Getting Off Lamictal/Lamotrigine

Recently a dear friend of mine went on Lamictal and her doctor told her getting off Lamictal would be easy because she was on a low dose.

Update: We now have a forum for getting off Lamictal support and you can click right here to access it. Start a topic, ask a questions.

I got worried because a number of my clients and colleagues have experienced hell (including seizures which they had never had before) getting off Lamictal (or trying to without success). It seems to be one of the harder drugs to withdraw from, so I wanted to make a post with the best info and resources I could find and ask you to post your own in the comments.

Lamictal Side Effects

Here’s a quote from a forum on Lamictal side effects:

“When I went on it around two years ago, I thought it was just the right med for me. Now I’ve started to struggle. My short term memory has gotten so bad, it’s cost me two jobs. I’m always so dizzy, I feel as if I’ve had four or five beers. I’ve gone from the local Tabasco Kid to a diet so bland it would bore a baby. Go ahead and add in absentmindedness and clumsiness. Top it off with some plain old profound disorientation and major depression. In four or so months I’m a mess where I was a model.”

Breastfeeding While On Lamictal

Here’s some info on breastfeeding while taking Lamictal:

“Lamotrigine (Lamictal) is being used with increasing frequency in childbearing women. We last reported on its use in of lamotrigine in breastfeeding women in 2005. At that time, several small studies indicated that lamotrigine was passed to infants through the breast milk in relatively high doses. Infant serum levels ranged from 23 to 50% of levels found in the mothers’ serum.

The largest study comes from Dr. Jeffrey Newport and colleagues and includes a total of 30 women taking lamotrigine and their nursing infants. The authors reported that milk/plasma ratios were highly variable, ranging from 5.7% to 147.1%. The mean milk/plasma ratio was 41.3%. This type of variability has been reported in studies of antidepressants and other medications in nursing infants, indicating that milk/plasma ratios may of limited utility in estimating the extent of exposure in the nursing infant.”

From Monica Cassani of Beyond Meds

Here’s what Monica Cassani of Beyond Meds had to say when she was going through Lamictal withdrawal:

“I started the second phase of my Lamictal withdrawal three days ago. I was on 400 mg of it for many years. Several months ago I went off 200 mg of it. It was rough, but only in that I was greatly fatigued. Today, three days after cutting 25 mg from my still remaining 200 mg I am going ape-shit.”

Her post also has links to other forums and there are a lot of comments on her blog about Lamictal withdrawal, so I recommend checking it out.

Altostrata on the Surviving Antidepressants forum says this on her detailed page about getting off Lamictal

(read her tips here):

“Like all psychoactive drugs, Lamotrigine can have withdrawal difficulties. Even doctors who are aware of withdrawal problems with other drugs can be surprised at how hard it is to go off Lamotrigine. As with other drugs, we recommend very gradual tapering at 10% per month, based on the current dosage (the amount of the decrease keeps getting smaller).”

Lamictal WIthdrawal

Here’a another good page that addresses how doctors often downplay the severity of Lamictal withdrawal:

“My pdoc was trying to scare me into staying medicated.

He then added if I really wanted to come off of my meds, I could “just stop.”

WHAT?! My eyes flew open.

He stated he’d had patients who had stopped cold turkey without a problem. According to him, anticonvulsants don’t have severe withdrawal effects.

WHAT?! His advice just flies in the face of what most doctors recommend. In fact, quitting Lamictal immediately increases the risk of seizures, which is exactly what I’m afraid of.

Philip’s experience and Gianna’s experience along with the comments on each blog are proof that many people have experienced tremendous withdrawal effects from decreasing Lamictal’s dosage.”

Please share below…

if you have any resources, tips or experiences with getting off Lamictal. I never took it myself, but having a dear friend given this misinformation and a number of clients struggling with severe withdrawal or who feel they can’t even try getting off Lamictal due to the risk of seizures (when they never had epilepsy before) inspired me to gather some resources and start this conversation.

Secretly I’m hoping my dear friend will come off of it asap, but I didn’t want to belabor that point. We can’t always know what’s best for someone else or why they take psychiatric drugs that are dangerous. I can’t even know for sure whether someone is best off taking them or not, but I am passionate about people having accurate information to make an informed decision.

This information is also relevant to send to friends and family who might be pressuring their loved ones to take psychiatric drugs, with the best of intentions but a lack of information about the dangers.

For a personal consultation about coming off Lamictal or other psychiatric meds, schedule here:

She has access to the same search engines I do, and yet…most people don’t know which keywords to look up to find the accurate information.

So this is a way for people (including my friend I care about) to have a bunch of information links in one place, so they can hopefully make the best decisions possible.

If you are looking for alternatives to psychiatric drugs…

here’s a post with 2 herbs and a supplement that I recommend. There’s a video as well as a blog on that post, where I explain the potential risks as well as many benefits of these alternatives.

If you want a longer list of things to try…

check out this list of 111 Things to Try Before Taking Psychiatric Drugs. That one is my most popular blog. Who doesn’t want options? Stay tuned because there are a lot more than 111 too!

If you prefer video

Amino Acids

Recently I learned from a holistic health coach a bit more about amino acids as an alternative. They can help with withdrawal as well and are used at the Alternative To Meds Center in Sedona. I worked there when they were in San Francisco. They have an elaborate supplement protocol for withdrawal which includes a lot of amino acids.

The health coach I spoke with also informed me that psychiatric drugs actually have amino acids in them (as well as harmful chemicals)!

Best of luck in finding the options that are best for you, as there is not one thing that will resonate with or “work” for everyone.

There are many things that have helped many of us withdraw from psychiatric drugs, and many things that can help you improve your life without them, if that is your preference.

If you are getting off Lamictal…

or have experience getting off Lamictal or know others getting off Lamictal, please share your experiences in the comments so we can all learn from each other!

Send me my free EBook on Freedom From Psych Drugs!

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118 thoughts on “Getting Off Lamictal/Lamotrigine

  1. Julie Greene says:

    Okay, you asked. Lamictal is NOT an antidepressant. It is a drug given for seizures, or sometimes for so-called bipolar. I was given it because they assumed I was “bipolar.” I was never “bipolar” if you even believe such a thing exists. If given for seizures it is sometimes given along with other seizure drugs.

    I was first given it around the turn of 1996 into 1997, this was because Tegretol did a number on me. The Tegretol level spiked so I was taken off of it right away.

    The main problem with Lamictal is that STARTING is scary. You cannot start fast, you must start slowly or you can get a very very bad FATAL rash.

    I do know people who literally had to get off Lamictal cold turkey. Because they had the rash. No problem whatsoever! I got off of it myself cold turkey, too. I didn’t notice anything. I went from 600 (toxic) to nothing and wow, I felt MUCH better, knowing I wasn’t gonna die, knowing that stopping the darned poison AMA I had saved my life.

    IF EVER you think you might have the rash you literally have to go to a doctor or even an ER if it’s a weekend. You have to go inpatient IF it’s positively the rash, because it can kill you. IF it is. And they do take you off cold turkey. They have to. Do you want to die or do you want to pussy-foot around with scare tactics from the online scare tactic communities?

    This is a dangerous drug! The only people who should be taking it, if anyone, are those who choose to take it and are fully informed people who are aware of the risks. I would not take it unless I had gran mal fall down seizures and nothing else would control the seizures. If you do, and you ever get that rash, you have to go to an ER and then get the rash treated so you won’t die.

    Sorry to be harsh but please no more scare tactics. The rash, which comes from the drug Lamictal and a few others, is much, much scarier.

    • Chaya says:

      Thanks Julie! Yes I know that Lamictal is not an antidepressant. For some reason it is still on the surviving antidepressants forum though.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. I agree that if someone is having the emergency life-threatening rash they should definitely go off immediately. But if they aren’t, reducing gradually might be better in most cases. Even though you didn’t have the severe withdrawal a lot of people actually do.
      Thanks again!

