Chemical Name: Lamotrigine
Trade Name: Lamictal
Description: Mechanism of action is unknown. Lamictal may cause inhibited release of glutamate and aspartate (excitatory neurotransmitters) in the brain.
Indications and Use: Lamictal is an FDA approved anti-seizure medication currently under study for use in stabilizing moods in patients with Bipolar Disorder (manic depression). The FDA has not yet approved it for this use. Preliminary results are very positive.
Contraindications, Warnings, and Precautions: Lamictal is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to this drug or its ingredients. Lamictal should not be discontinued abruptly because of possibility of increased seizure frequency. Lamictal should be stopped at first sign of rash unless the rash is not drug related.
Adverse Reactions: Possible side effects with Lamictal may include dizziness, headache, ataxia, somnolence, diplopia, blurred vision, rhinitis, nausea, and vomiting. The most worrisome side effect with Lamictal can be a potentially dangerous skin rash (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome). Serious rashes requiring hospitalization and discontinuation of treatment have been reported. Rash is more common in patients taking Valproic Acid (Depakote or Depakene) with Lamictal, in children, and cases in which the dose of Lamictal is increased too quickly. Nearly all cases of life threatening rashes associated with Lamictal have occurred within two to eight weeks of starting treatment. Discontinuation of treatment may not prevent a rash from becoming life threatening or permanently disabling or disfiguring. Any skin rash should be reported to your physician at once.
Dosing Range: Initial dose may be between 25 - 50 mg daily and the usual maintance dose is 100 - 500 mg daily. The risk of non serious rash is increased when the initial dose and titration is exceeded.
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