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.
229 thoughts on “Lamictal Withdrawal Symptoms: List Of Possibilities”
This is such a great forum. I have been taking 100mg of Lamictal XR for 8 years for seizure disorder. I am going to be coming off of the medication and my doctor has stated for me to go to 75mg for two weeks, 50mg for two weeks, and then 25 mg for two weeks and then none.
Since I take extended release I don’t have the option to cut the pill. Does anybody have experience with tapping off of the extended release type? Based on everything I’ve read, I’m worried that 25 mg at a time of a decrease could be too much.
My daughter who has been on 400 mg daily of lamictal suddenly stopped taking it without our knowledge. Then she started taking her full 400mg dose. We have no idea how long she was off her meds. Only know she has been back on for about 14 days now. She went from being ok to drive and just very anxious to extreme nausea around the time she started her full dose.
Now she can barely function – stands in one spot for extended periods. Doesn’t participate (well barely does) when asked questions, stares into space, eats very little – just stirs the food round and round. Has small sections of time where she will almost smile and can carry on conversation, then slips back into a fog.
Very difficult to get her to even go to the bath and get in the shower. Heart breaking. No income, no insurance. A new provider added 50mg Zoloft to try and eliminate the fog. She said no voices, no hallucinations, no rash. Just feels blank. Any feedback on how long it may take to get her back to “normal”?
She has been on lamictal for several years – not sure what doses. After college she chose to not stay in touch – but just on occasion. Has lost her job, may have “Cushing’s”, gained almost 100 pounds in 4 years, moved out from a 5 year relationship that was highly stressful and now fears another round of being hospitalized. We don’t know what to do or where to turn.
Hello, I have been on all different kinds of meds for 5 years now, and this sounds to me like WAY too high of a dosage for her. 200-400mg is about average for a therapeutic dose. 0-400 was probably a shock to her system. I would recommend decreasing her dosage to 200, or even off of it completely, if this is her reaction.
This sounds extreme and I would not continue taking it, if I had these symptoms. She sounds so vacant and empty, something VERY wrong when you are taking meds. A good doc would never allow this to continue :( You said that you are disconnected, so that could be hard, but a medication-fry like that can be really harmful to an entire life!
Also, 100lbs could come off more easily when she is off the meds. There IS a way to get her back! This is some BS that we have to be put through, but I hope that you can find a way to help her and get her back on track. Come at it from a place of gentle love and care, and I wish you ALL the luck with her. :) I’m sure she’s a lovely lady!!!
Also! Zoloft is PROBABLY not going to help in this situation. When she is Vacant like this, adding an extra psychiatric med will most likely not help. It’s natural for them to add another med (hello, schmoney!) but I would really consider before adding any other meds. ☺️?
I’m on about 5 meds right now, luckily I’m a badaa and can take it, but at some point enough is enough and I think our brains need a break. Nature and our bodies are incredible, and I know what I am doing, personally. :)
Provider is taking me off lamotrigine. I only take 25 in morning, 25 in evening. She’s tapering me down to 25 in the evening. I have been on it for about 2 years or a little less.
I’ve experienced a some brain fog, headaches (which I very rarely have) and what feels like face scorching ( like when you open up an oven door and your face is far too close). You don’t have to be on high doses to experience even tapering withdrawal
I was on 300mg of Lamotrigine for about 3 years and Fluoxetine (Prozac) 40mg for almost the same time. I’ve decided to go cold turkey on both. I stopped taking them last Thursday. It’s now been a week and all I’ve experienced is feeling tired. I’m still happy and not regretting stopping…
I told my best friend yesterday who wasn’t happy with me, but because I’m stubborn she knows I won’t go see a doc. I’ve read about the possibilities of having a seizure, although I don’t know what to believe. Has anyone else gone cold turkey on Lamictal?
Debs, I saw your comment/question re:going cold turkey. I have done that this summer, in mid-June, with Lamictal only. I continued to take the SNRI (Cymbalta) which I also take. I thought I was fine, but I was wrong. I basically was too impaired to know that I was impaired. I urge you to go see a doctor about tapering off this stuff properly.
The problem is, by the time you figure out you have a problem after going cold turkey, you then have to live with the problem while you wait: 1) for a doctor’s appointment 2) for the meds to take effect 3) wait while you work back up to whatever dose is therapeutic for you.
