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Lamictal (lamotrigine) to calm post-discontinuation withdrawal symptoms

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Altostrata

Lamotrigine is not addicting. You will need to taper to go off it, though, because the nervous system becomes accustomed to it over time.

 

I am dubious that it will help you go off a benzo, but who knows. Has this doctor seen it work before?

 

Please remember to start very low and go slow. Let us know how you're doing.

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woof

Hello Alto,

 

My doctor told me he has used Lamotrigine successfully for both Benzo and AD withdrawal sx's.  His experience has been that the anxiety and insomnia aspects of a benzo wd would be approximately 90% decreased.

 

I thought that I had read that coming off of Lamictal was terrible, awful, etc.  Perhaps those people experiencing these severe wd sx's had not properly tapered off of it, as you have eluded to above.

 

When my doctor told me that Lamotrigine was not addicting, that concerned me. I appreciate the information tips on its use and for reinstating my confidence in my doctor. 

 

If I do try Lamotrigine, I will go low and slow, as you have suggested.

 

Best Regards

Woof :)

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Sertralinsomnia

Hi all, i would like to add to this thread, a reliable study, i think, about the treatment and management of acute and protracted widthdawals, they mention cases of people misdiagnosed with relapse depression, when in fact it was protracted withdrawal. In the bottom of this paper they mention two possible strategies to manage protracted withdrawal, one of wish is lamictal and also gabapentin based on studies? Please all, check and say what you think.

 

Check it here:

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/371865#ref6

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Happy2Heal

Hi all, i would like to add to this thread, a reliable study, i think, about the treatment and management of acute and protracted widthdawals, they mention cases of people misdiagnosed with relapse depression, when in fact it was protracted withdrawal. In the bottom of this paper they mention two possible strategies to manage protracted withdrawal, one of wish is lamictal and also gabapentin based on studies? Please all, check and say what you think.

 

Check it here:

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/371865#ref6

 

 

just skimmed the paper and the part about using lamictal

 

"Fifth, we previously proposed treating SSRI withdrawal with anticonvulsants [6], particularly the anticonvulsants gabapentin and lamotrigine. Anticonvulsants may be used with an antipsychotic or SSRI in order to decrease or discontinue these medications. One proposed mechanism explaining the beneficial effects of using an anticonvulsant as an adjunct to an antipsychotic in schizophrenia is its antikindling effect [39,40]. Lamotrigine may also be beneficial as an adjunctive therapy with SSRIs to treat depression as it has a depression-stabilizing effect."

 

 

what concerns me about this paragraph is that the links to research to back up their points, are from old studies and some with a very small sample of patients.

 

I don't know how they can  say that lamictal has an "anti kindling effect" based on that....

 

but I did not read the whole paper, and probably won't.

 

oh wait, There's another reason to take this paper with a grain of salt: "G.C. has received conference honoraria within the last 3 years from Otsuka Pharmaceutical."

 

I wonder what drug(s) this pharmaceutical company manufactures?

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Happy2Heal

 

- In severe withdrawal insomnia, deep sleep is the first to go and the last to come back. It's important because human growth hormone is secreted in deep sleep and it is physically and mentally restorative. When deep sleep returns, emotional numbing will lift.

 

 

I've been reading more about sleep and it appears that the deepest level of sleep slowly disappears as you age, so that by a certain age (I believe it was in your 70s but may be even earlier, in the 60s) you no longer have deep sleep at all, and this is nothing to be concerned about.

it makes sense, since you are aging, not growing. I know that we are always "growing" new cells etc but overall, we've stopped growing.

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Daisies24

Hello. Thanks for posting this helpful and informative topic. For people who try very tiny, microdoses of Lamictal to help withdrawal symptoms, especially sleep . . .

 

Does it matter what time of the day you take it (i.e., should you take it before bed to aid in sleep)?

 

For people that have taken this for sleep, how soon did you begin to notice even small improvements in your sleep?

 

Alto, if you see this question, I can find some of your posts about your experience with Lamictal helping you regain your ability to sleep. I know that your sleep did begin to slowly improve with Lamictal, but, was it ever eventually completely restored?

 

Thanks for any information; I can find a lot of posts from people trying to taper off Lamictal, but very few experiences from people who have taken tiny doses to aid in withdrawal.

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Altostrata

Lamotrigine can have either effect: It can help you sleep, or it can interfere with sleep.

 

If you are going to try a microdose (a dose not larger than 5mg), it might make sense to try it first in the early evening to see how it affects you. If it makes you sleepy, you can take it in the evening before bed. If it does not make you sleepy, you can move the dosing earlier in the day.

 

(Please note: Men can tolerate higher starting doses of lamotrigine than women. It may take a week before you can feel its effect. Do not overdo your initial trial dosage.)

 

As your nervous system calms down, lamotrigine's effect can change. It may start out making you sleepy, but after a while, keep you awake. Then you might want to move your dosing to earlier in the day, by a couple of hours at a time.

