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Lamictal Alternatives

Lamictal Alternatives

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Last Updated on March 8, 2021 by Carol Gillette

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Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Written by Diane Ridaeus Published Oct 30, 2018
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Alternative to Meds Center has experienced by direct patient care that Lamictal alternatives, for many, provide individuals a more sustainable, effective treatment plan for mental health issues, without the fierce and troubling side effects that often occur while being medicated.

Even if indicated during a time of demonstrable crisis, being on Lamictal may not be sustainable for certain individuals and could cause unwanted side-effects in the long run. For those, our programs are designed to help you find a way back to yourself with minimal or no drugs.

Does Your Diagnosis
Require Lamictal?

successful Lamictal withdrawal
For well over 15 years now, Alternative to Meds Center has been the leader in effective antipsychotic withdrawal and Lamictal alternatives. We invite you to look at our published evidence and learn about the centers up to 87.5% long-term success of our clients. Do you feel it is possible that you were prematurely or even misdiagnosed? Or that contributing factors were not adequately investigated and resolved prior to medication? Or that other factors of importance could have been overlooked entirely? It happens more than one might initially believe.6
This video is the journey of a young man who was put on antipsychotics and called schizophrenic. Thankfully, he had a family that knew there must be more to the story. He came to our center and was able to get off of his medications and get diagnosed NORMAL. His family was so amazed it was like we gave them not only his life back, but theirs as well. We encourage you to watch this video, and our others, to gain hope for your situation.
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Why Consider Alternatives to Lamictal?

People who suffer from Lamictal-associated problems can often transition away from these struggles. This is why we offer Lamictal alternatives treatment. We have discovered practical options that can offer a reprieve from the side effects, physical dependence, tolerance, and medication ineffectiveness often linked to mood-stabilizers such as Lamictal. Although antipsychotic and mood-stabilizing types of medications including Lamictal may provide relief during the beginning stages of treatment, some people find these drugs hard to tolerate as long-term solutions. Lamictal, specifically in epileptic adults at 500mg, has been shown to cause ataxia (difficultly walking) in 28%, blurred vision in 25%, diplopia (double vision) in 49%, dizziness in 54%, nausea in 25%, vomiting in 18%, and in some, life-threatening allergic and skin reactions.7 One of the several long term considerations included potential blindness. Lamotrigine (Lamictal) adheres to melanin, and as such, it could aggregate in melanin-rich tissues, like the eyes, over time. This evokes the possibility that lamotrigine can result in toxicity in visual apparatus after extended use.7 Long-term for most it is better tolerated than many other bipolar medications like Lithium,8 but still, some people may not like the effects of Lamictal and wonder if there are other ways to go about treating the situation that does not incur these consequences.

Choosing a Lamictal alternative treatment and opting to discontinue the use of this medication would be best served using professional help. The Alternative to Meds Center is a specialty licensed facility that has dedicated years to finding the right answers to making Lamictal discontinuation possible and even comfortable.

Talk Therapy a Natural Alternative to Lamictal

Krakvik et al’s 2013 study reported significant improvements from participating in regularly scheduled CBT sessions as a natural alternative to Lamictal or other drug-based treatment. The trend in improvements shown at one-year and two-year post-treatment follow-ups suggested to the researchers that talk therapy ought to be made available as a routine treatment in psychosis type disorders. 11

cognitive behavioral therapyBefore the “Open Dialogue” approach to mental health was begun, Western Lapland in Finland had one of the highest rates of schizophrenia seen anywhere in Europe. However, in the 1980s, this extraordinary program was begun which has shown impressive success rates in treating schizophrenia and other psychosis-related disorders. Two-year follow-ups post-treatment found that 75% of participants have been able to return to work or school with a significant reduction or elimination of psychiatric symptoms. Also, at two-year follow-ups, 80% of participants are off their medication with much reduced or no remaining symptoms of psychosis. This means that this program now reports the very best treatment outcomes in the Western world. Open Dialogue involves and includes the family is an integral part of recovery in this model of treatment, which also applies aspects from various other types of psychotherapeutic work. 13

Psychotherapy as Natural Lamictal Alternatives May Include:

  • Equine-assisted therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, ( CBT ) 11,12
  • Open Dialogue therapy 10
  • EMDR (for psychosis with PSTD features) 14
  • Exposure therapy 14

CBT and Exposure Therapy as Lamictal Alternatives

The government of Ontario Canada funded a large scope assessment on the practical benefits of adding CBT psychotherapy sessions to regular care for patients with schizophrenia and related disorders such as schizoaffective and various forms of psychosis. 12 In general, participants and their family members felt positive results made CBT a welcome choice for treatment programs, especially in concert with medication management. In this way, symptoms could be well-managed and new coping skills could be learned for dealing with symptoms of psychosis so the condition was better able to be managed. CBT showed the most consistent benefits for reducing overall psychotic symptoms compared to other forms of psychotherapy in the assessment.

antipsychotic natural alternativesFrueh et al’s 2010 study on exposure-based therapy, another form of cognitive-behavioral counseling, found that the best results in treating psychosis occurred when exposure therapy was used in conjunction with other forms of psychotherapy. 45 Exposure therapy15 enables persons to face fears and may be helpful for some to regain confidence and to become less fearful of losing control due to the naturally acquired skill set that is possible from this form of psychotherapy.

