a really black depression as well a couple of years ago.

    We titrated up extremely slowly to prevent issues with the rash; even slower than was recommended from clinical data. Our psychiatrist has seen where he has had a really good response by taking this shift. It tooks us a few months to even reach up to a mildly therapeutic dose; but when we got there, it was evident.

    No significant side effects aside from headsaches and making difficult child sleepy the first few days after we shift dosing and it doesn't require blood draws; doesn't seem to cause weight gain. From what I've read in some of the clinical literature and talking with clinicians in other areas for work, it is considered particularly good for patients with mixed states (their words) that also suffer from a lot of depression.
  6. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am very rarely depressed. I tend to be very agitated and UP. LOL
    I have bouts of not sleeping. I can get very paranoid, kind of delusional.
    You know lots of the fun BiPolar (BP) stuff.
    I have had great luck with Lamictal. I am also on a small amount of Topamax.
    I have tried a few other combos but for now for me this seems to work pretty well.
    I am also on Trazadone for sleep issues.
    I also have Valium for PRN for Anxiety.
    K also did great on Lamictal and we are thinking of revisiting it while we work on her dehydration issues that are getting worse.
    The only reason we stopped it was that we did not have a psychiatrist. :(
    We likely would have added another medication on tops of the Lamictal with K. But that and an AP were really good for her. We also did not reach the highest level for her so who knows?
    She also is more Manic than depressed. Or should I say, she is a Ultra-rapid Cycler.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am a mixed states or rapid cycler and the combo of lamictal/topamax and seroquel works well for me.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lamictal has worked well for my difficult child for years now. She has not otherwise specified mood disorder and does not have depression, but it does a very good job stabilizing her moods. Of all the medications she has been on, this one works the best for her. It has recently come out in generic and now I can get a three month supply for $30. The brand was very expensive.

    difficult child is on 400 mg daily, 200 mg a.m. and 200 mg p,m. As I'm sure you know, you have to start out very slowly and increase it in very small increments because of the potential for the rash, so it may take a while before you notice any improvement. Our psychiatrist says that in the industry it is called the peel away drug because if it works they can begin to peel away many of the other drugs. That was true for us as we were able to stop the strattera and she is now solely on Lamictal.

  9. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Thank you, everyone!

    I think this is a medication I feel good about trying. I'm not sure that psychiatrist is going to be up for it, but it's something I want to talk about. Over the last couple of days I've thrown his Zoloft comment around and decided I'm just going to say no. I'm just not comfortable with it.

    I really don't feel like D's stabilization is going to come until we get at least one MS in place. Because of the negative reaction to Depakote and Tegretol, the thyroid/enuresis/weight issue with the Lithium - I think this needs to be tried.

    Nancy, was she on Strattera for ADHD symptoms, or was that for the Mood Disorder stuff also? Just wondering, if so, if you thought the Lamictal helped that as well.
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Lamictal has been an amazing MS for difficult child. He is hypo-manic, and yet he is on Lithium and Lamictal which are supposed to more geared for the depression. None the less, it has quelled his mania, and stabilized his moods. He just titrated up to 300 mg, and seems to be doing well.

    As a caveat - and I am sure this is not the norm - but both times difficult child was intitally started on Lamictal he had a rage/meltdown of monumental proportions. He had to be hospitalized both times. It was as if it jolted his brain. Perhaps that is just my difficult child, I don't know.

    You have to be cautious of a rare, but deadly side effect - Stephen Johnson Syndrome on Lamictal.
  11. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    My son was dramatically improved on Lamictal, but more towards depressive end of things. He was on 100 mg of Topamax which helped some. And when we added Lamictal we slowly weaned him off of Topamax. I am now considering lowering his Risperdal as well.

    We give it in a divided dose, more in morning 100 mg, 50 mg at night. Don't know if it is strictly necessary, but we thought it might help with side effects.

    My youngest son also tried it. We got up to 150 mg with no benefits at all. With my oldest we begin to see improvement even at 25 mg.

