Health QuestionsCategory: MedicationsLamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
PrairieRose asked 3 years ago

So a new chapter in my Equetro/Carbatrol woes – I got a hold of my doc and explained to him that the depression might just kill me in the next couple of days (i.e. I wouldn’t be at work).  He told me to quit the Equetro – cold turkey.  He said that he wasn’t worried about seizures since I’d never had a seizure before and told me to start on the Lamictal again – which I’d quit before because of a rash on my arms.
 
I’m totally confused right now – but here’s what I’m thinking:  since my doc doesn’t seem to be involved (keeps asking me if he put me on Effexor or not – and keeps asking me why I won’t take Depakote – again and again) and I have enough of both the Equetro/Carbatrol and the Lamictal for awhile – I was thinking about cutting back somewhat on the Equetro (I was on 900 mg/day) and just adding the Lamictal.  I know that Jerrod’s info says that Tegretol knocks the heck out of Lamictal – but other than that it would seem to be a good combo – Equetro grounds me and gives me some perspective on just what a nasty little shithead I am and Lamictal makes it seem that I can overcome it all and make some progress.  
 
Yes, I know, I’m the one that says don’t do anything without checking with your doc, yadda, yadda, yadda . . . but my doc doesn’t really seem to be on my side at this point.
 

4 Answers
coloradogirl answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
I think you need to find a new doctor ASAP.  He sounds like the second doc I had- had no idea what he had me on, what I was on in the past, why he had me on things, etc.  Maybe go to the hospital in the interim?  Shit, I don’t know what to say.  DId you remind him about the rash?  I assume you did.  What was his reasoning for going back on the lamictimal after the whole rash thing?  
 
Just out of curiosity, why won’t you take depakote?  I have no reason to ask other than curiosity- I’m not trying to be a sarcastic ass anything.  Or could you maybe call the doc and ask him about combining the equetro and lamictal?  I’m not much help, but that might be a good compromise.  Demand that he listen to you until you find another doctor.  And LOOK for another doc starting tomorrow.  I promise your perfect doctor is out there- it was third time the charm for me.

gretl answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
While you’re looking for another doctor, why don’t you call and tell this one that you’re not comfortable quitting the Equetro cold turkey and have thus-and-such plan for cross titration with the Lamictal and would that be OK.  Cuz really:  if everything goes tits up, you’re going to need *a* doctor, any doctor.  Don’t burn your bridges – this is too serious.
 
And it’s fairly common to try Lamictal again after a rash experience, just make sure you start low and go slow.  Another good reason not to drop the Equetro like a hot potato.  You’ll have zero coverage for mania.  You could point that out to the doc.

PrairieRose answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
Third time’s charm?  Hmmmm, passed that a few decades back (think I’m on 7 or 8 at this point – not sure, maybe more).  Oh well, yup, I do plan on keep trying stuff ’til I find something that works.  I think a couple of those don’t count because they were trying to treat me with Ritalin or scary stuff like that (well, scary for us folks who can get manic – I’m sure that folks with ADHD find it just hunky-dory).  
 
My rule of thumb is this – if a med makes you feel worse or sicker or less functional than before (i.e. the cure is worse than the disease) then perhaps it’s time to reconsider the drug.  Depakote may be fine for some folks, but it made me into an absolute loser.  I became really stupid (the doc said, well, yes, there was a “significant loss of mentation” in my case), really dependant on those around me (I was so disoriented I couldn’t drive or even grocery shop), I didn’t have any inhibitions (something I really need, actually), and I had such vivid dreams that days later, I couldn’t remember if I had dreamt something or if it had really happened – and often I couldn’t tell if I was awake or sleeping – really scary.  Oh, and that small matter of the 75 pounds I gained on my 5’3″ small-boned frame.  I went from being a somewhat crazy functional adult to being a completely non-function mental patient.  
 
