Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lamictal Day 32: Thoughts on NorthStar Lamotrigine

This is Day 4 on NorthStar lamotrigine, and so far I'm not impressed.

As I've mentioned previously, I switched pharmacies to fill my latest lamictal scrip, and my current pharmacy (Costco) sells a generic made by NorthStar.  This means that there is less available medication in the pill, possibly as little as 80% of what Teva's lamotrigine has (Teva's bioavailability is equivalent to Lamictal the brand name med).

In theory, I should still be getting more medication than I was last week.  Last week I was taking 50 mgs of Teva lamotrigine.  This week I'm taking at least 60 mgs of NorthStar lamotrigine.

If that's the case, why do I feel like crap in real life?
About the only good thing I can say for NorthStar is that I seem to have an easier time falling asleep.  Other than that, my mood is lower, my motivation is lower, I'm back to having depressions between the hours of 4 and 8 pm, and I'm feeling unusually irritable.

My muscles seem more sensitive than they've been for the last 4 weeks.  It's not that they're getting stiff --  if anything they're more flexible.  But that itself might be the problem.  While doing the yoga routine they sent home with us from my MCBT class, I was able to stretch so far that I could rest my forehead on my knees with my legs straight in front of me.  This is well beyond my normal range of motion, and I think I overstretched my back and my glutes.

Yesterday my mood was up and down -- I felt better in the morning than I had over the weekend, but felt down by 4 pm; then I did some yoga/mindfulness meditation, which improved my mood for the rest of the day.  I was able to think about a creative project, and derive pleasure from that.  I was able to think about a possible visit from an old friend, and derive pleasure from that.  I had two glasses of wine with dinner, which I also enjoyed.

My mood today has been significantly lower.  Maybe it was the wine -- maybe NorthStar lamotrigine is more prone to interference from alcohol, at least for me.  Maybe it's going off Zoloft, but I tend to doubt that.   Even with all the frustrations of last week, my baseline mood was high enough that the Zoloft shouldn't be a factor (this is based on my past experience going off Zoloft).

I let my pdoc know about the change in generics, as he had asked me to. He seemed to think it shouldn't cause any problems.  But if this continues for much longer, I'm going to try to get back on the Teva, ASAP.

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