I had weird symptoms, trouble walking at one point, as well as extreme fatigue and inability to think, but I wasn’t working or going to school this summer, so I thought I was just lazy and going back to school would fix it (I was SOOOO WRONG).
It got to the point that I was terrified I gave myself brain damage from going cold turkey. Unfortunately I didn’t connect this problem to quitting the drug until 2.5 months later after school began again and when it took me twice as long to do homework (if I could do it at all).
Now I may fail the term because I literally could not function well enough to keep up at school for 3 weeks while I: 1) noticed the problem 2) finally realized it was lack of lamictal causing the problems 3) got ahold of the Dr and got the prescription renewed 4) waited for it to take effect.
I’m back on lamictal, slowly tapering back up to my usual 200 mg dose. The slightly good news is that on just 25mg I function much better and it appears the problem is fixed by restarting the drug, although I have several weeks before I’m back to a normal dose. The bad news is this term is going to be extremely stressful as I try to catch back up and I may fail 1 or more classes due to my mistake of going cold turkey.
And due to my program, that would mean not graduating with my class, which will suck mightily. I also behaved so erratically before going back on meds that I had to disclose to my school, something I have never done before. This is not fun, I highly do not recommend it.
I don’t usually comment on these but many people seem very knowledgeable and I have never come across so many people who are getting OFF their meds without being very “anti-pharm”. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 16 and dysthymia (long term depression) at 14.
I am now 21 and by the grace of God I am a much different person than 4 years ago. I have been on carbamazepine, depakote, Prozac (YIKES) and found my miracle in 75mg of lamictal. Before this point I was taking extremely high doses to manage my moods. Today I am 5 years into therapy, heavily supported by my soon-to-be husband and new family.
Jesus saved my soul and I can’t believe I was the person I was. I still experience some amplified feelings and I cry more than most people I know. But no more than an “empath” or a “sensitive soul”. I am consolable now, I am reasonable and self-aware. My concern is, being 21 and wanting to start a life and have babies, I want to get off this med.
I constantly wonder if this weird feeling like there’s cotton in my head is my medication. I wonder if there is more to life than this. But I’m also terrified because the last time I wasn’t on meds I was cutting myself up and overdosing on pills to end my life. I don’t feel like I could ever do that again… but sometimes bipolar is so unexpected and there’s never a “right time”.
I was told from a young age that medication was forever and worked for years to accept that I wasn’t broken or wrong for taking them. I’m in the nursing program and want to get pregnant next year. I don’t want to be medicated while pregnant or breastfeeding.
I want to know if I can do this on my own with just DBT and god. But my worst fear is that I will skyrocket into mania and disappear from home for three days and not remember where I went, or depression and try to end it all. But every single day I imagine getting off of it and realizing I feel better… that I am not that same girl and even though I needed that help at the time, I don’t anymore.
Brooke, It sounds like you want to be med free, from the Lamictal, and I applaud you for how far you have come, and wish you well in starting a family. I am one who commented about a month ago, about tapering off, finally doing so, and going through a very severe depression.
I did this with my PCP’s knowledge, but did not follow up with him, just tapered over 9 months and thought I was doing well. Looking back, I was not, and oh how I wish I had done this supervised by a mental health professional! Mental health is an inside job, but we need other’s input, as we are somewhat blind to our moods while caught up in them, and our hopes to be med free overrun reality sometimes.
I am happy for those who can be med free, but it’s not the end of the world if one can’t. I am titrating back on Lamictal. Like you, when I first had an almost miraculous response to it 11 years ago, I was so grateful to have myself back. I cant help but wonder, do I truly have a mood disorder that requires the med, or does my brain now not work well without it, chicken or the egg scenario.
Does it really matter? Not really. Almost two weeks in to the titration I am hopeful and not suicidal. That is what matters. My bottom line is, do taper with competent medical supervision, and be gentle with yourself if you discover the med is a necessary life enhancer/saver. Best of luck!
Hey – I just wanted to let you know that I was on Zoloft and klonopin with my now amazing perfect 5 year old. I am pregnant again and both my OBGYN and psych (both trained at NYU with great residencies after) both advised me to stay on my 100mg of lamictal and 4mg klonopin.
The information out there is sparse due to lack of controlled studies. Whatever you do or choose just know you don’t have to suffer through a manic or depressive episodes or withdrawal. There are options.