    • Misty says:

      You shouldn’t down play bipolar for those of us suffering from it really pisses me off that you can say it isn’t real.. well for me it affects my whole life every second of everyday it also affects my family and anyone around me.. so if you don’t have it don’t down play it for those of us suffering from it.. fuck if I could get rid of it I would and if it wasn’t real then what the fuck am I suffering from.. my moods are out of control ups, downs, suicidal, manic then depressed.. don’t down play what you do not have.. you don’t know how hard it is to be bipolar so keep your ‘opinion’ about something you do not have to yourself thank you very much…. from someone who suffers greatly from Bipolar1 😉

      • Ryan Hammer says:

        I’m 34, male and been diagnosed bi Polar since I was 15 and just got off limictal cold turkey 5 weeks ago. My life is so much better off of limictal. The withdrawal was terrible, but pain is something I’ve felt forever so I was ready for the challenge. You can’t blame your bi polar if you don’t eat healthy, walk the walk, don’t do drigs and DONT use nicotine, nicotine is terrible for a mood disorder. Once I was off limictal and nictotine, and I wasn’t a 15 year old ruining my families life I realized that maybe the doctors in 1998 never focused on my actual condition of addiction and healthy life choices. I have bad ptsd as well from past homes I’ve been forced to live at so I know the struggle.

        • Darcy says:

          How much lamictal were you taking? I tried cutting back a tiny bit and it was horrible. I would love to quit cold turkey but I’m wondering how long the withdrawal symptoms last. If I could just quit and have a week of withdrawal symptoms I’d take a week off. I’d even Stay a week in a hospital to get off of this drug, I hate what it’s done to me, I want my mind back.

  2. Adeli says:

    Hi Chaya,

    and what you think about

    all other medical specialties that are not Psychiatry?,
    do you think they are really helpful?

    Thank you,


  3. Adeli says:

    Hi Chaya,

    and what you think about

    all other medical specialties that are not Psychiatry?,
    do you think they are really helpful?

    Please, notification to me when you answer with a post!

    Thank you,


    • Chaya says:

      Great question Adelina. What kinds of medical specialties are you asking about? As for Western medical specialties, in the realm of allopathic medicine, I think some can be helpful in emergencies.

      They also have their use at times in extending life (not necessarily the quality of life, and not necessarily in the best way, though).

      Sometimes medications are helpful due to the placebo effect and/or collective belief, both of which are very powerful.

      Most medications come from herbs, amino acids or natural substances that are chemically synthesized.

      There certainly is still a time and a place for aggressive medical intervention, such as in emergencies.

      It also depends on the person, their beliefs and their intentions (as well as the doctor’s).

      I haven’t found most Western medical specialties to help me in the long term with any health issues (besides Western herbalism and naturopathy), but have found a few that have gotten me through emergencies or very acute situations such as having an inhaler for an asthma attack.

      Then there are “alternative” specialties such as herbalism, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and even naturopathy (which could be considered allopathy/Western medicine) which have helped me more on a consistent basis. Homeopathy can also be useful for certain things, for some people.

      Let me know if this answers your question! Thanks!

      • Adeli says:

        Well, for start I’ll tell you that for my experience with Generalistics doctors and specialists with who I have treat (neurologists, ear´s specialists, specialists in muscles and bones) always attributed the side effects that cause psychiatric medications in my body to psychosomatic of the own patient not to the drugs…, although there was physical evidence that drugs affected (because there was no such physical evidences before taking these medications,!) , they prefer to ascribe such ailments to the psychosomatic that admit that they are due to the drugs themselves, although in previous medical history of the patient (previous to taking psychiatric medications I want to mean) just have visit doctors a few few times in many years; for example, I will tell you that psiq drugs caused me much stiff muscles throughout the body and especially on the back, and there a herniated cervical and too much tension and pain in the head that the Generalistics, specialists in bones and neurologists have never recognized is due to psychiatric medications…

        Generalistics and specialists don´t want to make specialised proofs to confirm lesions in organs of the patient due to psychiatric drugs, both also refuse again and again no proof, simply saying to the patient that everything is psychosomatic… and after years asking to make you proofs to show the evidence if it comes out positive…¡ for them never was due to psychiatric medications!(it was my case with cervical herniate) The generalists and the specialists that I have treat do not trust what the patient and former psych patient tell and this also ends up losing confidence patient in them, it is finally mutual lose confidence…, already do not trust each other.

        I asked for your opinions about specialists because soon I should visit a cardiologist (feel long ago that my heart was very affected by psych medications, with pain almost all days, continuously, although the doctors always told me not to worry me at all… and just their indifference caused me more damage). I will go to a cardiologist soon but don’t think take medication if he or she prescribe it to me, my experience with the medication is needed more medication if I start with one and more and more damages in body…, because they always create side effects, “arrange” one thing and spoil others… and more since I took psychiatric drugs I think that I am more intolerant to drugs medications, probably by intoxicating by years rather than allergy… ( I consulted allergologists also about that!) For example, after psychiatric medications they gave me antihistamines for three weeks and I had more reaction even in my skin, after only two days taking them I had to withdraw them!.

        With regard to products of herbalist, despite the low energy after taking psychiatric medications I am pleased, for example, have never taken ginseng (not all persons working in herbalists know advise well because they do not know exactly how psychiatric drugs affect the nervous system…); It is also not advisable to follow friends recommendations even if herbalists have only natural products…, for example tryptophan, someone recommended me for my “depression” but gave me vomiting at the second day and recently I discovered that me was not maybe depressed but (although people perceive it as well) but the Serotonin Syndrome which produced me the psychiatric medications took by years as most of medicaments I took were Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), precisely, what I have is serotonin high and not low. Therefore I do not need to increase my serotonin levels (but clear, this I have realized over time and by experience because no doctors has told me that and they haven´t wanted to do analysis of neurotransmitters during taking psychiatric medications or after). By this I mean, if we do not know very well what psychiatric medications have produced in our body…, we must be careful with herbal medicines also!, I think…

        Now I am rooting for good and real food for recover and prevention, and maybe I prefer a surgery in a single organ body with a great age than take medications that are hurting me more organs on an adult but young age even…, but maybe with time I will change opinion, but for now this is what I think based on my experience just to now! Sorry for mistakes with my English, hope you understand my basics ideas in this text! Best wishes for you with your recovery,


        • Chaya says:

          Thanks Adelina! I totally get what you are saying here. The denial on the part of medical professionals has been very frustrating for so many of us. I think herbs and natural products can help (as well as good food of course), but you are right. We all react differently, and just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it can’t cause problems. That has happened to me as well, but I have also found some natural supplements and herbs that do help. It is also a constantly evolving process and can be frustrating for sure.
          I wish you the best!

      • Adeli says:

        The subject of the side effects of psychiatric medication affected me also in another sense: I loved and respected so much Medicine and Nursing as professions before I had taken this medication…(even I had thought study them one day because they were always my great passions in life!), but to discover how are medical patients unnecessarily medicated has made me lose faith not only in Psychiatry but even in Generalistic Medicine and other specialities that I knew a little due to the large number of side effects that I experienced and for that the many many visits I made with different doctors of different specialities. So the effects of the medication have affected me twice, affected to my health and to my professional vocation, and that for me is too much…

        • Chaya says:

          That makes a lot of sense Adelina. I had the thought awhile ago that psychiatry is a very very extreme version of the “isolating of parts” that goes on in mainstream medicine. Perhaps it is here to show us the damage of isolating our body parts or brain chemicals from the rest of our beings to such an extreme as to call every emotional “deviation” from conformity a “disorder” to be drugged.

          I think our bodies and emotions speak to us, and as much as possible, listening with curiosity and openness is the way we learn and get to know ourselves and find our path and meaning in life. Certainly there are emergencies where a quick intervention can be the way to go, but much of the time we can actually listen and tune in with what our bodies and feelings are saying, and how they might be guiding us.

  4. Sam says:

    I’m sorry people have had such bad experiences with coming off lamyctol. I was put on it after having a seizure from welbutrin, and told it would stop any further seizures which I never have had because it was welbutrin related, but also help with mood. Which it has and has increased over the past few years. I’m not sure what does I’m on but it’s working. So hopefully won’t have to come off it any time soon. I’ve heard about the rash and so happy I did not have that!

  5. Rose Courts says:

    From Rose Courts: I was very fortunate in that I did not experience withdrawal from Lamictal, even though I was on-and-off with it for a few years (I was also trying to quit my meds long before I actually succeeded in that). I did stop for good when I went back on it for a few days and then got a rash. I didn’t wait around to see if it was actually Stevens-Johnson Syndrome; I quit completely and never went back on it.

