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Adjusting Depression Meds

Today was my appointment with the psychiatrist to adjust my meds. The plan is to increase the Wellbutrin from 300 to 400 mg a day, decrease the Cymbalta from 120 to 60 mg a day and add Lamictal to the mix.

Lamictal, an antiepileptic med that is also a mood stabilizer, is used in patients with epilepsy (surprise, surprise) and bipolar disorder. It is closely related to Depakote, a commonly prescribed headache preventive, and both may reduce pain levels. Unlike Depakote, Lamictal also has antidepressant properties.

It will be about 6 weeks before I know if the adjusted doses of Wellbutrin and Cymbalta combined with Lamictal will be the right cocktail for me. To use a phrase I despise, I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be the right cocktail in the long run. But I can’t shake the knowledge that I’ve yet to find the right headache mix. If one disease isn’t fixable, then maybe the other isn’t either.

I’ve been treating depression as a minor relative to the consuming disease of migraine, and I really want to keep it this way. I don’t think I can handle having two diseases that require constant attention and upkeep. But I won’t torture myself with such thoughts right now.

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Migraine Preventive Lamictal & the Pill

Lamictal, an anticonvulsant sometimes used for migraine prevention, can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. If you’re using any sort of hormonal birth control (like the patch or a vaginal ring) and are prescribed Lamictal, consider using a back up method of birth control.

12/14/05: The link to the news article on this no longer works. While searching for it, I found old information that says that Lamictal doesn’t impede hormonal birth control. I’m sticking with the article I posted on — as they say, better safe than sorry.

2/9/10: I’ve asked several doctors about this potential interaction. All have said it isn’t an issue.