Lamictal Added to Manage My Bipolar Depression

LAMICTAL (Lamotrigine) 25 mgs tablets have been added to my very recent readjustment of drug therapy for managing my bipolar disorder (BD). An anti-convulsant, Lamictal tablets have also been FDA-approved for maintenance of bipolar, specifically for managing the depression phase. It is the first drug ever approved, after Lithium, for stabilizing BD.

The initial two boxes of 30 tablets each of Lamictal newly-prescribed.

Refusing initially Lithium during the first of a series of regular visits to a Psychiatrist three years ago, I asked, this time around, for Lithium, despite the very bad side-effects of the drug, of which reason I refused the prescription the first time, because of the long depression phase I have been subjected to lately. My life feels empty and meaningless when I am in the down phase of my bipolar and I got concerned of its long phase over a week ago and just waited for my regular visit to the Psychiatrist, February 9, 2017.

After finally reaching a diagnosis of BD, a few months after I voluntarily visited Kuwait Mental Health Center, following an attempt to end my life, I was finally referred to a Psychiatrist, who, specifically, treats BD. Because of the doctor’s long years of seeing bipolar patients, he obviously exhibits knowledge of the disorder and asked first for the other medications I regularly take for maintenance of my myriad health conditions and after listing all the drugs, he crossed three on the list and informed me that Lithium interacts with those three.

He then prescribed Lamictal, to be taken, initially, at different dosages, in order for my body to adjust well to the new drug. The first week, I have to take one 25 mgs Lamictal once a day; the second week, two tablets; the third week, three; and then the fourth week, four tablets. I will then see him at the end of the fourth week so he can gauge the effectiveness of the new treatment modality.

During my previous visit to the doctor two months ago, he mentioned that the hospital is no longer giving Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, and instead prescribed Ativan (Lorazepam). This time around, he told me not to take AtivanĀ  because Lamictal has the same effect as that of Lorazepam. Likewise, he changed the dosage and frequency of the Seroquel (Quetiapine, an anti-psychotic), to just one 300 mgs XR tablet to be taken four hours before sleeping at night. I told him that the previous frequency – three 50 mgs XR in the morning and 200 mgs at night – I have been sleeping a lot, with up to 12 hours straight, maximum. The depression phase is making me sleep a lot and it is not conducive to the three times a day medications I take for my other conditions, especially the Insulin injections (two types, in pens), which I have to take before breakfast, lunch and dinner (fast-acting Humalog) and another one at night (long-acting Lantus).

The commonly-known drug – Ativan.

Flouxetina Azevedos (Fluoxetine), which is an anti-depressant, I continue to take one 20 mgs. tab after breakfast.

A combination of drugs which I was taking prior to Lamictal prescription.

I have just started today taking the first Lamictal tablet and I am hoping that after a month, or even before, the depression phase will go. Then I will be back to my old positive and “talkative” self, which I am now missing a lot. It is not good at all to isolate oneself and stay idle for quite a long time. Even my friends are now missing my Facebook posts as well as this blog’s stories.

About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of Suite101.com, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer." http://fredacontreras.com/

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