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Lamictal Withdrawal Symptoms: List Of Possibilities

Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is a drug that is approved for the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. It works as a sodium channel blocker by inhibiting voltage-sensitive sodium channels. It is also thought to inhibit the release of glutamate at various areas throughout the limbic system. The drug has been found to be neuroprotective and is clinically effective at preventing the drastic changes in mood associated with bipolar disorder. In addition to acting as an antiepileptic drug and mood stabilizer, it is also used off-label as an antidepressant augmentation strategy.

Specifically, this drug is used to treat partial seizures, focal seizures, tonic-clonic seizures, and seizures resulting from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (severe epilepsy). It was the first drug since Lithium to be approved for usage as a mood stabilizer and is commonly used as a maintenance medication for individuals with Type-1 Bipolar disorder. It has been found effective at preventing depressive episodes in bipolar patients, but isn’t as effective at treating manic symptoms.

Although this medication can work very well at managing epileptic and bipolar symptoms, some people don’t respond well to it. Others take this drug for an extended period of time and develop debilitating side effects. There is a black box warning associated with this medication in regards to developing Steven-Johnson syndrome and other life threatening skin reactions.

It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of people who take this medication will develop skin rashes and/or have unbearable side effects (i.e. aseptic meningitis, fever, fatigue, etc.). In many cases, the side effects associated with this medication outweigh the benefits of taking it. Most people will eventually want to withdraw from this drug.

Factors that influence Lamictal withdrawal include…

When it comes to withdrawing from any drug, there are going to likely be discontinuation symptoms. There are various factors that will play a role in determining the severity and duration of these symptoms. Factors such as: how long you took the drug, your dosage, whether you quit cold turkey, and personal withdrawal sensitivity can influence your discontinuation experience.

1. Time Span

How long have you been taking Lamictal? In general, people that have taken the time to titrate up to a therapeutic dose and have been on it for an extended period of time are going to become dependent on this drug for everyday functioning. When you consistently deliver a drug to your body and brain over an extended period of time, it will get used to having the drug influence its functioning.

Some would argue that using any drug for a long period of time creates dependency. The longer you have been on the drug, the more difficulty you are going to have adjusting to functioning (both physical and psychological) without it.

2. Dosage (200 mg to 400 mg)

Most people that are on Lamictal are on a dose between 200 mg and 400 mg. There are obviously individuals that are taking over 400 mg. People tend to titrate up to a dose that provides the most therapeutic effects. In general, the higher the dose that you are taking of this drug, the more intense the withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, withdrawal from a higher dose is thought to take longer in regards to tapering than withdrawal from a lower dose.

3. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

In order to reduce severe withdrawal symptoms, it is important to titrate down from your current dose (i.e. conduct a taper). Tapering will give your body some time to gradually adjust to less of the drug. If you quit cold turkey, it can send both your body and brain into a chaotic state because they will be expecting to receive the drug.

People that have been taking Lamictal for an extended period of time have had to titrate up to their current dose. Therefore quitting cold turkey gives your body no time to readjust itself and is likely going to yield the most extreme withdrawal symptoms. Work with your doctor to come up with some sort of tapering protocol based on your current dosage so that you minimize your withdrawal.

For example, if you are at 400 mg, you may want to gradually reduce your dosage over the course of a 2 month period. It is also important to make adjustments in withdrawal based on how well you are coping. If you reduce your dosage by 50 mg and it feels like too much, you may want to go down by only 25 mg. During withdrawal, the name of the game is doing what works best for you.

4. Individual Factors

It is important to note that there are individual factors that play a role in withdrawal from every drug – Lamictal is no different. Some people may experience very minimal symptoms when they quit taking this drug, while others may experience severe symptoms. Withdrawal sensitivity is different depending on the person and that individual’s circumstances.

One person may have more social support, better habits, and a better tapering plan than another. Someone else may have a great tapering protocol, but that individual may be hypersensitive to withdrawal symptoms. It is important to recognize that how quickly you recover from withdrawal will largely depend on you as an individual – therefore it’s important not to compare how quickly you recover with others; you know your body and experience better than anyone.

Lamictal Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are some common withdrawal symptoms that you may experience upon discontinuation of Lamictal. Keep in mind that everyone has a unique withdrawal experience and that your symptoms may not be the same severity as someone else going through the same withdrawal. Although it is important to know what symptoms are caused by withdrawal, it is also important not to psyche yourself out.

  • Anger: Certain individuals report having strong feelings of anger that emerge during withdrawal.  If you are feeling excessive anger, realize that this can be a very tricky symptom to manage.  When you get really angry, try to take a look at your situation from a third person perspective – the anger is a result of withdrawal.  This anger should subside after a few weeks and/or improve with time.
  • Anxiety: A very common symptom associated with discontinuation of this drug is that of anxiety. You may feel more nervous than you normally do during withdrawal. This anxiety may become excessive and/or lead to panic attacks. The best way to combat anxiety is to engage in relaxation exercises and focus on healthy activities to lower your arousal. Recognize that until your neurotransmitters correct the imbalance that is inevitable when coming off of a medication, the anxiety will persist.
  • Balance problems: Some individuals have reported that they have trouble with balance when coming off of Lamictal. In some cases this could be due to too rapid of withdrawal, but in most cases it is just another discontinuation symptom. Your physiology will need some time to return to functioning without the drug. Just know that your balance should eventually recover.
  • Bipolar symptoms: Individuals that are on this drug to help manage mood cycling associated with bioplar disorder may experience a re-emergence of symptoms. If you notice that you are entering into bipolar depression and/or a manic (or hypomanic) phase, it could be triggered by withdrawal. It is important to work with your psychiatrist so that you don’t have to deal with a re-emergence of bipolar cycling.
  • Concentration problems: Many individuals experience impaired cognition and focus when they quit taking this drug. Not only are you going to be dealing with an array of physical symptoms, you may also have to cope with poor concentration for awhile. Your cognition and ability to concentrate should recover.
  • Depression: Some people report that when they withdraw from this medication, they spiral down into a very deep depression. Just know that this is very common and withdrawal from most psychiatric drugs leads to feelings of depression that can sometimes seem insurmountable. The deep depression that is caused by withdrawal will not last forever.
  • Dizziness: Do you feel dizzy after quitting this drug? It could be due to the fact that you tapered too quickly and/or quit cold turkey. With that said, general dizziness is an extremely common symptom. It is difficult to deal with and frustrating because your doctor will likely not be able to relate to this feeling when you describe it.
  • Fatigue: A lot of people report feeling excessive lethargy and overall fatigue when they stop taking Lamictal. If the drug was giving them some energy prior to taking it, this could be a counter-effect. In most cases, the fatigue is simply due to the brain and body trying to readjust and function without the drug that it had been receiving for a period of time.
  • Headaches: Many people have reported experiencing intense headaches (i.e. migraines) when they come off of Lamictal. Just know that this is a very common symptom to experience when you stop taking this drug. If they become bad, do your best to relax, drink plenty of water, and consider headache relief (over the counter).
  • Irritability: If you feel excessively irritable and every little thing is making you mad, aggressive, and frustrated, it is likely due to the fact that you are coming off of a medication. Unless you were highly irritable prior to taking the drug as well, the experience of irritability can be chalked up to withdrawal.
  • Mood swings: If you are bipolar and quit taking this drug that was used to stabilize your mood, it is obvious that you could experience mood swings immediately upon discontinuation. If you experience more severe mood swings than prior to taking the medication, it is likely due to the fact that some sort of imbalance was created by the drug. If you don’t have bipolar disorder and are having mood swings, just know that it’s a very common experience during withdrawal.
  • Nausea: Some individuals report feeling nauseated when they stop taking this drug. There is not really much that can be done to ease this particular symptom other than conducting a slow, tapered withdrawal.
  • Tingling: Many people report tingling sensations throughout their body when they initially stop taking Lamictal or miss a dose. This tingling may continue for a week or two, but eventually should get better as your body adjusts to functioning without the drug.
  • Vomiting: Yes there are cases of people exhibiting flu-like symptoms when they stop taking this drug. The combination of nausea and dizziness can pack a mean punch that leads some individuals to actually vomit. Keep in mind that this is a less common symptom, but it shouldn’t last more than a week after you withdraw.

Lamictal Withdrawal Duration: How long does it last?

Withdrawal from Lamictal will vary depending on the person. There is no specific withdrawal duration that universally applies to everyone. As I already mentioned, there are a variety of important factors that will play a role in determining how long you experience withdrawal symptoms as well as how severe they are. Someone who has taken this drug for many years at a substantial dose may have a very difficult time coming off of it compared to someone who has been on it at a lower dose for a short period of time.

Most people report feeling back to normal after 4 to 6 weeks of the drug being out of their system. As a general rule of thumb for more extreme withdrawal, I recommend judging symptoms after 90 days (3 months) of withdrawal. If you are transitioning to a different medication, the new medication that you are on may ease and/or mask the symptoms of Lamictal withdrawal. Many doctors may discount your reports of experiencing symptoms when you stop taking this drug.

I always recommend trusting your own experience in regards to symptoms. If you know that you are experiencing withdrawal or some sort of discontinuation syndrome, you probably are. Additionally don’t compare your withdrawal with that of others on forums – everyone is likely to have a different experience. Your best bet for ensuring quick recovery from withdrawal symptoms is to recognize them and do your best to cope with them knowing that you will eventually experience a full recovery.

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{ 177 comments… add one }
  • Kate September 23, 2014, 4:02 pm

    Thank you for this excellent information! I have searched the web and found no other useful information regarding discontinuing Lamictal. I have been experiencing foggy brain, a little irritability, definitely tingling all over my body and the feeling of pressure around my head or brain. But it is definitely doable and your article is helping me know I will be fine. I have been on it for about 15 years and now am tapering off. About two more weeks to go and I will be psychotropic drug free for the first time in 20 years. Thank you so very much.

    • Diana October 4, 2014, 2:54 pm

      What were you taking & what other measures have you taken to replace the meds? Best of luck!

    • Belynda Goddard April 11, 2016, 12:03 pm

      Thank you for this article, very informative and helpful. I’m coming off this drug after 30 years and experiencing most of the symptoms. I am on it for epilepsy and cannot tell if I’m seizure free unless I come off the drug. It was a concern because I’ve experienced bipolar symptoms in the early stages of the withdrawal. I’m assuming it’s part of the withdrawal. This is going to be a slow withdrawal of 25mg every 3 months.

      • Kath Ludford April 15, 2016, 2:27 am

        The same with me. I am being taken off them because they have badly damaged my kidneys, as I was taking them in combination with Epilim. I have been reducing 50mg every 3 weeks (originally 200mg/day) and it has been hard and now I am down to the 1 tablet I feel crap! I am shaking, nauseous, really bad headaches dizziness and blurred vision, tired, and tingling. But, your article has given me hope that come 6 weeks time, I will be feeling human again and I am not alone. :-)

    • Rob April 16, 2016, 12:04 am

      Meredith – After eight years of taking L 150mg/once a day, I am wanting to get off both my psych meds. Klonopin is first. I am now off it for several days after six months of titration. I feel foggy headed, depressed, anxious, can concentrate and can’t sit still. In other words, just awful. I am an older man and am curious how you would describe yourself for comparison purposes.

      I have tried to discontinue Lamictal before and became deeply depressed within two or three days. So I am going to go VERY slowy, since I haven’t really been off klonopin long enough to have adjusted to its absence. Poor balance is the primary reason I want off L. This symptom was present from the first time I took it (and it had been the same when I took Depakote previously).

      I have started to have the joint pain in my hands and feel, with fingers that get stuck in the fist position. From L? And I have tingling in various places, some of which feel like mild electrical sensations. It will be hard to differentiate which withdrawal symptoms are which (K OR L), so that’s even more reason to approach the Lamictal withdrawal very slowly.

      You are one of the only people posting who is/was coming off both. How are you doing?

      • Florida September 2, 2016, 9:04 pm

        I wasn’t trying to come off I ran out and when I called in for a refill was told my doctor quit. I missed three days and was panicky, in a rage, overwhelmed, and had crying spells. So I am back on them and I must say that this medicine helps me a lot.

    • Cheryl July 11, 2016, 3:14 pm

      Kate would love to talk to you about lamotrigine withdrawal. Going through hell. Been on it for 9 yrs. Never did work well for my bipolar. Can we talk?

      • Gunnar September 12, 2016, 12:01 am

        I was on Lamictal for a couple of weeks & it made me want to drink alcohol. I am 58 & can count on one hand the number of times I drank. With this medicine I craved alcohol & could not get a buzz. I could finish a bottle of wine & feel nothing. Before Lamictal 2 sips was too much, called my Doctor he told me to stop immediately. So weird! I’m also on Geodon & that is not working either, crying all the time, started worrying about everything, just a mess.

    • Leta Baertschiger October 11, 2016, 12:13 am

      Kate how are you today? Did you have fast heart pounding?

  • julie October 1, 2014, 3:26 pm

    This is the best withdrawal guidance I have seen in some time and the only comprehensive one I have seen on Lamictal. I’ll reiterate the other poster that with the 50 mg drop over the last 3 weeks, I have started having fairly moderate headaches with a lot of pressure and tingling, fatigue, and my good old sensitivity/emotional state is peaking through a bit more. I was taking it for GAD, but I can’t tell if the anxiety is any worse or better than it was taking it in the last 6 months. Only been on for a year+. Crossing my fingers that this taper is better than the one off of horrible Lexapro! (it already is so far…)

    • Diana October 4, 2014, 2:55 pm

      Are you taking anything else for GAD?

  • Bella October 1, 2014, 5:55 pm

    I’m on Lamotrogine about 1 year and a half now, I ‘m taking 250 g twice a day.
    For the past week I have reduce it by 100 g twice a day, I was getting all the side effect of withdrawing, I almost got back to the 250 g twice a day, but now I do understand why I am getting this side effect. Thank you to this website.

  • Diana October 4, 2014, 2:53 pm

    This is extremely helpful information, thank you. I have been taking 200mg of Lamictal for about a yr now but not sure it’s doing anything helpful at all. I’m not bipolar but I do have PMDD which leads to very nasty outbursts, my psychiatrist felt this would be helpful…I’m not questioning this. I of course won’t just stop w/out discussing weaning off of it. But I wonder is it possible to develop a skin rash a while after taking it as opposed to right away? I’ve had a very bad rash that nothing seems to be helping, had no clue Lamictal can cause rashes. Anyway, thank you again.

    • Geo November 16, 2014, 3:43 am

      I’m surprised your psychiatrist didn’t tell you this but if you develop a rash while taking Lamictal it could be life threatening! The doctors advise you to stop taking the medication In total immediately and seek medical attention.

      Google “Lamictal rash” under images and you’ll find the most horrific pictures. Some of the people with the rash look like they’ve been through a fire.

      Be careful and get well.

      • Mickey January 8, 2015, 11:44 pm

        First of all, Go Wolverines. Second of all, I too have been on lamictal for something other than bipolar disorder, although on a lower dose. As far as I’ve experienced it doesn’t do much unless coupled with another drug, in my case Lexapro. I don’t know if you find it worth it it not, but it’s something to consider. However if you’re developing a rash I’d definitely quit.

        • Lucille July 25, 2016, 12:36 pm

          I too take Lamictal (200) and Lexapro (5) – which my doc describes as a ‘whiff’ and is amazed it helps me). It has been an excellent combination, but I do feel on edge/tingling as soon as 5 hours later if I miss a dose. This article is great, but does make me worry if I ever need to quit the Lamictal.

        • Gary October 21, 2016, 5:01 am

          I’ve been on 50mg of Lamictal for about 2 years along with 20mg of Lexapro. Under enormous stress due to work and can’t seem to find the correct meds to straighten me out. I seemed professional help and the Dr recommended I taper off the Lamictal within a week and try and get off the Lexapro if possible. I’m trying now and losing my mind in doing so.

          I’m dizzy, have severe panic attacks, feel I’m going insane, claustrophobic, severe anger, severe mood swings, uncontrollable crying spells, nightmares… it’s hell! The Dr instructed me to get back on the Lamictal and increase the dose from 50mg to 100mg. I also had good results with Prozac when I first started 20 years ago taking this type of med, so she put me on 10mg of Prozac.

          My symptoms seem to be getting slightly better but it’s not happening quick enough. I thank you for your article and knowing this won’t last forever is a big relief. GOD BLESS ALL WHO SUFFER AND MAY YOUR SYMPTOMS PASS QUICKLY!