    It was lucky that I did not experience seizures from withdrawal. At the same time that I quit Lamictal completely, I also quit Gabapentin cold-turkey, and I did experience minor seizures from that. I wish I had known then what I know now about self-care to mitigate withdrawal symptoms. I would advise anyone who is going off Lamictal to

    1) temporarily change to a ketogenic or at least Paleo type of diet. Sometimes children with Epilepsy are prescribed the ketogenic diet to stop their seizures, and it works! A diet high in healthy fats and low in sugar/grains helps repair the brain and nervous system fast.

    2) Take natural supplements or herbs that work on the GABA system (which Lamictal also does): GABA (amino acid blend), pure Cannabadiol (CBD), Valerian Root, Kava, or 300-500mg magnesium (citrate or malate). Inositol (sometimes called Vitamin B8) at a high dose is also excellent for anxiety, though it works more on serotonin than GABA.

    • Karlene says:

      Thank you for that info! I am a week off lamictal and now will tackle the rest of my gabapentin intake (200mg at night now, when I was at 800mg)

  6. Hibari says:

    I am currently withdrawing from Lamictal after successfully withdrawing from Remeron 6 months ago. The highest dose I have been on with Lamictal was 200mg and now I am on 16.50mg. I’m sorry to say it has been a brutal withdrawal. I feel scared (crying and despair) and sick (nauseau, headaches, dizziness) most mornings, which does ease as the day goes on.

    I started withdrawing from this medication in July of 2015 and it is taking me this long. I do worry that I won’t get off and it is only faith that keeps me going because it has been exhausting. I probably won’t be off of it till the Spring (hopefully). I do acupuncture, take a limited amount of supplements and try not to panic about this process on a daily basis.

    The reasons I got on these meds in the first place (only 10 months of each till I started to taper) was due to grief and exhaustion leading to depression. I had never been on meds before and even had Clonazapm thrown in, which I took for a year before weaning off. I do get support from Surviving Antidepressants but not many people are on the Lamictal wd path. I also have read Gia K’s/Monica’s Beyond Med posts but again the Lamictal comments are not current or active.
    Thank you for letting me post.

    • Chaya says:

      Hi Hibari, I got your email and edited this for you so your email address is no longer posted. Did you try to edit it yourself and were unable to? Thanks so much for your comment. I think it will help others! And good luck, sending you best wishes in your withdrawal and recovery!!!

  7. Andie says:

    I have been taking lamictol for the past 2 years. It is hard to taper. I cut in half and my mood is bad. I tried to cut twice already, but is terrible hard.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve been taking Lamictal for 8 years now for bipolar. I am tapering down from 400 mg to now at 100 mg. I was at 150mg 5 weeks ago. I am having a hard time staying asleep and I do feel a little bit more clear in the head. Lamictal really messed up my stomach to where I am lactose intolerant now. I am hoping to be off completely by Spring.

    • Chaya says:

      Good luck Elizabeth. Wishing you the best. When I was on Risperdal, I had many food sensitivities, but they went away over time after I got off. Thanks for sharing your update.

    • Murray says:

      It really messed up my stomach too , I cannot have dairy anymore. Maybe it will go awayTrying to get off it, it’s been hell. 🙁

    • Darcy says:

      Can you share how you tapered off? What was your schedule? How much did you taper and how long between each one? I’ve been in for 8 years too and in desperate need to get off.

    • Darcy says:

      Elizabeth, I’ve been taking it for about as long as you have. I was on 300 and now 225. I tried 200 and it affected my mood too much. My doc put me on the extended release which seemed to be easier to taper but you can only taper 25 at a time because you can’t cut the extended release in half. Are you off of it altogether? How are you feeling? I’m a single mom and have to work full time and I get concerned about functioning on my job if I taper more but I want to get off so bad. I want my mind back. Please give more info on tapering that you have. Thank you so much.

  9. nikki_r says:

    Hello there, I came across your website in an internet search about Lamictal withdrawal. I began 200mg of Lamictal in 2006 for pregnancy related depression and “Bipolar 2” (a diagnosis I question). In Sept. of 2015 I began tapering very slowly, I am currently down to 75mg. But, I’ve been feeling very moody and irritable lately, I’m not sure if it’s stress (I have 3 kids and I’m currently getting a Masters!) or if it’s seasonal or my fear is that it’s withdrawal. Any advice? I’m thinking of going back up by 12.5mg for a time, just wish I could get off this med roller coaster

  10. Chaya says:

    Nikki, Thanks for your comment. You might want to try oatstraw and/or tulsi infusions to help with stress, moods and withdrawal. Good luck!

  11. Frans Bevort says:

    Hi, (male, 56) I have been treated with lamictal since 2008 where I was triggered by traditionel anti-depressants (SSRI-inhibiters) to a bipolar episode after a stressrelated depression. I have tried to get of lamital on two occasions but lost my faith because I felt like slipping into depression again. I have over the years been reducing my dose from 200, 100 and then 50g for the last four years. In the late Summer 2017 I went to 25 grammes. And the day before yesterday I quit it altogether. The scary thing with these medicaitons is that you cannot know what is excactly actually causing your moods and well-being. I have never registered any side-effects from taking lamictal and I believe I have had a good positive effect on my latent bi-polarity (it is running in my family). Right now I am just excited of the prospect of getting off the substance and I have not – so far – any withdrawal symptoms. I write this because I think information is a best patchy on the subject. So: Lamictal worked for me and I have not experienced any sideeffects or withdrawal problems. But good riddance, nevertheless :-). Good luck getting off lamictal yourself. Frans

      • Frans Bevort says:

        Now I am a month, 2 days and counting from my departure from lamictal (25mg). It has caused a certain amont of anxiety and confusion, and even a couple of days of very dark moodsand irritability. However, my energy is up now, I am working great and I am feeling very optimistic about a life without that particular medication. I have not had much in terms of heavier physical effects – not that I can identify as caused by L. – I have had spells of dizziness and like being in bubble, but not for long.

        As I mentioned earlier, it is hard to now what is causing what. But I really suspect that the power of this agent is far stronger than you normaly realize.

        I guess I have been lucky to have good effects and relatively benign withdrawal experiences.

        Good luck to y’all – it can pan out well for you too.

        • Chaya says:

          I’m really glad it’s going well for you Frans. That’s great that you are feeling more energy and so optimistic. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing here.

  12. Wendy Smith says:

    I had to withdraw immediately from 25 mg dosage of lamictal 12 days ago bec i began having SJS symptoms. I started Lamictal at 6.25 mg bec 12.5 mg caused too much dizziness. I had only been at 25 mg ab 6-7 weeks before I developed a rash that alarmed my doc enough to pull me off it. I had some bothersome side effects that had been developing over time that I didn’t relate to the med, which is odd for me because I am VERY cautious ab med side effects. I am highly sensitive. Obviously, since I developed early SJS on 25 mg! Coming off this drug at that small dose has been hell. The withdrawal effects have been evolving. I have had incredible pain in my legs from muscle tension and joint stiffness. I have rheumatoid type symptoms in my hands and hips. I take a muscle relaxant at night to help leg pain so I can sleep – and it does help, but not my arms “go to sleep” or tingle and become numb is they are in one position for any length of time. I have to shake them out. I have terrible brain fog – with serious word retrieval issues. My doc says it may take 4-6 weeks for me to feel stabilized. Anyone else experience the leg and joint pains? Thoughts? I take Mg supplement, and magnesium baths that help as long as i’m in the bath.

    Good luck to everyone here!

    • Chaya says:

      Hi Wendy. That sounds awful. I hope it gets better. Magnesium can definitely help with muscle pain and tension, though I also read it can help the body detox faster so it might exacerbate withdrawal at times. You may want to look into that and use your best judgement. Also, perhaps a regular doctor or naturopath can do some bloodwork to see if you are deficient in anything else, such as B vitamins, vitamin D or zinc, which are common ones. I wish you the best! Sounds like since you weren’t on it for too long, the withdrawal should go away soon <3

  13. Cleo says:

    I was on 100mg for past 6 months. I was put on it for anxiety. My doctor said I can halve it and then after one month go off it completely. It’s only 4 days in and I feel dreadful. Brain fog, scattered brain, feeling irritable, jittery and like crying. I’m going to soldier on but I sure hope it gets better soon. I did think decreasing from 100mg to 50mg was kind of extreme! But trust my doctor so will have to hope it gets better… I do feel better as the day goes on but feel dreadful for hours in the morning.

