It is not known exactly how Lamictal® (lamotrigine) works for treating epilepsy. However, studies suggest that the drug may work by affecting sodium channels in the brain, thereby preventing the abnormal activity from spreading to other areas. This action helps control seizures.
Exactly how Lamictal works to treat bipolar disorder is also unclear. Clinical studies have shown that people taking the drug went longer without having an episode of mania or depression, compared to those not taking it. This effect may also be explained by the drug's effect on sodium channels.
(For more information on how Lamictal works, click Lamictal. This article provides a complete overview of the drug, including information on its uses, general precautions, and potential side effects.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Lamictal [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2012 August.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 6, 2009.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 14, 2007.
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