Saturday, January 20, 2018

Lamictal, 250 mgs: So Far, So Good

Two weeks ago, I dropped from 300 mg to 250 mg. In the past few days, I've noticed that I'm feeling a bit sharper, mentally. I've begun craving healthy food again, after several years of craving salt, fat, and sweets (normally, I'm one of those lucky people who can normally look at a plate of cookies dispassionately; not so on Lamictal). Best of all, there's been no drop in my mood whatsoever!

The downside: I've had some GI issues (constipation and gas). My muscles are stiffer. I've also been really tired, but this might be my body's way of telling me it's OK to lower my Ativan dosage as well :)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Long time, no write - but I'm back!

I started this diary to record my experiences as I started taking Lamictal (generic lamotrigine) for psychotic depression. Lamictal has a good track record for treating mood disorders, but there are side effects, and they're different than anything I experienced on all the SSRI's I tried over the years. I needed to be vigilant about Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a potentially deadly skin rash. I needed to track the drug's effect on my sleep, food intake, and cognition. I needed to figure out how much the medications side effects were interfering with the intended purpose of taking the damn thing in the first place: treating my goddam mood disorder. I ultimately stabilized on a dose of 300 mg, and I've been taking that for six years.

I'm now beginning the opposite process: titrating down, in the hope of going off the medication completely! My mood has improved dramatically over the past several years for various reasons, but in large part because I split up with my former partner.  I have my own place, I'm responsible for my own problems, and I'm no longer apologizing several times a day for the impact my disabilities have on someone else.

As I lower my Lamictal dosage, I'm feeling the same need to track my mood and various side effects, and that's why I'm back on my blog after all these years. As before, I hope I can be a useful resource for others who are taking this medication ... only this time, I'm also hoping to help those who are maybe trying to stop taking it.