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