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What happens with abrupt stop of Lamictal (Lamotrigine)?

Responses (19)

Inactive 21 Jan 2013

Hello Blackey101,

Do not stop taking Lamictal / lamotrigine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures if you stop using lamotrigine suddenly. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.


Take care,

Votes: +1
pickles503 22 Jan 2013

Hi Blackey.

I'm going to give you a very looooong version of the info I found. Sorry this is so long, but in this case I had to.

Lamotrigine is a medication that works in the brain to treat bipolar disorder. It is also approved for the treatment of seizure disorders. Bipolar disorder involves episodes of depression and/or mania.

A depressive episode, or depression, occurs when a person experiences several of the following symptoms at the same time: “low” or depressed mood (e.g., sad, empty, tearful), decreased interest in most or all activities, changes in appetite (usually decreased), changes in sleep (usually poor sleep), loss of energy, feeling worthless/guilty/ hopeless/ helpless, difficulty concentrating, thoughts of death (suicidal thinking).

Votes: +2
onceateacher 22 Jan 2013

Your answer covers it all. I have been taking it for 2 years or so at 400mg for Bipolar. Decreased it on my own from 400 to 250 (HUGE mistake, was in middle of slight manic phase and conversion disorder). We are back at 300 and I'm going to ask psych to increase again. It is very dangerous to stop or decrease without doc input. It only stays in system for 24 hours so before it begins to wear off over the course of the day. Looking to going back to 200 twice a day, 300 at night is not working with mood stabilization during the evening. We had added Respiradal .5mg which was great at first but after 2 weeks caused a huge amount of anxiety. Went off it. Will not go off or decrease Lamictal again, mainstay of medication regime.

pickles503 22 Jan 2013

Hi once.
It's great that you recognized the side effects of withdrawing from Lamictal. Some people refuse to respect their body enough to believe it. I stopped taking lamotrigine when I went into mania, and I had hallucinations, and other symptoms that you already know about. I take 400 mg per day. I usually take it all at once. Lamotrogines makes me nauseous
so I eat it in between food. Like, a sandwich divided in 4, and 100 mg of Lamictal after each quarter of a sandwich. You probably already know that, but I thought I'd just throw it out there. I want to take it in late morning or afternoon, however, that's not always the case. I get lazy or I'm busy, or whatever. I feel the difference when I don't take it till night time. I don't have the energy, and I think it affects my mood(or I'm a b--- h.) It's a toss up. I also noticed that when Lamotrgine kicks in, I have 3-4 hrs of great energy. I could kick an entire football teams butt.
God bless you, Sweetheart.

rhercules1961 7 Apr 2015

I recently ran out. I'm unemployed and get tired of asking my family for help. My brother is worth more than a million but keeps a ledger of how much I owe him and reminds me frequently.

I got it today but was off it for a week. Don't ever do that!! I'm having spasms, phantom smells, fatigue and disturbing dreams.

I have no desire to do anything. It is a wonderful med but only if you follow the prescribed dosage.

Hope this helps:)

Votes: +1
Ashsmith 23 Jun 2015

Hi..I recently stopped taking 100mg of lamictal, today is my 5th day. I had called my pharmacy and spoke with the pharmacist, he suggested taking half the dosage and skipping days in between. However I just stopped..and the only issue I'm really having is zero appetite and upset stomach, and I couldn't sleep last night. However I'm remaining positive that I'll feel better in a few days. How did you feel when you started taking it again? Did you slowly introduce it back into your system?

monogato 22 Aug 2015

I do not use my rx benefits for Lamical. Genetic for 150 mg once a day for 30 days is $9.00 usd.

want2boffmedz 17 May 2016

I stopped taking Lamotrigine for a week now and I am having spasms, loss of appetite because my food smells weird. I am so tired of taking so many pills. I have seizures so I also take Gabepetin and Topamax. I have another illness that requires me to take an additional 2 pill in the morning and 1 at night. My docs also had me on Citolapram. I quit taking that too, last week. My muscles hurt, maybe from spasms at night, I also am a little confused about things. It is about dates and stuff like that. I am 50 years old. But you know what, I can conquer this! I didn't have to take all of this medicine before, it is too much! I want my body and brain back!! I'll let you all know what happens. I haven't told my doctors yet what I am doing. I am keeping a journal. I am also eating heathier to see if this helps. Thank you for your time.

