Lamotrigine is available in
It is not known exactly how lamotrigine
Lamotrigine is used to treat a broad
range of seizures. It helps control
partial seizures, especially partial seizures with
secondary generalization. It may also be effective in treating
absence seizures and
generalized tonic-clonic seizures.
Lamotrigine is used most often with other epilepsy drugs.
Lamotrigine is also used in children who have Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and who have not responded to
other drug treatment. Lamotrigine is usually added to the child's existing drug
therapy. There are still some concerns about the safety of lamotrigine, but a
smaller initial dose and slower increases in dosage may reduce some of the
When lamotrigine is added to another
medicine being taken for partial epilepsy, it can help control seizures that haven't been controlled by one medicine
When it is used alone, lamotrigine can help control partial or generalized seizures in adults.2
Most people tolerate lamotrigine very
well. Common side effects include:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a
warning on antiepileptic medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal
thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines.
Instead, people who take antiepileptic medicine should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take
antiepileptic medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk
to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects.
(Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
It may take time and careful,
controlled adjustments by you and your doctor to find the combination,
schedule, and dosing of medicine to best manage your epilepsy. The goal is to
prevent seizures while causing as few side effects as possible. After
you and your doctor figure out the medicine program that works best for you, make sure to follow your program exactly as prescribed.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Ramaratnam S, et al. (2001). Lamotrigine add-on for
drug-resistant partial epilepsy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3).
Drugs for epilepsy (2008). Treatment Guidelines From The Medical Letter, 6(70): 37–46.
August 26, 2011
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
& Steven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology
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