There’s Something About the Month of May

English: Lamotrigine structure
Lamotrigine Structure

I don’t have anything science-y or nerd-y to post this week.  Primarily because I wasn’t reading at all – I’ve been riding the New Medication Roller Coaster.  This week I finally titered up to 200mg of Lamotrigine.

I’ll spare you the details of starting the med and increasing the dose, because it’s boring.

What isn’t boring is the mixed episode that hit Tuesday.  It came out of nowhere and resulted in my husband calling the crisis line.  I was fine at 10AM and by 12:30PM I was a raving lunatic.  Wednesday was blurry but emotional, Thursday was better and Friday saw an awesome, productive hypomania.  I got so many things done I was  shouting, “Go, me!” by the end of the day.  When I spoke with my NP, she told me to knock of whatever I was doing, sip a cup of tea and take a hot bath.  She was not impressed when I told her how good I was feeling and how much I’d accomplished that day.

I’ve heard complaints that since Lamotrigine counters depression, at low doses it does, indeed, act like an antidepressant, thereby becoming ‘activating’ and causing hypomania.  Hmmm.  I really hope this is true, because it is certainly the case with me.

I’m not ready to chuck in the towel just yet.  Some people claim it is a miracle drug, once you get to a therapeutic level that’s right for you.  Two hundred mg is the minimal therapeutic level studies have been performed on, so I’ll be brave and tough it out for a month.  However, I really hope I’m not starting to rapid cycle.  Looking back over my posts, this is a concern that’s appeared a few times.

So, yeah.  This was a self-indulgent post.

If anyone has any experiences with Lamortigine they are willing to share, I’m all ears.  Well, hopefully I will be able to ‘hear’ you above the clatter of breaking dishes.  🙂

have you been on any other antiseizure medications? wondering how doctors choose one over the other. is this a newer drug? i have been taking oxcarbezapine (sp?). i have had a low sodium problem which probably is from this medication. my last episode was mixed. sometimes i still can’t believe i have this. was diagnosed at about 54 years old. makes me think i can discontinue medication and i will be alright.

Hi, Susan. I’m on oxcarbazepine as well! 1500 mg per day and was just started on lamotrigine +/- 6 weeks ago. It’s been around for a while and supposed to help with bipolar depression. Do you feel better on the oxcarbazepine? I know what you mean about the salt (it gave me the excuse I to eat potato chips 🙂 ) It’s difficult when you are first diagnosed. How are you getting on with it?

OK, this is bizarre. I have not been taking any meds for 2 weeks. But I haven’t eaten either. And I have been…fine. In the past, when I had a 3 day haitus, I have felt it. I wonder whether food has something to do with the disorder? With all my stress right now, I should be having symptoms……
I am on high dose, but its the only drug I am taking for bipolar, and I am type 2, so my experience is probably not apples to apples for you. I do (did) still have almost daily low level mood swings from mildly elevated to mildly low, although the low is still the struggle, esp in winter.

Hmmm – yeah, I was thinking about you and what your dose is when all of this started. 200 mg is pretty whimpy. Maybe food does have something to do with it? With your amount of stress I can’t believe you’ve been fine for 2 weeks without med. Go with it LOL How are you doing this week?

Pain! But I am forcing myself to eat and drink. And interestingly enough, started with problems today (wanting to go postal), after my first day of 3 meals on Sunday. So I am going to choke the d— pill down tonight.

Well, fiddle sticks! I sure hope that you will come down from the hypomanic episode. That is not good but could have been much worse. I’m almost certain that you probably scared the the pee-diddly out of your husband. Take care. The NP was right. YOU MUST try to do things that are soothing. Sit in a rocker, listen to quiet and even tempo musi. Drink some sort of bevarage that has a calming effect. A massage might even help. 🙂

Ahhh…a massage! Haven’t had one since I lived in the US. Think I did pretty well over the weekend (hubby only asked why I was so energetic once). Today, I’m rarin’ to go again. Will take your advice and get into a hot bath…right after I walk the puppy, vacuum and go to the store 🙂 Hope all is well with you!

Yes, It sounds as if you are a tad hypo. Do you get too tired when you been ripping around- a day or so later. See about that massage.

I am ok. Just depressed all my life-off and on. Not taking meds anymore since they all were causing too many side effects. I was able to work and generally seemed better while at work. I had to work -had nlo choice. Good thing that I did for I now have a decent retirement with insurance.

I’ve been physically ill from BO med of long standing. Had to discover that myself. I will write a post about it later when I feel better, I still feel very fatigued at times but other major symptoms are mostly gone.

When are you returnig to states or is that still on?

Take care,
~yvonne~

🙂 WordPress doesn’t do a great job with the spell check, does it?

I took a few days off from WP, but hope you are feeling better today.

Not sure when I’ll get back to the US at this point. I’m in contact with a friend who keeps asking me to visit, so we’ll see. My NP says it needs to be soon. Homesickness is definitely hampering my efforts to get stable.

Geez, Vivien, if the mixed states or rapid cycling continue don’t wait a month. Get back in and get those meds adjusted.

I *so* understand about the hypomania. It feels so good after feeling so bad. But, it’s a trap to let yourself fall into it, no matter how good it feels. I love your NP for telling you to “knock it off.” That’s generally the term I use, too, when I’m talking myself out of enjoying the high.
I’m with you, sister.

I knew you would relate. God, it’s so delicious to feel so alive. And be so damn productive. Knocking it off – well, you’re sooo right. I have a few more things to do and then I promise I will get into a hot bath with a book. Well, maybe. I think. Unless I can find the paint in the garage and start on the stairwell. 🙂

Kevin! It’s so good to see you back online! I hope you had a great visit with your family and you are feeling well again.

Thank you so much for the award, my friend. I appreciate your nomination very much!

I think what I will do is model my response after your contents entries and create a page. What a great idea!

Thank you again so much, Kevin! Glad you’re back and I’ll be over to Voices of Glass (http://voicesofglass.com) very soon 🙂

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