Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or Lamotrigine (Lamictal)?

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Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or Lamotrigine (Lamictal)?

Postby kali on March 19th, 2012, 2:29 am

Hi all!

My name is Kali. I'm 20 and I've had benign cramp fasciculation syndrome that has gotten progressively worse over the past six years. I've tried many medications including klonopin, skelaxin, baclofen, tramadol, medical marijuana, and gabapentin. So far, the only two things that have helped have been medical marijuana (to help relax me and let me get rest) and gabapentin (for the same reason). The other medications didn't do a thing for me.

I have been reading through this forum and have found that carbamazepine (tegretol) and lamotrigine (lamictal) have had a lot of good results with some people. I want to try and see if one of them will help me with my BCFS symptoms, because it is becoming unbearable to live with this and is making me a very cynical, bitter person.

I was wondering--which do you think would be more beneficial to try first, and why? Carbamazepine (tegretol) or lamotrigine (lamictal)? I lose my medical insurance soon, so I probably won't have the chance to try the second one until I am eligible for medical insurance from my job in a few months.

I don't know if this matters much, but I work 7 to 8 hour shifts as a crew member at Trader Joe's (a grocery store), so I'm on my feet all day, stocking and ringing things up and doing heavy lifting. So a medication that made my muscles or me super tired probably wouldn't be a good thing. And a medication that is like a narcotic wouldn't be a good thing either, since I'm interacting with people all day. Also, I am prone to anemia and leukopenia (low white blood cell count). Also, I am of African, Native American, and french/native american (creole) descent.

Thanks so much for your opinion! I really appreciate it. :D
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Re: Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or Lamotrigine (Lamictal)?

Postby chrissi on March 19th, 2012, 4:26 am

Hoi, I have been put on Tegretol, hich helped with my twitching but noch the pain. Then I got a bad allergy and I went off it. Hmm,I cannot remember anyone ere with long time tegretol benefits (there may be some, but I cannot remember), so I would try the Lamictal.
"Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it" Kahlil Gibran
Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained
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Re: Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or Lamotrigine (Lamictal)?

Postby chicagobfs on March 19th, 2012, 8:23 am

I love trader joes :)
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Re: Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or Lamotrigine (Lamictal)?

Postby Aoi on March 19th, 2012, 10:51 am

I've discussed these meds with my doctors, but was never on either. I was on Trileptal (close chemical cousin to Tegretol) briefly but with no benefit. Both Tegretol and Lamictal are useful for treating certain types of chronic pain, though this is largely an "off-label" use.

Lamictal is known to cause leukopenia in some people, and has a very low but important risk of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
Tegretol can cause various forms of anemia, too, in particular a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia).

Both meds are generally well-tolerated (i.e.: the above side-effects are rare), and have similar side effects such as dizziness/drowsiness, fatigue, and the others you'd associate with an anticonvulsant medication. I've been in Trader Joe's enough to understand the demands of that job. I suggest you talk to your prescribing physician about each med after reading a bit about them online (from sites like RxList, Medline, or even Wikipedia). Also, be aware that both meds do require some blood tests while taking them to make sure nothing is going amiss.

Also, I admire your doc's willingness to try you on various meds. Many docs give up after a couple of meds, or due to personal or regulatory issues, won't prescribe tramadol (Ultram) or medical marijuana.
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Re: Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or Lamotrigine (Lamictal)?

Postby chicagobfs on March 19th, 2012, 12:24 pm

Well it's hard to say which one will get you more benefit. I'm afraid you will have to try both... I know that some people have great results with lamicital (msn) you can ask her about her experience. Also In guessing that lamicital will be more expensive ? Since is newer ? Think also about different family meds such as flexeril or nortryptoline, these should work on pain. Also ldn is a med to try, none to very litlle side effects but people lke raindog and myself do see some results from it.
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Re: Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or Lamotrigine (Lamictal)?

Postby raindog on March 19th, 2012, 3:12 pm

I think we all have to realise there is no single med that will cure these PNH conditions ...symptom relief is probably the way forward. For me muscle pain, soreness, stiffness and fatigue along with bad cramping are the most troublesome. LDN as helped me no end with with soreness stiffness and fatigue, the cramping has been much less with the mag phos suppliment ....so now i just need to sort out my neuropathic, neuropathy pain and i'm looking towards Mexiletine which is similar to Lamotrigine in that its a soduim channel blocker, but ive read its increasingly being used for PNH.

Acquired Neuromyotonia Precipitated by Thyroid
Surgery and Associated with Antiacetylcholine
Receptor Antibodies

EXTRACT:
"Although carbamazepine has been proposed to treat symptoms of neuromyotonia especially with neuropathy [10, 11] , it had
no clinical effect in our case. However, we observed a dramatic clinical and electrophysiologic response to low-dose mexiletine,
a sodium channel blocker, which has been suggested to relieve symptoms of hereditary autosomal dominant myotonias
and pseuodomyotonia [12] . Symptoms reappeared on withdrawal of the drug, indicating that the effects were attributed to the
treatment and not related to spontaneous improvement of the disease. Different sodium-channel blockers thus may have a differential effect on acquired neuromyotonia."



http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchic ... tine.shtml

http://www.benthamscience.com/cmp/sampl ... wabara.pdf

Or if that fails maybe even i might try going dowwn the Cannabinoid route.
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Re: Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or Lamotrigine (Lamictal)?

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