    • Sarah September 13, 2015, 2:06 am

      I got a rash 2 years later. They removed me from 400mg by 50mg every 5 days. The rash is still there and it’s been a month…

  • jeff October 12, 2014, 12:15 am

    I took 50 mg for about 3 weeks as an adjunct to an ssri. The doc suggested I go up to 75mg. The next morning after taking it I woke up and my room was spinning. I could hardly stand. I quit cold turkey. It’s now 2 weeks later and I’m still getting periodic dizziness, particularly when I lay down. Anyone had anything similar? I’ve never had a drug with discontinuation side effects last so long.

    • Thomas February 25, 2015, 1:04 pm

      When I came off in 2008 after 2 years on 200mg the dizziness was so intense I would sometimes fall over when standing up. I also had flu-like symptoms, anxiety, and bad tension headaches at the base of my spine. And well, now I am here in 2015 because some of this stuff is still in my system (Google protracted withdrawal), and since I am on an extended fast (where I shed pound after pound) it comes out at an accelerated pace and brings back some of the old symptoms.

      • Mar August 5, 2016, 6:08 pm

        Are you still feeling the withdrawals after a few years? I stopped taking it about a little over a year ago. But, since I started taking 400mg of Lamictal for 1 year I noticed blurred vision and speech impairment. I’m just wondering if this is a part of who I am now. I was on it for Epilepsy and can’t tell if my symptoms are seizure related or medicine related.

    • Mike Jacques March 4, 2015, 10:18 pm

      I started out at 50mgs and now on 14th day. Oddly enough the first week that I was on it I thought I found a miracle. I was on my game, or at least I thought so. It was most likely all in my head?…:) I was easily agitated and had short fuse but nothing to harsh. I am honestly not comfortable taking this stuff. I am Bipolar II with GAD, diagnosed when I was 23, now 48.

      I am a professional, father of two and married for 25 years. I had a massive flu like attack that last day and today. Hard to say if it is the Lamotrigine (Lamictal) as they say one of the side effects are flu “Like” symptoms. I had the “Flu”!! Also brain zaps all day long. I think I should just go back to the original cocktail that I used to take which was Celexa 30mg daily, Lithium 900mg daily and Clonazapam (benzo) .5 mg before bed. reason for the sudden decision to change is panic attacks and general anxiety.

      Found out I had to do a presentation and lost my “*%&$” that very day, sent me into tailspin. Here is another thing that I noticed, I was actually on citralopram and switch to name brand (Celexa) which actually made me feel a little worse? Once on a business trip I forgot my meds…ooops and went to the hospital in the US. They gave me enough (Citralopram and Clonazapam) to hold me over until I got back home, 4 days worth. I honestly thought that they made me feel better?!

  • Bruce October 16, 2014, 2:07 pm

    I have been on 200 mg of Lamictal for at least ten years. I was prescribed it originally for ocular migraines, then bi-polar plus it was supposed help neuropathy which is now under control from Lyrica and a gluten free diet. I started on 50mg, then 100mg and doubled to 200mg. On the day I went from 100mg to 200mg I drifted out of my lane and was side swiped by a large truck. I wasn’t hurt but the car took a beating. I don’t think I ever got out of that brain fog and I must taper off to 100mg which may be enough to give me a decent amount of relief. Any thoughts? I welcome opinions.

    • Anne September 29, 2016, 2:58 pm

      Hi. I just withdrew from Lamotrigine after 10 yrs. It is pretty rough. I would like to talk about it if you are available.

  • Jim October 20, 2014, 2:22 pm

    Six years ago at age 59, I had 2 seizures in 7 month period. I went to Mt Saint, Jefferson and Pennsylvania hospitals for evaluation and the cause was never determined. I have taken lamictal for six years/ 400 mg and have been seizure free. I now at 65 would like to stop taking the mess. My doctor mentioned this but left it up to me. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Mo July 6, 2015, 4:39 am

      Reply to Jim. I came across your msg. from last yr. I was put on Lam. for 1.5 yr. Due to having “possible” partial complex seizures (first Dr.). I had 3 episodes during that time span. I was never diagnosed. Last week, I did a 4 day Epilepsy monitoring. It was grueling. Included EEG, stress test and sleep depro. My test were normal. So my Dr. (2nd specialist) took me off Lam. for good. YAY! My wean was done while in the hospital.

      A monitored and safe wean. I would say… Have the Ep. Monitoring done for safe measure. Especially since you have history of seizures. You may not need the meds. They cause more harm and side effects than good. I felt horrible on them! I finally will have my life back! No more headaches and feeling delusional. God hears and heals by prayer!

  • Sean October 23, 2014, 12:39 am

    Thanks for posting this. I have been taking 500 mg of Lamictal for more than a year for bipolar. I was taking about the same dose previously and quit taking it due to losing insurance. I’m losing insurance once again and I’m enjoying a cold turkey withdrawal after being informed at the pharmacy that the insurance denied my script. It is a really bad feeling. Very happy, sad and angry. Very dizzy. My fingers feel that horrible “tingle.” My teeth are grinding and I am feeling crazy.

    I cried because I stepped on a snail, but I want to hurt someone real bad. Three days out and it isn’t looking so good. I have been through this before. It gets better eventually. It’s always funny to me how little they care when they tell you they can’t help you. They don’t seem to know or care what they are putting out on the street. I like the way my “illness” feels. If I could just shake this withdrawal, I could get out and do some real damage. If I survive the week I should be able to make it a year. Better living through chemistry.

    • Rebecca December 11, 2014, 11:56 pm

      I feel so badly for you! I know your pain. It IS amazing how little some dr’.s care once you are no longer a patient! There really should be some kind of LAW requiring the doctor to give you a detailed description on how to get off of your meds. once you ‘are dropped’ and the insurance co. should be required to prescribe the amount of medicine required to correctly get off of your med. It is very frightening to be cut off from a professionals help, and be seemingly thrown to the wolves.

      I do not know if you are aware of this but many pharmaceutical companies will actually give you your meds. for free if you are in financial straights. Patients must do the research and the paperwork. There is a ray of hope. GSK, (Lamictal’s manufacturer) paid for mine for quit some time when my spouse got let go from work. I hope that you made it through your god awful withdrawal and are livin’ life. Hang in there.

    • Mimi March 17, 2015, 2:59 pm

      Hello Sean, I read your post, and I know I do not know you, but it worried me a little. I wanted to know if you are feeling better. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about insurance in Canada, and I can understand how this might be difficult on you. In my case, I have been on Lamotrigine for 10 years 200 mg. I know that if I miss a dose, in fact, if I don’t take it at the very same hour I usually take it at, I get the worst and most horrible feeling ever. Its very strange and difficult to explain. Its almost like an outer body experience…

      I feel like I am in a tunnel and every stimuli is 100% stronger. I want to get off the meds and I am going to consult my doctor in that regard. Other then this very strange sensation I get, I have this horrible taste in my mouth. As it I have a piece of metal and the taste is so strong. In any case, please be safe and take care of yourself. Talk to someone if you can. You can make it through… I will keep you posted on my future withdrawing progress. I am here to talk if you need it.

      • Simon July 28, 2015, 11:13 am

        Goodness how awful. I think it’s outrageous that you just get ‘dropped’ because the insurance won’t cover it, it’s disgraceful behaviour. I understand how you get angry. I’m the same. I have Bi-polar II I can be in tears one day an in an almost uncontrollable rage the next. I feel for you and hope you manage to cope with these horrible withdrawals.

        I’ve only been on Lamotrigine 100mg for the past few weeks. I’m starting to come out with a skin rash and now I have the shakes / hot and cold with goosebumps even when I’m in a hot bath. Came here to check to see if this was normal. Maybe I missed a dose last night. Don’t know whether to take another dose now or call the doctor. Anyone with some advice?

        • Louise August 3, 2015, 9:13 am

          Dear Simon, The symptoms, particularly the rash, is extremely dangerous. Please go to an urgent care or ER immediately and be sure and tell them exactly what you posted. Also, please let me know you received this and that you are ok. Louise

      • Katie September 29, 2015, 6:47 pm

        Mimi – I feel exactly like you do. It’s the strangest thing to explain – if I forget a dose…it’s not for long because my body/brain/muscles remind me. My haphazard description is I feel like I’m walking through a tunnel, on a trampoline, with bionic hearing and inhibited responsiveness. I have been on Lamictal for a 8 years or so 400 mg for the last 4 years.

        In the middle of August I decided (with my doctor and with my husband) to go off for the same reason – we want to try to get pregnant. We decided to slowly decrease dose every 2-3 weeks depending on how I feel. My doctor wrote the prescription for 50mg 6 times a day…and I have been following up every two weeks. It’s been going well. But the last two days have been awful!

        And it especially sucks because I knew how I would feel. This “getting off of a med” thing is a process. I was at my doctor’s office last week and still had a refill on my retail pharmacy script so I figured I could fill that 2 days ago while I waited for my 90day mail order to arrive. CVS is indicating I am trying to fill it too early.

      • Bobbie May 10, 2016, 1:37 am

        I thought it might be pychosomatic that if I missed JUST ONE dose, say 6 hours late, I got very sick in a way I can’t describe. I was told it wasn’t addictive, so I haven’t understood why I was affected this way. I really want to stop taking lamictal, but I am very afraid.

        • May December 4, 2016, 1:57 am

          Hi Bobbie: I experience the same thing if I don’t take it close to the same time. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, I just don’t feel good. I tried to titrate earlier this year (from 400mg) on a slow schedule my doctor monitored and physically I was ok, but I plummeted into a deep depression so I started back on 400.

          I don’t think I even got to 250. I really want to stop taking it but I’m afraid too. I take it to augment Pristiq (I have treatment resistant unipolar depression). I don’t know what to do… I feel trapped, like I lose either way. Have you tried since September?

    • Joshua September 12, 2015, 5:09 pm

      I am going through the same situation you are right now. I’m amazed at how poorly the industry deals with the people they hook on their poison. There are programs through Glaxo Welcome and Pfizer to keep you medicated for free. However, for that, the mentally ill need to have a psychiatrist or a willing general practitioner doctor. This is the Pfizer link: http://www.pfizerrxpathways.com/en/. I think that the Glaxo Welcome program is also available too. I just don’t have it listed on this post. They’re not perfect, and they’re a b*tch to fill out. I would try a free clinic if you have poor health care. Ideally there should be more organized mental health services. In the mean time, I hope this helps a little.

    • Keisha February 2, 2016, 10:12 pm

      I have been taking Lamictal for 2 years now. I started on 150mg and the doctor increased my dosage to 300mg. Recently I could not afford the medication and two weeks later I thought I was losing my mind. I was angry irritable with headaches body aches and a rash. The fatigue was so bad I could barely get up. I also lost my appetite which caused weight loss. It got so bad I had to find a way to get and continue this medicine. Being back on Lamictal I feel sane again. These withdrawals are terrible and don’t know if I want to try to wean myself off this medicine.

    • Victoria June 26, 2016, 1:40 pm

      When I lost my insurance I called the manufacturer and they provided the drug for free so I didn’t become a bad news story related to their drug.

  • Jason November 8, 2014, 1:32 pm

    I’m on 200mg at night and have been a year. I’m on a taper of 50mg the first two weeks, then 50mg more for two weeks, then down to 25mg for two and then off. I went straight off lithium and seroquel and that was fine. I didn’t really mind it at all. I do believe that withdraw symptoms are real, but remember that placebo pills often cure major medical problems. My point is that the mind itself is powerful. If you are tripping all day about withdrawal you will create withdrawal symptoms you aren’t even having.

    Anxiety is something that if a wanted to I could conjure up if I wanted to. All I would have to do is think of some past situation over and over and dwell on it and I can create the anxiety. Anyway, I hope the best for everybody. I just wanted to add that. I believe what we put into our hearts and minds really influences how we feel. If we read all the horror stories, that’s whats going to happen.

    • Anna December 6, 2015, 2:02 pm

      Very good points about the placebo effect. :-) Even when I start the day feeling there is nothing good about it, my life or myself, using “positive affirmations” and “actively searching for positives” really helps shift my vantage point and improves my mood and reduces anxiety. It’s amazing how a few mental tricks can help. The hard part is making these few mental tricks become mental habits.

  • Dave November 9, 2014, 12:17 am

    Very hard to do, but once the symptoms are gone, you don’t believe how good you are. It took me like 6 months not to have any symptoms, and I had to take citalopram 20 mg in order to get out the extreme depression I got from withdrawal. There are no words to describe all the symptoms I had; maybe a hell-like experience is close. I would not recommend this medication to anybody, no matter what.

    • mike November 19, 2014, 11:01 am

      Thank you. Your brief comment got my attention. After being on Lamictal for approx 18 mos, I slowly weaned down from a brief peak of 600 mg/ day (during my Mother’s passing). As of Oct. 5th, I stopped completely. It has now been 6 wks, most of which have been beyond excruciating: EXTREME exhaustion, flu-ish symptoms and body aches (I work out w heavy weights, stupid for a 57 yr old, in and of itself), and periods of deep (and debilitating) depression…. then, there are fleeting periods of feeling quite well. My question – just from your experience: How long would you estimate these withdrawal symptoms to last… or to last in such intensity. Thanks.

      • Thomas February 25, 2015, 1:12 pm

        The symptoms gradually decrease and you should be better after 6 to 9 months. But they can come back for brief episodes back in life, as Lamictal is known to be stored in the body tissue for years and will at times be released back into the bloodstream.

        • brian February 4, 2016, 10:51 pm

          I’ve been off lamictal 200-400 range for 13 months, after being on it for 7 years… getting sober on alcohol was easy compared to this. Even after 13 months, I still don’t feel like myself and have tremendous anxiety and panic. Not sure what I am going to do. I am definitely getting a lot of great information reading these posts, because I can tell you that the doctors don’t have a clue. Brian in Boston

  • Jeremy November 11, 2014, 12:37 am

    This is great information and well written. I would like to know where you able to pull the information. I don’t doubt the veracity but would like to be able to look into those resources for more details. I think lamictal withdrawal is severely under-reported and there simply isn’t enough information out there. Many are suffering and not knowing why and end up back and forth stopping and returning to the medicine confusing withdrawal with a return of original symptoms. Thanks.

    • Rob April 16, 2016, 5:03 pm

      I am coming off alcohol, Klonopin, and am slowly cutting dose of Lamictal (from 150 mg to 100). Being off the first two, and a lower does of L, I feel terrible. I’ve had two anxiety attacks in last two months, the first of my life. My head is cloudy, I can’t think straight, have balance props, near constant anxiety. I think it takes faith to discontinue psych meds, faith that somewhere down the line, we’ll feel better.

      Thought always occurs to me that how I feel now is my baseline, and not the result of detox — in other words, my basic personality. I suspect it’s a bit of both. I take longs walks, do aerobic exercise. Both produce chemical changes that provide temporary relief from my symptoms. Onward and upward. I don’t want to go back to chemical living.

  • Pauline Thomas November 15, 2014, 6:52 pm

    I personally lay the blame for lack of knowledge of possible withdrawal symptoms with GlaxoSmithKline for not sharing this information with the patients who are taking this drug. I am so grateful that I have come across this website because my adult disabled son is going through awful withdrawal symptoms from this drug (prescribed for epilepsy), and although we contacted Glaxo with questions about Lamictal, they have not given us any concrete information.

  • Kyle November 24, 2014, 6:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing everyone. I have been on Lamictal for Major Depression since 12/13. My psychiatrist and I decided for me to get off of it since it actually made my depression worse. I have dropped down from 120mg to 62.5mg.s. I have been at 62.5mgs for 3 weeks now, but only in the past couple days has the withdrawal become very bad. I am now experiencing Anger, Panic Attacks, Concentration problems, Fatigue and a very deep depression (the last thing I need). My question: has anyone else experienced a delay in their withdrawal symptoms?? I actually felt better the first two weeks. Thank you.

    • Cathy June 9, 2015, 1:42 am

      Your last question– YES!! That is EXACTLY what happened to me after I went down to 250 mg (from 300). I didn’t really have any symptoms until two weeks later– that was exactly the amount of time it took. Reading a lot of the comments here is really encouraging, because I feel like people are talking about a lot of the same things that happened to me… and none of it ever made sense before.