I am so sorry for all the suffering I am reading about due to Lamictal withdrawal but at the same time I am comforted to know that what I’m going through is common, and now I have a little hope it will eventually end. I was taking 375mg of Lamictal daily for 7 years due to a severe bout of depression I experienced in 2011.
I have ongoing major depressive disorder that I have suffered from since my teens, I am in my 60’s now. My doctor started weaning me off Lamictal in January until I got down to 25mg three weeks ago. I had been doing great titrating down, or at least I thought I had, until I read about the flu-like feeling and extreme fatigue which I experienced the whole month of May.
But now that I have been completely off the med for a week I am having severe anxiety, extremely irritable, anti-social, nightmares, ringing in my ears, mild depression, mild nausea and my concentration is absolutely horrible, my brain is in a worse fog than when my depression gets really bad.
I’m hoping this will end soon. I thought surely 5 months of downward titration would keep me from experiencing these symptoms, but apparently not.
Terri. Thank you for your post, and I am replying with such similar discontinuation syndrome symptoms (had no idea there was such a thing, and I’m a retired nurse!) it’s almost verbatim. I’ve done my taper over 9 months, on Lamotrigine for almost 11 yrs, off as of today for 12 days.
I thought I’d home free with a taper that long too! I’m so glad I found this site, and this article, and now I feel much hope. I too am in my sixties, and I do believe we can age as healthfully as possible. I wont give up! And don’t you either, if that’s ok to say.
I’m not as inclined to think that I should jump into getting back on RX, after reading the author’s and other comments now. I’d like to hear how you’re doing, if you’d like.
I’m currently withdrawing from 200 mgs after having been on it for 30 years. Day 4 at 175 mgs. Experiencing extreme hot flashes, body pain, ratcheting muscle pain and spasms, headaches, nausea and heavy headed and more. I’m getting sicker by the day hoping for some relief.
My husband is very supportive and we call it an endurance test. I’m determined to get off this stuff as I have come to realize the dangers and unknown effectiveness of the drug. I don’t have seizures and never have. It was prescribed as a booster with every antidepressant I’ve been on over the last 30 years.
The world of psychiatric medications and their effectiveness is not a perfect science and in my case extremely ineffective. Kelly Brogan’s book “A mind of your own” is so insightful and helpful. I find myself second guessing “is it me or the drug withdrawal”.
Do I have the flu or is it withdrawal? I believe it’s withdrawal. My trust in doctors has diminished and I will never feel or assume they have my best interest at heart. Big pharmaceutical companies have made a big mistake in their education of doctors who regularly prescribe such dangerous drugs.
One day at a time for now. It’s by far the most difficult and painful time in my life. Discontinuing meth and cocaine was easy in comparison.
I’m 65 years young, always very active and mindful of diet and exercise even while dealing with depression, bipolar and anxiety diagnoses. My previous comments don’t begin to describe the difficulty of lamictal withdrawal. Hang in there people. You’ll be better off in the long run.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS. That statement applies to all of life’s difficult issues drug related or not. The world of psychiatric medicine is dangerous and there are too many unknown side effects. The effectiveness of these drugs is unknown and by definition should not be prescribed period.
We are NOT lab animals we are human beings. Shame on drug companies for putting these types of medications out there and convincing our doctors to prescribe them. Big pharmaceutical companies need to be held accountable for such poison ☠️ being arbitrarily prescribed by our doctors based on trials and information they provide.
My life has been put on hold until I can function as a productive human being. I’m turning 65 in 1 week and am trying to deal with what is probably the worst most painful and difficult feat of my life.
How is it going? I’m just starting to taper, and am having the same experience. So I’m wondering if it gets better?
Hi to all that have shared here. I bookmarked this article at the beginning of April 2018 as after a couple of trial runs I was able to completely come off this drug and have been drug free since that time. So three months out now. I have an unusual story to share.
I began the teachings of Eckhart Tolle in March of 2017. And also, have been a student of a Course in Miracles for over two decades. Between the two, it came clear this drug was interfering with my ability to be present.
Watching Eckhart daily for a over a year now and last month attending one of his retreats in Canada and then traveling forth to another two day event with him and his wife, Kim, I had a lot of support from other attendees while I was still experiencing effects of withdrawal.