There are many genres of talk therapy, and we tailor a client’s program to include those which the client feels would be beneficial and even enjoyable to embark upon. These are alternatives to antipsychotic drugs that can open new doors to a better quality of life, and fewer symptoms to deal with. When blended with other types of therapies such as correct diet or supplementation our clients report even better results. 16

Natural Alternatives to Lamictal

We have seen at Alternative to Meds that natural alternatives to Lamictal and other drugs may act in a similar fashion as medications do for managing symptoms like mood swings or psychotic symptoms, and the best news is that these non-drug-based therapies do not carry the risks of drug side effects.

Natural Alternatives to Lamictal May Include:

  • natural alternatives to lamictalLow glycemic diet preferably organic and gluten-free 17
  • Avoid excitotoxins in processed food such as MSG 18
  • Control blood sugar and hypoglycemia with frequent meals to avoid spikes 29,30
  • Avoid caffeine 19
  • Targeted supplements for neurotransmitter support, i.e., GABA, 31 eicosapentaenoic acid & omega 3 fatty acids, 16,27,28 niacin & vitamin C, 26 taurine, 25 tryptophan 20
  • Cleanse toxins from the body 21,22
  • Test for and correct nutritional deficiencies 23
  • Regular physical exercise, even if mild such as daily walks, yoga 24, 48
  • Lithium Orotate. 25
  • Relaxation techniques, yoga, meditation, other learned stress reduction methods 48
  • Restore a healthy microbiome 35,36,37

lamictal bipolar disorderNature magazine published an article in 1993 in which the researchers found that naturally occurring GABA is found to be in low plasma concentrations in bipolar dispositions.31 The department of psychiatry at Nassau University Medical Center published an article in 2005 about hypoglycemia presenting as acute psychosis.29 And again in 1999, the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that hypoglycemia was masquerading as psychosis and acute cocaine intoxication in emergency room visits.30In one case report, stopping caffeine demonstrated a sudden remission of the severe course of a seasonal bipolar disorder after 10 years of psychopharmacological treatments.19

The Microbiome and Psychosis-Bipolar Presentations

A keto-based low carb diet has been found effective in some cases to successfully put chronic schizophrenia into remission without drugs.46  Studies show toxic exposure negatively affects mental health.47  

bipolar gut-brain connectionA journal article published in 2020 in the Frontiers in Psychiatry covered various correlations between psychosis and the gut microbiome. This systematic review found that the gut microbiome is fundamentally different in psychosis compared to healthy controls. The types of microbes and diversity were altered between the two groups. The researchers discuss the possibility of. manipulating the gut microbiome as a technique to improve psychiatric symptoms and even the potential development of treating schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders in a novel fashion.35 Other researchers in a systematic review of sixteen articles found that all 16 studies reported alterations in the abundance and diversity of gut microbiome in patients with severe mental impairments versus the microbiome of non-psychiatric normal controls.36 And yet another article published in Schizophrenia Research found evidence that the gut microbiota is highly involved in inflammation, gut permeability, and digestion itself, and how these altered bacterial compositions may explain inefficient gluten digestion and how inflammatory permeability in some scenarios can be a risk factor for schizophrenia.37

Importance of Diet for Healthy Microbiome Recovery

whole foods nutrition as lamictal alternativeThere is a large body of evidence concerning the advantages of a ketogenic diet in treating mental health issues including epilepsy, schizophrenia, psychosis, and other disorders.2 For more than 100 years, physicians have recommended keto or low-carbohydrate diets with successful outcomes in the treatment and management of these types of mental health issues.1 Adopting a whole food diet is extremely helpful, as well as eliminating sugar, caffeine, and chemical-laden processed food. A focus on maintaining a healthy microbiome has also received much positive attention in research and clinical practice, especially in helping persons with psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, or similar conditions.35,36,37

These natural alternatives to Lamictal are powerful tools. For instance, a functioning gut and balanced microbiome give the maximum potential support of neurochemistry, which is key for mental wellness. The gut bacteria themselves are capable of producing the brain chemicals dopamine, GABA, and acetylcholine.38 Nutrition and targeted supplementation provide the necessary and foundational elements for the body to repair many deficiencies and thrive once again, while in many cases effectively reducing the unwanted symptoms that made life difficult to endure.

