A prescription drug, lamotrigine is used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy. In clinical studies, people taking the drug for bipolar disorder went longer without having an episode of mania or depression, compared to those not taking it. The drug is taken by mouth, usually once or twice a day. Possible side effects of lamotrigine include nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
What Is Lamotrigine?Lamotrigine (Lamictal®) is a prescription medication used to treat the following conditions:
- Bipolar disorder -- It is approved as a mood stabilizer to treat bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression).
- Epilepsy -- It is approved to treat various types of seizures in people with epilepsy.
Who Makes Lamotrigine?It is made by GlaxoSmithKline.
How Does It Work?Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. This change in brain activity can lead to a seizure (see Epilepsy Symptoms). It is not known exactly how lamotrigine works for treating epilepsy. Studies suggest that it may work by affecting sodium channels in the brain, preventing the abnormal activity from spreading to other parts. This action helps control seizures.
It is also not exactly known how lamotrigine works to treat bipolar disorder.
EffectsSeveral studies have evaluated the safety and effectiveness of lamotrigine when used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy.
Lamotrigine Uses for Bipolar Disorder
A few studies have used lamotrigine for bipolar disorder treatment. In these studies, people taking the drug went longer without having an episode of mania or depression, compared to those not taking it.