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Doctor Natasha
Doctor Natasha, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Trained in psychological and psychiatric emergencies
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Hi, Ive been on Lamictal 400mg for 2.5 years and have dropped

Resolved Question:

Hi, I've been on Lamictal 400mg for 2.5 years and have dropped the dosage down to 150 mg over a period of 6 months. I'm having trouble sleeping for the past month sleeping since I dropped down to 150 mg ( I drop down 50mg each time. I've tried sleeping pills and they are not working. I'm not sure what else I can do.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Doctor Natasha replied 7 years ago.

why did you decrease the lamictal?

what sleeping pills have you tried?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I dereased the doage due to a problem with short term memory and it has effected my work and personal life. My Dr. wants to take me down to 100mg and I didn't ask about withdrawals if this is one. I've tried ambien CR and lunesta. I've also tried AdvilPM but still no sleep.
Expert:  Doctor Natasha replied 7 years ago.

thanks for the additional information.

Well, the most serious side effect of weaning down lamictal is seizure, but insomnia is definately way up on the list of annoying side effects. You are some what in a tricky situation, but you do have some options.

First, you need to practice excellent sleep hygeine which includes the following:

 

Go to sleep at the same time every day (even if you are not tired)
No caffeinated beverages after noon
No eating less than 2 hours prior to bed time
Exercise 30 minutes a day but not 2 hours prior to bed time
No alcohol after dinner.

 

Now you can also increase your lamictal dose back up to the minimum dose where you can sleep properly and then while practicing good sleep hygiene, start decreasing the dose until you get to where you want on the lamictal dose- slowly.

 

Or you can continue the ambien and lunesta. But there are other options, like restoril and valium (both of which are benzodiazepines).

 

And finally, there are some off-label uses of drugs, particularly clonidine, which people report is very helpful for insomnia.

 

I hope that this is helpful

 

Warm regards

 

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