    • Chaya says:

      Hi Cleo. Good luck! Thanks for sharing your experience with us here. It does sound like that’s a fast drop. You may want to get a second opinion from another doctor. Doctor’s often mean well and we trust their intentions, yet many are fairly uneducated and inexperienced with psychiatric drug withdrawal. I would air on the side of caution and go slower and perhaps discuss the effects you are having with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to help you create a slower taper plan, and then you will be educating them as well about the need for some people to taper a lot slower. Hope it gets better.

  14. Kristina says:

    My daughter was put on Lamictal (lamotrigine) for depression at 15 years old. I refused to let her take an SSRI because a year prior, Prozac caused her mania, akathisia, and a suicide attempt after taking it for only one week. She had never attempted suicide before. For the Lamictal, the only side effect the psychiatrist warned me about was the rash. She started at 25 mg and went up slowly due to the risk of the rash. Her psychiatrist planned for her to go up to 200 mg. Once she got up to 100 mg, she started complaining about depersonalization. I insisted that she be dropped down to 75 mg. She stayed at 75 mg for 6 months before weaning off over one month. Luckily, she did not suffer from seizures or obvious withdrawals. Two months after stopping, she still suffers from depersonalization, but she says it’s not as bad as when she was on Lamictal. While she was on Lamictal, she didn’t want to stop because she said it made her not care about things. She liked the feeling of not caring. I will never let her take another psychiatric drug while she’s still a minor. It’s scary, though, because she will most likely start taking psychiatric drugs again once she turns 18 and I no longer have the power to prevent it. She liked the feeling of mania when she was on Prozac, and thinks if she were allowed to take another antidepressant, her life would be perfect. There will be nothing stopping her from taking it again the day she turns 18. She refuses to listen to me about the dangers of psychiatric medication.

  15. Chaya says:

    Kristina, That’s terrible. I’m sorry to hear this about your daughter. When I was a teenager, I liked the effects of Prozac as well. I liked the mania, but then realized on my own I didn’t want to take it anymore. Hopefully your daughter will be able to get better information by the time she’s an adult. I notice a lot of teens and preteens can want to take psych drugs due to peer pressure or because their friends are taking them. It’s sad that they are so vulnerable to this. Wishing you and your daughter the best. Maybe she will change her views as she gets older and more mature. Perhaps show her some films like “Coming Off Psych Drugs” that have younger people give testimonials of how the drugs affected them.

  16. theresag063gmailcom says:

    This is all brand new to me, and it’s very alarming. I’m on several psych meds, including Lamictal. My head is wondering if this is for real or some kooky fringe group – no offense intended, I just hate buying into things and regretting it. Like, what if I go off Lamictal, and the cure is worse than taking it was? Why risk these horrific withdrawal symptoms? Sorry if I seem rude. I just don’t know what to do.

    • Chaya says:

      Hi Theresa, Skepticism is nearly always warranted when coming across information from an unknown source. How did you find this blog? Most people find it because they are already looking for tips on getting off Lamictal. The most popular searches to get to my site are “getting off Lamictal” and things of that nature. So I’d ask you how you ended up here and what your initial concern was that led you to this site.

    • Wendy Smith says:

      This is definitely NOT a kooky fringe group. I am a highly educated consumer of psych meds, had a reaction to Lamictal, and found this site to be extremely informative and supportive. Chaya is amazing.

  17. Wendy Smith says:

    I have now been off Lamictal for 28 days. I began developing early signs of SJS after titrating up to 25 mgs and then being at that dose for ab 4 weeks. I didn’t know my symptoms were early signs of SJS until i developed a rash – that I still maintain did not look like a Lamictal rash – on my upper arm, hands and feet. At that point, I called my doctor who told me to get off the Lamictal immediately. The withdrawal from the Lamictal has me very confused. I have a host of different symptoms every day – and they are the same as both the rare side effects of being on Lamictal and the beginning symptoms of SJS. I am in much less musculoskeletal pain, though I still suffer muscle tightness, pain and stiffness. I have rheumatoid-like pain; I continue have numbness and tingling in extremities; I experience episodes of sore throat, cough and fatigue; I now have a tiny blister on my lip; and I continue to struggle mightily with brain fog. Is this what withdrawal should be like????

  18. Chaya says:

    Wow Wendy, that sounds terrible. It’s hard for me to tell without talking to you more in depth, whether these are withdrawal symptoms or something else, or perhaps a combination of withdrawal and other things. I hope it goes away soon. The only thing that comes to mind that ‘d recommend without knowing more about your situation is Vitamin C for immunity. I’d recommend you talk in depth with someone knowledgeable such as a naturopath, or doctor who can test you for nutrients and rule out any infections. I’d also be happy to talk more with you if you’d like to make an appointment on my schedule.

    • Wendy Smith says:

      Thank you for your reply Chaya! Talked to my psychopharmacologist yesterday and he thinks that my immune system is still reacting. It clearly did NOT like the Lamictal. So, he suggested I now wean off the Zoloft I’m on in case it was a co-irritant – we have reason to believe it was the combo that may have been a bad one for me. It seems like my immune system is still HYPER active and needs to be calmed. So, I’d be inclined to steer away from anything else that might stimulate it. More than a little worried ab weaning off Zoloft now and adding whatever that brings, but I’ve already gone down from 75 to 50 mg while going through this. For that matter, maybe some of this is Zoloft withdrawal! Anyway, going down from 50 to 25 for the next few weeks. We’ll see. I am happy to be getting off these drugs!!!

      One more thought. I am perimenopausal. I found DIM – the final metabolite of cruciferous veggies- that many women use to help metabolize estrogen and decrease negative effects from the vacillating hormones during this time. It made a HUGE difference in all kinds of symptoms and was a god-send. However, DIM is also an immune system booster. In case IT is keeping my immune system in overdrive, I’ve gone off it.

      • Chaya says:

        Wow, congrats! It sounds like you are on a good track now. Do you have a regular doctor or naturopath who can test your thyroid and other hormones? Immune/autoimmune stuff can be a bit complex and it would be good to consult with a doctor or maybe an endocrinologist who specializes in hormones. Naturopaths tend to be good at advising foods and herbs, supplements etc to balance them out.

        My thyroid was producing antibodies last year and I had some autoimmune issues in conjunction with that. With the help of my naturopath and some dietary/herbal and supplemental additions as well as lowered stress levels, my thyroid is no longer producing antibodies and I don’t have the autoimmune response anymore. Supporting the adrenals can help with this, which is mostly what I’ve been focusing on.

        Good luck!!

        • Chaya says:

          One other thing: I’m not a doctor or expert in autoimmunity obviously, but I don’t think that supporting your immune system necessarily puts it into overdrive. I’m not sure that Vitamin C or your other supplement would have any negative impact. But that’s why I’d recommend you ask a doctor who knows more and also do more research on this. Good luck.

  19. Hibari says:

    I am continuing my Lamictal wd and am now down to 10mgs from 200mgs. My last cut was on February 7th and I probably won’t make another cut of 10% till the end of April. I continue to be up and down with my wd symptoms; nausea, headache, dizziness and acute fear-both medication induced and my own fear that I will not get off. I take a limited amount of supplements so I don’t shake my nervous system too much and I go to acupuncture for non-stimulating treatments.

    Where I used to have a very specific pattern when I wd from Remeron, this pattern seems to be much more up and down. Good days and then bad days. Hard to navigate but I’m doing the best I can.

    It doesn’t surprise me that that you get lots of responses from people trying to get off of Lamictal, there is not as much information out there regarding how bad it is to withdraw from.

