Generic Name: Lamotrigine
Product Name: Lamictal
Lamictal is used for the treatment of epilepsy in adults and children. Lamogine belongs to a group of medicines called “anti-epileptic drugs“. Usually Lamictal is used initially in addition to other medicines for the treatment of epilepsy. Lamictal is used in partial (seizures that affect only one part of the brain) or generalised seizures (seizures that affect the whole brain) including Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy characterised by several seizure types). Your doctor may have prescribed Lamictal for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why it has been prescribed for you.
The precise mechanism of the action of Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is not certain. The results of studies show that Lamictal (Lamotrigine) can block sodium channels and reduce the release of glutamate (an excitatory messenger associated with epilepsy). It is possible that these effects limit the seizures.
Your doctor will decide what dose and how long you will receive lamictal . Take your tablets as directed by your doctor. Never change the dose yourself. Do not increase the dose more quickly than you have been told. Your doctor will be able to tell you:
- how many tablets to take at each dose.
- how many doses to take each day.
- when to take each of your doses.
The label on the container that the tablets were supplied in will give the same information. If there is something that you do not understand ask your doctor. It is usual for the dose to start at quite a low level and be slowly increased during the first few weeks of treatment. The dose your doctor prescribes will generally depend on any other anti-epileptic medications you are taking for the treatment of epilepsy and your response to Lamictal (Lamotrigine).Hormonal contraceptives: If you start or stop taking hormonal contraceptives (e.g. Oral contraceptive pill) while taking Lamictal (Lamotrigine) your doctor may need to adjust the dose of Lamictal (Lamotrigine) depending on how well your condition is being treated.
Common side effects
The following occur in <5% of patients being treated with Lamotrigine (mostly seen in monotherapy)
Uncommon side effects
These side effects occur in < 0.1% of the patients
- multi-organ hypersensitivity syndrome (eg fever,rash, swelling, abnormalities of blood and liver)
- Severe, potentially life threatening rashes have been reported in association with the use of Lamictal (Lamotrigine), particularly in children. Accordingly, Lamictal (Lamotrigine) should be discontinued at the first sign of rash unless the rash is clearly not drug related.
- Australian Medicines Handbook. [online]. Lamotrigine. January, 2007. Available at URL: http://www.amh.net.au (last accessed 15/08/07).
- MIMS Australia. [online]. Lamictal. 2007. Available at URL: http://www.mims.com.au (last accessed 15/08/07).
For further information talk to your doctor.