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Daisyca

Daisyca: Lamictal / lamotrigine

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Daisyca

Hello. I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon this site. I have been taking antidepressants since 2000. I have tried several, all gave me side effects. Most recently, I have been on Lamotrigine 25mg for 2 weeks. I am experiencing flu-like symptoms as well as severe nerve pain in my leg. I have decided enough is enough, and have called my Dr. to work with me on stopping this medication, and all antidepressants. I know how important tapering is, as I tapered off Abilify 5mg last year and think I damaged my nervous system by going to fast. I now have insomnia as well as migraines and fatigue, nausea, nightmares, crying fits, irritability, depression, the list goes on and on.  

I just wanted to ask the group if anyone has experienced nerve pain from Lamotrigine?  Is there anything I can do to stop the pain? How long will this last? I want to stop taking it, since I've only been on it for two weeks, but am very afraid to do so, due to withdrawal symptoms. I have a call into my Dr today to ask about tapering, but don't trust their advice anymore. I only took half the pill last night because I can barely swallow something that is making me feel bad anymore. Any support/advice would be appreciated!

 

Wellbutrin 150 mg 2012-current - for anxiety/depression - caused more anxiety when upped to 300 mg for 6 months.

Lamotrigine 25 mg - 2/7/18- current - many side effects, extreme nerve pain in leg, flu-like symptoms

Abilify - 5 mg - 2013-2017 - tapered too fast, damaged nervous system, now have insomnia, depression, anxiety

Effexor XR - prior to 2010 - side effects

Laxapro - prior to 2010 - side effects

Pristiq- prior to 2010 - side effects

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Daisyca

Update: So I had a phone conversation with my Dr yesterday and it went something like this:

Me: I'm experiencing some serious side effects I believe from the Lamotrigine. They include flu-like symptoms and severe nerve pain in my leg for the past week.

Dr: I've never heard of those symptoms before. Are you sure you just don't have the flu?

Me: Yes I'm sure. I have a general sense of maliese that began after starting this medication, plus the nerve pain I read online that other patients experienced also.

Dr. I've never had any of my patients describe these symptoms. You can't believe everything you read online.

Me: I'm not going to argue with you about these symptoms, I'm in pain and I want to stop taking the Lamotrigine. How do you recommend I taped off, as I am very sensitive to withdrawal.

Dr: As I've said before, this is a "very clean drug". You can just stop taking it. 

Me: You're saying that I don't have to taper off at all?

Dr. No, just stop taking it.

 

So....I did just stop taking it because I couldn't handle the nerve pain. But I am not excusing my Dr. from her lack of empathy or understanding of tapering. I will be sending her a few articles today to support my claims. This just blows my mind. I have decided to search out a Naturopath. Onward ho........

 

Wellbutrin 150 mg 2012-current - for anxiety/depression - caused more anxiety when upped to 300 mg for 6 months.

Lamotrigine 25 mg - 2/7/18- 2/21/18 - many side effects, extreme nerve pain in leg, flu-like symptoms

Abilify - 5 mg - 2013-2017 - tapered too fast, damaged nervous system, now have insomnia, depression, anxiety

Effexor XR - prior to 2010 - side effects

Laxapro - prior to 2010 - side effects

Pristiq- prior to 2010 - side effects

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Altostrata

Welcome, Daisy.

 

What symptom was the lamotrigine supposed to treat? You were only taking it a couple of weeks, do you feel better now that you're off it?

 

Are you taking only Wellbutrin now? How long have you been off Abilify? How have your symptoms changed since you went off?

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ChessieCat

Hi Daisy and welcome from me too,

 

We ask all members to create a drug signature.  This appears below every post you make.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  This is the preferred format which makes it easier for us to see your drug history at a glance:

 

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

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • 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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.

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Daisyca

Thank you, I tried to create my signature following the rules. Please let me know if it is not ok.

 

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Daisyca

@Altostrata Thank you for your reply. Lamotrigine was supposed to treat my ongoing anxiety and mood swings, as an addition to the Wellbutrin, and as a replacement for the Abilify.

