Lamictal
DESCRIPTION

Lamictal is a brand name of an anti-seizure drug called Lamotrigine. It is available is varying strengths of 25 mg, 100 mg, 150, mg and 200 mg.

Lactose, microcrystalline cellulose and magnesium stearate are some of the inactive ingredients found in this drug.

How It Works

Just like many anti-epileptic drugs, Lamictal has the ability to block functions of sodium channels that depend on high voltage, which in turn leads to the balance of neuronal membranes. Lamotrigine; the active ingredient of this drug blocks the release of glutamate; an amino acid that helps in the biosynthesis of protein. Glutamate also plays a key role in neural stimulation. This process creates a neuroprotective effect thus, contributing to mood stability.

Uses

Lamictal is used with a mix of other anticonvulsant drugs to treat different types of seizures such as focal seizures, seizures that result from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and tonic-clonic seizures. Lamictal is also prescribed to treat bi polar disorder. In addition, it is issued off-label to cure migraine headaches and clinical depression.

Dosage

This drug is available in the forms of a tablet that has to be swallowed, a chewable tablet and an orally disintegrating pill.

Your medical practitioner will decide the appropriate dose for you. Make sure to follow the exact instructions given to you when taking this medication.

For patients with epilepsy and bi polar disorder, this drug is administered in small doses initially and gradually increased. It might take several weeks to reach the maintenance dose.

If you forget to take a dose, do not take a double dose. Continue with your next dose as usual.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Lamictal are

Nausea
Drowsiness
Headache
Changes in menstrual pattern
Tremors
Blurred vision
Back pain
Restlessness
Upset stomach

Some of the more serious side effects of this drug are:

Suicidal inclination
Rash
Fever
Loss of appetite
Anxiety
Dark urine
Yellow skin and eyes
Chest pain
Rapid heartbeat
Increased seizures
Urinating less
Severe vomiting
An increase in bi polar symptoms

Seek medical care instantly if you experience the more severe side effects. Common side effects will diminish in time.

A serious interaction could develop if Lamictal is taken along with valproic acid (Depakote).

Birth control pills are known to be less effective with the use of Lamictal.

There is a possibility for an unborn baby to develop anomalies like a cleft lip if this medication is taken during pregnancy.

Lamictal can cause severe skin rashes if you are allergic to it.

Precautions

Before taking Lamictal, tell your doctor if you have experienced any of the following conditions.

Kidney disease
Liver disease
A history of Depression
Suicidal thoughts
Allergies to any other anti-epileptic medications

If you have to take a urine test, make sure to inform the laboratory staff that you are on this medication. Sometimes indications of Lamictal in your body can lead to a false positive drug report.

Self-Care

When you are required to purchase a refill of Lamictal, always remember to check the compatibility of your refill with the tablets you took previously in terms of color, size and quantity.

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