When I first came off the drug in April, I was aware I had a good six weeks to shake and bake before flying out to the retreat and good thing. Severe panic attacks the first couple of days totally off the medication that were ongoing for several weeks.
Practicing “witnessing” rather than believing the thought I was, the panic attacks decreased tremendously and I learned how to watch them occur without reacting even more so and allowed the condition of them to just rock and roll. I also watched his wife’s video on presence through movement (a shaking exercise) that can be found on his website which enabled me to literally shake through and shake out bodily sensations from the withdrawal.
I became present in these midnight sessions with her while the body flailed from the withdrawal of having taking a high dosage of lamotrigine for 11 years. I weaned off the drug, yet quickly. I began 2 weeks prior to stopping altogether. I would not recommend this for just anyone.
I had a year of practicing presence with Eckhart under my belt and a deep spiritual connection to the deeper dimension within me. Which thus led to my dis-identification with this drug and why I unconsciously chose to take it in the first place. Several weeks ago I was in class with Kim Eng, Eckhart’s wife which was a miracle in itself as the class had on 30 participants in Newfoundland.
Up close and personal and now doing presence movement to release the pain body in person with her rather then watching her thru a screen. I was able to be touched by her and speak with her personally about the fact I was in withdrawal from this very powerful drug. I have cleansed through juicing for 3 months and incorporated amino acid supplements, (basically eating plant based diet), recommended by a book called the “Mood Cure” as well and finished a liver cleanse.
Committed to 90 minute intensive massage, weekly, to move stuck energy And I have prayed daily for guidance as to what other help I can give the body to now get this drug out of my system and the internal guide within has directed me all the way. I am not out of the woods from periods of confusion, fatigue – but no more panic attacks.
I have periods of deep calm and well being, knowing I with the help of the Holy Spirit, chose what was right for me. I hold incredible reverence for you all here. I hope people will continue to share…
You sound manic to me, or at very least mind altered. It’s not normal to obsessively follow and practice something like this and see it as the source of your salvation. Many mentally ill people need medication on a daily basis or their symptoms will return.
I would urge anyone reading this NEVER to quit your mediation with consulting with a medical expert first – therein lies the danger. I know you have said you don’t recommend this to just anyone but people will be searching threads alone feeling absolutely dreadful and desperate for what seems like a viable solution.
Eckhart Tolle is great but reading his work won’t take away your delusional thoughts, stop you from entering a psychosis, or take away suicidal tendencies. Listen, I understand you’ve had everything taken away from you – your peace of mind and security – and thinking you have a degree of control over how you get well again is the most soul affirming option for you at this stage.
I totally get it. All of these things you are doing are great & I would tell anyone to have a go – but they must NOT be used as an attempt to replace medication you need to make yourself more stable.
I have been on Lamictal for more than 10 years but at a low dose of 12.5 because I’m super sensitive and have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I just don’t think it’s doing anything for me at this point and have been slowly weaning to where I’m probably at about 6.25. Am guessing as it’s compounded into a cream form and is so tiny, it’s impossible to measure.
I can agree with what most of you wrote, this is hell. The fatigue and brain fog are unreal – not to mention the insomnia. Still, I’m going to persevere and plan on staying clear of these kinds of meds. It helps so much to read your posts and know that I’m not alone with this.
Hello, I started withdrawing from Lamictal about 6 months ago from 200 mg once daily to the present at 75 mg daily. I notice EXTREME, I could jump- out-of-my-skin anxiety during the first few days of tapering. I was going to taper 12.5 mg (I cut my 25mg in half) every 2 weeks but I am thinking I should find another plan because I am in a lot of distress.
I am not bipolar. I have anxiety and ADD but it was heightened when my child was debilitated due to a mental illness (we are not biologically related). I was given a biploar NOS dx and given the lamictal. That was 10 years ago and now that my child has moved out on her own, I am getting my life back and just went off 400 mg of Lyrica to nothing in 6 months and was fine.
The lamictal withdrawal is a special kind of hell. I think my brain became so used to it that my neuroreceptors are retaliating. I am so done with meds. If I find that after stopping the lamictal that I really do have a mood DO then by all means I will embrace it but I don’t think so. Meanwhile this is hell and would not wish it on my worst enemy!
I am currently tapering off lamictal 200mg and I’ve been on it for about 7 months. My experience with lamictal has been nothing but a setback. I was prescribed it this summer after having a mental meltdown, followed by severe anxiety attacks, major depression, intense mood swings, delusional and intrusive thoughts.