Orthomolecular Treatments of Dr. Abram Hoffer

We have found the work of Dr. Abram Hoffer MD, a Canadian psychiatrist, to be especially helpful in designing programs that treat schizophrenia with natural alternatives rather than only with medication. Our published documentation of success rates of 75% or greater are aligned with Dr. Hoffer’s findings in his published studies of his nutritional research and applications to this population. 26, 29 Alternative to Meds Center uses orthomolecular treatments, along with many others to get the results for our clients that we do.

Gentle Lamictal Alternative Treatments Ease the Process

In contrast to haphazard or mismanaged withdrawal, Alternative to Meds offers a micro-managed, thorough, and calculated Lamictal discontinuation process. At the same time as Lamictal is being slowly and carefully tapered off, a Lamictal alternative treatment plan is introduced and calibrated. This is going to be different for each unique case. Lab testing is essential in designing each person’s treatment plan. This allows us to deeper investigate the reasons why the medication may have been needed. For some people, the underlying reasons may be hypoglycemia,29,30 nutrient deficiencies,16 or food allergies.32,33 In other cases, it might be heavy metals.34 Exploring and correcting these causes are the most certain Lamictal alternatives help available. It also helps ensure that once off Lamictal, a person can be more likely to be able to maintain medication abstinence.

Stimulatory Neurochemical Excess in Lamictal Withdrawal

lamictal alternativesUsing natural Lamictal alternatives can be blended into a person’s regimen with great advantages. One common problem when one stops taking Lamictal abruptly is that there has likely been an adaptation to the drug.39 If Lamictal was holding back Calcium gated channels, dopamine, glutamate, or aspartate,41 and suddenly you take the drug away, there can be an over-excitability as those stimulatory chemicals will now be rushing in and the receptors for them have likely upregulated.40 Lamictal holds back these neurochemicals and the receptors can become highly receptive due to the absence.40 After removing the drug, there is a more normal amount of neurochemicals available activating receptors that were basically starving. The excitatory excess can then cause the person to appear as if they are having another psychotic event when it would really better framed as a neuroadaptive medication withdrawal reaction. When a Lamictal withdrawal is performed too abruptly, the result is often severe overstimulation, leading to delusion, mania, or other Lamictal withdrawal symptoms such as seizure. Such symptoms can be substantially minimized at Alternative to Meds Center because we are addressing root causes, supplying effective drug-free treatment strategies for their resolution, performing the taper at a speed that the nervous system can reregulate and at which the participant can endure.

Equine-Assisted Lamictal Recovery

exercise for mental healthAn often overlooked intervention in mental health crises is the effectiveness of mild forms of exercise.43 Sitting stationary or lying in bed for lengthy periods of time may be needed at times. Other gentle limbic connections, such as Equine-Assisted Therapy, can begin to form emotional connections, reduce the tendency to socially withdraw, build trust, and provide a feeling of calm confidence that is of great benefit in the quest for natural mental health.42

A fascinating 2018 study of the application of equine-assisted therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD and other symptoms and their families reported: “significantly fewer psychological symptoms and significantly greater levels of happiness and quality of life at post-intervention compared to pre-intervention.” 44 At Alternative to Meds Center, each case is treated in an entirely customized way. We can draw from a wide range of alternative treatments to offer ones that will suit the needs of our clients. The locale of the facility is within a few steps of the majestic Sedona Red Rock mountains, providing a wealth of hiking and gentle walking paths for all to enjoy the outdoors. Trainer-led exercise classes and equine therapy sessions are offered so that these therapies can be individually tailored according to fitness level, endurance, and comfort.

Natural Lamictal Alternatives at Alternative to Meds Center

We use many such natural Lamictal alternative approaches towards the goal of achieving drug-free mental health. Natural mental health is sustainable and often frees a person of the need to rely on prescription drugs.

We are proud to celebrate the success of our residents on weekly basis at Alternative to Meds Center. The stories and achievements of our residents are so extraordinary, this is what inspires us. So many people tell of years spent suffering before finding clarity on their situations here with us. Please call us to find out more about our Lamictal alternatives treatment options.