The depression that I’ve suffered the past three weeks due to the Carbatrol seems to be sort of similiar – I’ve driven most of my friends away with my constant ranting and crying – even my mother and my doctor are hanging up on me when I call.  Blessedly, I still have my job, my home, and my husband.  But I still do believe that there is something out there that will help me to help myself.  In the end, psychiatry is still a do-it-yourself affair, do your own research, take notes, journal to keep track if everything is working – I even call my doctor’s office to make sure that stuff has been added to my chart (something everyone should consider – also make sure that your labs have been faxed or otherwise sent to your doctor’s office) – and I do my own labs and check my own levels (well, something others shouldn’t really try at home).  I’ve ordered a workbook for borderline personality disorder and plan to start working on that – seems to be something that I’ve got going along with my bipolar – altho’ docs don’t want to tell you about this diagnosis.  
 
Somebody remind me – what do we pay these people for?

Kassiane answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
Carbatrol and Lamictal is actually a really good combination…IF you have a doc on board. 900mg carbamazepine most certainly IS enough to worry about withdrawal seizures, mine didn’t get bad until I was taken cold turkey off 300mg! Before that I barely had any seizure activity at all. (Bear in mind I am a neurological freak).  
 
Calling your doc and saying you arent comfortable just going off cold turkey is a must. Asking about a cross taper is also an excellent plan…but youd have to be going down on Carbatrol while going up on Lamictal, just stopping Carbatrol once you hit a certain level is asking for a rash.
 
Kassiane

PrairieRose asked 3 years ago

So a new chapter in my Equetro/Carbatrol woes – I got a hold of my doc and explained to him that the depression might just kill me in the next couple of days (i.e. I wouldn’t be at work).  He told me to quit the Equetro – cold turkey.  He said that he wasn’t worried about seizures since I’d never had a seizure before and told me to start on the Lamictal again – which I’d quit before because of a rash on my arms.
 
I’m totally confused right now – but here’s what I’m thinking:  since my doc doesn’t seem to be involved (keeps asking me if he put me on Effexor or not – and keeps asking me why I won’t take Depakote – again and again) and I have enough of both the Equetro/Carbatrol and the Lamictal for awhile – I was thinking about cutting back somewhat on the Equetro (I was on 900 mg/day) and just adding the Lamictal.  I know that Jerrod’s info says that Tegretol knocks the heck out of Lamictal – but other than that it would seem to be a good combo – Equetro grounds me and gives me some perspective on just what a nasty little shithead I am and Lamictal makes it seem that I can overcome it all and make some progress.  
 
Yes, I know, I’m the one that says don’t do anything without checking with your doc, yadda, yadda, yadda . . . but my doc doesn’t really seem to be on my side at this point.
 

5 Answers
coloradogirl answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
I think you need to find a new doctor ASAP.  He sounds like the second doc I had- had no idea what he had me on, what I was on in the past, why he had me on things, etc.  Maybe go to the hospital in the interim?  Shit, I don’t know what to say.  DId you remind him about the rash?  I assume you did.  What was his reasoning for going back on the lamictimal after the whole rash thing?  
 
Just out of curiosity, why won’t you take depakote?  I have no reason to ask other than curiosity- I’m not trying to be a sarcastic ass anything.  Or could you maybe call the doc and ask him about combining the equetro and lamictal?  I’m not much help, but that might be a good compromise.  Demand that he listen to you until you find another doctor.  And LOOK for another doc starting tomorrow.  I promise your perfect doctor is out there- it was third time the charm for me.

gretl answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
While you’re looking for another doctor, why don’t you call and tell this one that you’re not comfortable quitting the Equetro cold turkey and have thus-and-such plan for cross titration with the Lamictal and would that be OK.  Cuz really:  if everything goes tits up, you’re going to need *a* doctor, any doctor.  Don’t burn your bridges – this is too serious.
 
And it’s fairly common to try Lamictal again after a rash experience, just make sure you start low and go slow.  Another good reason not to drop the Equetro like a hot potato.  You’ll have zero coverage for mania.  You could point that out to the doc.