Prior to these episodes I quit heavy drinking and kratom use cold turkey, got dumped by my then girlfriend, and had to dropped out of school because my brain chemistry went totally out of control. I had to move back home and live with my mom…that’s how bad it got. As I was starting lamictal and titrating up, I would wake up in the middle of the night 2,3,4 am and not be able to fall back asleep.
I was prescribed benzos to help me sleep during the process and ended up taking Ativan every night for two months and then started abusing them and spiraling downwards into drinking. I ended up in a detox facility where they performed a rapid detox on me, essentially cutting me off cold turkey. That withdrawal was a f-cking nightmare.
Anyways since the lamictal didn’t seem to do anything for me but cause, severe dizziness, memory loss, brain zaps, tremors, and extra depression I decided to withdrawal. The first taper I went down 50mgs and freaked out, and threw my phone in the ocean. I was paranoid, angry, depressed and delusional. So I decided it would be safer to taper 25mgs for two weeks at a time.
I am now down to 50mgs starting tomorrow and will be off in 4 more weeks. Insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, and a dark depression have been my main side effects, but tapering slower helps. I notice each time I drop a dose I feel I come out of a fog, the depression is bad the first week of each drop, then seems to stable out towards the end of the second week.
I’m going med free because these type of illnesses can be managed with diet exercise and amino acid therapy along with vitamins. Things that have helped me tremendously through this time have been: L-theanine, ashwagandha, magnesium calm, CBD oil for anxiety (the magnesium calm is like a natural benzo). Fish oil, turmeric, b-complex, zinc, NAC for depression and of course eating a green rich, organic diet, with clean meats, and no sugars.
Hi Everyone, Thank you for all the amazing and compassionate comments. I have been taking Lamictal for 20 years, as I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. It really helped for a while. I originally took 250mg but went down to 200mg quite some time ago. I don’t recall experiencing any withdrawal symptoms when I did that. On the advice of my GP, I weaned myself off of Lexapro. The withdrawal symptoms for that were hellish, but they subsided.
I highly recommend looking into Dr. Kellyann Petrucci and Dr. Anna Cabeca for their advice on diet. I switched to their products from other products I was using and I like them much better. Dr. Anna does a course on menopause that I found incredibly helpful. For women around age 50, fatigue, fog brain, and irritability may be part of menopause. There are natural ways to combat those symptoms, mostly by changing your diet.
I am in perimenopause, and had been barely able to function from fatigue. I lost 15 lbs by cutting sugar, alcohol, and grains. I also reduced the amount of fruit I eat. So it’s mostly protein and vegetables. I have also worked to balance my body’s pH, and am taking priobiotics. I went on hormone replacement and got a CPAP machine. I got my energy back. So I felt it was time to try to go off of Lamictal.
Several weeks ago, I reduced my Lamictal by 25mg. I am experiencing anger, fatigue, and sadness. It’s not debilitating, but I’m glad to know what the source is now. I’m going to double-down on my diet, which is mostly ketogenic. Since I was able to go off of Lexapro successfully, I feel confident these symptoms won’t last. I don’t want to stay on this drug for the rest of my life.
I stopped lamictal fully about 2 weeks ago and before that was at 25mg for two weeks. I was on about 100mg for 7 years. Has anyone have severe exhaustion and fatigue? Feeling like a virus. Sore throat? Any insight would be amazing. Thank you.
Same situation here. Was on it for 1 and a half year 125 mg. Went from 25 to 0 around 2 weeks ago and experiencing the same thing + low blood pressure (might be unrelated).
I had only been on lamictal for two weeks when I started experiencing flu like symptoms. When I increased from 25mg to 50mg. Truly thought this was the flu because it was flu season. By the time I was up to 150mg I was feeling the worst I had ever felt.
Started lowering my dosage, now I have been completely off for 3 days. Still not feeling my best, but better. Obviously, this medication is not for me. It was prescribed as a mood stabilizer.
Yes I have had a sore throat and felt so sick as if I had the flu. Headache, nausea, and just feeling very very sick. Severe exhaustion and fatigue. I just have absolutely no energy to do anything and collapse after being up 15 minutes.