      I’m on Day 23 of going down to 200, and it’s encouraging to know that there will be an end to this!!! I don’t know if I ultimately even want to be off Lamictal completely… but the dose has been really high, and I would like to get to 200 mg/day; it seems to be a much more average dose to be taking. Understand, I’m not anti-med as such at all… some meds work really well for some people. This is my opinion, and others may have different opinions.

      But for me… I have permanent physical brain damage from a head injury, I will always have to deal with the neurological symptoms, and I don’t EVER want to go back to the way I was before starting on Ritalin. Psych/neuro meds are very powerful, though, and they do have side effects. It’s all about balance, I think. You can end up with a much higher dose than you ever should have been taking without even realizing how you got there.

    • Cheri Dephilippis September 30, 2015, 8:42 pm

      I’ve been on Lamotrigine for 7 yrs due to bipolar disorder. I stopped cold turkey after I died on my friends floor from all the meds my psychiatrist and neurological surgeon had me on. Mixed with a glass of wine and a hot tub. Now I have seizures. I thought this was also an anti seizure med? Can it possibly cause seizures in people that stop taking it? never had a seizure until I stopped taking this med??!!!!

    • cindy April 19, 2016, 9:27 pm

      Kyle, I have experienced delayed withdrawal. It hit me at 6 days going from 150 mg to 100mg. I have been on Lamictal for 8 years for bipolar and mood disorder.It started in the middle of the night with waking up in a state of anxiety and restless legs. I feel confusion, irritability, anger, out of body feeling, body aches, depression even suicidal thoughts.

      My doctor said he couldn’t tell me what my withdrawal would be like or how I will function without it. That’s very eye opening and scary. I want out! I am also on 300 seroquel and have come down from 4G of Xanax a day to 1mg. These withdrawals off these meds are serious. I do wish doctors would care for patients and give more support for coming off. Thank you everyone for posting your experience, I don’t feel so crazy and alone anymore.

    • Anne September 29, 2016, 3:20 pm

      Yes. At certain points (many) during withdrawal I had the feelings of insanity and loss of control initially but then actually had several days of feeling more steady and occasionally even improved mood and energy. By the 3rd, 4th, 5th, day physical withdrawal symptoms became much worse. It’s been very difficult for sure. I tapered off completely last week and it has been very hard.

      • Carey October 8, 2016, 8:37 am

        Hi Anne, Your comments seem to be the most recent. I have been tapering from 300 mg since August 9th and now completely off for about two weeks. I feel I did the tapering too quickly and I’ve done it on my own. I’m having so many symptoms. The headaches, dizziness, exhaustion, cold and flu, edginess, rawness, confusion, depression, the last couple of days I have been feeling itchy and my hair and nails seem to have changed texture and thinning.

        I’m tempted to just go back on. How long are you off now? If I knew it was going to be this rough, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I feel as though I’ve trapped myself now, as I’m not sure what will happen if I go back on. I’m kind of scared and not sure what to do. What are your symptoms?

    • Joanne October 10, 2016, 3:27 am

      I am also on 62.5 mg from 100 mg. I dropped to 75 mgs and had no withdrawal symptoms for 3 weeks. So I dropped down to 62.5 and the symptoms came on full force and continued to get worse. I had a very delayed reaction with the worst of it starting at 6 weeks.I have been on that dose for nearly 4 months now and I can only describe it as hell.

      I do have days where I feel better but it comes in waves. I am very busy person and hate the bad days. It’s difficult to function with the head pain, tingling sensations and fatigue. The best relief that I have found is marijuana. I only use it for sleep and it works. I would not sleep otherwise. I’m not sure when your post was written but are things better for you yet?

      • Leta Baertschiger October 22, 2016, 11:01 pm

        Joanne I too am going down from 125 to 80mg! Each time it gets worse! How are you doing today?

  • Ramona January 22, 2015, 2:34 am

    I have been on 100 mgs of Lamictal for about five months. I decided to go off because I want to try to get pregnant and the withdrawal symptoms have been terrifying. I am so tired, but so restless. When I can sleep, I have terrifying vivid nightmares. I have headaches, dizziness, nausea and have been feeling angry and depressed. I was taking Lamictal because other antidepressants hadn’t worked for me. I was reluctant to take it and am now filled with regret that I did. I went down to 50 mgs for two weeks and I was OK, but now going down to 25 mgs has made me really sick.

    I see that most people were taking much higher doses than I have and seem to have had less trouble tapering off. I’m really scared that I’ve done some permanent damage to my brain and when I saw others say that the withdrawal can last for up to three months I was crushed. I don’t know how I’m going to make it three months feeling this bad, but I really just want it out of my system as soon as possible. Does anyone have advice on other things I can do to ease the withdrawal symptoms? Thank you.

    • Martie February 9, 2015, 11:39 am

      Hang in there! I have been taking 400mgs Lamictal for 5 years. I decided to go off Lamictal and let me tell you, it’s not easy but the first morning I took my morning pills and that little devil pill was no longer there was a huge victory and worth all the agony. As it is being said everywhere – we are all different, forget about the 3 months. Focus on the awesome kick-ass chick that you are. Yes you will feel sick and horrible but don’t compare yourself to others, it will just make you feel worse.

      The fact that you are doing it and sticking it out is more than enough witness to your strength. Many people can’t even get to where you are. You have a beautiful goal… getting pregnant. Best thing you can do… Find someone you can talk to as much as possible that understands and has been through this. We all just need someone to say “I know”, who actually knows. It sounds stupid, but just talking through how you feel – sick, pain, nausea, whatever… It helps. The fatigue is the worst for me so I pumped up my vitamins and rely on my support system, you get a lot of natural remedies for a bit of a boost.

      I do the silliest things to try and keep myself going. A lot of “loving” *wink wink* really helps for the anxiety and the aching body. Try and be more active – sweat it out. If have found that vitamin B (whole B family) really helps. Also get something to support your liver. Don’t look too much to meds to help you. Eat healthier. Try doing things that make you feel good. Bubble baths, massages, ICE-CREAM – seriously – ice-cream helps . And when it gets really really bad, just think about that wonderful baby you are going to hold someday soon.

      • Cath September 7, 2015, 12:21 pm

        This was the most positive, Encouraging post. Being prepared when symptoms appear & staying focused on my goal of why I want to get off will be critical IF I EVER DECIDE TO DO IT. I have bipolar and taking 200mg every morning with only 75 mg Effexor has kept me TOTALLY stable for 9 years. I forgot my meds on this long weekend. Wow! I’ll never take that lightly again. Reading these possible withdrawal symptoms has kept me from thinking my whole body & brain are just crashing after a few very stressful weeks. Once again, an internet Google search and an incredibly honest and caring group of people have grounded me back to stability. BLESS YOU ALL.

    • Leta Baertschiger October 7, 2016, 5:37 pm

      Ramona, detox helps tremendously! How are you today?

  • Dave January 23, 2015, 5:02 pm

    I must say I feel a little better reading all the inputs on to me is a drug that should be taken off the market. I’ve gone up, and down before because of my face feeling like it’s sunburn, prickly type feelings. My Dr, yelled at me and told me to quit playing games. Well nothing has changed so I’m withdrawing myself, Started at 75mg per week or so. Now I’m at 75mg with half of that to be tapered this weekend. I have felt terrible, angry, flush faced, extreme tiredness, the list goes on.

    I forgot to mention another reason I took it upon myself is my sodium was at the low limit, I like the heat, to sweat, fishing…etc. I could only last 2 maybe 3 hrs in the boat. Now the flushing is getting a little better, but all else remains the same. I’m on it for Bipolar 2 disorder, with manic depressive (reoccuring) and I’m sorry but this med seemed to be useless, and scary to take with the rash warning…etc.

  • zoe January 24, 2015, 2:33 pm

    So glad I found this article – started reducing dosage 3 days ago after being on it for 12 years and felt awful (angry, irritable, anxious, crying etc…) – feel reassured that it is most probably the effects of reducing meds, so will hopefully subside soon. Wish my consultant had warned me of this when discussed meds reduction!

  • John February 6, 2015, 11:04 pm

    I have been on 200mg per day of Lamictal for about 9 years. Three months ago started to lower 25mg every two weeks until I got to 100mg per day. Have been holding on 100mg per day for a month and am now starting to lower by 25mg every two weeks again. So far fatigue and slow thinking are the biggest side effects. Will report back periodically in the future. Luckily Dr. is supportive in this and not combative. :)

    • C D June 14, 2015, 3:25 pm

      I will be interested to know how you go. I have reduced at 25mg increments every two weeks from 200mg. I am now on 50mg. So far I have had about four days of feeling low and a bit foggy headed and then it cleared. I also feel a little more tired. I have upped my healthy eating and exercise and that seems to be helping with the irritability. Try juicing – it’s amazing!

    • Steph September 30, 2015, 5:37 am

      Hey John, can you check in and let me know how it’s gone for you? I’ve been on 300 mg/day for four years now and have been stable, which has been a blessing. But I have my reasons for wanting to wean off of Lamictal for a period of time but I’m terrified. How did it go?

    • Anne September 29, 2016, 3:23 pm

      How did it go? I finished my taper last week and it’s pretty bad now.

  • Kris Fedor February 16, 2015, 6:17 am

    I went from 100 to 50. Nausea, dizziness, weaknees, lots of anger, arthritic-like pain in joints. Actually, it wasn’t that bad – was bearable. But then I got diagnosed with “h pylori” (total lack of appetite and abdominal pain plus heartburn and belching) and I started 3 week long antibiotic treatment. Wow, that dropped me. Have some good moments and when I feel worse it feels like Lamictal withdrawal just more intense.

    Yesterday, for the first time in a long time (18 months) I actually felt hunger and ate my potatoes with real appetite. Unfortunately, I woke up around 4am and was in a barfing state (dry heaves) for like 3 hours, popped 2 clones and slept soundly for 4 hours. Yesterday, I went out to get smokes (3 mile walk). On my way home, I felt so shifty (like a huge hangover without a headache) plus another attempt at barfing. Today, I had to go there again.

    Felt shifty but better. Terribly tired, but recovered after an hour. Not the first time… I quit lithium, zoloft, Zyprexa, risperidone, gabapentin (I think), zopiclone, some benzoyl (was nasty), cipralex, and drinking (over a year ago) – all of this at really high doses (seroquel 800 mg). Now, I tapered seroquel from 300 to 100. Lovely no problems. Soon I will taper seroquel to zero. And after that Lamictal.

  • Brandy Smith March 9, 2015, 6:10 pm

    I will repeat the same thoughts of others about finding this website. For months I have experienced eye twitches, not related to stress or any other trigger. They’ve also been occurring in other areas of my face, my shoulder blade and thumb. I can’t control them or will them to stop. My doctor wouldn’t pay attention to my complaints and rather than investigating that, she wanted to decrease the zoloft. I take 200mg lamotrigine and 100mg of zoloft. I’m getting ready to see a new doctor and in that time am weaning myself off of lamotrigine. Has anyone else had these twitches? I’ve read several medical cases/articles about it, but have yet to talk with anyone who has experienced this issue.

    • Jill March 13, 2015, 3:01 am

      I took Lamictal for over one year at 200 mg. with 10mg lexapro. I did have eye twitches but that has been more of an annoyance. I cut back by 50 mg. every 3 weeks or so and have been completely off for about 3 weeks now. I experienced very bad anxiety and panic attacks which were new to me when I was weaning down. I never knew this was from the withdrawal but I’ve felt so awful I’ve just starting researching it.

      Lately though, I’ve experienced extreme exhaustion and fatigue. I also feel very depressed. I feel like everything, including my thoughts and speech, is slowed down. My doctor just took me off lexapro which I’ve been on over 10 years and switched me to prozac since I told him how badly I felt. I try to go for walks but only when I can get the energy to actually leave the house – the fatigue is horrible!! My question is similar to someone else’s: is the deep depression/extreme fatigue part of withdrawal after being off for 3 weeks OR was do I need to get back on Lamictal?

      I definitely feel worse and am not sure to wait it out a while longer or just go back to the medication. I am not bipolar but was prescribed it for depression and anxiety that hasn’t responded to SSRI’s. Any advice? Also, have others found it helpful for depression/anxiety? I can’t put up with this too much longer. I also take 25 mg. seroquel/trazodone for sleep. Thanks!

      • Phil March 17, 2015, 5:16 pm

        Jill – I’m in a similar boat where I’ve been taking 200mg for five years now and tapered off last week because over the last couple years the cognitive impairment was getting to be too much. For a long time I didn’t know if the impairment was due to the drug or a symptom of a depressed episode (I have BP2), but I’m convinced now that it’s the drug. I tried going off of it a couple times a year ago and it was too difficult that within a week I went back on it not knowing if what I was feeling was withdrawal symptoms or illness.

        Nonetheless knowing that lamictal had good benefits for my mood and could get me to a better place than what I was feeling. So I find myself on this forum now because I’m 8 days in and feeling stupider than ever and experiencing several of the symptoms mentioned in this article. Before tapering off the lamictal my doctor suggested that I start a new medicine (trileptal) and build up to a therapeutic dose before tapering off the lamictal.

        My other 2 attempts had been tapering off to nothing and then to lithium… both of which I didn’t give nearly enough time to determine if they were better options. I do think I need to be on some medicine or combination. The hardest part is the length of time you need to wait to see what works and while 2-3 months might not seem like a lot of time to most people, getting through a day with what I’m going through right now seems like a year.

        The advice I’d give which I am constantly reminding myself with, is that it has to get worse before it gets better and to mentally allow yourself the time to heal/transition.

    • jay May 10, 2015, 4:59 pm

      I too have experienced this. I decreased lamictal from 225 mg to 150 mg. For six weeks I had minor withdrawal. Then the panic attacks followed, where I would be clearing my throat all the time. My doctor wanted me to increase back to the 225 mg. I’ve learned to relax and doing ten to fifteen minutes of exercise has helped greatly. Let me know how you are doing.

    • David Dickinson January 1, 2016, 6:30 pm

      Yes I often have twitchy eyes.

    • Dawn June 27, 2016, 9:21 pm

      Yes twitches!! Involuntary eye movement horizontally. I want to call my doctor but instead am dosing down from 200 to 150. Foggy, dizzy, tingly, anxiety. Trying to breathe through it and call the doc. This is day 2 at 150 mg after 2 & 1/2 years on the medication.

  • Lora March 18, 2015, 3:09 pm

    I have been taking 100 mg for one year. I took myself down to 50, and now I have been skipping days and not taking at all. I have been using Young Living Essential Oils to stabilize my moods and especially for focus. I’d rather depend on those than the drug. I’m nervous about not having the drug because it did help me. I have to remind myself to observe my behavior. I think that’s the hardest thing… the discipline of observation and remembering why I might be feeling or acting a certain way and then refraining from acting on it. I was feeling really down a month ago and then I noticed it last night. I have been experiencing sleeplessness. Maybe the withdrawal is why. Thank you for your comments here. They’re encouraging. I pray you all experience relief, answers, and healing.

    • Carolyn March 14, 2016, 11:49 pm

      Sleeplessness… While discontinuing lamictal I have come to realize the importance of magnesium. I take magnesium bisglycinate powder…1/4 tsp morning and evening. It has made all the difference in anxiety levels and the ability to fall asleep at night. As an added bonus, no grogginess like with drugs. Hope this will help you too.

      I forgot to mention how important walking is while discontinuing drugs and recovering. At least 1/2 to 1 mile per day. And be drinking lots of water to flush those drugs out. Sorry, I should have mentioned it sooner.

      • Carolyn September 3, 2016, 5:21 pm

        So good to see someone else appreciate magnesium bisglycinate. It really is a help for anxiety… I take 3/4 tsp with breakfast and supper.

  • ann March 20, 2015, 11:26 pm

    My son is withdrawing from Lamictal 150 mg. The drug had caused heart palpitations and extreme weakness so doctor said to go cold turkey. He has flu like symptoms and excessive thirst. Weight loss is also a problem. This is day seven off the drug. If I had known the side effects I would never have advised him to take it.

  • Cheryl March 26, 2015, 7:12 pm

    A really helpful thread. Thanks guys. I just quit 300mg Lamictal COLD TURKEY. I’m suffering with, EXTREME FATIGUE and have an EXTREME FACIAL RASH. I have been taking it for 5 months as a mood stabilizer. I also take Venlafaxine 225mg, Quetiapine 400mg for depression/anxiety. I quit alcohol 6 months ago and my immunity is blown. Week 2: Taking 25mg. I awoke with a swollen eye worthy of a rumble with Mike Tyson. I took antihistamine and it disappeared in 3 days so I continued with the drug. Week 4: Taking 75mg. I had developed what I thought was a patch of stubborn facial eczema around my lower cheek area. This did not go away, but I thought nothing of it.