 

If it starts to make you feel odd, or gives you a headache, or make you queasy, that's a sign that you're taking too much. If you've been taking it for more than a month, you may want to reduce the dosage by 10% at a time to get to the best dosage for you, one that calms your nervous system but doesn't have annoying side effects.

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ImadB

Hi

 

I've been considering lamotrigine as a second option to reinstatement of my original medication. I have a question now to those of you who have tried or is using lamotrigine for wd symtoms: is there a high risk of kindling/adverse reaction if a person starts taking lamotrigine  with a super low dose? 

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Eleven10

I have managed to get a low dose of lamotrigine from my dr. I have 5mg which I intend to half or quarter. My main worry is it will make me more anxious or agitated which I don't think I could handle. 

iv been in withdrawal for almost 4 years and have had no windows.

i have terrible vertigo at the moment so will wait until that calms again. 

My main symptoms are 

deep depression 

anxiety

tinnitus

muscle pain

chronic fatigue

insomnia and alerting symptoms 

dizziness and vertigo 

heart palps

i feel very hopeless at the moment. 

 

I cant see akathesia as a side effect but it does say something about movement disorders 

 

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joy2730

Hi

Really glad you are going to try lamotrigine.  Did your doctor have a change of heart as she only wanted you to have prozac before. 

 

Let us all know how you get on

 

Joy

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Staz
39 minutes ago, Eleven10 said:

I have managed to get a low dose of lamotrigine from my dr. I have 5mg which I intend to half or quarter. My main worry is it will make me more anxious or agitated which I don't think I could handle. 

iv been in withdrawal for almost 4 years and have had no windows.

i have terrible vertigo at the moment so will wait until that calms again. 

My main symptoms are 

deep depression 

anxiety

tinnitus

muscle pain

chronic fatigue

insomnia and alerting symptoms 

dizziness and vertigo 

heart palps

i feel very hopeless at the moment. 

 

I cant see akathesia as a side effect but it does say something about movement disorders 

 

I'm interested in this as lamotrigene has just been offered to me as my shrink thinks I'm unipolar and have not responded to any a/d and have become hooked on diazepam as a result of the stupidity of NHS Psych Dr's.

 

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Eleven10
1 hour ago, joy2730 said:

Hi

Really glad you are going to try lamotrigine.  Did your doctor have a change of heart as she only wanted you to have prozac before. 

 

Let us all know how you get on

 

Joy

Thank you. I got in on a private script. Will cost around £60 to fill but If it helps its money well spent. 

Nervous about the SJS but it's a very low dose should be ok 

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joy2730

Hi

Well done.  Hope it works.  I have taken lamotrigine in the past and SJS is very r rare and starts as a rash around the mouth.  Try not to worry about the risks as that will mean you will cancel out any of the benefits.

 

You don't have to answer this but how does a private prescription work.  I am just used to the NHS in England.   I know my sleeping pill years ago was withdrawn and I got a private prescription for that for a while as I adjusted to the new one.

 

How are you feeling today?

 

Joy

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Eleven10

Hi Joy

if you can convince a private dr that a drug may help they will write you a private script, its hand written and doesn't go through the NHS but is costly. 

im going to start the lamotrigine tomorrow I'm really nervous about SJS but it is a very low dose. 

Im so tired I really feel if I can sleep better I will improve 

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joy2730

Hi Eleven10

 

Good luck for tomorrow then.  As I remember it the rash, if it were to appear, appears around the mouth.  When I took it I got a rash on my fingers (don't know why) but they kept me on the lamotrigene as they said the rash is usually around the mouth.

 

Let's hope it has a calming effect for you and that you get some sleep.  You have a lot of patience, if it was me I would be starting it straight away!

 

Let us know how it goes, I really want this to work for you, and that it is money well spent.  If you can show it works for you perhaps you will be able to get it on the NHS?

 

Joy

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Foggyhead

I convinced my Pdoc to give Lamictal a try. She instructed that I take 25MG for 2 weeks then titrate to 50MG in the next 2 weeks. I have started with 6.25MG(quarter of 25MG) and have been on it for 2 days and plan to hold there for now. I do feel a bit strange, it feels similar to SSRI startup but not near as activating. I did notice on my Genesight Genetic Testing Paperwork that I have a significant gene interaction but the details of the interaction are "a higher dosage may be required" It does not note that I may have an increase in side effects. What do you guys think? I did not share my Genetic Testing Paperwork with this Pdoc, it was done under my previous Pdoc whom I quit seeing. 

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joy2730

When I took it that SSRI starting up feeling only lasted 2 days.  It is none of my business but I think you should share all information to your new prescribing doctor to get the best results.

 

Joy

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Foggyhead

On my next visit I will share it with her. After reading all of the posts about Lamictal possibly helping PAWs, I was afraid she would see that interaction and not prescribe it. It is so dreadful going to a Pdoc after all I have been through, knowing what they do not know or wanting to admit. 

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