Lamictal & Insomnia?
[Home] [Bipolar News] [Bipolar Disorder] [Medications] [Treatments] [Bipolar Disorder/Job/School] [Disabilities] [Ask the Doctor] [Ask David] [Self-Injury] [Personal Stories] [Graham's Column] [Steven's Column] [Storm's Column] [Columnist Archives] [Suicide] [Community Support] [Family Members] [Expressions] [Greeting Cards] [Books] [Awards] [Links & Rings] [About Us] [Contact Us]


Q:  Lamictal & Insomnia?

I was diagnosed just over 2 years ago.  Still trying to find stability.  Lamictal seems to work for me but it completely takes away my ability to sleep.  I cannot fall asleep at all. I take ambien and can get 5 hours only to wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.  Doctor keeps putting me on atypical antipsychotics  (geodon, seroquel, zyprexa) thinking it is caused by mania, then I get depressed.  I do not think it is mania, I think it is a side effect of the lamictal.  Have you ever heard of this?  Do you have any suggestions on how to help?  I haven't slept well in 2 years.

Dear Lynne -- 

Not sure what's going on here.  I understand what you're asking. You might talk with your doctor about a trial of cautiously lowering lamotrigine (Lamictal) to see what happens to sleep.  I have one fellow who seemed to get an antidepressant effect from lamotrigine, but at doses of 50 or 75 mg, he was having more agitation with it. We started to taper it off.  At 25 mg, he was still getting the antidepressant effect, and the anxiety was gone or nearly so; so we just kept them at that does, and he is done very nicely (now over a year).  

Not to imply that you might have such a response, but it would be worth talking with your doctor about.   

Now here's a surprise: I have not heard my patients telling me about insomnia on Lamictal.  So I did a search on Google to make sure I wasn't missing something.  Low and behold, this is a well-known, said to occur in 10% of people taking Lamictal for epilepsy.  Here's the reference; I haven't checked out the source, but obviously this is a recognized problem, even if the 10% figure is not correct. 

I will listen with a new ear to my patients' sleep experience when they are taking lamotrigine.  Thank you.

Dr. Phelps

Published July, 2008


Bipolar World   1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)
Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff) 
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan

Email Us at Bipolar World


About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Plyler about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/ Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links  Manage Your Medications  Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents   Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?