  20. Tysha says:

    Ok so i was on 2 medications that worked for 2yrs so far no problem, had a wonderful amazing psychiatrist which u all know is very hard to find.So my medications were working great until the one i found out last September that it brought my sodium level down way too far so he tried to cut the dose in half and see if it worked without bringing the sodium level down anymore. It worked. He left the practice last November which was devastating. In February i started to feel my moods go up and down just not being right so went th o see the Dr who replaced my Dr. From the minute i met him he showed Great lack of Professionalism but due to hom being new to me i overlooked that, Huge Mistake!! So he had told me that my moods had started to change bc my medicine they cut in half was a dose of nothing, might as well not be on it at all bc at that dose it was doing nothing. Against my better judgement he convinced me to ho on another medicine. He sold me on lamictal. I specifically asked him what were the side effects, his exact words were ” oh nothing realky, u just might get a rash in the beginning so just look for that and let me know”. Sounded good to me, I am now 7 wks in on lamictal. He started me at 25mg and every 2wks increased it by 25mg so I’m at a 100mg now. About 2wks in i thought i was getting a rash so i googled pics of it to see & i was Shocked & Enraged to find out that it wasn’t just a simple rash i could get like he made it out to be, it was deadly,I went to my family dr and he cleared me saying i didn’t have the rash. I didn’t think i was having any side effects at all but the medicine was Not working, I still kept going bc i figured it needed more time. Last sat i woke up and didn’t feel right, i suddenly started with diarrhea & vomitting for hours & hours, i thought i had a stomach bug until it suddenly same day stopped. Thats when i looked up side effects of lamictal and found a long list and i had most of them! I was hoping how i felt Saturday was a one time thing so i kept taking the lamictal, Wednesday i woke up feeling same sickness but went to work than 2hrs later had to leave. I want off this medicine now but i know from research i have to be weaned off. I left a message for the dr to call me asap, end of day still no call. I called him and he answered all perplexed and said who is this so i angrily stated my name told him i left a long message with the receptionist earlier and he was supposed to call me asap. He said oh yea i was just about to, so i went on about what’s been going on and in the middle he said what medication are you on? I’m like seriously is he asking me this, I’m on Lamictal, oh yea he says, so u want to stop? I’m like yes i think i should, but i know i need to be weaned off bc u can’t just stop this medication at once. He said No you can just stop. I’m like um no i heard you had to wean yourself off, he said Lamictal, No you can just stop it. I’m like r u sure?? Yes just stop taking it he said. I knew he was wrong. So he wanted to get off the phone and i said Wait! I’m going to need to talk asap about going on another medicine thats similar to my old one, he said call the office and make an appointment. Im like no it would take a month to get an appointment, I cant go off this medicine and be on Nothing!! Wtf! Ok well im not in the office next week. Ok well i need to see u asap! Ugh ok can u get in here the end of this week? Call tomorrow and tell them to squeeze u in. I called my pharmacist to see if i was correct on needing to be weaned off lamictal and he said- i don’t want to go against your doctor but yes lamictal is a medicine u should be weaned off of. So i called my family dr to see if he can tell me what mg to step down to bc idk, I’m on 100mg now and i started on 25mg than increased it by 25mg every 2wks. I’ve been on it 7wks. There are not enough words, at a complete loss right now. When you have no choice but to put your well being in the hands of a Professional & you find out they’re completely Careless & Incompetant. I’m starting from scratch now & I just feel too old to have to relive my 20’s of finding just the right person that genuinely cares,listens, & takes the time to really understand & help you as my Dr. did for years. He left his practice & this new guy is Horribly Incompetent! I cannot believe he’s in this profession working with ppl! God help any of his patients! Seriously,I’m just smfh!
    Never met a Dr. that looked at you as just another prescription, literally playing russian roulette with your health/Life! Wtf! I want to report him but don’t know how to go about that. He shouldn’t be practicing! He has Greatly increased showing his dangerous lack of knowledge in this field, Incompetance and has been so Completely upfront about Not caring about his patients when called on it! Yet expects me to make another appointment with him, OMG!

    • Jenna says:

      Tasha, I would report this doctor to your state’s medical board.

      I have seen scientific studies suggesting a person needs to weaned due to risk of seizures.

      I personally believe I experienced a small seizure today weaning off of this medication. I have been weaing off of it for 3 weeks from 50 mg to 25 to 12.5 and 2 days ago off it completely. I experiencing shaking, dizziness, foggy thinking, confusion, jerking of legs, panic, feeling of loss of control. It was so scary. I would not recommend stopping this medication abruptly just for the chance that this could happen to you. Also caffeine may also increase seizure activity when weaning off this medication. I wish my NP would have told me about this also. Good luck.

      • Jenna says:

        I also read the rash can occur when weaning off and if that happens the Lamictal will need to be stopped suddenly as the rash is life threatening.

      • Tysha Fischer says:

        Thank you Jenna, I am Immediately found a new psychiatrist that on 1st impression he was very genuine, well educated and caring. He stated that lamictal is a very good medication for someone who’s bipolar ect.. if it works bc everyones different. So he would like to have me stay on it but if I chose to go off he said he would most definitely wean me off. He believes that I haven’t had any changes in my mental health from this medication because I haven’t reached the mg dose i should be at which I’m only 2 to 3 weeks away from that, so instead of taking myself off this medication I decided to give it another 2 to 3 weeks and if there’s no change and the side effects continue then I will start to be weaned off. I really do like this new psychiatrist he is a bit farther to drive to but for mental health you’ll do anything. Thank you so much for all your input of your own experience! I’ll try to get back on here and give an update.😊

  21. Tysha says:

    Oh and I’m Bipolar with severe depression,ocd,ptsd, and went through a trauma that completely changed my life (including my familiy)in 2014, all my meds stopped working at that time and i was suicidal several times, but the last time i almost succeeded & landed in the ICU for a week than in and out of the psychiatric week long hospital stays for a little over a year. Finally came out of that depression and met Dr. Okabecca that got me on the right medicine that I’ve been on for the past 2yrs. He was the Best! Than he left the practice.

  22. Jenna Ingrisch says:

    I have been weaning off Lamotrigine for about 3 weeks. 2 days ago I took my final dose of 12.5 mg as I have been weaning from 50 mg which I have been on for about 10 years for management of depression and anxiety. I have never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This morning I also had 3 cups of coffee which I normally do not do, so I am not sure of that is a contributing factor or not, but I began to exhibit symptoms that may be related to seizure, dizziness, confusion, shaking in arms and hands, jerking legs and arms, foggy thinking, panic, loss of coordination, feeling loss of control of my body ect. I called my NP who was unsure of the cause but encouraged me to lessen caffeine intake and wean off at the 12.5 dose for an additional week. I am afraid. I don’t want to feel like that again. I was about to drive 40 miles for work, what if I had been driving at the time?! Please be careful when weaning off of this medication!

    • RipCity 503 (@JasonRed701) says:

      omg I had the same thing happen to me at work. I drank a pot of coffee (which I don’t normally do) and felt a seizure coming on. I haven’t really drank coffee since then. I’ve been on Lamictal going on 10 years. I want off of it. Do you feel much different since being off of Lamictal? Do tell. thanks!

      • Jenna says:

        I weaned off of Lamictal and Lexapro starting April 19th and have been off of Lexapro for almost 6 weeks and Lamictal for 4 weeks. I have been told I have more personality. I also feel like a veil has been removed from in front of my eyes. I was finding that too much sugar, caffeine, or alcohol made me feel dizzy and gave me brain fog. I have completely changed my diet to help myself through this period. I eat mostly organic fruits and veggies, lean meats, some dairy, I started taking omega 3 supplements, magnesium, zinc, and a probiotic. I feel like things are beginning to normalize. No seizure like symptoms since I wrote this post. My anxiety has returned, but I am working to manage this as well. Exercise also helps me with this. Ripcity 503 are you still drinking? The doctor kept you on Lamictal for a alcohol withdrawal seizure and kept you on it or are you on it for a different reason. You may want to address the use of alcohol first if that is also preventing you from getting healthy. I realize this may not be an easy thing to do. Let me know if I can help.

        • Hibari says:

          Hi Jenna, Good to hear that changing your diet and supplement is helping.

          You may know this but rebound anxiety is a common side affect of medication withdrawal. It can feel like the original anxiety returning but from my experience and research, until you are off the medication for about 6 months to a year can you gauge whether it’s the original symptom returning.

          When I first started tapering my second medication Remeron/Mirtazapine I was bouncing off the wall with anxiety but it settled down through the taking of L-Theanine.

          Congratulations on getting off of Lamictal!