1. Ede G, “Low-Carbohydrate Diet: Superior to Antipsychotic Medications?” Psychology Today [Internet] 2017 Sep 29 [cited 2021 Jan 19]

2. Palmer C, “Ketogenic diet in the treatment of schizoaffective disorder: Two case studies.” Harvard Medical School Publication [Internet] 2017 Feb 03 [cited 2021 Jan 19]

3. Michalsen A, et al., “Rapid stress reduction and anxiolysis among distressed women as a consequence of a 3-month intensive yoga program.” A Controlled Clinical Trial in Medical Science Monitor [PMID 16319785 ] 2005 Dec 11 [cited 2021 Jan 19]

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10. Seikkula J, Olson ME. The open dialogue approach to acute psychosis: its poetics and micropolitics. Fam Process. 2003 Fall;42(3):403-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2003.00403.x. PMID: 14606203. [cited 2021 Jan 19]

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14. van den Berg DP, de Bont PA, van der Vleugel BM, de Roos C, de Jongh A, Van Minnen A, van der Gaag M. Prolonged exposure vs eye movement desensitization and reprocessing vs waiting list for posttraumatic stress disorder in patients with a psychotic disorder: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Mar;72(3):259-67. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2637. PMID: 25607833. [cited 2021 Jan 19]

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16. Amminger, Schafer, Papageorgiou, Klier, Cotton, Harrigan, MacKinnon, McGorry, Berger, “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for indicated prevention of psychotic disorders: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial” US National Library of Medicine [Internet] 2010 Feb [cited 2021 Jan 19]

17. PACHECO A, EASTERLING WS, PRYER MW. A PILOT STUDY OF THE KETOGENIC DIET IN SCHIZOPHRENIA. Am J Psychiatry. 1965 May;121:1110-1. doi: 10.1176/ajp.121.11.1110. PMID: 14283310. [cited 2021 Jan 19]

18. Plitman E, Nakajima S, de la Fuente-Sandoval C, et al. Glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity in schizophrenia: a review. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014;24(10):1591-1605. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.07.015. [cited 2021 Jan 19]

19. Leonardo Tondo, Nereide Rudas, The course of a seasonal bipolar disorder influenced by caffeine, Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 22, Issue 4, 1991, Pages 249-251. [cited 2021 Jan 19]

20. van der Heijden, F., Fekkes, D., Tuinier, S. et al. Amino acids in schizophrenia: evidence for lower tryptophan availability during treatment with atypical antipsychotics?. J Neural Transm 112, 577–585 (2005). [cited 2021 Jan 19]

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24. Mittal VA, Vargas T, Osborne KJ, et al. Exercise Treatments for Psychosis: A Review. Curr Treat Options Psychiatry. 2017;4(2):152-166. doi:10.1007/s40501-017-0112-2.[cited 2021 Jan 19]

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27. Malcolm Peet, Eicosapentaenoic acid in the treatment of schizophrenia and depression: rationale and preliminary double-blind clinical trial results, Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, Volume 69, Issue 6, 2003, Pages 477-485. [cited 2021 Jan 19]

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29. Acute Hypoglycemia Presenting as Acute Psychosis Tanveer Padder MD, Aparna Udyawar MD, Nouman Azhar MD, Kamil Jaghab MD From the Department of Psychiatry, Nassau University Medical Center, 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow NY 11554 USA.First Published December 2005. [cited 2021 Jan 19]

30. Brady WJ Jr, Duncan CW. Hypoglycemia masquerading as acute psychosis and acute cocaine intoxication. Am J Emerg Med. 1999 May;17(3):318-9. doi: 10.1016/s0735-6757(99)90140-7. PMID: 10337905. [cited 2021 Jan 19]

31. Low Plasma GABA Is a Trait-Like Marker for Bipolar Illness NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY 1993-VOL. 9, NO. 2 Frederick Petty, Ph.D., M.D., Gerald Kramer, Mark Fulton, M.D., Frederick G. Moeller, M.D., and John Rush, M.D. [cited 2021 Jan 19]

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34. Farina M, Aschner M, da Rocha JBT. The catecholaminergic neurotransmitter system in methylmercury-induced neurotoxicity. Adv Neurotoxicol. 2017;1:47-81. doi:10.1016/bs.ant.2017.07.002 [cited 2021 Jan 19]

35. Kraeuter AK, Phillips R, Sarnyai Z. The Gut Microbiome in Psychosis From Mice to Men: A Systematic Review of Preclinical and Clinical Studies. Front Psychiatry. 2020;11:799. Published 2020 Aug 11. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00799 [cited 2021 Jan 19]

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45. Frueh BC, Grubaugh AL, Cusack KJ, Kimble MO, Elhai JD, Knapp RG. Exposure-based cognitive-behavioral treatment of PTSD in adults with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder: a pilot study. J Anxiety Disord. 2009;23(5):665-675. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2009.02.005 [cited 2021 Jan 19]

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This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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