I only took it for a few weeks due to all the side effects I was experiencing. Yes, I do feel better now that I am off of it, thank you! The nerve pain stopped immediately and  my flu-like symptoms are going away as well. I am only taking Wellbutrin now, but plan to start tapering off soon. My goal is to be free of psych meds by end of year.  I have been off of Abilify since end of December 2017.  My symptoms worsened after coming off Abilify. I think I tapered too quickly, now I'm stuck with Insomnia, anxiety, depression, crying spells, irritability. I believe I damaged my nervous system, that is why I will taper off much slower from Wellbutrin, even if my Dr. says its ok not to!!! I'm considering a schedule somewhere around a 25% taper, but still need to discuss with the Dr. Wish me luck!

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Daisyca

Ok so I am off the Abilify and Lamotrigine and my next goal is to taper off the Wellbutrin XL 150mg. I meet with my Dr. tomorrow, but am very nervous about discussing tapering with her, because she did not seem to think it was necessary. I know my body and I am very sensitive to withdrawal so I will demand a taper, BUT I am really confused with this drug! So many different types and dosages, I am confused as to how I should approach this. I am thinking of trying a 20% taper every 2 weeks but have no idea how I will handle that. What would that look like as far as dosages (really bad at math here, sorry)? TIA!

 

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ChessieCat

You have only just finishing getting off Lamotrigine.  It might be a good idea to give your brain a rest from tapering and allow it to catch up from that.  2-3 months of not changing doses will give you a nice solid foundation for when you start tapering Wellbutrin.

 

There is another good reason to wait.  If you start tapering Wellbutrin now and experience issues you will not know if it is delayed withdrawal from the lamotrigine or if it's from reducing the Wellbutrin.

 

From Post #1 Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

"Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an atypical antidepressant with a lower reported rate of withdrawal syndrome compared to the SSRIs and SNRIs such as Paxil, Effexor, or Cymbalta.

However, patients have reported withdrawal symptoms, sometimes severe, from too-short tapering."

 

13 minutes ago, Daisyca said:

I am thinking of trying a 20% taper every 2 weeks

 

It would be much better to start with a smaller reduction.  Again from Post #1 of the Tips for tapering topic:

 

"How gradually should I taper buproprion?
 

"Start with a 10% reduction per month, as we recommend with other antidepresssants.  Base your decrease on the last dosage.  The amount of the decrease keeps getting smaller.
 
If you find 10%-per-month decreases cause no problem, you may wish to make them more often -- but no more often than every 2 weeks. If you get any kind of withdrawal symptom, stop tapering! You are either tapering too fast or making reductions that are too large.

If you are taking the extended-release (XR)  form, you will want to taper as low as possible using a combination of the XR tablets and SR tablets, finally ending up with immediate-release tablets at the end. If necessary, you can make a liquid of the IR tablets, you can't make a liquid of the others."

 

Keep Notes on Paper

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Daisyca

@ChessieCat thank you for your suggestions. I think you are right, I am just so anxious to get off this stuff and feel better!! But I need to take it slowly, especially since I'm still experiencing insomnia and other symptoms from the other medications I stopped recently. I will be more patient. Thank you.

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Daisyca

@ChessieCat I just want to say thank you for pointing me those articles on how to talk to my Dr., they were invaluable in my appointment! As mentioned, I remained calm and firm and stated that I would like to maintain my medication at its current level for a month to give my brain a chance to regulate. Of course, as expected, my Dr. tried to push 2 more medications on me,  Celexa (her "go to med") and another one I can't remember the name, but I remained calm and let her talk and just said "not right now."  Then I asked her what the smallest dosage of Wellbutrin was and she said 100mg of the SR tablets, but that most people end up taking that dose twice a day. So that means they would be taking 200 mg a day, which isn't lower than the 150mg I'm on now, so I'm a bit confused but at least I have a month to figure it out! Thanks again Chessie and all staff on this site, my deepest gratitude for your advice and knowledge and caring.

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ChessieCat
40 minutes ago, Daisyca said:

those articles on how to talk to my Dr., they were invaluable in my appointment!

 

That's wonderful.  I like that you "let her talk" but were firm with what you wanted to do.

 

41 minutes ago, Daisyca said:

I'm a bit confused but at least I have a month to figure it out!

 

Yes, you do, and if you click on the SA logo top left to go to the main site page and type Wellbutrin in the search box, top right, you can check out members who take/took Wellbutrin and see how they are reducing.