    Month 4: My consultant increased dosage from 200mg to 300mg. Month 5: All hell broke loose on my face. The muzzle or beard area of my face was a solid inflamed mass of redness. I looked like I had been burned, the skin felt thick, it was weeping and peeling, hot and sore. I added ice and antihistamines followed by steroid creams and topical antibiotics. Only the ice helped. After a couple of days of wondering what the heck was going on, whilst Googling I was reminded of the Lamictal rash and quit Lamictal cold turkey. I got antibiotics for my face.

    They helped slightly with the redness, but the blisters still remain. My consultant didn’t think it was SJS rash (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome) and advised the antibiotics. I am left with a really ugly itchy rash that sits deep into the dermis (skin) – it isn’t just a surface rash. I have tried everything (even household bleach! I know I know, but with some degree of success). Nobody can tell me if this is related to the Lamictal or what I should do with it. I’m scaring young children, no kidding. Has anybody had rash experience?

    I also have been completely knocked out with fatigue. Getting up to let my dog into the garden is an extreme effort and I can sleep until after 3 in the afternoon. I feel stiff, am walking like an old woman, dizzy, nauseous, zero appetite and weight loss. That is never a bad thing, but I completely agree, more warning should have been given about this toxic drug. If you are reading this wondering whether to take it, don’t. It’s just not worth it. Get well soon guys. -Cheryl

    • Melinda May 19, 2015, 1:33 am

      That sounds awful, Cheryl. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get the warning about the rash that can happen with this drug. My psychiatrist and the pharmacist both told me that this drug had a black box warning for rash with the use of Lamictal. They told me that the rash could cause death or disfigurement in rare cases and any rash was cause to see the doctor right away and to stop taking the drug. Have you seen a dermatologist?

  • Lisa April 1, 2015, 6:00 am

    I’ve recently discontinued use of this drug, I wasn’t on a very high dose (severe rash occurred) I’ve been taking it at small doses and was working my way up ( only made it to 100mg) had to cut it cold turkey and I have been nauseous since. That was 2 weeks ago, the nausea is on and off, some days I can eat some I can’t.

    I find it messes with my sleep the most as the nausea seems to be at its worst around midnight. This was very informative because at first I didn’t know that nausea was a withdrawal symptom until reading this. That explains a lot :) at least I know the cause now so I can stop wondering why my stomach hates me lol.

    • Angel April 7, 2015, 4:02 am

      I know what you mean. I’ve been so dizzy, irritable and very sick to the stomach. Not knowing why. Then the last couple days I could punch the world in its face, kind of angry state. It’ll get better for us both.

    • Melinda May 19, 2015, 1:37 am

      I hate to read that others are experiencing nausea after stopping this medicine, but I also find it comforting. Yesterday was day two without Lamictal and I threw up all day. Today I’ve been quite nauseated but haven’t thrown up…yet. I thought I’d feel sad or maybe manic, but I never anticipated the vomiting, especially after only 9 weeks on the medicine.

  • Angel April 7, 2015, 3:59 am

    I’m so glad I found this page. I have been weaning from 100mg to 50mg for maybe over a week now. I have been so dizzy, nauseated, ANGRY and increased anxiety. I didn’t have a clue it was possibly from withdrawals from this med! Holy cow! I feel pretty crappy and I have 3 more “mind” drugs I want to get completely off of. I swear to gawd, the prescriber has no clue how these drugs effect you and what happens when you wean. I told my therapist and she never warned me about any of this or any other side effects when going on anything. I now always ask the pharmacist.

  • Bonnie April 8, 2015, 1:19 am

    Wow this is one of the few pages I have found that gives me any hope. I was on Lamictal from July 2014-February 2015 for GAD (never should’ve been prescribed!). In October the doctor increased by dose from 300mg to 350mg due to “moodiness.” About a week afterwards, I began feeling very strange – lightheaded, dizziness, foggy brain and tingling. I went back down to 300mg and seemed to be OK for awhile until he put be back up to 350mg.

    I was also going through some medical stuff in October so thought maybe it wasn’t the Lamictal after all. However, I haven’t been the same since going up the second time. About 90% of my days since December have been hellish, especially with the lightheadedness, headaches, earaches, tingling, anxiety and more. I titrated down by 50mg a week and have been off the drug completely since February 13, 2015 but I am still having the symptoms.

    It’s so bad that I have undergone an MRI and a multitude of blood tests – all negative – to see if there could be an underlying medical issue. Has anyone else felt “withdrawal” symptoms so strongly for so long after stopping the drug? I do have good days but I’m feeling very frustrated and hopeless. The doctors are denying that the symptoms could be related to the drug at this point.

    • GLOOM April 8, 2015, 9:00 pm

      They absolutely could be related to protracted withdrawals. Your physiology may have been strongly affected by the drug and is still in repair-mode along with your neurochemistry. The problem is that the withdrawal symptoms are subject to individual variation and can be exacerbated by anxiety… which is usually intensified when we are told there are “no withdrawals” from a doctor, but we feel/notice something is wrong.

      I went through the baggage of: blood tests, MRI scans, doc appointments, etc. after coming off of a psychotropic drug. I was convinced that there HAD to be something severely wrong (e.g. a tumor) because of the symptoms I experienced. It was merely an intense, protracted withdrawal, exacerbated by anxiety… Do what you can to heal your physiology, live healthy, and try not to focus on the symptoms if doctors have reassured you that you are “healthy.” Best of luck.

      • Melinda May 19, 2015, 2:41 am

        Dear GLOOM, I would like to thank you for having the best medical blog/website I have ever seen. It is so clear and easy to read. I love how you calmly explain each withdrawal effect as a possibility. Somehow that wording is comforting. Instead of an overwhelming laundry list of symptoms, you give an explanation of why you might be experiencing that symptom. And I love how you cite research and use technical and medical terms to describe how neurotransmitters work.

        I’ve never found anything this medically sensible on the internet before. I’m blown away by a site that treats me like a whole person AND like an intelligent person. I’ve been sending your link to my therapist and to my friends with mental illness. I don’t feel comfortable posting it on facebook at this time, but I will consider it.

        I can’t express enough how grateful I am for this resource. I have been reading post after post over the last 3 days of nausea and vomiting from Lamictal withdrawal. What else can I do productively with this time? Thank you, thank you, thank you. -Melinda

        • Peter Pinette September 25, 2016, 12:41 am

          Melinda: so very glad to read about how you were having stomach problems with Lamictal withdrawal. My wife has been on Lamictal 150mg/day for 4 years. She wasn’t having any problems with that dose but was having trouble sleeping and the Dr. thought she might try 200mg/day. She went up by 25mg/day for 2 weeks, then another 25mg.

          She had night and day sweating and shortness of breath and she tried to acclimate to this for about 3 months. We decided to go back to the 150mg/day. We withdrew slowly about 12.mg/day and now she has been on 150mg/day for about 4 weeks. My question is, she seems to have lost all her appetite, lost 35 lbs and I really have to push food at her to eat. Maybe this will dissipate in time since some are saying 90 days is a rule of thumb for coming off Lamictal.

          We are only trying to decrease by 50mg and having this appetite problem? We have been looking into appetite stimulants and wondering what can be done for her eating. Maybe you or someone out there might have experienced this to some degree and might have some encouragement. Thanks so much for your blog. Peter

  • Dawn Roden April 14, 2015, 12:31 am

    Thanks for the information. I’ve been on this drug for 6 years and a high dose for the past 2 years. The side effects had gotten bad and I finally said to my husband I was going off it. I was having panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. I thought I was going to scratch my skin off. I couldn’t focus and got little done in a day. Since going off it I am getting more of my life back. However, the withdrawal symptoms of getting off. The first dose down was fine, the next dose down I was up all night with irritability and couldn’t sleep and the itching was unbelievable. This dose down I’ve been sick to my stomach, no focus, and tired. I can’t wait until I’m off this drug completely. I’ll be drug free! Yay!

  • Bob April 27, 2015, 12:57 pm

    Thank you so much for this information. Took 300mg at night for bipolar for 8 years. I dosed off by a quarter tablet (150 mg tablets) each week. I am now off the medication as of this week. I am experiencing the lack of concentration, restless sleep, tingling sensation in my head, lethargy, and irritability. I felt some of these during the weeks while I was dosing down and they went away by midweek as my body got used to the lesser dosage.

    I very, very rarely missed a dose and these were similar symptoms that I felt if I missed a dose so I am encouraged that this will go away. It’s hard to be patient, but it sounds like this could take a few weeks. I made lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, and no alcohol which I am hoping will help with stabilization. I will be drug free again!

    • Bob May 29, 2015, 2:44 pm

      Update: I have been off of the Lamictal for a month now. Like others on the site, I still struggle with fatigue, and I wake up every morning with this “cloudy” feeling in my head and sometimes I have the tingling sensation as well. I certainly feel more withdrawn than when I was on the medication and have a reduced interest in sex. I am feeling more irritable and less patient and, like others here, I have bouts of anxiety.

      On a positive, I think that my concentration is returning and I seem to be able to think more clearly and quickly when the cloudiness subsides. I really believe that the medication reduced my reaction times and ability to think on my feet, so I am encouraged to say that some of that is returning. I am still keeping that 6-9 month goal in mind when dealing with these symptoms, remembering that I put 300mg of this stuff into my body for 8 years. Thanks again for this resource.

  • Kay April 30, 2015, 4:52 am

    Thank you so much for this article and for all of your replies!! It gives me the needed motivation and positive focus I need right now. I have been on Lamictal for over 10 years at various doses. I started traveling and teaching abroad and am now in a country that doesn’t provide it. Before moving here I had decreased the medication a bit anyway. I am ready to be drug free and this seemed like the perfect time to do it.

    Luckily I started the rest of the decreases while I still had enough pills left so I didn’t have to quit cold turkey. I am being very watchful of symptoms of withdrawal and my mood. I told my family if I miss one day of work from this I will seek help. So far its been OK. I have been feeling a bit light headed and SUPER fatigued but I am pushing on!! yoga and meditation help a lot with the other symptoms. I also upped my supplements/vitamins.
    It’s a scary thing being so reliant on such a powerful drug.

    I really hope I am OK with the final decrease. I am at 25mg now (well I am alternating 5 and 50 every other day for this week) .I have the rest of this month to get totally off completely. I hope there are more success stories for taking Lamictal for a long time and getting off completely. Keep strong fellow sufferers. Be strong and be careful! :) Cheers!

  • Tiffany May 17, 2015, 4:01 am

    I’ve been tapering off of 600mg for the last couple of months, stepping down 50 every other week. I’m currently at 300-350 mg, depending how desperate I feel for the drug. I’ve had extreme mood swings, confusion and have began to withdraw from life in general. I do think it’s the withdrawal symptoms that are making me act this way, but I always have a fear of maybe I am “just this way,” what I feel like is a moody raving maniac with no motivation for life.

    I was on lamictal for 11 years, beginning at 100mg working my way up to the 600mg. I’m not even sure how that happened looking back. I saw a psychiatrist once for depression and he diagnosed me as bipolar. I didn’t see another psychiatrist until a couple of months ago to “re-evaluate”. Basically my family doctors have been refilling and even upping my dosage over the last 10 years or so. I feel like such an idiot. Why did I not question what I was being put on in the first place?

    Why didn’t I do more research? I feel like I have caused permanent damage to myself, I’m afraid these feelings won’t go away. I see the most common doses are 200mg to 400mg. The reason that I went from 400mg to 600mg is that I told my family doctor I was experiencing withdrawals in the afternoon, so his solution was just to take some more…this stinks.

    • Kiki December 3, 2015, 12:56 pm

      This post has been really helpful and thank you for those who have been so honest and shared your experiences. I was on 400mg and dropped to 200mg 2 years ago. Now I am weaning off and I’m on 75mg. The first few weeks were bearable, I would go through the phase on anxiety, feeling ill, tiredness, moodiness, anger and then 3 days later I’d much better.

      For the last two weeks I’ve been sitting on 75mg and I feel terrible, most of the time. Anxiety, extreme tiredness, irritability, anger (so much of that), tingling feeling, very sore jaw, headaches, suppressed appetite. I’ve been drawing myself away from going out in public. Feel like I’m stuck in a hole in hell and I don’t have any motivation to start pulling myself out.

      I’m thinking of going cold turkey from here since I don’t really think my symptoms can get worse at this point. If I could just get rid of this anxiety. I am seeing my doc tomorrow, I am really hoping she can help in terms of my anxiety. I eat really well and I do yoga and meditate, but I don’t feel like it helps anymore. It’s a phase and we’re really strong and brave to push through this. See you on the other side – Lamictal free.

      • Carolyn March 14, 2016, 11:28 pm

        How are you doing and did you get any help with anxiety? I have found that magnesium bisglycinate powder is a great help to me. I take 1/4 tsp every morning and evening. Helps throughout the day and let’s me sleep at night. Perhaps this will help you. :)

  • Melinda May 19, 2015, 4:33 am

    I started on Lamictal at 25, then 50 and then 100mg. It was prescribed for mood swings and bipolar disorder. I did very well on the medication for the first 7 weeks. I started feeling hopeful that I could get my life back again.

    During week 8 I started getting itching on my forearms and shins but I attributed that to working in the garden for about 2 hours a day and the sudden increase in heat and humidity. By week 9 the itching had extended through my entire arms and legs. I spent most of my energy trying not to scratch the skin off of my body and by night time I couldn’t take it. I’d scratch for a full hour before I had to stop myself and attempt to sleep.

    I saw my psychiatrist and the rash was so subtle that she had me continue the medication and try Benadryl and hydrocortisone cream to manage the itching. Those two medications didn’t touch the itching so I scheduled a dermatology appointment to see what they thought.

    By the time I got in with dermatology the rash had spread to my shoulders and up my back. Plus the weather cooled down and I hadn’t gardened in 4 days. It was clearly the Lamictal. Thank goodness for prescription anti-itch cream from the dermatologist. The itching was driving me over the edge.

    Now I’m dealing with either the side effects of two doses (100mg each) of Risperdal or withdrawal after 9 weeks on Lamictal. Starting one medication before getting the Lamictal out of my system was not a good idea. That’s the last time I follow my psychiatrist’s advice to stop one med and start another the next day. The fatigue, stupor, headaches and dizziness are a big drain, but the nausea and vomiting are the worst part. It’s hard to explain to friends and family that I’m sick but not contagious.

    Even though this withdrawal is really hard, I’m looking into withdrawing from Effexor next. That medication took away my anxiety but it took all of my motivation with it. I’ve been a lump for 2 years now. The posts and comments on this site have taught me a lot and brought me some hope for a future with less but more appropriate medication.

    • Louise August 3, 2015, 9:30 am

      Hi, please see any ER or Urgent Care re your rash because it can be life threatening. A black box warning about the rash. Let me know you are ok and that you received this. The doctors say discontinue all lamictal immediately if you get a rash. Also no matter what you do, please do not try to come of Effexor until you are completely over all symptoms of getting off lamictal for at least six weeks. Effexor is a different ball game. Ginger ale helps the nausea. Louise

  • Katie May 27, 2015, 2:08 pm

    Dear All, I’m coming off of Lamictal so that I can start a family with my husband. I have been taking 200 mg/day for about 10 years for BP. My husband and my family are surrounding me with love and support, but it’s difficult to explain these withdrawal symptoms to someone who doesn’t feel them. I was so grateful to find this blog.

    Everyone’s post contains the hard truth, but also hope. My symptoms have included fatigue, nausea, headaches, anxiety, rage, depression, loss of concentration, and insomnia. Does anyone know of a support group out there? Is there anyone who talks or is willing to talk via e-mail? With gratitude and hope, Katie.

  • Jo June 13, 2015, 7:07 pm

    I’ve been off Lamotrigine/Lamictal 3 weeks, 2 days now. Reading all the comments here has really helped to know yes it is OK to still have these waves of nausea, apathy and dizziness. I was prescribed L after having migraine aura for over 2 weeks, which included 2 hospital emergency checkups for stroke and further emergency appointments with neurologists and a MRI. All clear, just migraine deciding to be rare and difficult and more like epilepsy.

