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Gabrielle

Gabrielle: Weaning off antiepileptic Vimpat

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Gabrielle   
Gabrielle
Currently withdrawing off of an AED named VIMPAT. The reason I decided to wean off is because over time it started building toxicity in my system. When I first started taking it, I did not feel many side effects and they have slowly developed over time. About a year ago I started having multiple seizures a week, which slowly started to increase over the year as well as other symptoms including sinus irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, over emotional, disorientation, auras, hallucinations, jaw pain, itchy skin, feverish.
 
I started the wean off in January, following Jim Harper's material, called THE ROAD BACK, where I have been doing 5% every 2 weeks, which seems to be working, although since the wean off the symptoms have enhanced slightly. About a month ago we switched to 10% every two weeks which was the advice of the CBD doctor I have been working with. I have been taking CBD now for a while, and have just recently started weaning up ever so slowly onto THC included to see if that has a positive effect.
 
About a month after the 10% switch I started feeling WORSE, was worse especially with DISORIENTATION, and panic, and anxiety, and feeling like I am dying and much much more.
 
So 2 weeks ago I went back up 5% and thats what I am currently on now, still not feeling hot and just trying to figure out what to do. The hospital doctors are of ZERO assistance and don't know much at all. I happened to come across your website which is AMAZING.
 
These AED drugs are very similar to benzos and in fact the drug VIMPAT has listed on several medical websites that dependency is a side effect of this drug, which is also used for bipolarism. Anyways I am excited to be on this website and thank you and any advice or suggestions or help would be much appreciated.  I feel like Im dying! The worst is that turning feeling of TERROR in my stomach. 
Edited by scallywag
moderator note; insert paragraph breaks

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scallywag   
scallywag

Gabrielle -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

It's good to read that you have been slowly tapering your dose of Vimpat.  The doctor who is working with you on CBD clearly has very little understanding about how the CNS (central nervous system) responds to neuroactive drugs such as VIMPAT. If you were tapering at 5% every 2 weeks and that was working, it's unbelievably RECKLESS to DOUBLE the taper speed to 10%. There's a reason the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." exists.  Here are some links that may help you understand how your brain and CNS adapted to the medications and why they need gentle tapering:

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants

 

Your best bet now is to stay at your current dose of VIMPAT and delay decreasing until after your symptoms have subsided considerably.  It's best to make changes from a stable foundation rather than tapering while symptomatic.

 

Many people find it helpful to supplement with magnesium and/or fish oil. Pick one or the other and start with a low dose and work your way up.  For more information, please read:

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker.

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil).

 

Are you taking the Road Back supplements? If so, you may want to slowly discontinue them; some of the ingredients can be stimulating thereby worsening symptoms such as panic and anxiety.  If you have questions about where to start with discontinuing RB supplements, please let us know which supplements you're taking and how often you're taking them.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Vimpat (lacomaside) is, as I'm sure you know, an anti-epileptic or anti-convulsant medication.  Other medications also in that group are Neurontin and Lyrica, though they are in different chemical classes than Vimpat. Our topics on tapering, and on the two other anti-convulsant drugs:

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

Tips for tapering off Neurontin (gabapentin)

Tips for tapering off Lyrica (pregabalin)

Vimpat -- patient information on Drugs[dot]com.

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

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