Seizure Medication Experience
When I had my grand mal seizure 2 years after my accident, I was scared as hell. It happened in the early morning in my sleep and lasted a minute. I was then assigned with a neurologist and he recommended medication. I was hesitant because I only had 1 seizure. My neurologist prescribed me 200mg of Lamotrigine (Lamictal), and I decided the benefits outweighed the risk.
I logged my entire journey of figuring out my Lamotrigine dosage. I hope this can help someone, because starting a new medication is really scary. Of course everyone’s body is different and will react in different ways, but hearing about someone’s experience can definitely be helpful.
My doctor’s titration schedule was 25mg a week until I get to my final dosage of 200mg. Here is my journey:
1st week - 25mg
I took the medication in the PM (as directed) for 5 nights, and by the 5th night I realized I wasn’t sleeping at all. Then I switched to taking it in the AM. I started to notice I was a bit more moody and irritable. I also decided to give up coffee until I got used to the medication.
2nd week - 50mg
I was taking my medication every morning with breakfast. I started to notice I was moody and more irritable then usual.
3rd week - 75mg
I was noticeably more anxious/depressed, but it disappeared as I finished the weekly increase.
4th week - 100mg
Nothing noticeable in this week.
5th week - 125mg
I noticed nausea as the dosage increased to 125mg, but nothing severe enough to ruin my day.
6th week - 150mg
I started drinking ginger tea and it help get rid of the nausea.
7th week - 175mg
I had a lot of nausea that week. I introduced coffee after stopping for 7 weeks and got very dizzy.
8th week - 200mg
I started to notice that the dizziness was getting worse. The anxiety/depression was coming back.
A month later on 200mg
The dizziness was getting worse to the point where I was passing out and couldn’t walk in a straight line. My neurologist recommended taking 100mg in the morning and 100mg at night. After trying this for a day, I was up all night and realized it didn’t work for me.
My neurologist recommended lowering the dosage to help with my dizziness. I would start with 150mg for a week, if that didn’t work 125mg for a week, and if that didn’t work 100mg for a week. If that didn’t work, we’d have to look at another medication.
A month of 150mg
I was on a dosage of 150mg for 1 month. The dizziness was SO much better, but still noticeable to the point where it worried me.
A month of 125mg
I went down to 125mg for 1 month and the dizziness was almost gone. My anxiety and depression was at an all time high at this point. I wasn’t satisfied, so I went down to 100mg.
Present day 100mg
There was a huge difference of the dizziness at 200mg compared to 100mg. I still am dizzy if I’m not hydrated enough, drink too much coffee, miss a meal or get up too fast, but overall so much better.
I talked to my neurologist about my anxiety and depression, and he said that it was a very unlikely that it was the medication causing it. I realized while I was going through this medication dosage change, I was also starting work for the first time in 2 years and it was overwhelming me.
My Overall Experience
After 6 months of playing around with dosages and no recurring seizures, 100mg of Lamotrigine is working for me. My neurologist said 100mg is a very low dosage and because I’m not having constant seizures, I need to be careful.
What I notice the most about this medication is how much more mental energy I have. It is nowhere close to where it was before the accident, but so much better. I used to get these horrible mental exhaustion headaches when I push myself too hard, but ever since being on the medication I’ve gotten maybe 1 or 2 in a year. There is a huge difference.
Despite being more dizzy and un-coordinated then I used to be, I found strategies to deal with it.
Drink water after coffee.
Get up slowly.
Sit down on public transit.
Eat 3 meals and snacks.
Carry a snack and water everywhere I go.
I’ll never know if I’ll need to go through this again with another medication, but if I do I just need to take it one step at a time.