PrairieRose answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
Third time’s charm?  Hmmmm, passed that a few decades back (think I’m on 7 or 8 at this point – not sure, maybe more).  Oh well, yup, I do plan on keep trying stuff ’til I find something that works.  I think a couple of those don’t count because they were trying to treat me with Ritalin or scary stuff like that (well, scary for us folks who can get manic – I’m sure that folks with ADHD find it just hunky-dory).  
 
My rule of thumb is this – if a med makes you feel worse or sicker or less functional than before (i.e. the cure is worse than the disease) then perhaps it’s time to reconsider the drug.  Depakote may be fine for some folks, but it made me into an absolute loser.  I became really stupid (the doc said, well, yes, there was a “significant loss of mentation” in my case), really dependant on those around me (I was so disoriented I couldn’t drive or even grocery shop), I didn’t have any inhibitions (something I really need, actually), and I had such vivid dreams that days later, I couldn’t remember if I had dreamt something or if it had really happened – and often I couldn’t tell if I was awake or sleeping – really scary.  Oh, and that small matter of the 75 pounds I gained on my 5’3″ small-boned frame.  I went from being a somewhat crazy functional adult to being a completely non-function mental patient.  
 
The depression that I’ve suffered the past three weeks due to the Carbatrol seems to be sort of similiar – I’ve driven most of my friends away with my constant ranting and crying – even my mother and my doctor are hanging up on me when I call.  Blessedly, I still have my job, my home, and my husband.  But I still do believe that there is something out there that will help me to help myself.  In the end, psychiatry is still a do-it-yourself affair, do your own research, take notes, journal to keep track if everything is working – I even call my doctor’s office to make sure that stuff has been added to my chart (something everyone should consider – also make sure that your labs have been faxed or otherwise sent to your doctor’s office) – and I do my own labs and check my own levels (well, something others shouldn’t really try at home).  I’ve ordered a workbook for borderline personality disorder and plan to start working on that – seems to be something that I’ve got going along with my bipolar – altho’ docs don’t want to tell you about this diagnosis.  
 
Somebody remind me – what do we pay these people for?

Kassiane answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
Carbatrol and Lamictal is actually a really good combination…IF you have a doc on board. 900mg carbamazepine most certainly IS enough to worry about withdrawal seizures, mine didn’t get bad until I was taken cold turkey off 300mg! Before that I barely had any seizure activity at all. (Bear in mind I am a neurological freak).  
 
Calling your doc and saying you arent comfortable just going off cold turkey is a must. Asking about a cross taper is also an excellent plan…but youd have to be going down on Carbatrol while going up on Lamictal, just stopping Carbatrol once you hit a certain level is asking for a rash.
 
Kassiane

PrairieRose asked 3 years ago

So a new chapter in my Equetro/Carbatrol woes – I got a hold of my doc and explained to him that the depression might just kill me in the next couple of days (i.e. I wouldn’t be at work).  He told me to quit the Equetro – cold turkey.  He said that he wasn’t worried about seizures since I’d never had a seizure before and told me to start on the Lamictal again – which I’d quit before because of a rash on my arms.
 
I’m totally confused right now – but here’s what I’m thinking:  since my doc doesn’t seem to be involved (keeps asking me if he put me on Effexor or not – and keeps asking me why I won’t take Depakote – again and again) and I have enough of both the Equetro/Carbatrol and the Lamictal for awhile – I was thinking about cutting back somewhat on the Equetro (I was on 900 mg/day) and just adding the Lamictal.  I know that Jerrod’s info says that Tegretol knocks the heck out of Lamictal – but other than that it would seem to be a good combo – Equetro grounds me and gives me some perspective on just what a nasty little shithead I am and Lamictal makes it seem that I can overcome it all and make some progress.  
 
Yes, I know, I’m the one that says don’t do anything without checking with your doc, yadda, yadda, yadda . . . but my doc doesn’t really seem to be on my side at this point.
 

