Lamotrigine for Epilepsy
Lamotrigine is available in tablets.
How It Works
It is not known exactly how lamotrigine prevents seizures.
Why It Is Used
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 risks.
How Well It Works
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 alone.1
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.)
What To Think About
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.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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