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buster's avatar

Have you taken the drugs. lamictal, zoloft, lithium, or seroquel?

Asked by buster (10239points) October 17th, 2009

Im curious about peoples experience with these drugs. There positive effects, side effects, emotional effects. I currently take zoloft, lithium, and seroquel. My new doctor has suggested tapering me off lithium and be on lamictal. Whats up with lamictal? I haven’t heard anybodies experience with it. All I know is lithium is hard on the kidneys and liver. I have to get bloodwork every 6 months to check lithium levels and liver and kidney function. It makes me nauseous in the morning and sometimes i lose my breakfast. Yeah I would just like to discuss these meds with people. I listen to the doctors and read up but I value personal experiences because they are valid too.

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26 Answers

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

I was on it for awhile, and the first two weeks it was great. I was on it for depression and suicidal tendencies (the symptoms, not the musical group). Then it aggravated my RLS. I finally told my shrink that I didn’t want to take it anymore, as I felt that it wasn’t the right drug for me. It made me feel overdosed. The bad thing about it is that you start out on small doses and then you soon are taking more and more as time goes by, and I don’t like being on high doses of anything.

It was also very expensive, and even with insurance, it cost me well over a hundred bucks for the first starter kit. Too much $$$ for me. There are cheaper drugs that do the same thing and have fewer side effects. Now I am on Xanax for anxiety and Prozac for the depression. Way cheaper, safer, and they work for my particular needs.

buster's avatar

Which drug where you talking about @Psychedelic_Zebra seroquel?

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

oh sorry, no, the lamictal.

turtlegrrrl's avatar

I have taken zoloft and seroquel before in the past and am currently on lamictal now for bipolar disorder. They threaten me with lithium when I’m not good, but I have been on it also before. It makes me very out of it and drooly and I hate it. Way too drugged.
I don’t remember zoloft doing much for me, but seroquel was given to me for a sleep aid. It made me kind of hungoverish in the morning and I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, it was better than the insomnia, but I take Lunesta now and it is far better for sleep.

turtlegrrrl's avatar

LOL zebra about the musical group

buster's avatar

sorry to get off thread but suicidal tendencies

buster's avatar

i think i might be addicted to seroquel. i don’t really crave it and i take 300 mg a day at bedtime. i take it an hour before bedtime then i can barely fight it anymore. i sleep great. If I sleep less than 6 hours I wake up really groggy . If i dont’ take seroquel I toss and turn and sleep maybe 4 hours at the most. If I miss 2 or 3 doses of seroquel I feel physically sick almost like opiate withdrawal but nowhere near as bad. Can anyone relate?

turtlegrrrl's avatar

yes, I can. This type of medicine must be weaned off when taking someone off of it, and a patient should always be watched carefully for these signs.
Do you take it during the day too?

buster's avatar

i rarely ever take it during the day unless in just feeling really crazy and i might half of one and a nap but normally i dont take seroquel before 9 pm

buster's avatar

my last doctor wanted me to take 800 mgs of seroquel split up in three doses a day. i said hell no id be a zombie

turtlegrrrl's avatar

Almost any sleep med is addictive, some so much so that even during the day people take em too; case in point ambien, which gives a psychedelic high when one stays awake. I would worry only when you get to that point.

turtlegrrrl's avatar

I think maybe dependency and not true addiction is where you might be now, hopefully, since you don’t inundate yourself with it or crave it?

MissAnthrope's avatar

Out of those, I took lithium for a while in combination with other stuff. I don’t think it did much for me, and I never noticed any side effects.

augustlan's avatar

I have taken Zoloft for depression/anxiety, but it didn’t work for very long and I’ve since switched to Effexor XR. I’ve been on several different drugs for those problems, and they all have some side effects or another. Mainly lowering sexual desire and weird withdrawal symptoms (like buzzing lips) if I miss it for a day or two. I supplement with Xanax if I’m having a panic attack or can’t sleep.

I took Topomax (which I vaguely remember is similar to Lithium – though I could be totally wrong on that) as a mood stabilizer. It worked very well, but I had to stop taking it because I was getting symptoms of Glaucoma… eye twitches and pressure behind my eyes (something nobody ever warned me about). I’m not full-on bi-polar, so I’ve never tried another mood stabilizer. I cycle quickly (back and forth a couple of times in a day when it happens), but not constantly, so I just deal with the swings when they come.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

@augustlan, yeah, I had that buzzing lips withdrawal thing when I stopped taking the Lamictal, too. I just figured it was my brain playing tricks on me from all the weird illegal drugs I did as a youth. Sometimes I wonder if the doctors are just trying to medicate us into unfeeling zombies.

casheroo's avatar

Those medications are not addictive.