          • Jenna says:

            Habari that is good to know. The anxiety is actually starting to improve already. I overall feel calmer and less anxious than I have in years. I am even wondering if the medication was making me more anxious. I used to shake and have difficulty with speaking with others while in social situations and I no longer shake and it is easier to be social.

          • Jenna says:

            Also thank you for the support. I believe you can do it too. I am learning that with time a person’s body will heal and normalize. Another thing I have noticed is my perception of time has changed. It seems like the last 2 months went by so fast, but more like I was present in the moment. It’s hard to explain. That could also be related to stopping the Lexapro too.

  23. RipCity 503 (@JasonRed701) says:

    I want off this drug: So I was a heavy drinker in college and I had a seizure when I stopped drinking and the neurologist gave me 200mg lamictal. I tried stopping cold turkey after taking Lamictal for several years and I had another seizure at work. So Dr. put me back on it. has been a year since i’ve had that seizure. Has this happened to anyone else. I felt so much better when I was off of it. email me

  24. Jenna says:

    If you do plan to go off of Lamictal I recommend weaning very slowly. I was on 50 mg and did 25 for 1 or 2 weeks before going down to 12.5 for 2 weeks. Some people take months or even a year to wean. I have heard this is a tough one to wean off of and a seizure may mean you were going off too fast.

    • Hibari says:

      I have been weaning off Lamictal since July of 2015. I am down to 8.8 mgs from 200mg. It has taken me a very long time and I feel every cut I make, whether it’s big or small. I was also weaning from Remeron for some of the same time and have been off of that medicament since April 2017. I probably have another 6 or 7 months in front of me before I finally get off of Lamictal and even though I pray to go faster, my body won’t let me.

      It was good to read above somewhere that it felt like a veil had been lifted when someone finally got off. That’s how I feel, like my life force is submerged. This has been a very tough journey.

      Wishing everyone continue healing.

  25. Nikki says:

    Hibari, I’ve been wearing off 200mg since September 2015! I’m at 50mg, been taking it really slow and sometimes staying at a dose for awhile. I’m the same, I feel each cut, but I also know that the symptoms only tend to last for a few days and then I level off again.
    I wish you continued success with this!

    • Hibari says:

      Nikki, I wish you the same. What a powerful med and I haven’t run into too many people who are from withdrawing from Lamictal, which is why this thread is so interesting to me.

  26. Hibari says:

    Just needed to write that I am going through a very hard time with my most recent cut. It wasn’t a big cut but the impact has been horrible. Depression, despair, weeping, sweating, headache, foggy brain and nausea. I feel very discouraged about the rest of my journey trying to get of 8.8mgs of Lamictal.

    Has anyone taken a longer break from withdrawing and then found it was easier once they went back?
    Any feedback would be so helpful.

  27. Cortney says:

    Because if insurance and financial issues, I have to go cold turkey on both lamictal (200 mg) and Effexor (150) both of which have huge withdrawal symptoms from what I understand. It sucks that my doc is perfectly aware of the withdrawals but won’t prescribe a bridge script for 10 days. That’s all I need! But it may be a blessing in disguise because I want to change my meds, get off of these powerful drugs and see if my brain fog dissipates.

    My question is – other than going keto and taking supplements, what recommendations do you guys have to alleviate or at least help with withdrawals? Thanks so much!

    • Chaya says:

      Can you go to an urgent care clinic or even emergency room for the bridge script? Or another doctor? I would try oatstraw and tulsi strong herbal infusions as well.

      • Cortney Bodine Arrant says:

        So I stayed on it and have good insurance. However I am experiencing that out of body feeling, brain fog, memory issues and I feel completed incompetent at work. I’m on 200 mg and tonight I cut the tip off a weeks worth of pills to begin the process of weaning tomorrow. I plan on taking is slowly and I’ve written down suggestions you guys have given but I’m so afraid this will affect my work. Ugh I hate this medicine!

  28. Jenna says:

    My biggest recommendation is to eliminate caffeine and reduce sugar. I had a seizure going off of Lemictal (no history of seizures) when I had two cups of coffee. I have also reduced gluten. I also exercise 4-5 times a week to help manage my mood. I also started using L-glutamine which has also helped tremendously. I take fish oil/omega 3s, b vitamins, probiotics, superfood, and hemp oil daily. Part of me going off both the Lexapro and Lamictal was trying different things to see what helps. It was sort of like an experiment. A recommendation if you need some more medication to get you through for a bit so you don’t have to go cold Turkey. Check the manufacturer’s website. Sometimes there are coupons for free 30 day supply or patient assistance programs. Hope this helps. Good luck

  29. Karen says:

    Hello! I have been tapering down from 200 mg of lamictal since the beginning of May 2018. Luckily I had put the research in and also tapered off of the medication in the past. My PCP thought going down in half doses was acceptable. I was originally prescribed Lamictal from a psych dr. after having a really bad reaction to Chantix and being over prescribed medication from my PCP. I was taking Zoloft Adderall and Xanax when the Chantix was prescribed to me. bipolar does run in my family and I believe I do have a mood disorder of sorts however I’ve been able to maintain in the past without medication or at least not being overmedicated. my husband and I would like to get pregnant and I do not want to be on the medication. I know that taken care of ourselves with exercise diet in spirituality plays a large role. However I am a mother of two, work full time, and I am awful at practicing what I preach. I am an MSW and work in Corrections. It is so easy to help others address their issues but not so much when it comes to my own. I have been at 100 mg Lamictal for almost 2 weeks now and it has been the worst as far as my emotions are concerned. I was doing alright when I wasn’t taking the Lamictal approximately two years ago for a few months. I believe I titrated down more quickly. I remember experiencing more physical symptoms than emotional. I went back on the medication winter 2016, due to feeling logey. Looking back I wonder if it was seasonal and due to my lack of exercise and healthy eating. I understand the importance of tapering slowly but I really just want to be done with this. The week has just been a rollercoaster of emotions. Considering this is the worst I’ve felt since trying to get off of the medication I just want to rip the Band-Aid off and go down to 75 MGs.

    • Hibari says:

      HI Karen, I completely understand how you feel. I have just been through a very bad patch of tapering Lamictal and had to up-dose because I came down too quickly. I was on 8.8mgs. I then up-dosed too much, 1.2mgs! and had a bad reaction. I then dropped down from there and am trying to stabilize at 9.5mgs.

      All this too say that, and I speak from painful experience, that it’s important to not jump to quickly even when we feel badly. Lamictal is a very strong medication and I am learning how much time I need to in between cuts. It’s different for all of us but the the lower you go, the slower you have to go. It’s not only about slowness, but about gentleness to our systems. We haven’t done anything wrong because we are having big reactions, it’s just the power of these medications.

      Wishing you well.

  30. Jenna says:

    Karen, I am also a social worker. I am a BSW and I primarily work with the aging population. I agree it is hard to take care of oneself. I have been off Lamictal now for about 4 months and each day is unpredictable. I initially weaned as my husband and I were going to try for our first child. Now I am thinking about going back to get my MSW next year and hopefully can get licensed as a counselor. Hopefully I can get through the next few weeks and make the first steps to apply. Wish I could say things have gotten easier since going off both Lexapro and Lamictal, but I’m not so sure right now. Just taking it day by day. I guess I am trying to figure out what I want and what I am capable of. I wish you luck. I am fearful also of the upcoming winter months. I am not giving up hope. Things will get better and I will figure out what I am supposed to be doing now.

  31. Karen says:

    Thank you. I will keep you posted on how things go for me. take the leap and get the MSW. I’m not sure what state you live in but in NY, you can sit for the licensure exam once you have the degree. Unfortunately they have made it more difficult to get the “C”.

  32. Jenna Ingrisch says:

    Thanks Karen. I live in Wisconsin and I can take the MSW exam once I graduate and then after 5000 hours of supervision I can get licensed as a clinical social worker and become a counselor.