Votes: +1
Kshirey55 28 Jan 2017

I to quite taking the med I am having so much joint pain and every muscle in my body draws up like Charlie horse 50 times more intense. I have not told my doctor either I stopped another med as well and by doing so my doctor took me off a third med. I have yet to tell him.. I don't know if it's because of stopping it or not sick of taking pills

Efloyd7 9 Apr 2018

May I ask why you stopped taking it? Let me guess... you feel fine you don’t need that medicine anymore? OR your tired of having to take it everyday?? Well I’m here to tell you what the more you accept the facts the better you will be. Plus you can’t just stop a medication you have to wing down because it could make you loose your mind literally. Hang in there!

Anon1977 2 Aug 2016

I take 200 mg twice daily for seizures. One of the side effects of Lamotrigine is short term memory loss which happens all to often with me. In fact it happens so often that I occasionally forget to renew or refill my prescription before it runs out. I know I could do the auto-replenish system but I've had bad experiences with pharmacies screwing that up in the past plus I'm very OCD and like to micromanage everything. Anyway, I forgot to place a renewal last week and was forced to be without my medication for 3 entire days while the details were being worked out. That may not sound like much but in the case of Lamotrigine it's an eternity. I've lapsed before and the most common side effect has been disorientation and confusion. This time however it was that and worse. I've experienced minor spells of depression in the past but never like what happened this past weekend while off my meds.

Votes: +1
HendrixChick 3 Apr 2017

Hello! Hopefully this will get to you. I've just started Lamotrigine for tonic clonic seizures - I've only had 2 in the past 3 years, but they are starting me on Lamotrigine. I'm 5 weeks in, going up slowly - I'm at 50mg every other day now and will be taking 100mg/day in a few weeks. I constantly feel like I'm floating and can't get words out. Did you have any side effects when you started and if so, did they subside? I can't go on like this. 24/7 dizziness, floating and anxiety.

zanoni314151 3 Feb 2018

Please folks consider cannabis as an alternative. The Creator has given us many natural cures that have been used for centuries. Type in Doctor Sanje Gupta a man once skeptical about cannabis until he decided to stop believing others and traveled around the US to see for himself. His insights are worth your time. His findings concerning childhood seizures are worth checking out. Cannabis has no known side effects and if you are reluctant to get high on THC, they have cannabis products with the THC removed. God Bless

shellybeans 3 Aug 2016

Please get weaned off. LAMICITAL primarily treats seizures, not just metal health help they later learned, so to stop abruptly you increase a risk of having seizures, spasms, uncontollable tics... check out all the info to your question right here on, ought to be enough info/proof. . Please don't cold stop it!

Votes: +1
Ashsmith 20 Nov 2016

I wasn't on this medication for seizures, and I felt like crap for a couple weeks but once I started the probiotic I felt fine and have been off all meds for 2 years now. And I recommend probiotic to everyone!!! Your doctor can slowly take you off the same way they slowly put you on it

Votes: +3
Ashestonix 10 Dec 2016

A couple of days ago I had a partial seizure and had to go to the hospital. I'm taking it for bipolar and I forgot to take it for 4 days. It is very very important to make sure not to stop taking this medication. I had at least 7 seizure that day.

Ashsmith 10 Dec 2016

That it's awful. So sorry. I actually came off it quite easy and was taking it for bipolar as well. I was only on it for a few months. I am not a Dr and everyone is different. For me it was easy, just had to stick out the no appetite and not being able to sleep. That didn't last to long. Best of luck!

Ashestonix 10 Dec 2016

Oh that's good. I've been on it for about 9 years

ElizabethN 17 Feb 2017

I had a single seizure over 15 years ago and was prescribed Lamotrigine - 100 mg twice a day. I took it regularly until recently. I suggested to my doctor that I stop taking it and she said that would be okay and there was no need to stop gradually, because it was a low dose. I stopped 6 weeks ago. I am not aware of any difference to how I feel that could be put down to stopping it. I am relieved I've had no bad effects and disappointed I haven't had any of the positive effects I've read about.

