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Lamictal – What You Need to Know

what is Lamictal

If you or someone you know has been prescribed Lamictal, you must understand what this medication is and how it works. Lamictal is used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder. It can also be very helpful in managing the symptoms of these conditions. However, there are some important things to know before taking Lamictal, such as the potential side effects and drug interactions. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about Lamictal!

What Is Lamictal?

what is Lamictal

Lamictal is the brand name for lamotrigine, a prescription medication used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder. Lamotrigine is an anti-epileptic or anticonvulsant drug that works by stabilizing electrical activity in the brain. It is also approved by the FDA for the treatment of the bipolar disorder. Brand names for lamotrigine include labels such as Lamictal, Lamictal ODT, and Lamictal XR.

Uses

Lamictal is a medication that is used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder. It is an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug. Lamictal is used as monotherapy or adjunctive therapy for epileptic seizures in adults and also children over the age of two. It is also indicated for the treatment of bipolar disorder in adults and children over the age of 13. It can be very effective in treating such conditions. Recent studies have also shown effective results in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Lamictal is said to be the only mood stabilizer that calms mood swings by lifting the depression rather than suppressing the mania.

Dosage

The usual starting dose of Lamictal for treating seizures in adults is 25 mg twice daily. The usual starting dose of Lamictal for treating bipolar disorder in adults is 50 mg once daily. The dose can be increased by 50 mg every week until the desired effect is achieved.

Intake

Lamictal dosage

Lamictal is available in tablets, chewable tablets, and an oral suspension.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablets whole since chewing them may leave a bitter taste. Do not crush, chew or split tablets.

Typically, patients begin with a low dose of medicine. The dose further increases slowly over several weeks.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Lamictal include

  • Dizziness and headache
  • Fever and sore throat
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Sleep problems

However, you may want to consult your doctor in case of severe and unusual symptoms such as

  • Chest pain
  • Rashes
  • Jaundice
  • Soreness in joints
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Cold feet/hands
  • Increased heart rate

Who Should Avoid Taking Lamictal?

Some factors may influence a doctor’s prescription of this particular drug. Some of them include:

  • Children under the age of 18
  • Pregnant women
  • People who are hypersensitive to allergens

Alternatives

Although it is highly effective and efficient, the use of Lamictal may not be sustainable for some and can have long-lasting side effects. Alternates to this drug comprise other drugs, various types of therapies, as well as lifestyle changes.

Psychotherapy techniques include

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Exposure therapy
  • EMDR Therapy

Other medications involved in treating similar symptoms are

  • Seroquel
  • Abilify
  • Topiramate
  • Vraylar
  • Lithium
  • Abilify Maintena

Natural lifestyle changes that can provide healthier alternates to medication include activities such as

  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Low glycemic diet
  • Intaking supplements that boost the growth of the brain’s neurotransmitters
  • Cleansing of toxins from the body

General Warnings

Lamictal warning

  • It should not be consumed by those already taking birth control/oral contraceptive pills
  • Anti-epileptic medications including valproic acid, divalproex sodium, carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, or primidone, can also have effects on the working of Lamictal.
  • One should avoid driving after taking the medication as it can further impair your reactions.
  • In case you skip a dose, do not consume two doses in one go.
  • Lamictal may affect a drug-screening urine test and you may further have false results. Tell the laboratory staff about your medication.
  • In case of pregnancy, inform your doctor immediately. Intaking Lamictal can put both the mother and baby at risk of a seizure.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or taking any other drugs as they may have adverse side effects and also reduce the effectiveness of the medication.
  • Stay alert for signs of severe mood swings or suicidal thoughts and immediately seek help in case of a heightened reaction.
  • Do not stop with your medication immediately without your doctor’s advice.

Conclusion

If you or a loved one intakes Lamictal, it is important to be aware of the medication. Lamictal can be an effective treatment for seizures and bipolar disorder. Although, there are potential side effects and drug interactions that one must be aware of. For further information, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Thanks for reading!

A Word From Therapy Mantra

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