Lamotrigine is a type of medicine called a 'mood stabiliser' as it can reduce feelings of excitability and over-activity and reduce mood swings. It tends to work better on the low mood (depression) part of bipolar disorder.
Conclusion: Treatment with lamotrigine as monotherapy and as adjunctive therapy was associated with improved cognitive functioning and reduced neurocognitive side effects, regardless of index mood polarity.
Lamotrigine works by inhibiting cell pathways in the brain called sodium channels, which reduces the emission of chemicals called glutamate and aspartate, two of the most important excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain.
Lamotrigine is generally well tolerated; however, some psychiatric problems have been reported in patients using the drug to treat mental disorders (mainly bipolar) or epilepsy. The clinical features of these psychiatric side effects are: affective switches, full acute psychotic episodes, and hallucinations.
Studies have found that individuals who take antiepileptic medications including lamotrigine have suicidal thoughts or behaviors up to twice as often than individuals who take placebo (inactive medication).
Lamotrigine may make you feel very drowsy or sleepy when you start taking it. It may also make it difficult for you to get to sleep. If these symptoms carry on for a long time, or if this is difficult for you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other medicines you could take.
What happens if you take lamotrigine and are not bipolar?
So the drug can be used in people with conditions besides bipolar I disorder. If you take Lamictal and don't have bipolar I disorder or certain kinds of epilepsy or seizures, you're still at risk of side effects from the drug.
Lamotrigine 25 mg/day was added at bedtime and increased by 25 mg after 2 weeks. However, after 2 weeks, he reported restlessness, decreased need for sleep (5 h/day), improved mood, increased energy, and distractibility.
However, the dose is usually not more than 400 mg a day. Adults and children older than 13 years of age taking valproic acid (Depakote®)—At first, 25 mg of lamotrigine once every other day for 2 weeks, then 25 mg once a day for 2 weeks. After this, your doctor may gradually increase your dose as needed.
There appears to be significant improvement in cognitive abilities in PBD patients treated with lamotrigine that is most prominent in the areas of working memory and verbal memory and that occurs along with mood stabilization.
Is it better to take lamotrigine at night or morning?
You'll usually take lamotrigine once or twice a day. You can take it with or without food. If you take it twice a day, try to space your doses evenly through the day. For example, take it first thing in the morning and in the evening.
Available also under the brand names Lamictal and Lamictal XR (an extended-release form of lamotrigine), lamotrigine works by slowing down nerve activity, making seizures and brain excitement less likely.
Lamotrigine is the only mood stabilizer that calms mood swings by lifting the depression rather than suppressing the mania, says Dr. Aiken. "That makes it a great choice for the bipolar spectrum, where the depressive symptoms usually outweigh the manic ones. Its greatest benefit is in prevention.
The two cases would suggest that LTG may cause anger so severe as to be accompanied with murderous impulse when administered to patients with mood disorders. Physicians should be cognizant of this possible, albeit infrequent, adverse effect even in use of LTG for mood disorders.
Lithium and quetiapine top the lists for all three phases of the illness: mania, depression, and the maintenance phase. Lurasidone and lamotrigine are either untested (lurasidone) or ineffective (lamotrigine) in mania, but they are essential tools for bipolar depression.
When treating anxiety disorders, antidepressants, particularly the SSRIs and some SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), have been shown to be effective. Other anti-anxiety drugs include the benzodiazepines, such as as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), buspirone (Buspar), and lorazepam (Ativan).
You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with lamoTRIgine. Do not use more than the recommended dose of lamoTRIgine, and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you.
These results add to the literature a unique adverse effect complex of Lamotrigine side effects. All six untoward symptoms (skin rash, episodes of irritability/aggressiveness, leg vermiculation, emotional lability (crying, seclusion), nightmares and flulike symptoms) resolved with LTG tapering to discontinuation.
Lamotrigine metabolism also exhibits the phenomenon of “autoinduction” (increase in its own metabolism during the course of therapy) , similar to the first-generation AED carbamazepine, with an approximately 20% reduction in steady-state serum/plasma concentrations if dosage is not escalated.
Using Drosophila as our model system, we found that lamotrigine decreased mortality and increased lifespan in parallel with a reduction in locomotor activity and a trend towards metabolic rate depression.
Lamotrigine was an efficacious pharmaceutical intervention that helped the patient deal with chronic stress and associated anxiety. The results are discussed based on our previous basic research outcomes in animals and humans that focused on the glutamate-cortisol circuits within the limbic brain.