    So after a week the L kicked in, thank god, was able to talk coherently again. I don’t regret being on it, since I was in such a bad state beforehand. The fogginess of withdrawal though, makes me scared I’m about to have another bad bout of aura, and end up in hospital again, or have to start again. I was scared to come off it, but now also glad, as I was increasingly feeling detached from people close to me, and just not feeling bothered by it.

    I feel emotionally more like myself, but then I’ll have a day where I just feel like coping with anything is like climbing a mountain, such hard work. I was on it for 7 months, and at the end I was doing so well at so many things – eating right, exercising more, on top of work and studies…now I feel ill, dizzy and sick after long walks, the pleasure has gone from it. I’ve also made permanent lifestyle changes, such as not drinking, so hopefully this will help. Fingers crossed this will end. 4 to 6 weeks is a long time.

    • Diana July 20, 2015, 4:35 am

      Jo: update? I have started to wean and took ten percent off and after four weeks, the brain fog is intense. Hope?

  • Beth H June 17, 2015, 6:53 pm

    My 19 year old son with Autism was on Lamictal for 6 months and it actually made him have more seizures and mood swings. Its been 4 months since he’s been off and he is doing better, but still has occasional episodes of anxiety and aggression. These aggressive episodes come out of no where. I believe the “brain zaps”…that’s what it looks like to me. When he first came off, he had diarrhea for 10 days and got a rash.

    Our doctor had him withdraw from 200 mg to 0 mg of lamictal over a weekend! Not sure that was a good idea. The aggression that he has now is less severe and only lasts for a few minutes. He is non verbal so any withdrawal symptoms are tough for him because he doesn’t understand what is going on in his brain or body. We are not adding any other AEDs right now to his trileptal that he’s been on for 5 years.

    Every time we try a 2nd seizure med, he has terrible side effects, it’s not worth it! I do believe that it takes months to a year to get off lamictal based on what I am seeing with him. Hopefully each day and week, he will continue to recover!

  • Andrea Hawley June 29, 2015, 5:03 pm

    I came off Lamictal cold turkey (BAD IDEA) I have been off for about three weeks now. I was on 400 mg a day. Week one was hell!!!! Angry dizzy nausea I actually threw up a few times. Fingers and toes are numb can’t think straight. I have thoughts in my brain and at times it takes a minute for them to form words to speak if that makes any sense. Still fog brained. Symptoms are subsiding slowly but lingering. I am miserable can’t wait until I feel somewhat human again.

    • Louise August 3, 2015, 11:20 am

      Hi Andrea, I just found this site and am encouraged to know I am not alone in this battle. How are you doing? I went cold turkey off 400 mg lamotragine/lamictal on July 15. Then, I’ll call it a relapse, things got so hard, I took 100 mg. on July 25 and again on the July 28. So now it has been 5 days and I hope never to take another one. Things I have found helpful at relieving the acute distress is ginger ale for the nausea. A lot of protein and water seem to immediately help. Swimming, walking and baths help enormously. Most foods do not taste very good.

      For the first two weeks I was smelling a horrible smell. (detox?) In many ways my awareness and senses are very acute, in fact distressingly so. I figure this will be like stopping smoking which was the hardest thing I ever did (back in 1987). I have received strong support from a few dear friends, my counselor, my sponsors in both AA and Al-anon and particularly my practitioner and teacher in Christian Science. Every single phone call and event seems to be vital. I am grateful and hopeful. Louise

      • Rob April 16, 2016, 5:29 pm

        Louise — Exactly!! Thanks for ‘remedies.’ They are all we have when we undertake this journey off L. I happen to swim, walk, and take many hot baths to ease symptoms so I immediately id’ed with you.

  • Daphne June 29, 2015, 7:37 pm

    Thanks for the information! I was taking 200mg at night for just over a year. I quit cold turkey 3 weeks ago and, though I expected some side effects, the dizziness was a little more than I anticipated, but has been tolerable. However, I did notice after two weeks that a few muscle pains that have been plaguing me for about a year now are gone. I was aware of the rash (which I never got), but not the muscle pain as a side-effect of use. I chalked it up to a sports injury and getting older, but have been shocked that a daily pain which has kept me from exercising regularly and often from sleeping well has just gone away.

  • Adam A July 11, 2015, 4:35 pm

    So, due to a lack of insurance coverage and a mental-health provider, I am ending my romance with limotrigine. I’ve been on a daily dosage of 150mg for about a year but titrated as high as 250 and as low as 100. Last week I cut to 100mg daily and this week I’m at 50mg. It’s a super-rapid detox but I am getting the “drug-seeker” treatment at the pharmacy so I’m all set trying to get more.

    I’ve been depressed, anxious, angry, confused and generally irritable. My girlfriend insists that these feelings aren’t anything new and I just need to suck it up. Had a nasty bout with nausea this am: THAT was new and exciting. I suffer arthritis/carpal tunnel and have fused bones in my right hand so I can’t really discern any new numbness, tingling or severe pain in my hands/arms but it certainly doesn’t feel any less painful.

    I don’t drink, but I do smoke mj frequently – haven’t found any other relief. I bookmarked this page – and want to thank everybody for sharing their experiences; I am going to be reading and rereading for strength for at least a few weeks.

  • Christale July 17, 2015, 3:54 am

    Hello! This article was very helpful when I was experiencing withdrawals. I was on 400mg of lamitrogone and 1mg Ativan. I cut 400 in half for 2 months and that in half for 2 months and that in half again. Cut the Ativan in half for 2mths. It’s now been 35 days off both drugs and I’m still ill. I wish I knew a timeframe of getting better. The worst is the feeling of low blood sugar and I just ate an hour or two earlier and when tested my blood sugar is fine.

    That turns into anxiety and panic. Dizziness is an everyday thing, but the fish oil I take helps a lot now. Mainly feel out of balance, head in clouds, eyes hurt, head hurts. I can’t believe after tapering so long I’m still feeling so lousy! Thanks for the article it helped me see I’m not the only one doctors think are “crazy” when you’re trying to explain to them you feel ill but all the testing proves your healthy.

  • Jerithe koji- harst July 24, 2015, 4:24 pm

    I work for a candy store and the withdrawal actually kept me from being able to do my job. Unfortunately I have to be on this until no can find something else as I was recently diagnosed with bipolar 2 April 2014. I haven’t been on meds like this before and hate the feeling. Especially when it interferes with my job, and I am the assistant manager and acting manager when the main is not in.

  • Meredith July 31, 2015, 4:42 am

    Thank you for your site. Amazing. Helpful. Relevant. Strong writing. I was only on 25 mg and dropped it all 5 days ago. Fatigue like nothing I’ve experienced (even with Klonopin) toppled me. Took 12.5 mg today and within 20 minutes, felt close to normal. Will stay here for a bit before dropping more. Thought I was done with the nasty withdrawals when I dropped Klonopin. Ha! Who knew? Apparently you did. Thanks!

  • Chelvan August 4, 2015, 7:05 am

    India as a country is rich in tradition as well as old ways that are hard to mend…one of which is the taboo part of psychological illnesses which even a current generation Indian may not want to address (with counselling, psychiatric support or whatever). It’s living in denial forever. I was diagnosed with depression and bipolar around 15 years back, and I have been on so many medicines.

    Right now I am on Lamotrigine 100mg (50mg morning, 50mg night), Buspirone 10mg (5mg M, 5 mg N), Fluoxetine 80mg every night. I am feeling much better, but owing to a my constant travel I had to switch my psychiatrists once. The second person is the person who put me on this (above)…problem is he’s extremely closed as a person, doesn’t want to discuss the why’s of the problem much, all he does is ask me for symptoms, a little questioning here and there, he makes a lot of notes I guess, and then prescribes.

    While this is uneasy for me (my previous doc would walk me through my symptoms, the whats, the way the medicines will support me, for how long, danger zones, etc.), I get into a lot of mental trouble if I attempt to get back to my older doc (really don’t understand). My current doc prescribes and also provides the medicines himself, so there isn’t a prescription, but the medicines seem to get me out of trouble.

    Now I ran out of Lamotrigine, did a tapering from 100mg to 50mg for 3 days, and then — yeah, pretty much cold turkey. Now, flu like symptoms, fatigue, lack of interest in doing anything, lethargy mostly…. Waiting for that doc to ship my supply of meds again – hopefully it will get me better.

  • Jackie Aumiller August 9, 2015, 12:39 pm

    Signed myself in to a psyche hospital where they immediately stopped 300 mg daily of lamotrigine, and started Wellbutrin. Within 3 days I was having anaphylaxis reaction and needed 2 injections of Epi. Very scary. My new doctor says stopping like that may make me allergic to everything, including wellbutrin. Good thing I was in a hospital! Now I am taking Cymbalta but not sure yet if it will help. Also, how do I know if I have bipolar depression or depression? Apparently there is a difference but I don’t understand. No mania though.

    • Donna January 16, 2016, 11:45 pm

      Please don’t take Cymbalta; it’s worse and harder to drop. I gave speeches in the mental health community for about three years until the government disbanded the program. I have mild to moderate bipolar disorder and prefer to suffer from the illness than harmful meds. Also I urge you to go to acupuncture.

  • chris August 22, 2015, 1:42 pm

    I had been on 200mg/day for 10 years. To stop it.. I went down 25mg every 2 weeks (it took 4 months). When I got all the way down to just one pill (25mg) a day “panic” kicked in for the first time. I stopped taking just one a day immediately. It has now been 30 days and i must state that these 30 days have been the worst ever.

    You must prepare yourself to suffer through the first 30 days you are completely off lamictal. I’m currently taking Charlotte’s Web CBD oil for my epilepsy. I’m an adult and I take 6ml per day. I suggest you visit this site (theroc.us). They help you through this entire process! :-)

    • Greg February 23, 2016, 2:46 am

      I’ve been taking lamotrogine for 30 years, it was approved by the FDA in ’94, but I was in the initial drug study that lasted about 8 years. It stopped my gran mal’s, but never helped my partials. 3 months ago, I started CBD oil, and have not had a seizure of any kind since. I started the process of going off lamictal, ushered in by another rash, and BAM! whoa, dizzy, unresponsive staring, slurred speech, angry, (me! but, I’m a teddy bear!), the whole deal.

      Makes me want to get off it so much more…. and makes me so angry that Marijuana wasn’t the drug that was being studied. It is what has stopped my seizures. I guess there wasn’t enough profit in it. Good luck everyone. And lets think twice before buying into the pharmaceutical hype.

  • Paul Bush September 2, 2015, 5:57 pm

    I have been taking 200 mg of lamictal for about 10 years. When I attempted to slowly get off lamictal, I would get what felt like a brain explosion while I was in a deep sleep, and would be shocked awake with the feeling of disorientation and tingling.

    • Chris September 15, 2015, 2:38 pm

      Experienced the same!

  • Devlin September 12, 2015, 6:10 pm

    I previously attempted to taper myself off of Lamictal but found the withdrawal too extreme. This time I spoke with my psychiatrist and we decided to add Adderall for the withdrawal symptoms. It has been extremely helpful with the fatigue and depression that I experienced during my first attempt.

    • Donna January 16, 2016, 11:48 pm

      Please don’t take adderall as it is an amphetamine and other drugs with cause complications even worse than lamictal which I took for 15 years. I have withdrawal but the clonazepam one was even worse. I spoke is mental hospitals for about three years until the government abolished the program. I have a mild to moderate bipolar disorder, but I prefer to deal with the illness and also get acupuncture which I highly recommend. I think that we should avoid medicine in general unless in certain circumstances as if we try to or actually harm ourselves or others.

  • Sarah September 13, 2015, 2:03 am

    The first week after being off lamictal completely was beyond awful. That would be an understatement. However, I hit the week mark and I mentally was fine. But physically I am just dragging! I am so tired all the time. I am a healthy individual otherwise. So happy to see this fatigue/exhaustion is normal.

  • John September 20, 2015, 10:33 pm

    I was on 200 mg lamictal for the past 5 years having being diagnosed with mood swings and BP. I asked my Dr to come off and reduced it by 50mg to 150mg for the first 2 weeks then down to 100mg and now I’m on 5omg waiting to reduce it to 25mg. As I reduce the dose I have experienced fussy feeling in my head, balance issues and very dizzy along with pressure in front of my head along with vivid nightmares.

    I was OK until I reduced from 100 mg to 50mg then the withdrawal symptoms started. But I will stick with it as I am now in control of my moods having stopped drinking 5 years ago. This site has helped me and know that I am not along.

  • Lynne Shapiro September 21, 2015, 3:15 am

    On 9-16-15 (Day 1) I had bariatric surgery. The doctor was aware I had taken my Lamictal that morning & medically approved. I did not have any on Days 2 and 3. Day 3 afternoon is when I was released. By the afternoon of Day 2 and during the rest of my stay on Day 3, I was suffering from discontinuation syndrome and making everyone around me (including myself) miserable with my mood swings, crying, and overall feeling of anxious doom if I didn’t take my meds!

    I TOTALLY went off on the med staff with my manic/depressive actions which quite a few were unfortunately directed at them, mostly for them not being able to answer the simple question, “Why haven’t I had my meds? Where ARE they? Do you know what happens if I don’t HAVE them?!” Med staff AND my doctor finally said, “Well, you’re going home anyway today, so you can take them at home.” I’m REALLY surprised I didn’t lunge for the throat of the person who said that.
    REALLY surprised.

    Next time I’m in the hospital, I’m bringing my own. I don’t care what they would say-it’s my body so BACK OFF. BTW I am also on Buspar and Pristiq as well as Lamictal.

  • Kellen September 26, 2015, 6:12 am

    Great article but I am experiencing certain symptoms not on the list. Extreme light sensitivity, especially to artificial lighting (headlights, store signs, lamp posts etc…) it’s really bad at night. Plus hot flashes and I feel like I have the flu sometimes.

  • Susan R October 7, 2015, 8:53 am

    I’ve been on Lamictal for about 8 yrs. for mood swings. For many years, I was not a happy lady and cried a lot about my unhappy marriage. Last year, my psychiatrist agreed with me to reduce to 100mg bid. Last month, I went on a much needed vacation and inadvertently left my meds at home. On the 4th day, I started having brain fog that caused a few problems for me. I was out of country for a week but could have purchased the drug on just about any corner.

    I decided to cold turkey it. The brain fog was gone within 2 days and some fatigue set in. Other than that, I was okay. Today, I went to my psychrisist for a follow-up and to announce that I’m off of it and feel great except for a little depression that I know only lasts (for me) for a couple of days. Unfortunately, he insists that I start up again at 50mg bid and increase within 30 days. Well, I’m not gonna do it! My “head” is clearer than ever! My marriage ended, by the way…death did us part.

    I loved my husband, but he was a real hard guy to live with until he became terminally ill 7 years ago. The grieving may take awhile, but there is no remorse except that maybe I should have taken Lamictal the day after the wedding. Bottom line: Lamictal worked for me. I’m hoping this rx in my mental health medical records that the Feds can acquire could be cause denial of my 2nd Amendment rights. That’s another google for sure. Take care everybody. God bless.

  • Timothy October 9, 2015, 8:05 pm

    Hello Everyone I am Tim… I have been on Lamotrigine for 5 years now… No history in my family… I am an inventor and business man as well as a family man. At first I had a grand mal seizure then because of taking off the medicine to generic and different version I had 2 more small seizures… the room spun and become very uncomfortable and made me very nervous…

    I have been on the med for around 5 years now at 200mg twice a day. My doctor recently did a blood test and said I was low and that the medicine is effective as low as you are… so he gave me 25mg twice a day to increase my level to normal… I forgot to take them and have been thinking of getting off the medicine… the only thing stopping me is how the seizures effected my family and I need to drive… I am in fear of having another seizure for that reason…

    The doctor said he recommended the head thing to sleep and wear at night to see if I am having small ones during sleep then we can discuss weaning off the meds which sounds like I have already been doing so for 5 months now since I forgot to take the increased 25mg meds twice a day. So this is where I am at… I am also under stress daily for operating a stressful business. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Tim

    • Natasha January 25, 2016, 6:38 pm

      I’ve been on this for 10 years. 150mg twice a day. The other morning a ran out so missed a dose. The next morning I had a fit. Normally late nights and drink cause them! It’s been 18 months since my last one and was soon to be the longest I’ve gone seizure free. So it has been playing on my mind loads. Then bang I had one. I’m gutted. So hoping it was just that I missed a dose and not a sign I need more. Also recently started drinking aloe gel and think that has had an effect. I love websites like this as I don’t know anyone with it to talk to. Hope you’re doing ok since you posted this.