  33. Karen says:

    I’m on day 3 of 87.5 mg and it has been much better than the adjustment to 100 mg. The trend seems to be that every other 12.5 drop is more difficult. it’s usually about a three-day adjustment but as I previously mentioned when I went from 112.5 mg to 100 it was at least a week of riding an emotional rollercoaster. I have also had my Adderall XR lowered from 30 mg to 20 in anticipation of trying to conceive. I know Chaya has mentioned supplements to help with symptoms related to mood disorders, anxiety, etc. I am not posting on the main thread because I am unsure how to but if anyone could offer some advice I would be grateful. I have always had generalized anxiety and ADHD however it never impacted my school work. I’ve always done very well academically. I didn’t start taking medication for the ADHD until it became difficult to stay focused and on task at work. Throughout the years there have been times that I have not taken medication. I’ve always been able to meet my responsibilities as a professional and a mother. Regardless of medication sometimes are easier than others. I need to come up with a concrete plan and follow it in terms of self-care. I am also prescribed up to 2 mg of Klonopin a day however I typically only take one about an hour before bedtime. I am cautious when it comes to benzos due to previously being over prescribed Xanax (still miss it… Lol)

  34. Kate says:

    I found this as I am about to get off of Lamictal after 8 months. I really love how it has helped me with bipolar 2. I haven’t had bad side effects. I recently developed idiopathic angioedema. That is listed as a possible rare side effect of Lamictal. My allergist wants to try me off the metal to see if my angioedema (face and throat swelling) symptoms reduce. I’ve had difficulties with withdrawals in the past. When this new condition started I couldn’t eat anything without at least my lips swelling, so I didn’t eat. That was the beginning of July. I got off my lithium cold turkey due to taking it without food in my stomach. Surprisingly haven’t felt anything bad from that. I know that medication works different from Lamictal.
    After reading the comments I think I will taper my 100mg slower than the 50mg the doctor told me to try.

  35. Hibari says:

    Hi, I am still struggling with my Lamictal withdrawal. I had to up-dose from 8.8 to 9.4 after a bad period of life stress and I still am not stable. The up dose happened on 9/13 and though I have had some small windows of feeling all right, today is a very hard day. I feel so scared I won’t get off this medication and it still stuns me how sick I feel during this wd.

    Would love to hear more from people who got off Lamictal and are thriving.

  36. Renny says:

    I was misdiagnosed bipolar (turns out I have OCD), and went on Lamictal 3 years ago. I was at 250mg in April-ish, and tonight I just took a dose of 12.5mg. I’ve come down about 50mg per month. I haven’t really had any terrible side effects like the ones I’m reading about here. Someone did mention arm pain and numbness- which I have had severely- but I never thought they were related? The arm pain is crazy, I have to ice my arms at times and keeping them in certain positions for even a short amount of time means they fall asleep. Would be interested to hear if any other people have this issue. Otherwise, my withdrawal is going well! Wanted to make note of this for the person above who asked for details. I have felt a little wonky at times but the Lamictal made it hard for me to remember even the most mundane things and I think I feel better knowing the end is near.

  37. HIbari says:

    Thanks for letting me know about the arm pain. I’ve had pins and needles going down my arms and my upper arms ache.
    Such a weird feeling.

  38. Steve says:

    I’m on 20mg/day and have insomnia due to the withdrawal. Are there supplements to alleviate the insomnia. I take 10mg of melatonin before bed, but does nothing for me. Tried manesium calm also.

    • Chaya Grossberg says:

      Have you tried oatstraw or tulsi infusions? Oatstraw tincture might help too. Check my blog on oatstraw and tulsi. I think they are both safe for withdrawal and very calming, helpful for sleep. Good luck.

  39. Olivia says:

    I am busy withdrawing from Lamictal. I was inaccurately diagnosed with bipolar disorder and titrated up to 400mg about 5 years ago. 2 years ago I started reducing my dosage, planning to come off it completely but every time I hit below 150mg I struggle, so I left it there, thinking a lower dosage is better than the ridiculous and unnecessary high dosage of 400mg. I am mentally doing very well and I am emotionally quite stable too. My husband and I are planning to start a family so I am weaning myself off. I don’t have bipolar or epilepsy so there is no medical reason for me to continue using it. It is the first time in over 5 years that I am below 150mg per day. I am om 125mg. It is SO hard. The brain fog disorientation and dizziness is bad. I also feel a strange kind of nausea. Sometimes I have no concept of time, an hour feels like ten minutes and vice versa. I am not making this up. This medication literally messes with your brain. It is super frustrating and I feel so angry about this situation at times Has anyone been off it for a long time who experienced similar symptoms? Is there hope? I feel incredibly scared although in my heart of hearts I know I am doing the right thing.

  40. Darcy says:

    Olivia, have you tried the extended release lamicta? I’ve been on 300 mg for 8 years and I finally couldn’t deal with the side effects – mostly big memory problem and word recall. My Dr. switched me to the extended release to taper. It’s much easier than tapering from the regular lamictal. Side effects from taking this drug are horrible and tapering is very difficult but I’m hoping that it will be well worth the struggle. I want my mind back!!

    I hope you will be able to taper off all the way and start the family you desire.

  41. Olivia says:

    Thanks so much Darcy. I will look into the SR Lamictal. The withdrawal is brutal at times. I also want my mind back and thank you so much for your well wishes! It would be a dream come true to be able to have a healthy baby.

  42. J T says:

    I was on Epilim chrono for about 10 years when it turned out my problems were caused by my heart pausing. After having a pacemaker I was slowly taken off the Epilim. Not long afterwards I started having partial seizures which were unlike anything I had ever experienced before. People should know that inappropriate use of anti epileptic drugs can lead to long term or even permanent dependency. Eventually I was given lamotrigine which has greatly exacerbated swollen finger joints caused by the cardiac medication. Since I had to live for decades without these medications and survived I have decided to take myself off them slowly. The pacemaker has stopped me losing consciousness completely so that will have to do.I have given up with the medical profession!

  43. Terri Thomsen says:

    I am 50 and have never taken any kind of med for mental health. This summer i became anxious and had panic attacks due to another health issue. They began prescribing SSRIs. I now have a gallon bag of drugs they had me try. I am now taking Buspar and lamictal. I’ve only been on 25mg of lamictal for less then 6 months and I am scared to stop taking it. I don’t need to be taking. Hoping to start breaking it up and tapering this spring. Wanting advise on foods and natural supplements to help with the withdrawal.

  44. Lori says:

    Hi all 🙂 I found this site while looking for experiences with quitting lamictal because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information about it that I can find, and I haven’t seen anything posted anywhere that is similar to my experience so I’m hoping someone out there might have some insight into what’s going on with me right now.

    So, my current situation. I’m a 36 year old female, and I was taking 250 mg of lamictal, 45 mg buspar, and 20 mg Lexapro for my supposed bipolar disorder. I’m trying to simplify this as much as possible but this combination was changed *so many times* with different medications and dosages so it’s kind of a mess. But I’ve been on psych meds most of my adult life, and various dosages of lamictal for about 2 years and 8 months.

    After being put on Lexapro (changed from wellbutrin which a DNA test concluded was a bad fit for me) my hair started falling out in big handfuls. I barely have any left now. I’ve been fighting depression and anxiety my whole life, and this was the last straw. The meds aren’t helping me, and now this?? Probably a crazy idea, but I quit taking EVERYTHING cold turkey. This was about 6 days ago.

    I want to emphasize that my psychological issues were never anything psychotic, just anxiety and depression.

    On day one, I definitely had the “brain zaps” I’ve seen described. I actually felt a little giddy and I was in a good mood. Sleeping was difficult, though. I started to doze off and… heard? dreamed?… a loud gunshot sound and woke up. It almost felt like I was shot in the head. It was pretty disturbing.

    The brain zaps stopped after the first day. But now I’m extremely foggy-headed. My symptoms are becoming stranger though. My perception is skewed, like everything looks slightly…off? When I’m driving, my car feels closer to the road than usual, my nose looks strangely flat, people’s faces look especially round and moon-like, I feel lower to the ground, etc. Not distorted in huge ways, just enough to feel strange. I’m very uncoordinated and it’s hard to do things like write with a pen.

    Then, last night, I noticed my food tasted strange, and realized that I wasn’t tasting anything that had any sweet flavors. Sort of like how it feels when you burn your tongue and can’t taste food right for a little bit? Kind of a numb feeling. I should also note that I quit junk food at about the same time and have been following a paleo diet structure.

