plus assorted interesting stuff about Lamictal (lamotrigine) your doctor won’t tell you
Anyone who uses this page, or any other short list of pros and cons, as the only sources of information in deciding which med to take for their condition is a complete idiot and/or crazier than they or anyone else suspects. Although far less stupid and/or crazy than those who choose meds based only on side effects or the recommendations of random people on sites like ask.yahoo.com.
- The best medication on the market to deal with bipolar depression without the risks of mania or lowering the seizure threshold associated with antidepressants.
- Just the best med on the market for bipolar depression.
- Weight neutral.
- One of the safest meds to use during pregnancy.
- The side effects suck less than the other meds with FDA approval for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.
- That “without the risk of mania” is only after you’re taking enough, usually 200mg a day. You might get a little too happy the first couple of weeks. Or too irritable, anxious and otherwise unpleasant to be around.
- Easily affected by drug-drug interactions, in spite of being metabolized in such a way that only a few meds should affect it.
- Can mess with your skin in all sorts of ways that could cause you to panic and stop taking it when you don’t have to.
- Which is really a shame, because Lamictal is one of those drugs where if you stop taking it then try it again later it may or may not work as well the next time.
Doctors don’t have the time to tell you everything about a drug. Patient information leaflets leave out a lot. Even if the PI sheet covers everything the language is so dense and obtuse that the good stuff is often lost in information overload. Most meds have something interesting about them.1
Interesting Stuff Your Doctor Probably won’t Tell You about Lamictal (lamotrigine)
- Women have noticeably more side effects than men.
- Lamictal prescriptions have been filled with Lamisil, and vice versa. Why GSK gave them both such similar names is beyond me.
- Lamictal was originally developed as a folate antagonist, like how many antimalarial drugs work, except targeting your brain. It was supposed to be a side effect in a pill to test if folate had anything to do with seizures. The consensus is “probably not,” but at least with Lamictal we know why you need to take a folic acid supplement.
Most drugs are known for something. Whenever Viagra or Cialis are mentioned what do you think of first? How effective either one is for erectile dysfunction? The pros and cons of each? Viagra’s weird side effect of cyanopsia (where everything you see is tinted blue)? Or that a hard-on can last over four hours, and that if it does you’re supposed to call Dr. Buzzkill about it to see if you may need a surgical happy ending?2
Crazy meds are no different. Most of them are notorious for some reason. Lamictal is best known for “The Rash” (or “The Lamictal Rash”), but it’s also the best drug on the planet to treat Bipolar II. Topamax is also known as Dopamax and Stupamax, and here at Crazymeds we coined the term “supermodel drugs” to describe Topamax and Zonegran, because they can make you skinny and stupid. Yet Topamax is also a Godsend for a lot of people with migraines and/or various forms of epilepsy, and is the first thing a lot of neurologists will prescribe.
Drugs can sometimes have lesser-known traits and effects that make them unique, such as Keppra’s ability to stop mania immediately as if it were an antipsychotic as well as killing brain cancer. Some are good, some are bad, some are just weird. Some might be helpful for you to know about in order to make the best use a med, or to help it suck less. Others are meaningful only to pharmacology geeks.
What Lamictal (lamotrigine) is Best Known for
- The Rash. Everyone is scared shitless of The Lamictal Rash.
- Totally kicking the assess of Symbyax, Seroquel, and whichever atypical antipsychotic has the latest FDA approval / big pharma ad campaign to treat bipolar depression. Despite the fact that Lamictal doesn’t have FDA approval to treat bipolar depression.
- Working as an antidepressant at 25mg a day for some people.
- Lamictal is notorious for causing multiday hangovers if you drink the least amount of alcohol.
- Drinking while taking AEDs isn’t that great an idea, but unless you enjoy waking up with an epic hangover, don’t even drink half a lite beer if you’re taking Lamictal.
Noted Traits & Effects
Being the only AED affected by estrogen-based birth control (BCP) while only rarely affecting BCP.
Don’t worry about actually buying one. Windows shop and share the designs you’d like to buy or ridicule. Do you have something better to do right now?
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Contains up-close and personal pictures of rather bloody thigh and penis surgery. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
1 Interesting to me at any rate.
2 Fun facts: The cause of that never-ending boner (priapism) is often a blood clot, which can work its way loose, make its way to your brain or heart, and kill you. So it's not so much about the inconvenience of a tent pole that can never be unpitched, it's about a potentially fatal side effect of ED drugs that they never say is POTENTIALLY FATAL in the TV ads. Viagra and Cialis are as, if not more likely to kill you than an antidepressant, but is Tom Cruise jumping up and down on a couch screaming about that? Maybe Scientology alone couldn't help him with that issue. As for the surgery that might be required, see Erectile function and dysfunction following low flow priapism: a comparison of distal and proximal shunts for the gory details, with pictures that will make you lose a few inches.