  • Centime October 15, 2015, 2:14 pm

    I’ve been on Lamictal for less than a year, and am beginning to wean myself off it because of the onset of sudden joint pain. My doc didn’t think it was related to the Lamictal and thought it was probably Lyme disease, but I tested negative. It began about 12 weeks after I started taking the drug, first in my fingers, then neck, now moving into my hips and toes. My hands feel like the hands of a 100 year old. I have trouble bending my fingers, they crackle and get stuck so I can’t unbend them, and they really hurt.

    I can’t open jars, lift anything heavy, sew, draw, or write clearly. Now my neck is also involved. I searched for days on the net and found lots of anecdotal reports, but nothing I could really use until I saw a small article on a doctor’s blog (which now I can’t find again) that said Lamictal can cause a buildup of minerals (iron, I think) in the joints, which is actually closer to gout than arthritis. For many years I took Paxil, also manufactured by SmithKline, and both times I tried to get off it I ended up in the ER even though I titrated it down in very small decreases.

    I KNEW it was withdrawal, but my doc didn’t believe it. It was years later that SKB finally admitted there was a serious withdrawal syndrome associated with the drug. Now here I am again facing weeks or months of pain because big pharma can hide behind its corporate facade and basically censor whatever truth it doesn’t like. It makes me furious! I’m Bipolar II and take Lamictal off-label for that.

    Although it has evened out my hypomanias, I’ve been in a severe depression for months and months, which it seems to affect not at all, so I’m going to ditch it. I’m also taking low does of Seroquel (100) and Latuda (60), and am now down to 125 of Lamictal, going down 25 mg. at a time. I wish the best to all of you who are struggling with the confusion and frustrations of psychopharmacology! Centime

    • Rob April 15, 2016, 11:46 pm

      Centime – I’m curious if you are off Lamictal now. How is the joint pain? After eight years of taking 150mg/once a day, I am wanting to get off all my psych meds. Klonopin is first. I am now off it for several days after six months of titration. I feel foggy headed, depressed, anxious, can concentrate and can’t sit still.

      In other words, just awful. I am an older man and am curious how you would describe yourself for comparison purposes. I have tried to discontinue Lamictal before and became deeply depressed within two or three days. So I am going to go VERY slowly, since I haven’t really been off klonopin long enough to have adjusted to its absence. Poor balance is the primary reason I want off it.

      This symptom was present from the first time I took (and had been the same when I took Depakote previously). And I have started to have the joint pain in my hands and feel, with fingers that get stuck in the fist position. And I have tingling in various places, some of which feel like mild electrical sensations.

      It will be hard to differentiate which withdrawal symptoms are which, so that’s even more reason to approach the Lamictal withdrawal very slowly.

  • Patty October 21, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Has anyone here successfully gone off Lamictal? I just started cutting down with the hopes of not taking it at all soon. I’ve done my research, but all I find are testimonies of the process of elimination, not the result. Any good (or bad) stories of life without Lamictal? I need something to look forward to, see if the withdrawal symptoms are worth it.

  • Lorraine October 25, 2015, 2:00 pm

    If I forget to take the lamictal – or try to cut 200 mg in half – I get the “out of body experience”, nausea, disorientation, dizzy, sensitivity to light, sound and weird taste in my mouth. I have taken lamictal 400mg with a cocktail of lexapro, seroquel. and atavan for about 10 years. I am reducing the lexapro and seroquel. My psychiatrist prescribed zoloft to transfer from lexapro, but I am going to slowly wean off all of them one at a time I too thank God for this website so that I can do a slow withdrawal, recognize the symptoms and know that there is hope.

  • Debbie October 25, 2015, 5:00 pm

    My doc started me on 50mg of Lamictal for about 4 days. Then increased to 100mg for 4 days. Then increased to 200mg. The night that I took my 5th dose of the 200 mg I had a terrifying hallucination, high anxiety, fear and feeling like I was going crazy. My doc then told me to decrease my dosage to 100mg for the next 6 days. Then take 100 mg every other day over the next 3 days until our next appt.

    Last night was my 6th dose of the 100 mg and my anxiety was extreme again. Every little sound status startles me and my pulse is elevated around 110. Does this sound like normal withdrawals? Does this taper sound too fast? I feel like I’m going crazy. I take clonazepam to help with the anxiety but it only helps for a short time. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Bolt November 21, 2015, 3:19 am

    Almost two weeks ago I thought I found a dr that actually “gets me” and would/could help instead of telling me to see another dr and pray (no joke). He rx’d 2 weeks of Lamotrigine and Adderall (never taken either, I way 125#’s). I’ve been on 25mg of Lamotrigine for 12 days as of yesterday. The first night I took lamotrigine I woke up sweating and itching like never before and had flu symptoms. The next morning I was to start 20mg adderall xr.

    Thirty to 45 minutes later I felt AMAZING, until the adderall wore off (4-6 hours later) and again felt flu like symptoms along with noticeable blurry vision. That night I wasn’t going to take the lamictal but decided to do so, maybe it was the flu right? So long story short for two weeks I have been on 25 mg of Lamictal and 20mg Adderall XR. My throat has been swollen, can’t drink enough water and dry mouth/lips like never before.

    I wake (woke) up take adderall, I go to work, FOCUS, I’m calm, I can actually sit still, I’m mindful and actually LISTEN to people for the first time in my life, I’m finally doing my job right, I don’t have cussing outbursts like before, life is great until anywhere between 4-6 hours later when the adderall wears off. Then my face gets flushed (HOT), left arm particularly my wrist feels weird, hands/feet get really cold and I feel like I have the flu (same as night one on Lam prior to Adderall).

    Around this time my heart starts racing (nothing like it did before these meds though) and I cannot sleep. I was RX’d Ambien which does NOT help at all, actually I think it makes insomnia worse. Good for me I still have xanax from this spring and a 1/2-whole has been calming me down at nights. Or at least the only nights I have slept at least 4-5 hours ( I need avg of 7-8). Yesterday I went to ER, my left arm/wrist felt as if blood was not circulating, it was tingly, I was weak, short of breath and knew things were not right.

    I’ve noticed over two weeks my left grip hasn’t been strong. My chest was hurting, and the day&night before my left shoulder and neck was all out of whack. My throat has been swollen almost shut for a week, I felt awful, like something serious was about to happen. It did NOT feel like anxiety, I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack! My mother took me to ER, all tests were fine with the exception of being dehydrated. I was given fluids, told to discontinue lamictal and reduce adderall.

    Contact my Doc immediately which I left a message last night, called at 8am this morning, again at noon and it is now 10pm and I’ve not heard back from him or staff. I know he is in today and he knows the situation, his secretary said so. So what am I suppose to think? I have not taken anything today other than 1/2 a multivitamin. My head is killing me, face is flushed/hot, throat is still swollen as it has been since starting lamictal, thirsty, shaky, heart has been racing, still constipated (OMG), did not sleep last night, can’t day sleep due to noises startling me and I am pissed off, getting more PO’d by the minute.

    I’ve spent $1,000 this month trying to get help for BP1, ADHD and OCD, not to mention the $3,998 trip to the ER yesterday. I didn’t even go to work today and dread tomorrow considering how crappy I feel after feeling so dang great during the day for the last 12 days! Anyone would be frustrated over this situation, I do NOT think it is just me. I’ve lost about 8#’s, been ridiculously constipated which is weird considering the I’ve drank more water in 12 days than possibly the last year. I feel like hell today! Can’t get out of bed but can’t sleep/rest and I’m so disappointed in all of this.

    And I feel especially let down by my doctor. Story of my life. So yeah… only 25 mg of Lamotrigine and this is what I have experienced so far. I realize everyone is different, just wish I would have listened to my body that first couple nights instead of telling myself I’d get used to it. I’m sure it does make life seem like “the bottom didn’t just drop out” for some and I kind of felt that way on it and that is/was great minus the side effects.

    I wish I could tolerate it and I could find a doc that would listen to me and actually care about their patients. I mean F, I thought I found one, but he can’t even return a phone call or email when he knows the severity of the situation. Thank god I didn’t get the rash associated with it!
    I have one or two days supply left of medication, he (my dr/PA whatever he is) told me when I visited him Tuesday he would e-script to my pharmacy since I live 2 hours away and that hasn’t happened either.

    No clue as to how I am to wean off from it. FML! First time I’ve felt like FML in 2 weeks other than the ER trip. It went from progress to a few steps back. F!!! And remind me again why we have shrinks and PA’s??? Call me CRAZY but I thought they are supposed to help people? You’d think he’d at least have his assistant call me, but no and I’m taking this as “F-you and suffer, you’re just a paycheck like the others”.

  • Belinda November 22, 2015, 1:24 pm

    I have a question. My husband used lamictal for 2 months. Quit cold turkey and the next day started using cipralex, on it now for 3 weeks. His behavior has been strange, he has not come home twice, his psychologist says he might be manic but he is refusing to see her. How long will it continue before the cipralex kicks in?

  • Lorrell November 24, 2015, 3:09 am

    I was switched from Ability to Lamictal about 3 months ago my doctor said it had less side effects I still wasn’t feeling right she increased my dose. It was the worst thing she could have done I became increasingly angry to the point of blacking out. I am a mother of 4 and yes they make me angry but not enough to act like like a homicidal maniac. I probably shouldn’t have quit cold turkey but it scared me to death. Then I suffered unbearable withdrawals to this day I don’t know what was worse.

    I suffer from depression anxiety PTSD and I’m bipolar. The withdrawals were agonizing headaches from hell, dizziness, and severe suicidal tendencies. I don’t know how but I managed to get through it. This is The worst medicine I have ever been on I feel for all of you. I hope I never or anyone else has to experience what I did cold turkey or not it was killing me on and off of it!

  • DonnaD December 7, 2015, 4:31 am

    I’ve been on 50mg of Lamictal XR for about 5 years. I had a seizure in 2002 but nothing since then. My new neurologist did a EEG found no more signs that called for such a strong drug, so he recommended me titrating off first 25 a day for 3 months, now 25 every other day for about 2 months. Now I’m feeling the tingling, headaches, brain farts, sadness, dizziness, vomiting but most of all the sleepiness.

  • melinda December 23, 2015, 9:52 pm

    I took 300mg Lamictal for over 8 years. More than four years ago, I began having vision problems, mainly blurry and double vision. I mentioned it to both my PC and optician but neither thought it was anything related to the Lamictal. In fact, they didn’t even consider it as a possible side-effect until I brought it up. I also developed a rash, which was on my arms and felt and looked like shingles to me, but my doctor had no clue about.

    That was almost 7 years ago and because I was never told I shouldn’t, I continued to take Lamictal. Last spring, my new doctor finally agreed that I should begin weaning myself off of Lamictal and see if my eyesight improved. I saw improvement immediately. I was also taking Geodon and had become very sensitive to the heat. I had heat stroke 6 times last summer! I decided to wean off both medicines.

    I went down slowly over almost six months and took my last dose of Geodon and Lamictal on October 1, 2015. I don’t know which of the two has contributed most to my withdrawal symptoms, but I will share my experience with you. As I tapered down, I began experiencing severe headaches and neck stiffness. My shoulders, arms and hands ached so badly that I had to stop knitting. (If you knit, you know how depressing that is). When I finally stopped the meds, I became severely dizzy.

    I lay in bed with my eyes closed for the first week because every time I opened my eyes, I threw up. I carried a bowl with me to the bathroom because I would get sick immediately upon standing. The headache was excruciating! I ached all over. Thankfully, I slept a lot and that got me through it. I was mostly bed-ridden for three weeks, just able to sit for minutes at a time before the dizziness would make me ill.

    I read a lot of good books. I recommend Koontz and the duo of Preston and Child. I’m also a Buddhist, so I did a lot of meditating to get through the HUGE crapola that is required to get off this stuff. It isn’t easy, but I’m determined to be drug free. I still have to get off Effexor and I’m not looking forward to that at all. It’s absolute HELL from what I’ve read.

    I’m still experiencing joint pain and my sleep is disrupted from that and the fact that I itch all over. I broke out with herpes not long after going off Lamictal and Geodon. Then I got shingles on my foot and in my scalp. I have had hives and a red rash appear on my arms and legs, stay for 20 minutes to a couple of days, and then fade away. I went to the doctor yesterday because I have herpes blisters on my inner lower eyelid.

    When the doctor found out I was off my anti-psychotics, she told me my symptoms were due to psychosis and were psychosomatic. I couldn’t believe it! I am absolutely finished with Western medicine and the big money drug machine. Has anyone else had the itching experience and joint pain continue after stopping these meds? Thanks for all your posts and info. It’s been a great help.

  • Roberta December 27, 2015, 10:32 am

    So glad to read others’ experiences with Lamictal. I JUST started Lamicatal 10 or so days ago as I was supposed to wean off Vimpat because of bad side effects. I started with 50 mg of Lamictal for one week and supposed to go up to 100 mg after one week. Within 5 days, I developed the worse acne around my chin since adolescence. I’m 53 years old right now. I would literally get “new” pimple within hours … painful sores around my lips – I thought they were cold sores but thankfully no.

    On the sixth day, the acne moved to other areas of my face – and more of a redness / itchiness as well. Then I noticed some “pimples” / red bumps on my thigh, back / shoulders / tummy as well. Over all itchness, especially scalp and back of neck.

    AND THE INSOMNIA and vivid dreams. On Christmas Eve – I was awake for 23 hours straight despite feeling extrememly tired and drained. I followed the doctor’s schedule however and increased my dosage on the day before Christmas to 100 mg of Lamictal. All my symptoms increased.

    Other symptoms included bouts of crying (I had been feeling depressed before though – that’s why weaning off Vimpat) and a couple of angry explosions which dumbfounded me and my loved ones. I actually threw objects across a room for – really – no reason at all that I can remember.

    I made the decision myself on Saturday (yesterday) to stop Lamictal after reading other comments about side effects. I’ll call my neurologist on Monday. I’m most concerned about my acne-breakout and overall itchiness / redness on my face and creeping down my neck. It’s not a rash, per se, but I don’t even feel like I can be seen in public because it’s so bad. Thanks everyone for letting me vent and for all your posts. I certainly don’t feel so crazy and alone!

  • Marla January 2, 2016, 12:58 pm

    Hi, I was taking 100 mg of Lamictal for 5 years as I had temporal lobe epilepsy and then after 3 years of not having any seizures I decided to quit. I must admit that Lamictal was very effective, not only it stopped my seizures but also stabilized my mood, I was feeling more positive and had more energy. The only trouble was lack of concentration and problems with memory.

    I was reducing my dose very slowly by 25mg a month and maybe that’s why I haven’t had those terrible withdrawal symptoms you are describing. I have experienced only tingling, trembling and itchiness. I’m “clean” for two days and now I feel sleepy and tired, I was sleeping for 14 hours and don’t feel rested at all. Does anyone have such symptom? I have problems with thinking, “foggy brain” is the right expression to describe it.

    I keep my fingers crossed for all of you – we will survive and eventually get better. Good luck!

    • Kris October 13, 2016, 6:02 pm

      Marla, My son was taking Lamictal for the same reasons as you, and honestly just kept forgetting to get his med refill – so basically stopped taking it for two months. he had NO symptoms as he came off. Are you still seizure free? Did you get over your withdrawal symptoms?

  • Kajay January 23, 2016, 11:49 am

    So this is what I’m learning about my own brain/body getting off lamactil after 14 years. Go slow! I’ve mixed up my chemistry so long, no wonder it’s so darned hard now. I so want off, but the speed of the taper, and therefore how nutty and ill I want to get is my choice. The anxiety, exhaustion and irrational chaos are REAL but I also trust you when you say it’s going to pass. It’s really good to have a site my family can learn from too! Whew.

    • Dave March 5, 2016, 8:46 pm

      On Nov 1, 2015 I was admitted to the mood disorder wing at a local hospital after basically having a breakdown. I was in the hospital for 4 days, staff pdoc took me off pristiq (50 mg daily) and replaced it with lexapro (20mg daily). That was the only change, resulting from the visit. Shortly after leaving the hospital, I left my job of 7 years.

