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Ask an Epileptic: “It’s time for me to change medications to reduce the side effects. Have any advice?”
DEAR EPILEPTIC: I have a question regarding the transition to a new medication. I have been taking Lamictal for over 10 years and I’m tired of the side effects. Memory loss, inability to focus clearly, etc. I think it’s time to explore other medications. Has anyone moved from Lamictal to another medication? Is anyone currently taking Lamictal with another medication? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
DEAR DAVID: Thanks so much for your question. It’s a situation that many people with epilepsy struggle with. I am certain this post will encourage readers who have been on Lamictal and gone through the transition will have advice for you. Ultimately, of course, you will need to follow your doctor’s guidelines.
Before you change medications
I would encourage you to give your neuro as much info as you possibly can leading up to the change. For example, since memory loss is an issue, you may want to consider keeping a journal of side effects. Then be sure to bring the journal with you to the doctor’s office. I am on Topamax, which has similar side effects.
I have been on Topamax for about as long as you have been on Lamictal. Honestly, I have to give you props for having the guts to make the change. I don’t know maybe I’m just lazy. I know a change FOR ME would involve a period of adjustment from the old meds to the new meds. Thankfully, my side effects are not enough to warrant a change.
What makes the side effects worse
I do know that when my stress level increases my memory worsens. I also know that when I don’t get enough sleep I’m not a happy camper. So, that brings me back to the journal. I would really encourage you write down the side effects that you just can’t live with and note how often you experience them.
I also wanted to mention that your question prompted me to establish a set of epilepsy forums. Please use them to ask questions of the community. It may help to get more immediate answers. Oh and make use of our facebook page!
Thanks again for your question.
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As founder of Living Well With Epilepsy, Jessica brings a unique perspective to this leading epilepsy blog. She was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teen, after having several grand mal seizures. She also has 20+ years experience in marketing. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Jessica also regularly speaks on the topics of Navigating Social Media and Epilepsy Awareness.
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