I’ve been on the twice a day dose of Lamotrigine now for about 2 weeks, and hubby and I see some improvement, with less jerking and less depression. As this medicine builds up in my system, thanks to its half-life, I can hope for even better control of the jerks and an even happier outlook in general.
Lamotrigine has a half-life of 13 hours. That means half of the 7AM dose is still in my system when I take my 7PM pill. And half of what is left in my system at night from the 7AM dose, plus half of the 7PM dose, is still in my system at 7AM the next morning when I take another dose. Confusing?? LOL!
What that means is that over a period of time it builds up in my system. The Primidone I take does the same thing. My brain is constantly bathed with these chemicals that somehow calm the erratic electrical activity that sets my muscles to jerking. Neurologists don’t really understand the mechanism by which these chemicals work in the brain, so they just have to keep trying different meds until they hit on the right combination for each patient, based on their years of experience dealing with Movement Disorders. All the meds in their arsenal are off label drugs. That means they are not typically prescribed for Myoclonus. Most are used to control epileptic seizures and some are normally prescribed for depression.
In my case my Neurologist says I have a progressive form of Essential Myoclonus, so I am thankful for the relief I get with a new medicine, even though I realize it may not be sufficient sometime in the future. But my outlook is better these days, so I choose to be happy with the apparent success of this combination and to not dwell on the future. See, I told you I was feeling better!
I thank God for this lifting of the gloom I have been in, as He guides the decisions my Neurologist makes in treating me!