    The strange thing is that through all of this, I haven’t been depressed or anxious. Every once in awhile, I will feel intense panic for a moment over something strange. A lot of the time, it’s a feeling that my thumb is twisted backwards and I can’t straighten it out. Which is pretty bizarre. I have to talk myself out of thinking about my thumb or I start freaking out a little bit. Weird…

    I’m having a very hard time sleeping. Things like Tylenol PM don’t do anything now, whereas before I was extremely sensitive to them and it would only take one pill to knock me out. When I try to sleep, I get very anxious and start obsessing hard over things like time and aging.

    Overall, my mood is better though? I mentioned to my psychiatrist last time that I knew that lamictal prevented the brain from firing in certain ways, and that I was concerned that it was preventing it from firing in good ways, resulting in my overall “blah” depressed mood. He acknowledged that could be a possibility so maybe that’s why? I’m not feeling “blah” at all.

    My face looks really weird right now. It looks very misshapen, the skin looks looser…like…slidey? And I look extremely old suddenly. I don’t know if it’s because I’m dropping weight from the diet change, or because my perception is skewed, or what?

    I’m wondering if anyone has had a similar experience or can offer any advice? I know quitting everything suddenly was a crazy idea but I’m so frustrated that I was ever put on this stuff to begin with.

    I’m trying to re-read what I wrote but I’m having trouble focusing so hopefully this made some sort of sense!

    • Chaya says:

      Hi Lori, If the withdrawal symptoms are weird but tolerable, you can probably wait them out. If they become intolerable or feel unsafe to you, you may want to go back up a little on the drugs and reduce more slowly. Wishing you the best! Also protein isolate may help with the symptoms.

  45. Melissa says:

    Hello. I am very grateful for coming across this page. Our family has been on a roller coaster for a few months now. My 17 year old daughter was put on prozac for some anxiety issues three months ago. After her doctor doubled the dose due to her continued anxiety and now depression, my daughter became suicidal. She said she felt as if her mind was altered. She was admitted to a behavioral health facility and diagnosed with bipolar after a psychiatrist saw her once for 10 minutes. He prescribed Lamictal and Clonazepam and sent her home. Fast forward 10 days since her release, and we followed up with a psychiatrist in our area. He said there is no way she has bipolar and wants her to stop taking Lamictal immediately. He has told her to start Effexor and the Clonazepam. I am fearful about her stopping cold turkey, but I do wonder if this should be a concern since she has only been on the Lamictal for 10 days at 50 mg a day. This is how I came across this board… I was searching the dangers of stopping without weaning. It is worrisome that two different psychiatrists gave two different diagnoses within two weeks of each other, and equally worrisome that they keep throwing medication at her and telling her to stop others. I know I should trust the experts, but when it is your child that is hard to do.

    • Em says:

      Hi Melissa, I just wanted to say I went through the exact same thing your daughter is going through. I had a bout of depression in highschool, got on Prozac, became suicidal within a week, went to the Bellin pysch ward for a week, prescribed Lamictal, and here I am 8 years later trying to get off of it. I do have to say it did change my life for the better. I’m 24 and ready to be OFF of it because I think I’m finally through the mud. I wasn’t bi-polar, just needed help going through my teen years. And it does seem to be like they just want to throw medication her way. I think you’ve found a great forum however and I realize you posted this in January and hope you found a good solution!

  46. Jett says:


    26 year old male. I worked up my dose to 200mg and unexpectedly had to quit (was living in a country where I couldn’t get it) cold turkey after 7/8 months. Five months later I began taking it again an got back up to 200mg. I’ve been taking it 3.5 years regularly now, still 200mg, and it has been helpful for me. I was given it to treat bipolar and depression after trying lexapro for a few weeks (which was a very bad experience for me mentally). but lamictal has been really good and I’m generally happy with my headspace, emotions, energy levels and interactions with others. however, I went 4 days without it about a month ago because I was late getting my script refilled. after a few days I immediately felt as I had before I took the medicine, and a very low energy, foggy, loss of self. I would describe it like I was walking in a dark cloud. I had missed a dose here and there before, at most two days in a row and never noticed anything but when I missed 4 days in a row the change was night/day. on the 4th day I finally got it more and after a day or so I was fine again. so I guess my experience with the drug is that it works in a way that I want it to, it is just that sometimes I feel like I don’t want my mind to be at the mercy of a drug. I don’t notice any interactions with nicotine, weed, or other recreational drugs. however I don’t use or smoke anymore. I also don’t notice interactions with sugar/ caffeine. the only other medication I take is quetiapine (25g) and they seem to not affect each other. the only side affect I notice from lamictal is slight redness/ dryness of skin in one area on my face. it went away immediately when I stopped for five months and came back when I returned to lamictal so I am certain its related to the drug. it doesn’t worsen but its a tad annoying. I wanna get off the drug bc I don’t want to worry about emotional suffering/seizures if I’m unable to get it again and I’m not sure if there’s any scientific research or certainty about long terms affects on the brain and body. I would like to get off the drug slowly and understand there will be withdrawal symptoms at times when tapering off, but I don’t want to feel like I did before the drug when it’s completely out of my system. does the “correction” of brain chemistry last when its over, or do you just get used to being depressed again? I like who I am now…

    • Chaya says:

      HI Jett. Anything you experience a few days after stopping would definitely be withdrawal and not a sign of anything about your state of mind.

      There’s no correction of brain chemistry, as you know, since you put that in quotes. My recommendation if you want to get off would be to learn about a lot of things that help you feel good and be diligent about practicing them, such as nutrition, exercise, creative activities, good friendships etc.

      You might want to keep a log of what makes you feel better or worse to prepare. Feeling better usually requires some regular wellness activities etc.

      Good luck!

  47. Evelyn says:

    Hi! My story is kind of a long one which i will try to tell in as little words as possible. About 30 some years ago I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia and later on with schizo affective disorder. For which I was put on many different anti psychotics and eventually some mood stabilizers. Than five years ago I asked my family physician for a full thyroid test – the psychiatrist would every year do a thyroid test but it was just your basic test and that would always come back normal. Well the doctor gave me the test and guess what I do have thyroid problems – Hashimoto Thyroiditis which can present as looking like schizophrenia or a mood disorder. So now I am off of my anti psychotic – Abilfy and am now withdrawing from lamictal. It is helll – the insomnia I had but has now gotten somewhat better, headaches, nausea and vomiting with a lot of tiredness. Every day I wish I could die. Have other health issues as well IBS and sore feet, osteo arthritis – which I believe I got from weight gain on olanzapine etc. Hopefully it won’t be much longer but I was on a very high dose 400 g a day for many years.

    Am trying to eat fairly healthy and exercise plus do get some massages and physiotherapy. Just see my family doctor now for lowering the dose of lamictal. Had a time convincing my psychiatrist to get me off the psych drugs had my husband along to help me.

    Wish everyone here good luck in getting off of lamictal it isn’t easy at all.

    • Chaya says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story Evelyn. I wish you the very best with getting off Lamictal safely and easily!!!

      • Evelyn says:

        As you can see from my comments getting off of Lamictal is not easy at all wish it were. No one told me how hard it would be. I am still very tired each day even though now i am down to 45 mg from 400 mg originally. Was on it for many years. If anyone else has ideas of how to make it easier I would appreciate it. I am taking Magnesium supplements now and taking Epsom/ baking soda baths each night with lavender oil in it. Also at the beginning i took chamomile tea – two bags steeped for about 5 minutes about 30 minutes before bed which seemed to help with the insomnia. Wish they had never created this drug. Every day seems hard and hard to go on living.

  48. Meredith says:

    Hello! I am happy to have found this website and to see somewhat recent comments. It has been so hard to find information on lamictal withdrawal. My story is a bit long so I will just hit the highlights. I was put on lamictal for anxiety in March 2020. Shortly after starting I developed what turned out to be silent reflux. My GI Dr thought it could be connected to the lamictal so I began tapper from 200mg in July and stopped taking lamictal on September 18th. I started getting headaches around 125mg and these headaches have continued and are more intense since I stopped taking lamictal. I have a headache all day every day. I went to the ER several weeks ago bc I was convinced something serious was wrong, the scans all turned out normal. I am seeing a neurologist tomorrow. Have others experienced these intense headaches as part of the withdrawal? If so, was there anything that helped?

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