If you have any questions not answered here, please see the Crazymeds Lamictal discussion board. We welcome criticisms of the articles, notifications of bad links, site problems, consumer experiences with medications, etc. I’m not always able to write back. Hence I never answer questions about meds via e-mail that are answered by this or other articles. Especially if they have been repeatedly asked on the forum. That’s why we write these damn things. Questions about which meds are best for your condition should also be asked on the forum; because this is a free site, so the price of admission is making things easier for somebody else searching for the same answer. We don’t deal with children on the forum or in private because after doing this for ten years I don’t have the emotional stamina to deal with kids who have brain cooties. How to contact Crazymeds. — Jerod Poore, CME, Publisher Crazymeds (crazymeds.net)
|Last modified on Monday, 23 September, 2013 at 10:02:35 by JerodPoore||Page Author Jerod Poore||Date created|
|“Lamictal (lamotrigine): a Review for the Educated Consumer.” by Jerod Poore is copyright © Jerod Poore||Published online 2011/01/18|
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|Plain text:||Poore, Jerod. “Lamictal (lamotrigine): a Review for the Educated Consumer.” Crazymeds (crazymeds.net). ().|
Lamictal, and all other drug names on this page and used throughout the site, are a trademark of someone else. Lamictal’s PI Sheet will probably have the name of the manufacturer and trademark owner (they’re not always the same company) at or near the very bottom. Or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing. It may of changed hands by the time you finished reading this article.
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Almost all of the material on this site is by Jerod Poore and is copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Jerod Poore. Except, of course, the PI sheets - those are the property of the drug companies who developed the drugs the sheets are about - and any documents that are written by other people which may be posted to this site will remain the property of the original authors. You cannot reproduce this page or any other material on this site outside of the boundaries of fair use copying without the express permission of the copyright holder. That’s usually me, so just ask first. That means if want to print out a few pages to take to your doctor, therapist, counselor, support group, non-understanding family members or something like that - then that’s OK to just do. Go for it! Please. As long as you include this copyright notice and something along the lines of following disclaimer, I’m usually cool with it.
All rights reserved. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. If you still have questions about a medication or condition that were not answered on any of the pages you read, please ask them on Crazy Talk: the Crazymeds Forum.
The information on Crazymeds pertains to and is intended for adults. While some information about children and adolescents is occasionally presented (e.g. US FDA approvals), pediatric-specific data such as dosages, side effects, off-label applications, etc. are rarely included in the articles on drugs or discussed on the forum. If you are looking for information regarding meds for children you’ll have to go somewhere else. Plus we are big pottymouths and talk about S-E-X a lot.
Know your sources!
Nobody on this site is a doctor, a therapist, or a pharmacist. We don’t portray them either here or on TV. Only doctors can diagnose and treat an illness. While it’s not as bad as it used to be, some doctors still get pissed off by patients who know too much about medications, so tread lightly when and where appropriate. Diagnosing yourself from a website is like defending yourself in court, you suddenly have a fool for a doctor. Don’t be a cyberchondriac, thinking you have every disease you see a website about, or that you’ll get every side effect from every medication1. Self-prescribing is as dangerous as buying meds from fraudulent online pharmacies that promise you medications without prescriptions.
All information on this site has been obtained from the medications’ product information / summary of product characteristic (PI/SPC) sheets and/or medication guides - which is all you get from sites like WebMD, RxList,
NAMBLA NAMI, etc., the sources that are referenced throughout the site, our personal experience and the experiences family, friends, and what people have reported on various reputable sites all over teh intergoogles. As such the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for real medical advice from your real doctor, just a compliment to it. You should never, ever, replace what a real doctor tells you with something from a website on the Internet. The farthest you should ever take it is getting a second opinion from another real doctor. Educate yourself - always read the PI/SPC sheet or medication guide/patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with your medications and never ever throw them away. OK, you can throw away duplicate copies, but keep at least one, as that’s your proof of purchase of having taken a med in case a doctor doubts your medical history. Plus they take up less space than a bottle, although keeping one inside of a pill bottle is even better.
Crazymeds is not responsible for the content of sites we provide links to. We like them, or they’re paid advertisements, or they’re something else we think you should read to help you make an informed decision about a particular med. Sometimes they’re more than one of those things. But what’s on those sites is their business, not ours.
Crazymeds is optimized for ridiculously large screens and browsers that don’t block ads. I use Firefox and Chrome, running under Windows 72. On a computer that sits on top of my desk. With a 23 inch monitor. Hey, at least you can make the text larger or smaller by clicking on the + or - buttons in the upper right hand corner. If you have Java enabled. Like 99% of the websites on the planet, Crazymeds is hosted on domain running an open source operating system with a variety of open source applications, including the software used to display what you’ve been reading. As such Crazymeds is not responsible for whatever weird shit your browser does or does not do when you read this site3.
No neurologists, psychiatrists, therapists or pharmacists were harmed in the production of this website. Use only as directed. Void where prohibited. Contains nuts. Certain restrictions may apply. All data are subject to availability. Not available on all mobile devices, in the 12 Galaxies Guiltied to a Zegnatronic Rocket Society, or in all dimensions of reality. Hail Xenu!
‘Everything is true, nothing is permitted.’ - Jerod Poore
1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.
2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.
3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?* I don’t even need my big-ass rant any more. Heartbleed has made my case for me. And that’s just the one that got all the media attention. The very nature of an open source operating system makes security as much of an illusion as anonymity on teh Intergoogles. Before you flip out too much: the domain Crazymeds is hosted on uses a version of SSL that is not affected by the Heartbleed bug. That’s one of the many reasons why I pay a lot of money and keep this site on Lunarpages.
* Yes, I know I’m using open source browsers. I also test the site using the now-defunct IE and Safari browsers. Their popularity - and superiority - killed IE and Safari, so that’s why I rely on the open source browsers. It’s like brand vs. generic meds. Sometimes the generic is better than the brand.