Friday, February 9, 2018

200 mgs of lamotrigine: so far, not so good

Three weeks ago, I titrated down to 200 mgs of lamotrigine. Enter the lethargy, loss of focus, extreme fatigue that are common side effects of lamotrigine/lamictal withdrawal. I was getting twelve hours of sleep a day, still struggled to drag myself out of bed in the morning, and spent every day feeling unfocused and weird and generally out of it. I wasn't thinking clearly, so it didn't occur to me immediately that these symptoms were related to lamictal withdrawal until I talked to my therapist last week.

I was then moved to do a bit of research, and found a blog post called Lamictal (lamotrigine) withdrawal from hell. Hardly an encouraging title. Hell, I'd even say it was terrifying. But I was brave, and my courage was rewarded with a ton of useful information, including extended quotes from other lamotrigine users (and former users) describing the incredible fatigue they experienced as they weaned themselves off this medication. In order to combat this (and other side effects), many of them found that they needed to return to the higher dose for awhile, then lower the dose more gradually, over a longer period of time.

On Sunday, I emailed my doc and we decided that I'd go back up to 250 for a week. My fatigue has gotten better, but on the downside, I've had trouble sleeping, and I've felt more agitated. I've decided to try going down to 225... we'll see what happens.