I’ve taken them all, except Zoloft (I’ve been prescribed it, but it was a “just in case” sort of thing.)
It’s hard for me to separate the side effects, because I took Lamictal and Lithium together. I had to get lots of blood work to take Lamictal, they have to watch you closely as it can have a severe adverse reaction (I’m sure you’ve heard of the dreaded rash)
I took them consistently for six months, which is all I felt was necessary. They caused me to come out of my manic/depressive stage…but with consequences. Daily tasks became hard, such as reading. My hands began to twitch. I recall sitting with a friend, and being unable to even hold the chicken fingers I was trying to eat because of how shakey my hands became.
I can’t remember, but I know one is better than the other for either depression or mania. That’s why I needed to be on both at the time, but I think Lithium does a better job of overall care, and Lamictal is more for depression (I think! ask your doctor)
Seroquel was a very strong drug. It did help, but it would knock me off my feet. I would sleep a lot, maybe that’s why it’s so good…you sleep through all the nasty feelings lol. It was much better than Zyprexa though. I felt Seroquel did help me the most, once my body adjusted to the dosage. I can’t recall what I was on.

loser's avatar

Lamictal make me want to kill myself.
Zoloft made me manic.
Never tried Lithium.
Seroquel is good but turns me into a zombie.

wundayatta's avatar

@casheroo You’ve got it right. Lamictal works better for the depressive side of bipolar. Lithium is more effective in controlling manias. I got off Lithium about six months ago, and I had been doing pretty well up until a couple of weeks ago. I started doing some of the things I did the last time I was manic.

I called my therapist, and she said to call my shrink. I was hoping to avoid that because I knew he would tell me to get back on the Lithium. So I called him, and I’m starting the lithium again. Fuck! Shit! Just the thought of it makes me wonder if it’s worth it.

Oops. I think I’m heading into the other side now. That’s depression talk.

It’s all been so fast, so maybe I’ll get the depression over with sooner. This time, I know what it’s like. I shouldn’t be thinking about it. Thinking about it makes it worse. I’ve been carrying a hollowness around in my chest all day.

It was just a little mania. Did we have to attack it with Lithium? Did I freak out too soon? Could I have handled it myself? I don’t know. I think I’m pissed at myself for throwing in the towel too soon. All that work I did for months, and now it’s down the pisser. I want to hit something. Of course there’s only one thing around that I will let myself hit.

casheroo's avatar

@daloon (((hugs))) I think YOU know your mind better than the doctors at this point. I think the fact that you know Lithium can help and does, should help you. I’m not saying this to be cruel, I hope you know this, but I do think until a person has the proper coping skills for it, then medication is the ONLY way to help someone who is bipolar. I think at this point in my life, having been off medication for three years and I haven’t been in therapy for a while, I would turn to medication..with full knowledge of the shitty side effects. But, I’d rather not be a danger to myself or others, than to try and cure myself (as we bi-polar people just love to do lol)
So, I wouldn’t feel guilty. I’d definitely be in intensive therapy if I were you. I had a great doctor in Philadelphia, who actually helped me come off medication completely (they weren’t on board with it, but knew I wanted to stay off meds while pregnant with my son) I can PM you the number if you want.

buster's avatar

Ugggghhh. Lamictal doesn’t sound so great I didn’t know it required constant bloodwork and sometimes comes with a rash.

casheroo's avatar

@buster I did the blood work every day for about two weeks, I was in a hospital setting though so it might be different outside the hospital. The rash is not common, but a serious adverse reaction from what I gather. I use this site because I feel it’s informative and speaks to people with illnesses more than a doctor would. Check out what it says about Lamictal.

augustlan's avatar

@casheroo From that site: “I know, the meds suck donkey dong. But you know what? When you’re mentally ill and you’re not taking the right medications, it sucks syphilitic donkey dong while a red-hot poker is being jammed up your ass.” Priceless! Thanks for the link.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

My experience is only with 50mg doses of Zoloft which I used to call my “Blue Buddy”, they were lifesavers that helped me calm down enough to get through and learn some new things during the first few years after my divorce. My side effects were next to nil, some dizziness the first month as I started the pills and the same dizziness, buzziness for about two months after I stopped taking them. As much as I had been afraid to take any kind of meds, I was nothing but thankful afterwards when I finally gave in and gave myself some ease.

turtlegrrrl's avatar

I never had to do bloodwork with Lamictal; on it now. Just give me my Stadol & I’m happy.

Violet's avatar

Seroquel helps me sleep, but it gives me the muchies right before I pass out.

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