I never usually write on forums (I’m too lazy to register partly! Eek!) but I was really moved by so many comments and found it a real comfort to know that I’m not alone. So sorry to hear how terrible and debilitating withdrawing from this drug has been for so many of you. I’m currently coming off of lamictal at a dosage of 200mg daily. Also 300 mg of venlafaxine, another awful drug to come off, for bipolar II with recurrent depression.
I know it’s maybe not advisable to stop these medications at the same time but I’ve had enough of them and want out. I’m down to 100mg of lamictal and 225mg of venlafaxine (Effexor) and am feeling a bit better. But the comments about the side affects from discontinuation coming late really scare me. I haven’t been able to come off of lamictal in the past and after going cold turkey one time due to no meds, was shocked at how ill I felt.
Literally manic and mad. So far I’m a bit dizzy with pressure in my head and very tired. But I feel my old personality is already re emerging. I am crying a lot but honestly, it’s a relief to be able to feel again, after feeling numb for so long. These meds helped initially but after a while they always stop working and my depression gets worse than ever.
So I’d rather face that depression med free if it’s there anyway despite ingesting all these chemicals. One thing that I know sounds crazy but has been invaluable in helping not just mentally but with other physical ailments is celery juicing every single morning. It was recommended by many holistic practitioners to me and helped a friend recover from awful physical illness when the doctors pretty much wrote her off.
Also when it felt like withdrawal was really difficult to cope with, my diet has made a huge difference. An acquaintance of mine who is a doctor is bipolar and has come off of all meds with little symptoms and no longer has anything like the episodes of bipolar she used to get, has done it purely through food and supplements. But she changed her diet in a big way. Our guts play a major part in depression as well as many other illnesses.
I am not advocating stopping meds in any way but what I am realising is that what I eat has played a major part in my recovery. As some others have mentioned above, magnesium has helped lots. Also with aiding sleep. A really good B vitamin complex also. But I cannot always afford these things. I feel awful for those of you in the U.S. and other countries where if you don’t have insurance suddenly or cannot afford medical care, you are just left med free, having to manage this alone.
I now realise that here in the UK, where despite moaning about our NHS service, we are very lucky to receive medical care free of charge. It’s shocking how some of you have gone through this and I really feel for you. Another thing someone mentioned is walking. Sometimes when highly depressed or anxious or having no energy, forcing myself out of the door, even if for only 15 mins of walking helps, also with sleep.
Hot yoga has literally saved my life at times, when suicidal. Sorry this post is soooo long but I hope this info can be of help to anyone suffering in some way. Sending healing thoughts to you all. All of your comments have helped me in some way, to know that we’re not doing this alone.
This drug has been a nightmare. I was given this medicine for bipolar disorder. I took 25 mg for 10 days and then 50mg for 10 days and then 100mg. I started have some neck problems and just thought I hurt it somehow, then double vision and tremors.
I thought all of this was from a possible pinched nerve in my neck. I went and got a shot in my neck, when non of the problems I was having started going away I started looking into the meds I was taking. My doctor told me the only thing to be on the look out for way a rash.
I am a tattoo artist and have been out of work for over a month now with tremors, I have been off the meds for a week now, no more double vision, but neck problems and tremors are still with me. Hoping they will be gone with in the next week.
I really appreciate, all that info. I have experienced all of those symptoms. I take 200 mg Zoloft. And 300 mg of lamotrigine. Changed insurance and it became a big problem, so I wanted off. I started with 50 mg of each. Symptoms were terrible.
Tried to drop down in a week and symptoms were unbearable. I found 10 days what’s the minimum. I’m down to 200 of lamotrigine and 100 of Zoloft and it’s hell. I can’t wait to be free I’m getting clear. I’m hoping my hair will grow back, I will lose some weight, and my brain will start working again.
I want my words back. I want to feel again. I’ve been praying, begging Jesus to help me feel again. I feel so much better knowing that it was these disgusting drugs. Thank you everybody.
I’m so glad I found this site. I have been on 300mg of lamotrigine for about 6 years. I decided to come off of it and my pdoc said to just cut the tablets in half. Mistake.
I thought I was going crazy for about 2 weeks and didn’t realize that I was experiencing withdrawal because the symptoms didn’t set until about 10 days into the reduction. Horrible insomnia, headaches, nausea and vomiting.
It’s such a relief to know that these things will eventually get better! Thanks to everyone for your posts!