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Memory Loss & Lamictal

Hi everyone.
I'm Kat, I've been active on this board for a while but mostly in the Women With Epilepsy forum. I was going to post this in there but I feel like it should be more open to everyone since it's not focusing on women only issues.

Since starting Lamictal almost two years ago, I have noticed some fluctuations with my mood as well as my ability to concentrate, that showed mostly as I got up in the dosage. I started at 25mg like most patients and eased my way up to my current 250mg BID (twice a day) dosage. I did the escalation slow as recommended & did not experience any obvious side effects. However, as I've gotten more into my medication routine with it, I have noticed that my moods seem to fluctuate (just a little bit, but still noticeable) and I know that Lamictal is also used to manage bipolar disorder. I am currently in the process of switching doctors so I've been waiting to talk to my new doctor about these issues. I don't have the best relationship with my current doctor & feel as if he doesn't listen so I don't see the point in even bringing it up. In fact, I believe I brought it up to him in the past but to no avail. His answer for everything is either "that's normal but not worrysome" or "lets increase the dose & call me in a week".

To run through what I've noticed, the main thing is that I have a hard time handling a day regimen that requires me to multitask. This presents a lot of problems because I have a very busy life with working, managing my home due to my boyfriend being away a lot for his work, taking care of a new puppy practically by myself & being a college student, about to enter a very heavily crowded schedule. I have taken on two jobs in the fall after school starts & even though I have an optimistic look to it, I know from my past that my memory lapses cause a lot of problem. For example, I missed the deadlines for several things involving school that will make my semester hard such as missing the deadline for a grant that would be very helpful & missing the date to order the main campus parking permit & having to get one that's much more difficult to deal with.

I've always been a little scatterbrained but it seems much worse lately. Sometimes someone can tell me something & in just fifteen minutes, I forget what they said. This causes a lot of frustration with everyone around me & makes me feel incompetent. I'm not entirely sure it's just the medication but in my heart, I feel like it has something to do with it.

Does anyone else that's on Lamictal (I take the generic lamotragine) experience similar problems? If so, how much does it affect your life & how much is your current dosage?

I appreciate any feedback.
Thanks guys!

Comments

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

I am currently on Lamictal 400mg twice a day and 400mg of Dilantin 100am 300pm.
When I started taking the Lamictal I noticed a big change in my memory and it
has gotten worse. Some days I have look at the leftovers in the refrigerator to
remember what we had for supper the night before. 

My neurologist tried to take me off of the Dilantin and I ended up in the hospital
because it was helping to control the Lamictal level. Without it my Lamictal
level shot up and became toxic. Another doctor that works with him looked up
the interactions and told me that the Dilantin was controlling the Lamictal
level. They started me back on the Dilantin and the level came back down. The
next time I saw my neurologist after getting out of the hospital, I told him
that they said by taking me off the Dilantin it made my Lamictal level shoot up
and he said I should “consider that I have epilepsy and stop blaming the
medicine.”

I am not going back to the neurologist and instead I went to the epilepsy center
in Indianapolis. In July, they have me scheduled for a sleep deprived EEG, PET
scan, and a 5 day VEEG. For the VEEG they plan on taking me off all of my
seizure medicines so they can try to catch at least 5 seizures to see where
they are starting from. If there are all starting from the same spot in my
brain they will be able to do surgery and remove that small spot. It could
drastically reduce or even stop the seizure completely but there is no telling
how it will affect me otherwise.

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

I've been on Lamictal (450 mg/day) for years (previously combined with Topamax [200 mg/2x daily], recently switched to Keppra [400mg/2x daily]), and I had been thinking that my memory problems were due to the seizures or the family history of attention deficit, but I'm beginning to wonder. People will say something to me, and not a minute later I'll forget. I recently lost a job because people will have to repeat directions three times before they actually register. My sense of time feels skewed- a week ago seems like a year ago. I haven't experienced the trouble with finding words that many people have, but my memory is affecting my ability to hold a job, both reading and listening comprehension (I'm in college), among other things.

It's encouraging to know other people are having the same issues. I'd talk to a neurologist asap.

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

Hello Russo! Lamictal has had a terrible effect on my memory and ability to concentrate and retain instructions, when the medication hits a peak during the day it's damaging to my career and relationship with friends. I avoid scheduling professional meetings during those hours as much as possible, unfortunately a meeting will always align with the Peak effects and my performance deteriorates significantly.

I have been on 400mg of lamictal over 10 years and I have decided to change medications August 2013. There must be a better medication that will improve my quality of life. What I'm trying to assess is what medication should I try from the great assortment. Also, should I take a leave from work during the transition, I've never taken any leave in 20 years, what can I expect during the transition.

You switched to Keppra. Have you experienced any side effects and how did your neurologist work the transition period?

Best of luck to you!
Davo

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

GOOD DAY ALL...