      A few weeks later I stopped taking lexapro per my regular P-doc’s direction. A few weeks after that, I began ECT treatments (19 in total were performed through 2/22). I didn’t notice a major impact (negative or positive), other than feeling cloudy, slow all the time. The following Monday (this past Monday), I went to a new P-doc for a second opinion (after seeing my previous P-doc for 5+ yrs). Going into the 2nd opinion, after coming off the lexapro, I was on:

      200 mg lamictal (1x daily), .50 mirapex (1x daily), 400 mg lithium (1x morning), 350 mg lithium (1x evening), .5 mg ativan (2x as needed – based 1 mg total daily).

      At the 2nd opinion, the new pdoc expressed that he was not convinced I had any BP tendencies. As a result he recommended I immediately come off the lithium, lamictal, mirapex cold turkey and stop the ECT treatments. Up to this point I had been on Friday maintenance ECTs. I went with his recommendation and the only thing I’m taking now is ativan (.5 mg 2x daily) and Latuda (20mg 1x daily for 3 days, then 2x for 3 days, then 3x ongoing).

      I have now been off of lamictal, lithium, mirapex for 12 full days and let me just say I have never felt anything like I am feeling right now: anxious, confused, depressed, irritable, fidgety, brain zaps, light headed, cognitively slow, confused, restless etc. I feel horrible and am concerned this isn’t going to get any better. Although, I have to say I feel glimpses good feelings. Sign of things to come?

      While I am scheduled to meet with the new P-doc (2nd opinion guy) this upcoming Monday to discuss my progress (i.e. coming off the meds and check on how Latuda is performing ), I did get a chance to talk to him via phone yesterday. I expressed my concern with how I’m feeling as I come off lamictal, mirapex, lithium. Feelings I certainly didn’t have before going cold turkey.

      He said I shouldn’t be feeling any withdrawal symptoms resulting from going cold turkey with those meds. I was perplexed and bummed to hear him say this. He basically couldn’t answer why I was feeling so crummy. I noticed, in the original post, that many doctors don’t believe withdrawal symptoms result when coming off these meds. Why are they so hesitant to acknowledge this possibility/probability.

      I really appreciate everyone’s insights/posts. I’ve read through each one of them. They’ve certainly helped as I work through this process. I sincerely hope we all are feeling better soon. To echo the positive tone of the author, what we’re dealing with is temporary. Better days are ahead. Thank you for taking the time to read through this post – and certainly appreciate any insights/responses you may be able to share. – Dave

    • Lisa Eckhart April 25, 2016, 4:17 pm

      Hi Kajay, How is it going getting off the lamictal? How much were you on? I am trying to get off 200mg (about 7 years on). It has been rough! It is mostly the headaches, fuzzy head, and pain behind my eyes, and overall all – major fatigue and no focus. I have been doing this for about a month and am down to 100mg. The symptoms are getting worse – but I am Not bumping it back up. Is it getting better for you?

  • Carolyn March 14, 2016, 4:40 pm

    I definitely appreciate all the comments here. It helps to know there is a reason why I am feeling this way. I have been on various drugs for depression for the last 30 years. I am tapering off of lamotrigine (lamictal) from 100 mg; I’m down to about 50 mg now. Experiencing much fatigue but doing quite well. I’ve been using mineral balancing to reduce withdrawal symptoms and to heal the damage that the drugs have done. I could say more but I’m too tired so I will say that the greatest thing that helps me right now is magnesium bisglycinate powder 1/4 teaspoon with 3 ounces of water morning and evening.

    This has been great for reducing anxiety and so giving me the ability to sleep. Last May I began tapering off Paxil and after seven months it was done. I do not even miss it so glad to be done with. I will be so glad when the lamotrigine (lamectal) is gone also. I say it’s time for us to get our lives back.

  • Cindy March 16, 2016, 7:10 pm

    Hello to everyone! This is a first for me, I have never blogged about anything. I truly appreciate all of you who have shared your experiences in this blog, it has helped so much as I am in the middle of the terrifying task of weaning off my medication. I was diagnosed with Bipolar II and anxiety disorder years ago. I tried so many things, from Ability to Latuda…

    I can’t even remember the crap they have given me over the years. About 6 months ago, ‘they’ tried me on other medication for my depression, and I experienced the most terrifying side effects, I thought I would die (more like hoped I would). After losing most of my hair, gaining A LOT of weight, not being able to feel my face, terrible suicidal thoughts, and truly just losing my mind, I finally decided no more, I wanted to wean myself off of EVERYTHING. I am down to 25mg of Lamictal left.

    Friday will be my last dosage, EVER. I have been on it for about 7 or 8 years, and took between 200 and 400 mg per day. I have experienced horrific side effects coming off of the lamictal. I am single and have a business, and I can hardly function – I don’t know what is going to happen to me, but I know I can’t go on like this. I am so tired, I feel like an elephant is sitting on me and I just can’t get up. It takes everything I have to get up and go to the bathroom.

    I have terrible headaches, my depression is extreme. Suicidal thoughts, anxiety and fear. When I hear my phone ring, I flip out. I have tingling in my hands and feet, my balance is off and I get really dizzy. I am so tired, but I can’t sleep. Nightmares are just horrible! I even notice my vision is getting really bad. After years of listening to Doctors and just getting worse, I have decided to listen to myself and try other ways to live with my disorder.

    I’m not in denial, I know I have a mood disorder, but this is how I look at it. If I was diagnosed with terminal cancer and had to choose between the side effects of chemo and having poison forced in my body every day that would make me even sicker, I’m sorry, I would rather live my last months a better quality of life and go without that poison. At least the time I had left, though I would be dying, I would have some joy and not have the terrible side effects of treatments that may or may not work.

    I am choosing to look at my Bipolar II the same way. My NP was really upset when I told her, but I had only been seeing her for 6 months, so she didn’t even really know me. I am so afraid to try any medication after what happened the last 6 months, I have no other option but to get off it all-together, and I guess I am doing this alone. I am going to continue to read these blogs, as I go through the next few weeks, or months, as I get this out of my system.

    But, I will leave you on a good note. For years, my memory and focus was so bad, I didn’t read much. If I did read, I would have to re-read pages, I just couldn’t absorb any information. Last week, I read a short story. Only 60 pages, but it was something. I was frustrated at first, but found I was able to focus more, and I finished. And I remembered the story! I woke up in the morning, I remembered the story.

    I remember it now. Details I normally wouldn’t remember. I am holding on to that. Maybe, just maybe, my memory and focus will get better after I get this crap out of my body. Also, years ago, I used to do a video journal. As I search for ways to live with Bipolar II, I have gone back and read journals but found my video journals from 10 years ago and I can’t believe how different I was. BEFORE I was diagnosed, I actually had some joy, some happiness.

    Some passion and goals! All these years, trying to get better and listening to Doctors, I am left with nothing but depression and sadness and huge anxiety. No passion. No goals. No Joy. I WAS MUCH BETTER OFF BEFORE MEDICATION. No, it wasn’t easy, and I did struggle. That’s why I went for help. But I actually was able to experience happiness and joy, and had dreams for my life. Unlike now, I just feel like I have to ride the storm out until I die.

    Maybe, just maybe, when these drugs are out of my system, I might be able to love and laugh again and REALLY FEEL IT. Thank you everyone for listening, I know this was a long post. Take care! Cindy

    • Kara April 11, 2016, 6:03 pm

      Cindy, Thank you so much for sharing! How are you doing so far? I found your analogy between chemo and lamictal extremely witty. Very well said!
      I cannot agree with you more, this drug does blur the mind. Since I’ve been taking it I’ve noticed drastic decline of my cognitive skills. Short attention span, problems with memory, no interest, no focus, nothing.

      Can’t do math as fast anymore, you know. But your story gives me hope that in not so distant future I will see some improvement (I’ve gone cold turkey from 200mg a day about a week ago). I too, hope that you will regain your ability to experience all the deepest human emotions :), discover your passions and, as you said, love and laugh again. Cheers, Kara

      • Natalie April 18, 2016, 8:58 pm

        All of this scares me…I was diagnosed with Bipolar (my psychiatrist never told me if it was I or II) about 5 years ago and the only medication I’ve ever been on is Lamictal. I remember writing poems, writing books and just being a very creative, artsy person and now, I never do any of those things. I figured it was just growing up and changing interests but sometimes I miss the person I used to be.

        I thought it was just the Bipolar symptoms messing with me but after reading all these comments, I’m starting to think differently. I enjoy being stable and in a good mood all the time but I miss being creative, spontaneous and artsy. It’s like I had to trade one person out for the other.

        I wouldn’t want to go back to the unstable, unpredictable person I used to be. That person almost killed me but the person I am today is definitely different than who I feel like I really am. It makes me wonder if the treatment of Bipolar is linked to “medication” or “lifestyle”.

  • Grace April 5, 2016, 5:02 am

    Hi, I’m weening myself off Lamotrigine because I believe i’ve cured my epilepsy with a vegan diet. I’ve been seizure free for 3 years now. I was on 150mg 2X a day. I am doing this without a doctor knowing since he does not believe that its a good idea. That my seizures are controlled on drugs theres no reason to get rid of them.

    I am splitting my pill in 4 and lowering it a quarter of a pill every two weeks. Approximately 37mgs every two weeks. The first time I lowered it I felt so awake and alert and I didn’t feel drugged. It was amazing! I had never felt like I was ever drugged until I lowered my meds. I think that’s just because I’ve been medicated since I was a kid.

    It’s been a week and i’ve almost halved my daily dosage. The past month I’ve been extremely depressed. Thinking suicidal thoughts, but knowing that it’s the withdrawal. However since this last reduction I feel really angry. Like EXTREMELY ANGRY!!! Anything really sets me off. Sometimes I even feel angry (physical symptoms) when I have a clear head and cant think of any reason to be angry! This has put a strain on my marriage.

    I have some crying spells as well. Are there any other epileptics out there that have had these symptoms? The reason I’m wondering is that my family has a history of bipolar disorder and I’m worried I have it too but have just never noticed because I was on medication that controls bipolar disorder as well as epilepsy. I’m praying that these are just withdrawal symptoms.

  • Jennifer April 14, 2016, 7:33 pm

    So I was on Lamictal for 8 years. I suddenly couldn’t balance, walk straight, and my handwriting is almost illegible. I’ve had a zillion blood tests and there’s nothing wrong. Except there is. So I’m going off Lamictal and going on Lithium. Symptoms are getting worse.

  • Peter April 16, 2016, 6:02 pm

    This is a great article, very informative and helpful. I’ve been taking lamictal for almost three years due to a serious of provoked seizures relating to a severe ear infection. I built up my dosage by 25mg over 2 week periods being that at the peak my dosage was 100mg per day. Now I am reducing my dosage by 25mg per fortnight as per my GP’s advice.

    Currently I’m taking 50mg but will drop to 25mg next week. I have been experiencing some fatigue but lately I’ve been noticing I seem to be more alert, in some instances more attentive. My fiancé however thinks I’m more moody although generally I’d say I’m less moody. Could it be the case that my mind is a little fogged over or could I have a type of mental block over how I’m really feeling?

    Sounds strange even typing that but I honestly do feel happier and more content. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • Natalie April 18, 2016, 8:47 pm

    I’m so glad that other people out there have experienced the same thing. Currently, I’m on 225 mg of Lamictal. If I even miss just one dose, I experience all these side effects. It scares me that something can control me as much as it does already. I just about break into sheer panic when I forget my meds or run out accidentally.

    I just don’t think a medication that’s designed to help me should have such a strong hold over my life! My psychiatrist tells me all the time that Lamictal is perfectly safe and that I could even take it if I were pregnant. I just question how something like this can be safe… I enjoy how it makes me feel and I enjoy the relief I get from my bipolar symptoms but… I hate the control it has over me.

    I’m debating on going off of it because while I love it, I hate how I feel if I don’t have it. It’s almost like a double edged sword. Any advice?

  • Melanie Klein April 22, 2016, 1:10 pm

    Side effects of withdrawal always seem to sneak up on be and bite me – I don’t even realize there’s something wrong. Both my husband and my 14 year old daughter commented they thought I must be drunk. I’d just started reducing from 200 mg to 100 and I am dizzy, unbalanced, double vision.

    My daughter said I was weaving and (not with her in the car!) I turned onto a one way street the wrong way, then I got lost on the way home. Today I am not driving anywhere and I left a message for my psychiatrist. Very scary.

  • Mary Fallon April 22, 2016, 2:32 pm

    I’ve been on Lamictal for more than ten years. Now that my bipolar symptoms are in remission for many years as well, I’m weaning off the excessively high doses and probably excessive meds as well (I was on a 9-med cocktail). I am fairly certain that Lamictal is the cause of ten years of terrible lack of concentration. Has anyone experienced a RETURN of their concentration after the initial Lamictal withdrawal?

  • shelly April 25, 2016, 11:41 pm

    I thought I was going absolutely crazy! I tried to drop 100 mg a day on my own. I have been manic. So angry and having major panic attacks. After reading this article I realize I need to do this with my doctor and withdraw from the meds slowly. I have been on it for 20 years for epilepsy, but since I haven’t had a seizure in 15 years, I figure it is time to see if I am over it. :)

  • Sarah April 28, 2016, 3:36 pm

    I took a very small dose of Lamotragine for about 6 months. I tried to taper it over a week but the small amount it was difficult. I should have asked for a children’s prescription to taper longer. I’m very sensitive to meds and small doses are still effective for me probably because of how I metabolize meds is different than the average person.

    Anyway, it shouldn’t have been so bad at 12.5 mg but it was! The reason I stopped taking it and the thing that has lingered is heart palpitations and it’s been a little over 3 months. It mimics a mild version of a panic disorder. Basically because of major changes in my diet and feeling so overstimulated on the drug, we questioned my diagnosis that was the reason for taking it in the first place.

    I don’t believe I am bipolar or have a related disorder anymore and neither does my doc. I now am wondering if I have an anxiety and depression disorder (with elements of panic) or if I am still experiencing withdrawal syndrome. When I went off prozac years ago with no replacement drug I got dizzy for 3 months, so I have that history.

    It was worse the first couple weeks and then happened less and less frequently after that, but still, that is along time. This time, the heart palpitations have continued to get better this entire time but have not completely gone away. I’m hoping me posting this is helpful to some one and I wanted to know if anyone has had a similar experience.

  • Melissa May 4, 2016, 8:49 pm

    Hello everyone, I have been taking lamotrigine for 5 months slowly titrating up to 200mg a day. I am also taking valdoxan. Once I hit the 200mg mark (a week ago) I got the rash. ☹️ I had to stop immediately. I was told to stop within 3 days. 75, 50, 25 and then nothing. Given the short amount of time I’d been taking it and the dose I got to I’m hoping for minimal withdrawal effects.

    I’m really sad I got the rash. I felt like I was handling life so well… I was wondering if anyone else had to stop cold turkey like that and if you had awful side effects, or if anyone has an opinion on how long I took it for and whether I will have any at all? Thank you so much.

  • Keith May 9, 2016, 3:50 am

    I have only been one lamotrigine for 8 weeks. Started at 25mg 1st 2 weeks then 50mg another 2 and 100mg for 1 month. Doctor increased to 100mg which I only took for 3 days. The medicine was giving me awful side effects so doctor gave me a short taper plan.

    After 1st week I am at a dose of 50mg and I am extremely nauseous, migraine, unstable balance, blurred vision and constant panic attacks. Again I have only used this medicine for 8 weeks. Just wondering if anyone has or know of someone having these effects after very short term use.

  • Leonard May 16, 2016, 4:28 pm

    I have successfully whined myself off of 300mg lamictal. I was on 300 mg 1xd. My first try didn’t go very well down to 200mg for two weeks then 100mg two weeks then off… after several days I was feeling awful that I decided to go back on it. I began waking up at night due to my fingers going numb then later having the muscle twitch that usually we all experience.

    This was a very Big concern so I decided to on my own titrate down by 50 mg for two weeks at a time till I was off lamictal. I must say that the very fist 4-5 days were a little rough, but I had 5mg of diazepam that helped during those few days. I’m now totally free of the drug from hell with no side effects and am feeling great. FYI, I was having difficulty sleeping due to problems with my teenage son with some depression.

  • Melissa May 27, 2016, 12:20 pm

    I am weaning off of Lamictal after being on it for several years. I have bi-polar II, ADD & anxiety since I could remember. I stopped taking my laprazalam as my start and am doing well with being off of that. I have begun to ween off Lamictal about a week ago. In tandem, I am tapering off of Lexapro (slowly).