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Daisyca

I have been experiencing nerve pain in my lower legs since February, after starting Lamotrogine for two weeks the nerve pain was extreme (along with other symptoms) so I stopped taking the Latmotrogine and the nerve pain diminished but has started coming back this month and it's very painful. I feel a burning sharp pain in my lower leg, first it was my right leg, now it is my left leg. It comes with no warning, at anytime of the day and can last several minutes. It is extremely painful for me, I even went to the chiropractor to see if it was related to siatica nerve pain but the Dr. said it wasn't related. So I searched online and found a forum on antidepressants that listed this nerve pain as a recorded side effect of wellbutrin: "Leg Pain - A hurtful sensation in the legs that is caused by excessive stimulation of the nerve endings in the legs and results in extreme discomfort. Wellbutrin side effects"

I am planning on tapering off Wellbutrin soon but am curious if anyone else had this side effect, if so, what did you do about it? Can anything help the pain? I'm afraid it will get worse when I start tapering but won't know until it happens. I'm very frustrated. :(

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Altostrata

Hello, Daisy. I moved your post here because I have to ask a lot of questions about your situation.

 

What are you taking now, at what times of day? Do you sit at the computer a lot?

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

Magnesium is particularly good for leg pain. You can also get magnesium oil to rub on your legs.

 

If you're sitting at the computer a lot, you might try leg stretches every hour or two.

 

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Daisyca

@Altostrata Thank you for your reply. I'm only on Wellbutrin 150mg and I take first thing in the morning. This nerve pain started after starting and stopping Lamotrigine, but I've researched that it is a possible side effect of the Wellbutrin as well. Over-stimulation of nerve endings caused by antidepressants is my best guess. My psychiatrist won't even acknowledge my side effects so working with her on this is hopeless. I'm hoping that tapering off Wellbutrin will alleviate symptoms but then again it could be permanent. :(  Pain is awful and I don't want to take pain meds which is all the doctors are offering me (nobody is suggesting finding the cause of this, just offering medication for symptoms, what a backwards approach!). Thanks for the supplement advice, I will look into it.

 

It is not a cramp or muscle related although I do sit at a computer all day. I already went to chiropractor and he determined it is not siatica related either. I've started meditating when the pain hits and changing my response doesn't help the pain but I think its a better way to deal with it anyway.  Thanks for the support.

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broadmargin

I had joint pain on Lamictal.  I wouldn’t describe it as nerve pain, but everyone is different.  I only made it to 75mg before I had to start tapering back down.

 

now that I’m off of it, I haven’t had any of the pain I was having while taking it.  Also I had terrible headaches while on it and those have gone away as well.

 

 

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broadmargin

Specifically in my hips.  I went to a physical therapist because I was concerned with it being siatica.  It was not.   

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Altostrata
6 minutes ago, Daisyca said:

It is not a cramp or muscle related although I do sit at a computer all day.

 

The pain may not be a direct side effect of the drugs. Nerve sensitization from going on and off drugs amplifies our bad physical habits.

 

Strongly recommend magnesium and stretching, get at least a half-hour of walking or other gentle exercise each day.

 

Why not try this? It doesn't cost much and it probably won't hurt you.

 

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Daisyca

@Altostrata What do you mean by "Nerve sensitization from going on and off drugs amplifies our bad physical habits"?

 

I tried taking magnesium (Natural Calm magnesium supplement) but it didn't seem to do anything. I was taking it for insomnia.

I also walk on my lunch hour daily for 40 minutes and stretch twice a day, that's why I'm thinking it's not related to that. It hit exactly the time I was on Lamotrigine which I had such severe side effects from.

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Altostrata

What we're seeing is that going on and off drugs is stressful on the nervous system and can make nerves hypersensitive to all kinds of things -- light, sound, muscle tension. We have many, many people who have various types of pain as a withdrawal symptom. See

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Body aches

 

Non-drug techniques for dealing with body pain

 

Non-drug techniques to ease chronic pain

 

Tension, pain, twitches, excruciating spasms in muscles and joints

 

Paresthesia: Pins & Needles, Numbness, Tingling, Burning Sensations aka Neuropathy

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