Lamictal for Migraines
Lamictal is approved to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder. However, a few small studies have looked at also using the drug as a possible treatment for migraines, especially migraines with aura. Given that very little research has been published about the use of Lamictal for migraines, more research needs to be done before the drug will be considered safe and effective for this use.
Lamictal for Migraines: An OverviewLamictal® (lamotrigine) is a prescription medication used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder. It is not approved for migraine treatment. However, many other epilepsy medications are useful for preventing migraine headaches; thus, it is reasonable to suspect that Lamictal may also be useful for this purpose.
Research on Lamictal for Migraines
A few small studies have evaluated Lamictal for preventing migraines. Most of these studies have focused on migraines with aura. Some people may have an aura before their migraines occur. An aura can be any unusual sign that a migraine is about to happen, including:
- Vision changes
- Speech changes.
The most common type of aura is visual (seeing spots, tunnel vision, or other vision changes). In some people, the aura can be prolonged or debilitating. A few studies have suggested that taking Lamictal daily may help prevent migraine aura, and some studies have even shown that the drug helps prevent the actual migraine headache as well.
Many people with migraines can be treated with medications used only when a migraine occurs. These medications include "triptans," such as sumatriptan (Imitrex®). However, others benefit from taking a different type of medication that is taken daily in order to prevent migraines. Migraine prevention medications are usually most appropriate for people with the following characteristics:
- Frequent migraines
- Very severe migraines
- Migraines that do not respond to triptans or other similar medications.