AFTER 40 YEARS WITH SEIZURE EXPERIENCES (MOSTLY SEIZURE-FREE), I WILL NEVER TELL YOU TO NOT LISTEN TO DOCTORS BUT, LISTEN CAREFULLY....

MOST OF THEM HAVE THE SAME BOOKS AND ALTHOUGH SOME NAMES BRANDS HAVE CHANGED, NOT MUCH ELSE HAS. THE THING TO TRY TO REMEMBER I HAVE FOUND OVER THE YEARS IS THAT WHAT WE PUT INTO OUR BODIES AS FOOD, HAS A (HUGE) EFFECT UPON THE CHEMISTRY OF OUR MEDICATIONS.

IF ANYONE HAS EPILEPSY AND CURRENTLY DRINKS COFFEE OR ANY SODA POP, THEY ARE TAKING WAY TOO MUCH MEDICINE TO MAKE UP FOR IT.... (USUALLY).

ALSO, MOST PREPARED FOODS IN A CAN OR SPICES IN A BOTTLE CONTAIN CHEMICALS THAT PROBABLY CAUSE YOU PROBLEMS AND SO MOST FOLKS TAKE HIGHER DOSAGES TO MAKE UP FOR IT THUS, RUINING THEIR MEMORY OR ATTENTION ISSUES OCCUR.

WHEN I WAS A KID,THEY TELL ME I WAS VERY WELL BEHAVED UNTIL AFTER I STARTED TO TAKE THE SEIZURE MEDICATION AND THEN I ENDED UP IN A WHITE PADDED CELL UNTIL MY FATHER GOT A LAWYER TO GET ME OUT. WE CHANGED OUR VIEWS OF MEDICATIONS AND FOCUSED MORE ONTO MY DIET INSTEAD.

OBVIOUSLY, NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME FOR EVERYONE BUT, NEVER FORGET THAT AMERICAN MEDICINE HAS BEEN BACKED BY BIG PHARMA FOR DECADES AND THE LAST TIME I WENT TO A DOCTOR TO CHECK MY LEVELS, HE TOLD ME I WAS (BENEATH THE THERAPEUTIC RANGE) I SMILED AND TOLD HIM THANKS FOR YOUR INFORMATION...

THE PATIENT AND SOMEONE THAT CARES FOR THEM NEEDS TO VIEW WHAT HAPPENS AT THE RIGHT AND WRONG LEVELS BECAUSE... TOO MUCH OF THESE DRUGS AND YOU CAN END UP IN A FUNNY FARM WHERE THEY WILL JUST EXPERIMENT WITH MORE DRUGS. OR, IF YOU ARE VERY LUCKY, JUST CONFUSED OR TIRED ALL THE TIME.

BE WELL ALWAYS,

GOOGLEDUDE (bond@googman.com)

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

Google dude,
I drink coffee and soda everyday and I have never researched the implications from these on my lamictal level. I will start researching the effect of these on lamictal and how it may be affecting my required dosage.

I decided to try a new medication after over 10 years with lamictal because Im tired of the memory and concentration limitations. They have really interfered with my quality of life. I'll explore the effect of these foods on lamictal before making the change. Thanks for your post.
Davo

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

I would say my situation is interesting and sad. I had/have absence seizures from my childhood and five years ago I started using lamictal - 500. Drug really worked - I had before like 3-5 seizures a day and after using the drug only couple times a month but whats interesting all seizures came from day form to night form - I don't remember them but only know that I had seizure because all other day is lost and I feel "funny".
About a year ago I started recognize big memory changes (I am not talking about short term memory this one is lost), long term memory. After the seizure information erases forever (never happened before), I forget concerts, events - "Do you remember when we were with your father at the stand-up last year?" and my answer is always no. It's getting worse.. Well as I say one benefit - I forget the movies and I can watch them as the first day because I don't remember a thing (never happened before). It's only sad that I gonna see my doctor (that's working for the company) and no promises...
Keep up my destiny brothers and sisters

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

You're experiencing long term memory loss with your Lamictal? So am I. I take 4 AEDs, but this gives me some info to talk to my neurologist next time I see him. I can't remember a lot of important events.

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

I went to Europe for two weeks this summer and I've already forgotten many of the special moments with my family. Today, I was running a staff meeting and it was difficult to understand and analyze information. I feel foolish when the medication level peaks each day.

I decided to change medications or lower my medication level, after 10 years, and supplement it with another med. I have an appointment in two weeks. Wish me luck.

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

There are a lot of great new AEDs. Best of luck w/ your neurologist. Make sure to check all the AEDs under Professionals. Bless you. Let me know if your long-term memory comes back. tlcam59@yahoo.com

Re: Memory Loss & Lamictal

Thanks... I'll look into other AED. Have you used any other forums about epilepsy? I'd like to find a site that has more active members. Blessings!

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