    Of all the medications they've been on its the one with least side effects and biggest benefit.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The Lamictal has been very helpful for difficult child along with the Topamax and Loxapine. It takes a while to get up to a theraputic dose. My difficult child is currently at 600mgs a day.
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Yes she was on Strattera for ADHD symptoms, mainly the lack of impulse control. She is a difficult case, doesn't have ADHD or Bi-Polar but has some of the symptoms. Definitely the impulse control and mood problems, quick to anger, risk taker, etc. So the Strattera was to help those issues and the Lamictal was added later when it was determined that she needed more of a mood stabilzer.

    I do feel that the Strattera helped the ADHD symtoms, but after about two years she seemed to be angry a lot of the time and we weened her off. I think the Strattera was not helping with the moods, perhaps making them worse. After we stopped the Strattera she seemed much better on the Lamictal alone. But I want to be clear that she was much better on both medications for a while. It's just that the Strattera seemed to stop helping and the Lamictal alone seemed to be better in the end.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am reading this with-interest.

    but I'd rather get it from people with experience.

    Yes! I agree.
  15. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Both of my boys are currently been on Lamictal. difficult child 2 has been on it for just about a year...although I'm thinking he may need an increase.

    difficult child 1 has been on it since sees to work and has very few side effects that I can notice.....

    Good luck
  16. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Oh, the other nice thing at least for me and K no weight gain.
    K had weight gain while on it from the AP she was on.
    But Lamictal did not increase it.
    I have been on Topamax for so long that I no longer see the weight loss bonus. But Lamictal does not increase weight for me.
    I do it on my own though... ;)
  17. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I took lamictal for my seizure disorder; I developed a reaction to it. Having said that, before I developed that reaction my mood sure went from chronic depression to "normal" for lack of a better word.

    I would certainly not be concerned if our psychiatrist mentioned lamictal in regards to kt or wm ~ it's a good MS even if that's not what you're on if for. ;)
  18. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Thank you everyone!

    I know, Terry, and the every kid is different thing - I got that. But, in the end, if I read from 20 people that their child had XYZ issue on a medication, it's not really one I'm interested in exploring.

    At the same time, if it's new and I post and only get 3 replies because it's so new nobody is really trying it - again, not going on my list. LOL!

    That's been one of the biggest benefits to me with this forum - the medications.

    Nancy, understood and thank you. I really don't know what D has, haha - so the specific diagnosis'es don't matter. He could be manic, he could be ADHD, it could be all anxiety. He didn't do well on Strattera before - but I'm sure he'll need something with the Lamictal - maybe.

    T, the weight gain, or lack thereof, is awesome - because I swear every medication we've tried recently has packed on pounds. I absolutely HATE the Seroquel, asked for an immediate medication wash - this kid is UNDERheight for his age, and 160 POUNDS. He's enormous, I mean, disgustingly so - so that is great to hear!

    Appreciate all the replies! Sounds pretty positive. That's a good thing :)
  19. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    my difficult child - this was the last of a very long list of medications for her. she went on it & yes at the moment depression was a problem psychiatrist thought this might help. Nearly immediately difficult child seemed dramatically more alive. So much that school pushed difficult child & said oh look you can be this way & they immediately decided to hold her to that new standard. But within 2 weeks difficult child peaked to her worst mania & anxiety ever. & then crashed to suicidality & self harm. & school called cps to accuse us of witholding the medication refuseing to understand the medication was causeing the crash. it took months off to return to baseline.
  20. compassion

    compassion Member

    It works well with my saughter as a mood stabilizer, she is sutra rapid cycler, manily manic but the abilify/lactimal helps with amazing stability. One side effect she is experincing is blurriess of vison: both can casue it but the effects of the AP and MS are pretty amazing for her. psychiatrist trated this graduclaly. She has been on 100 Lactimal (night) and 15 Abilify (AM) and it helps a lot. Currently she is taking samll dose of benadryl for sleep in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Compassion