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Lamotrigine - Does this drug give increased energy and reduced appetite?

3 Answers

masso 12 Jun 2016

The brand name is Lamictal, as you probably know it is anti-epileptic medication and also used as a mood stabilizer. I used it as a mood stabilizer and it worked great with moods as I am bipolar. I remember feeling better after the drug reached its peak (4 to 6 weeks in my case), but this is not en energy medication and regarding the loss of appetite I did experience this side effect, which BTW is considered a rare side effect.
You must be aware of the possible lamictal rash:

"Serious and sometimes fatal rashes, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, have rarely occurred with the use of lamotrigine. The risk of serious rash may be greater in children younger than 16 years old than in adults.

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Although it has not been proven, the risk may also be greater if you start taking lamotrigine at a higher dose than recommended, if you take more than the recommended dose during treatment, or if you also take a medicine called valproate (eg, valproic acid, divalproex sodium sodium). Most of the serious rashes that have occurred with the use of lamotrigine developed within the first 2 to 8 weeks of treatment. However, serious rashes have also occurred in patients who have used lamotrigine for a longer period of time. Contact your doctor at once if you develop rash symptoms, including red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin. Treatment with lamotrigine should be stopped if rash occurs, unless it is clearly determined that the medicine did not cause the rash. Even if lamotrigine is stopped, a rash caused by lamotrigine may still become life-threatening or cause other serious side effects (eg, permanent scarring)."

https://www.drugs.com/mtm/lamotrigine.html

This is not to scare you is to inform.

All the best...

Votes: +0
MeggieGirl 13 Jun 2016

My bipolar mood disorder involves severe recurrent depression with mania displaying itself not as euphoria, but irritability. A great portion of my life was spent living like a hermit, basically having so little energy or motivation, all I ever did was lie in bed. On vacations, this could mean days on end... just watching tv and movies, falling asleep, eating something while watching tv, falling asleep. Complete isolation from family for five years.

Almost immediately after starting the medication, a few significant things happened (we still had more work to do, and I was not fully diagnosed at that time), but they were big steps for me.

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I have severe social anxiety, but I had no hesitation in buying tickets to the X-Games and later the Austin City Limits Music Festival. I had badly neglected my dental hygiene when I was at my worst, and I got in to the dentist and got everything treated so I had a healthy mouth and could smile again. I reunited with my family. I cleaned my house and made it presentable enough that I would no longer be ashamed to have someone over. I still felt tired a lot, but I had motivation where before I had none, as well as a desire for connection with others. Motivation was the word, over energy, for me. I considered it a stellar success.

I can't really speak to appetite because my stomach is messed up after a gallbladder removal.

Votes: +1
Inactive 15 Jun 2016

Is a low dose of lamotrigene (25mg) enough to be effective if a person is sensitive to higher doses of medication? (if it is being instead, when an antidepressant isn't working). Is there an extended release version available?

MeggieGirl 15 Jun 2016

'Sup, G!!! :-D

So, here's the thing, a lot of medical practitioners don't consider a person to be within "therapeutic levels" until they are around one fifty to two hundred, but every single person I have met - except one - felt the benefits IMMEDIATELY, and on whatever they were given as their starting dose (twenty-five is the lowest)

Most doctors also think that it will take two or three weeks to fully do its thing, but for me, my life was changed by day THREE.

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Lamictal is, in my opinion, a wonder drug sent from the heavens above. It doesn't (or rarely) make people gain weight, it works fast, and it works well. The only thing that totally sucks about it is the possibility for Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. It's a rash that you watch for with eagle eyes because it can become life-threatening, and it means YOU CAN'T take Lamictal. The beauty of it, though, is that many people who might get SJS completely avoid it and never have a problem if their doctor titrates the patient up slowly. Twenty five is where you would want to start, and you could stay there for as long as you want before making the decision to go up to fifty, as far as I'm concerned.

My doctor handled me more aggressively. Most people are at twenty five for what feels like forever (they get frustrated), then they finally get fifty, then seventy-five, etc. That is NOT how we did it. She started me at fifty, and two weeks later, bumped me to a hundred. Three weeks after that, bumped to one fifty. I think she could have given me SJS and ruined my chance at being on Lamictal, which would break my heart! But thank god nothing happened.

To answer your last question, something DID happen there. Lamictal IS available in extended release. And it made perfect sense for us to switch me to it. Most people get extremely groggy by Lamictal, but it wakes me up... happens to a small percentage. Ext release seemed like a good idea, since I wouldn't have trouble working all day on it, etc. And then it happened...

Almost right away, my mood tanked. I started getting road ragey, and thinking hate thoughts. My mind went to disturbing places, and I was like "What is this??? This isn't even my personality!" I had an emergency call with my doctor, and she told me "don't even put those up in the cabinet and forget about them... give them to the pharmacist, throw them in the toilet if you have to... get them gone NOW."

I switched back to the rapid release, and all of the wonderful progress came back again. I don't understand what happened to me, but I thought I'd at least mention it because, if you start out on one type, don't necessarily be afraid to try the other. I'm serious... all I ever hear is how much positive change Lamictal has brought to people's lives.

So, you're what I think they would call a 'slow metabolizer?' That must be very scary for procedures involving sedation. See, I'm the exact opposite - I'm a rapid metabolizer. If I'm having dental work done, for example, the dentist has to give between six and eight shots of lidocaine to get me numb. Usually, I just ask him to put in 1 shot, give me the gas, and go to town. I can feel everything, but I don't care! LOL Headphones, an iPod and laughing gas make a three hour procedure get done in one. *ribbon* Favorite patient :-D

Meggie

low dose of lamotrigene (25mg) enough to be effective if a person is sensitive to higher doses of medication? (if it is being instead, when an antidepressant isn't working). Is there an extended release version available?

Inactive 16 Jun 2016

'Sup Meggie!
It was hugely generous of you to thoroughly answer my question by sharing so much of your life's experience to do so! Thank you so much for your input. I think we'd be great buddies if we lived close to each other - I would love to go to lunch and spend an afternoon with you and Janiebme. We'd have a great time together, talking and laughing. You and Janie have so much empathy for others, and you both have a great sense of humor. A lot of healing comes from humor. Thanks again for your comments! "G"

MeggieGirl 17 Jun 2016

HaHa! I know, right!!! Wait... HOW DO WE NOT KNOW THAT WE DO NOT ALREADY LIVE THE CLOSENESS??? HeeHee

Both of you! I was like "Who 'dis? I like!" Then I was like "Well, who 'DIS? I LIKE!"

HaHa We would totally be a laugh riot, and then we'd laugh at the people pinch their faces and just don't get the laugh riot because they're not in on the joke, so meh! ;)

lexus985 16 Jun 2016

It made me sleep 20 hours a day!

Votes: +0
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