5 Answers
coloradogirl answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
I think you need to find a new doctor ASAP.  He sounds like the second doc I had- had no idea what he had me on, what I was on in the past, why he had me on things, etc.  Maybe go to the hospital in the interim?  Shit, I don’t know what to say.  DId you remind him about the rash?  I assume you did.  What was his reasoning for going back on the lamictimal after the whole rash thing?  
 
Just out of curiosity, why won’t you take depakote?  I have no reason to ask other than curiosity- I’m not trying to be a sarcastic ass anything.  Or could you maybe call the doc and ask him about combining the equetro and lamictal?  I’m not much help, but that might be a good compromise.  Demand that he listen to you until you find another doctor.  And LOOK for another doc starting tomorrow.  I promise your perfect doctor is out there- it was third time the charm for me.

gretl answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
While you’re looking for another doctor, why don’t you call and tell this one that you’re not comfortable quitting the Equetro cold turkey and have thus-and-such plan for cross titration with the Lamictal and would that be OK.  Cuz really:  if everything goes tits up, you’re going to need *a* doctor, any doctor.  Don’t burn your bridges – this is too serious.
 
And it’s fairly common to try Lamictal again after a rash experience, just make sure you start low and go slow.  Another good reason not to drop the Equetro like a hot potato.  You’ll have zero coverage for mania.  You could point that out to the doc.

PrairieRose answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
Third time’s charm?  Hmmmm, passed that a few decades back (think I’m on 7 or 8 at this point – not sure, maybe more).  Oh well, yup, I do plan on keep trying stuff ’til I find something that works.  I think a couple of those don’t count because they were trying to treat me with Ritalin or scary stuff like that (well, scary for us folks who can get manic – I’m sure that folks with ADHD find it just hunky-dory).  
 
My rule of thumb is this – if a med makes you feel worse or sicker or less functional than before (i.e. the cure is worse than the disease) then perhaps it’s time to reconsider the drug.  Depakote may be fine for some folks, but it made me into an absolute loser.  I became really stupid (the doc said, well, yes, there was a “significant loss of mentation” in my case), really dependant on those around me (I was so disoriented I couldn’t drive or even grocery shop), I didn’t have any inhibitions (something I really need, actually), and I had such vivid dreams that days later, I couldn’t remember if I had dreamt something or if it had really happened – and often I couldn’t tell if I was awake or sleeping – really scary.  Oh, and that small matter of the 75 pounds I gained on my 5’3″ small-boned frame.  I went from being a somewhat crazy functional adult to being a completely non-function mental patient.  
 
The depression that I’ve suffered the past three weeks due to the Carbatrol seems to be sort of similiar – I’ve driven most of my friends away with my constant ranting and crying – even my mother and my doctor are hanging up on me when I call.  Blessedly, I still have my job, my home, and my husband.  But I still do believe that there is something out there that will help me to help myself.  In the end, psychiatry is still a do-it-yourself affair, do your own research, take notes, journal to keep track if everything is working – I even call my doctor’s office to make sure that stuff has been added to my chart (something everyone should consider – also make sure that your labs have been faxed or otherwise sent to your doctor’s office) – and I do my own labs and check my own levels (well, something others shouldn’t really try at home).  I’ve ordered a workbook for borderline personality disorder and plan to start working on that – seems to be something that I’ve got going along with my bipolar – altho’ docs don’t want to tell you about this diagnosis.  
 
Somebody remind me – what do we pay these people for?

Kassiane answered 3 years ago

Re: Lamictal & Equetro/Carbatrol Together?
Carbatrol and Lamictal is actually a really good combination…IF you have a doc on board. 900mg carbamazepine most certainly IS enough to worry about withdrawal seizures, mine didn’t get bad until I was taken cold turkey off 300mg! Before that I barely had any seizure activity at all. (Bear in mind I am a neurological freak).  
 
Calling your doc and saying you arent comfortable just going off cold turkey is a must. Asking about a cross taper is also an excellent plan…but youd have to be going down on Carbatrol while going up on Lamictal, just stopping Carbatrol once you hit a certain level is asking for a rash.
 
Kassiane