ElizabethN 20 Feb 2017

But now, I think I have a side effect. I am finding I have less get-up-and-go than usual and am finding it difficult to get things done efficiently. I have been getting so sleepy early in the evening, that I have given up trying to stay awake and have gone to bed early. Recently, I have slept for nearly nine hours some nights, which is much more than usual for me. I looked it up and found it may be a symptom of giving up Lamotrigine. It seems odd that it did not become obvious for about six weeks, but I travelled abroad during that time and had to cope with time changes and jet lag, so maybe that hid the symptoms. I hope I will get back to a seven hour night and feeling energetic again, as I am frustrated at getting less done than usual.

ElizabethN 20 Feb 2017

I would be interested to hear whether or not other readers have had these symptoms or think they are genuinely a symptom of giving up Lamotrigine. If they are, I hope they will go. If they are not, perhaps I should be worried about what is causing them.

sunset13 2 Mar 2017

I take 300mg a day and was told by GNC that if I took 5-htp that would help and I could possibly get off Lamictal which would be great as I have no energy and 5-HTP is all natural and you can purchase at Walmart I just choose GNC as I wanted to look at all my options and they are trained in natural medicine.

tarrynh 3 Mar 2017

Hi all. Ive been on Lamotrigine for 4 years in combination with Toplep and Abilify. I have as of 3 weeks started tapering off the lamotrigine. I have had rather awful experiences such as severe panic attacks, insomnia, paranoia and depression. I also had racing thoughts, extreme fear and outbursts of anger. I am a lot better now and feeling more clear minded than I ever felt. It takes about 2 weeks to clear out of your system and I am on a very small dose now of 50mg.

The first few days were absolute hell and I thought I was never going to get through it. I do not advise anyone does this alone.

Votes: +1
deedeelee 11 May 2017

I was on 300mg lamotrigine for 4y rs for BP, but recently added 20 mg Prozac and felt SO darn amazing that I insisted Dr. decrease Lamotrigine to 200mg/day. Its been 2 weeks now and I def. see a difference in mood. I am kind of melancholy and not as optimistic as I was a couple of weeks ago. Hate the idea of upping lamotrigine again, but hate the idea of living like this.

Nicolehope 20 Oct 2017

I been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well as adhd. I’m currently taking 200 mg of lamictal twice daily I’ve been seeing a counselor for a year this month she’s saying I don’t have bipolar disorder can I just stop the lamictal

Gaz2217 20 Oct 2017

My wife suddenly stopped and she has epilepsy. A couple of days later she was in hospital after her worst night of seizures so far. She is now on three times the dose she was originally on.

Link12u 20 Sep 2018

No!!! Do not take the chance!!! Thought I was having a serious stroke. After 4 days back on all symptoms cleared. Very dangerous!!!

Mellowyellow1234 5 Dec 2017

I've recently moved country and have run out of Lamotrogine (usually take 125mg 2x daily for tonic clonic seizures and have been for 6 years ). I can't get any more here as I'm not yet registered with doctors so have to wait until next week when my friend is visiting from home and bringing my prescription with her. I'm on my 4th day of no medication and it has been horrible. I have felt consistently dizzy and lightheaded, the most indescribable amount of confusion- I question absolutely everything I am doing as I am doing it and forget why I'm doing things halfway through doing them. The feeling that I'm going to have a fit has increased so much in the last 2 days that I couldn't work, leave the house, or even bed. On top of all of this it has given me extreme anxiety. DO NOT STOP TAKING THIS SUDDENLY, I wouldn't wish this on anyone!

Votes: +1
Link12u 20 Sep 2018

I recently ran out of lamotrigine for 4 days. I take it for mood and depression due to bipolar disorder. What a total nightmare! I take 300 mg. at night. I was convinced that I had a stroke. Disoriented, numbness, loss of motor control increased tremors and hallucination and increased sensory stimulation to sounds and light
Have back issues so at first believed it had deteriorated. I am knocking on the door of paralysis therefore some of these symptoms made sense. Upon first dose on refill all symptoms completely were gone next morning. What a frightening experience.Never again!!!

Stella2010 9 Dec 2017

I was on Lamictal, 150 mg daily for about 15 years, prescribed for bipolar. Started weaning off 4 weeks ago, down 1/4 tablet for one week, then half tablet, where I am now. The second two weeks were Hell. I was sick with headache, fever, gut problems. Now better but still have rash and gut issues. Will stick with half tab till symptom free then move on to1/4 tab. Yuk. Would never get on this stuff again.
Blackey101 DO NOT stop Lamictal Abruptly !! It must be weaned off slowly. :) free discount card

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