Last Updated on June 3, 2023
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Lamotrigine is one of the most important drugs for epilepsy (epilepsy) and for the prevention of depression. The drug is generally well tolerated. Possible side effects include skin reactions and headache. Due to the good tolerability of Lamotrigine is considered treatment of choice for pregnant women. Here you can read everything about Lamotrigine.
Lamotrigine mechanism of action
The human nervous system is activated or inhibited by certain chemical messengers. Normally, these messengers are released according to the external circumstances and ensure an adequate reaction of the body to various situations such as injuries, stress or rest.
Nervous system this controlled balance is disturbed. Through a genetic predisposition or by injuries to the brain, the excitement intensified or inhibition may be reduced. The nervous system of the brain is then overexcitable, which can lead to seizures.
Lamotrigine reduces hyperexcitability due to blockage of certain ion channels (especially sodium and calcium channels) in the nerve cells, and so reduces the risk of an epileptic seizure. The active substance is thus an anti-epileptic.
In addition, Lamotrigine has a mood-lifting effect, and therefore can also be used for the prevention of depression.
The pharmacokinetics and metabolism of Lamotrigine
The drug is rapidly and completely absorbed from the intestine into the blood. The maximum effect occurs after about a two and a half hours. The drug is metabolized in the liver and then excreted by the kidneys.
When is Lamotrigine used?
Among the areas of application (indications) of Lamotrigine include:
- Prevention (prophylaxis) of depression
- Bipolar Disorder in Remission
- Epilepsy of the Lennox Gastaut Syndrome
- Tonic-Clonic Epilepsy
- Simple Partial Seizures
- Convulsive Seizures
- Bipolar Depression
- Rapid Cycle Manic-Depression
How Lamotrigine is used
The active ingredient Lamotrigine is usually applied in the form of tablets, but there are also suspensions, which can be easier to swallow. They are taken once a day. It is recommended to take the tablets preferably at the same time every day before or after a meal.
The appropriate dose is determined individually for each patient: First (in week one and two) you start with a low daily dose of 25 milligrams. In the third and fourth week you increase the daily amount to 50 milligrams per day. Depending on the patient is the so-called “maintenance dose” afterwards (from Week 5 of treatment) 100 to 200 milligrams daily.
This regimen, which is also called “up-titration”, uses one if, in addition, no other anti-epileptic Lamotrigine is used. In a combination treatment with other agents, the Lamotrigine dosage may need to be adjusted.
Patients who are suffering from kidney and liver dysfunction and children aged two to twelve years get a lower dose.
Women who use hormonal contraceptives, it must notify the physician necessarily. The Lamotrigine dose may need to be increased in this case. Even when you issue the contraceptive dosage needs to be adjusted again.
What are the side effects of Lamotrigine?
children under two years may not receive the drug, since there are too few experiences for this age group.
Pregnancy and lactation
Lamotrigine is considered treatment of choice for epileptic during pregnancy. Studies have indeed shown that the risk of birth defects in the unborn child is a minimal increase, outweigh the benefits of treatment. Given Lamotrigine should however be used as single drug (monotherapy). In combination with other antiepileptic drugs, the risk of birth defects increases.
Since there is evidence that Lamotrigine may interfere with folic acid supply of the unborn child, should be taken from the date of planning a pregnancy.
The drug may pass into breast milk. So you should always the benefits of breastfeeding against the respective risk to the infant to be weighed.
Driving and using machines
By taking Lamotrigine responsiveness may be severely impaired. Experts therefore recommend that, during the treatment to the active participation in the road traffic and using heavy machinery to dispense.
Lamotrigine amplifies the effects and side effects of Carbamazepine, another anti-epileptic medicine. Carbamazepine however reduces the effect of Lamotrigine.
Other antiepileptic drugs (Phenytoin, primidone, phenobarbital) may impair the effect of Lamotrigine. The same goes for hormonal contraceptives (the “pill”) and the antibiotic rifampicin (against tuberculosis).
The antiepileptic drug valproate, however, can increase the effect of Lamotrigine.
How to get medicines with Lamotrigine
Epilepsy and depression are diseases that must be treated by a doctor necessarily. In order to ensure regular monitoring of therapeutic success, medications with Lamotrigine are available only with a doctor’s prescription in the pharmacy.
Since when Lamotrigine is known?
Lamotrigine is available as an antiepileptic since 1993rd Already at that time its positive effects have been observed on mood and balance. Through this “side effect” helps Lamotrigine , depression and prevent depression. The drug is prescribed more and more frequently for this reason also as an antidepressant.