Lamictal is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy. While it is unknown how the drug works to treat bipolar disorder, it is believed to control epilepsy by affecting sodium channels in the brain. The drug is available in several forms, and is taken usually once or twice a day. Headaches, nausea, and dizziness are some of the more common side effects seen with Lamictal.
What Is Lamictal?Lamictal® (lamotrigine) is a prescription medication used to treat the following conditions:
- Bipolar disorder -- Lamictal is approved as a mood stabilizer to treat bipolar disorder (manic depression).
- Epilepsy -- Lamictal is approved to treat various types of seizures in people with epilepsy.
Who Makes Lamictal?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 Lamictal works for treating epilepsy. Studies suggest that the drug may work by affecting sodium channels in the brain, preventing the abnormal activity from spreading to other parts of the brain. This action helps control seizures.
It is also not exactly known how Lamictal works to treat bipolar disorder.
EffectivenessSeveral studies have evaluated the safety and effectiveness of Lamictal when used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy.
Lamictal Uses for Bipolar Disorder
A few studies have used Lamictal 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.