    I was going to go off 1 at a time but feel that closely monitoring myself and slowly doing both would be more effective ultimately. For about 6 months, I have been taking Folic Acid to help with anxiety and it does really take the edge off. In addition, taking 50 mg of zinc works well too. Zinc will help structurally heal tissues.

    Think of it like this… anytime we take a drug, it changes our neurological and physiological structure and pathways. All psych meds act as inhibitors by shutting off one pathway (receptor) so another pathway can produce more of what you may be lacking that theoretically causes your symptoms. The reason to taper off of these meds is to slowly allow the flow off pathways that have been ‘shut off’ to flow again which will have a affect on the hormone/pathway that we have been trying to re-uptake.

    This causes an imbalance in hormones within our bodies/brains. It takes roughly 90 days for cell regeneration; a constant occurrence within us to repair damaged cells so we can function. When we are changing our physiology by meds and then weening off to stop the meds, our bodies have to create new pathways to respond to the stimuli that we encounter on a daily basis – this is how we ‘cope’ with everything we experience.

    It is important at this time of weening that you take a herbal cleanser like Milk Thistle to help clear out toxins that have been stored in your liver and fatty tissues. L-Lysine also helps with mood and maintaining balance. In addition, increasing turmeric/curry, garlic and ginger is amazing, as well. These are natural anti-inflammatory herbs that help detox the digestive system.

    Also, drinking a teaspoon of baking soda in lukewarm water once a day will help as a cleanse and balance out your pH levels. Please, keep in mind that people that suffer from mental illness like bi-polar and anxiety do not have to be victims to the label by defining themselves by the label. What I mean is, see it for what it truly is – we have a lower threshold in the ability to be desensitized by what we witness in the world…

    We have a deeper and greater sense of compassion and are affected by what we see on an emotional level… this is our ‘mental illness’. In our daily lives, we do not have the opportunity to process feelings and experiences the way we need to. Our lives go by at fierce speeds. Our society instills in us that to react emotionally is weakness.

    Our TV shows, magazines and movies promote that people should be full of glee at every moment or that every problem can be solved within a half hour with gleaming results. This makes us feel odd, different, less-than which only adds to the depression because we feel we are different and weak. With all this said… please, take time for yourselves to process and purge your daily stimuli.

    Heal yourself and understand, we just have a super-power in feelings – this does not make us mutants… it makes us kind of unique and wonderful.

    • Laura June 17, 2016, 9:11 pm

      Thanks so much, so encouraging.

    • Ted June 30, 2016, 8:15 pm

      Melissa, Could you stay on this thread often please? I really think your knowledge and encouraging spirit would help me and others on this thread. It might also help with you during your taper. Ted

  • robert May 29, 2016, 2:31 am

    About 3 months ago after taking lamictal for 8 years I decided I wanted to get off this stuff. Over the years I became severely depressed, no more interest in anything, double vision, the list went on and on. I was on 200mg I started going down 25 mg every 2 or 3 weeks.

    While I was tapering down my brother died a month ago, it was expected as we had him on home hospice. I have been crying severely everyday since. I don’t know If I am grieving this hard or withdrawing.I lost the will to live. Going to grief groups with incredible crying spells. I am having every symptom people have described.

    I am now on 100mg and going totally off this within 1- 2 months. There was really no reason to go on living, I have never had sadness like this in my life. Thank you for article and comments. Maybe it is not the end of the world. I am withdrawing big time.

    • paul May 30, 2016, 2:13 am

      Don’t ever think your life is over. Life will only be amazing, and stay like that, when you reach enlightenment. I recommend you read the book “The Power of Now”. I’m reading it now and it helped me amazingly. It will help you to not let the past (as in your case of immediate family member death) affect your present.

      I guarantee when you start being mindful and living in the present, the opportunities are endless. Age, race, sex, money, none of that matters in the enlightened world. Don’t fear or worry about anything. Accept everything and be mindful. I recommend you go to a support group or seek help from another psychiatrist.

      I don’t really even recommend medication and I am even on lamictal now but I don’t find that it helps me (150mg). If anything it made me rage more. Good luck with everything and realize theres a lot of caring people in this world that want and can help you. There are MANY possibilities of treatment in the world of psychiatry.

      If no therapy or medication works, they even have ECT, DBS, and psychosurgery as last resort options. But if you don’t have any really mental issue (I understand you are grieving, but that is normal, just follow through with it) then I recommend just individual or group therapy at a good facility.

  • Tonny June 6, 2016, 5:07 am

    I’ve taken 25mg for a month, with no problems, and no relief with my PTSS. When I went to 50mg, the PTSS was worse than before. I was having nightmares, and I went back down to 25mg, and will stop this drug in one week. It did nothing for me, and I think I’m just going to give up and take an antidepressant. I really didn’t want to take any due to the ED experienced with these drugs, but I guess you have to give up one thing to relief another. Also, have MS, so if it’s not one thing its another…

  • Victoria June 26, 2016, 1:44 pm

    I’m thinking about coming off after 9 yrs because I’m experiencing migraines, memory loss, tingling in the face and dizziness on the drug. This article and feedback has me in great fear as I’m not sure how I will do my job or interact in my IT job without getting fired.

    • Ted June 30, 2016, 8:11 pm

      Victoria: It is OK to get multiple sources of advice, have a good support network while doing this and to go very slow. And yes, it can be scary reading about and doing a lamictal taper. If you deicde to do a taper, don’t be scared to readjust upwards so you can manage your job and responsibilities. Prayers and keep us updated. When I did my taper before, I used these forums as a source of journaling and support. It seemed to help me a lot. Ted

  • Alex June 27, 2016, 10:37 am

    If it helps, I couldn’t find many with this withdrawal side effect. I have an insane itching with actually no sign of rash, but it’s all over my hands and feet. Was on 200 then slowly down to 150 then 100 then 75 then just tried only 50 and oh my god my skin is freaking out. Hands, top of my feet.

    It’s like there’s poison ivy everywhere but there isn’t. Just insane itching, like I’ve been bit by mosquitoes just all over my hands. High of Depakote from 1500 all the way down to 500 over the course of 3 years after 6 years on both Depakote and Lamictal. Hoping to make that last slow withdrawal off of both.

    But it’s 3am and my skin is itching like crazy so I am back to 75mg of lamictal and took a 125 more of Depakote. Not sure which is causing the itching but I am begging for it to stop. I have a feeling it’s this last steps of going from 75mg to 50 or less of the Lamictal.

    • Ted June 30, 2016, 6:45 pm

      Hi Alex. I remember itching when I came off similar meds before. It has been a common subject in threads I have read of poeople withdrawing from such drugs. Hard to say whether it is the lamictal or depakote.

      I am on day two of Lamictal withdrawal. I have gotten off of Neurontin, Seroquel and Lamictal all before. It wasn’t easy- but I did it. Using forums like this is what got me through.

      I swithced my lamictal from 200 mg all at night to 100 mg three times a day yesterday. So far today, I don’t remember if I have taken any or not. I am on three other nasty meds, so I have been oversedated at night and in the morning. I have been taking all of them at night.

      I don’t how to do this withdrawal. It all seems so complicated- especially having 4 I want off of. A year long or more taper seems so awful, but an all cold turkey approach won’t work either. Ted

    • Ted July 1, 2016, 5:48 pm

      Alex, Yesterday as a trial, I made a 33% drop in Lamictal on a one time basis, within 16 hours I was itching all over. When I redosed with Lamictal, the itching went away within 2 hours or less. Depakote may do it too – don’t know.

  • Ted June 30, 2016, 8:52 pm

    Presently I take 300 mg of Lamictal, 1200 Neurontin, 200 Seroquel, and 1 mg Klonopin – all at bedtime. I am overly sedated at night and groggy in the morning and it is probably negatively affecting me during the day. This may be a novel approach, but I am going to start decreasing the night time doses of all 4, and then add two day time dosing of all 4.

    So about 8pm, 11am, and 3:30 pm The night time dosing will be about 75 percent of each of the 4, (this should keep me sleeping better than if I cut the night time dose hard) and then about 12.5% of each of the 4 at the two day time doses (that should keep me from being too groggy during the day). From there in about a week to three weeks, I hope to then start slowly decreasing somehow.

    I am planning on not weaning myself on one at a time, but instead slowly taper down all 4 simultaneously. If I start withdrawing hard, I will bump up to the level I was before, and stay there for ten days or so, then try again- or some variety of that- I will just see how it goes, I have written it down, so I will know how much I am taking.

    The plan is to be off all of it within 75 days- but this may be too fast. If I start withdrawal beyond about medium, I will taper back up for awhile – If I can’t sleep or my initial diagnosis stuff creeps back in – I will taper back up. I will make sure I stay out of trouble. If I need my physician’s help, I will go in on walk in hours and ask for help.

    I have gotten a book on how to get to the root of my symptoms and supplement with exercise, relaxation, supplements, therapy, etc. I also plan to use this thread and others like it. I came up with this plan after I tried a 100 mg drop in Lamictal and started withdrawal within about 4-10 hours.

  • Ted July 1, 2016, 5:55 pm

    I am tired of being over-sedated and other symptoms, so I have initiated a taper – but it is aggressive. 25 % decrease in Lamictal and Klonopin, and a 12.5 % decrease in Seroquel and Neurontin. I am on about the 24th hour of such taper. Awoke noticeably less sedated this morning.

    I was on a only taking meds at bedtime routine, but have switched to taking a mild dose of three of them around noon and then the rest of my new total amount at bedtime. I won’t know which one is causing the withdrawal symptoms when they pop up – and I anticipate them popping up soon. I will remain safe and get back on all my original doses if I am not doing well with the withdrawal.

    If I can just get through the first 5-10 days – that will be the toughest time I think. I will adjust as neccessary and stay safe. The Klonopin withdrawal won’t hit for 2-3 days – the others will hit pretty quick. Already getting some headache and some diarrhea. Ted

  • Ted July 1, 2016, 9:19 pm

    The lamictal itching has begun. Decreased by 25% today. It doesn’t seem to take but less than a day for the itching to start once a taper has started – I am probably tapering too fast, but I am tired of being over-sedated and want my life back. I am watching this carefully and will be safe.

  • Daniel July 2, 2016, 1:17 pm

    I am tapering off Lamictal. My normal dose of L is 200mg, and I am now down to 50mg. I plan to be off the drug completely in less than two weeks. I have noticed a deep, dark depression, and some irritability, since going down to the current dose. But I haven’t experienced any of the other symptoms on this list.

    Initially the physical symptoms were really messing with my body because I was doing the reductions rather quickly, but my body has adjusted and now I’m feeling better. It’s just the depression is pretty strong. Nonetheless I am glad to be almost off this drug. Even if I am depressed the rest of my life, it’s something I can cope with, I think.

    I don’t want to depend on a pill to make me happy. Better living through chemistry may be the American way, but I want to find a different way to cope with my (many) problems. The drugs have held me back in so many ways and even the joy and happiness that the drugs produced (a happy go lucky personality) was totally false and not connected to my soul.

    I wish everyone the best in whatever they decide to do with their Lamictal. At least consult a doctor about how to do it properly. They may not know what they’re doing, but at least in theory they should be more informed than the “withdrawal experts” on the Internet.

  • Brianna July 2, 2016, 6:52 pm

    I’ve had to quit cold turkey 2 days ago since I have not been able to find a new psychiatrist. As mine stopped taking my insurance. Today I woke up feeling very lethargic and high anxiety. I’m hoping I don’t experience any severe or life threatening withdrawals. :(

  • Ashley Gallaher August 4, 2016, 6:02 am

    I have been in Lamictal 6+ years. Fairly certain it’s causing me a mild anaphylactic shock reaction. I’m concerned about having to slowly get off while dealing with this swelling tongue, throat, and sometimes face. I’ve been in ER, after hours, and on steroids twice. It’s hit me the last 2 nights that it could be my Lamictal.

  • Tess August 5, 2016, 3:02 pm

    My doctor had me on 200 milligrams of Lamictal for about 6 years. I decided to go off of it so she had me cut down to a half for one week then a quarter for one week then off completely. I have the withdrawal symptoms which are irritability, some sadness, headache, some nausea, and being tired. Also a huge lack of concentration especially at work and getting my thoughts and words together.

    I keep wanting to go back on the meds because it’s affecting my work and my disposition. I’m wondering if I ever should have been on it in the first place. It helped but I think it was starting to not help. This article gave me a lot of good information. I have hope that I can get through it. Just praying my job isn’t affected by it much longer!

  • Lucy August 19, 2016, 7:22 am

    I’ve been on 200mg of Lamictal daily for 6yrs. My memory started deteriorating faster than normal. Both my short and long term memory have been effected; it’s more than the “I forgot the milk” forgetfulness. I had points where I had no clue what someone had just told me, or things that happened when I was a child.

    I talked to my psychiatrist, assuming that he’d say it was the Xanax that I take for sleep, but he recognized this to be lamictal right away. He compared the lamictal memory lapses to “Swiss cheese”. Now, I’m titrating down to completely stop. I already knew that I’d have to titrate; when I miss a dose, even by 1hr, I get flu like symptoms. I’m down from 200mg to 50mg in less than 2wks.

    When I initially dropped 50mg, I had flu symptoms for 5 days. The second 50mg drop, I developed a small rash on the side of my chest. I’m on the third drop now. Now I’m experiencing terrible mood swings and mental changes. I’m scared about what my life will be like if I don’t regain mental clarity.

  • Dave Hamburg jr August 30, 2016, 3:49 pm

    I am on lamotrigine for over 2 years now. I am on 150mg prescribed by the VA for mood stabilization and I have not started to step it down yet but I am going to start today, I am also on Quetiapine but am almost off of that now. I have been having bad head aches loss of grip in my hands and loss of balance. I can no longer afford either of these meds from the VA so in need to stop getting them. I have PTSD from my service but the VA Administration will not recognize it due to my experiences as a child. I just actually wanted to say thank you for the info it has given me a lot to watch out for.

  • Donna August 30, 2016, 6:19 pm

    I have been on Lamictal for several years. I notice whenever I miss a few doses I feel very tired with no energy. I hear a strange sound, I can’t explain it. It reminds me of static. I also feel disconnected somehow. I need to be more careful to make sure I have enough so I won’t run out.

  • Kris October 13, 2016, 6:20 pm

    My son has ADHD, high-functioning autism, and had two seizures separated by six months when in high school so was automatically prescribed 100 mg of Lamictal. He’s been taking this drug for three years with zero seizures since that time.

    Recently, partially because he has ADHD, he forgot to renew his prescription for Lamictal. Didn’t tell me about it. He’s been off Lamictal for two months and I am only now finding this out. But the kicker is that he has had NO ADVERSE REACTION. Zero withdrawal symptoms – the only symptom has been a clearer head and feeling more active, more alive, less “fog-brained.”

    Now we are stuck with trying to decide whether my son should stay off the Lamictal and just forget about epilepsy drugs. Some doctors would withdraw a person from epilepsy drugs if they’ve gone seizure free for three years… so, maybe my son should just do that.

  • Cory November 2, 2016, 12:13 am

    Was on this drug for over a year. Decided to go completely off of it (200mg was my final when I stopped). I’ve been off it for a couple of weeks and now this helps explain my tingling sensations. Also lacking ability to concentrate. Thanks for helping me cope. Been a hell of a day!

  • Brittany November 14, 2016, 3:10 am

    I am a 24 year old female, who got diagnosed with Bipolar 1 at age 11. I’ve been on the combination medications Lamictal (50 mg.) Lithium (1200 mg.) and Abilify(10 mg.) for several years. I made an impulsive decision to quit all these meds cold turkey, without consulting a doctor, about three months ago. Ever since, I’ve been experiencing unbearable stomach pains and have recently been going downhill, not being able to eat.

    I was seen by a GI doctor, who performed an endoscopy and colonoscopy, which both tests came back normal. In addition, I had gotten an ultrasound done at my local ER, which also came back normal. The only thing that stood out was a mild gluten sensitivity that had shown up in my blood work. As soon as I had received this diagnosis, I completely cut gluten out from my diet, but still experience unbearable abdominal pain.

    Could my symptoms be withdrawal related from abruptly quitting all my meds? How long could this last and is there any solution in the mean time that could help me feel better? I am miserable every day and losing hope. The only time I don’t feel pain is when I’m sleeping, so I sleep in excessive amounts. I’ve also noticed a drastic weight loss in a shorter amount of time.

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