Friday, May 13, 2022

What Does Lamictal Do To The Brain

Don't Miss

Does Lamictal Affect Testosterone

Lamotrigine / Lamictal: neurologist discusses

Impact on sexuality varies among AEDs The AED lamotrigine appears to have a more favorable profile on sexual function and reproduction than several other AEDs. For instance, men taking enzyme-inducing AEDs have been shown to reach lower testosterone levels at an earlier age than men taking lamotrigine.

Is Lamictal A Good Mood Stabilizer

Lamictal is effective in preventing depressive episodes in patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

It was the first US FDA-approved drug since lithium for bipolar disorder.

Lamictal is considered a mood-stabilizer and an anticonvulsant and is commonly prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder and in patients with epilepsy.

Can I Drive While Taking Lamotrigine

Do not drive a car or ride a bike just after you start taking lamotrigine.

Taking lamotrigine may make you feel dizzy and may affect your eyesight when you start taking it .

This could affect you if you drive a car, ride a bike, or do anything else that needs a lot of focus. It might be best to stop doing these things for the first few days, until you know how it affects you.

Do not worry – most people do these things as normal while taking lamotrigine.

Read Also: How Does A Brain Freeze Happen

Dosage For Bipolar Disorder

Adult dosage

Immediate-release form

  • TAKING with valproate:
  • Weeks 12: Take 25 mg every other day.
  • Weeks 34: Take 25 mg per day.
  • Week 5: Take 50 mg per day.
  • Week 6: Take 100 mg per day.
  • Week 7: Take 100 mg per day.
  • NOT TAKING carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, or valproate:
  • Weeks 12: Take 25 mg per day.
  • Weeks 34: Take 50 mg per day.
  • Week 5: Take 100 mg per day.
  • Week 6: Take 200 mg per day.
  • Week 7: Take 200 mg per day.
  • TAKING carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, or primidone and NOT TAKING valproate:
  • Weeks 12: Take 50 mg per day.
  • Weeks 34: Take 100 mg per day, in divided doses.
  • Week 5: Take 200 mg per day, in divided doses.
  • Week 6: Take 300 mg per day, in divided doses.
  • Week 7: Take up to 400 mg per day, in divided doses.
  • Child dosage

    Immediate-release forms

    It has not been confirmed that these forms of lamotrigine are safe and effective for use in children younger than 18 years for the treatment of bipolar disorder. They should not be used in children in this age range for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

    Senior dosage

    Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A typical adult dosage may cause drug levels in your body to be higher than normal. This can be dangerous. To help avoid this, your doctor my start you on a lower dosage or a different dosing schedule.

    How Long Will I Take It For

    Lamotrigine (Lamictal): uses, dosage and side effects

    If you have epilepsy, it’s likely that once your condition is under control you’ll still need to take lamotrigine for many years.

    If you have bipolar disorder, it’s likely that you’ll take lamotrigine for at least 6 months, but possibly much longer.


    Do not stop lamotrigine without speaking to your doctor first.

    Don’t Miss: Limbic Disorder

    Does Lamotrigine Cause Serotonin Syndrome

    There is a potential major drug interaction between Lamictal, Trazodone and Cymbalta. These drugs taken together may cause a rare but serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Symptoms of the serotonin syndrome include mental status changes such as irritability, confusion, hallucinations, and coma.

    The Following Are Symptoms Of A Depressive Episode:

    · feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness

    · very low energy and activity levels

    · trouble sleeping

    · loss of enjoyment in hobbies or activities

    · feelings of worry

    · trouble concentrating and trouble remembering things

    · changes in appetite

    · feeling sluggish

    · thoughts of death or suicide.

    If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, seek help immediately.

    There are two main types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I Disorder and Bipolar II Disorder.

    Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic episodes that last at least seven days, or severe manic symptoms that require immediate hospitalization. Depressive episodes occur as well and usually last at least two weeks. Bipolar I Disorder patients may also have mixed episodes with both manic and depressive symptoms simultaneously.

    Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes. Hypomanic episodes have some features of typical manic episodes, but are not severe enough to be considered manic.

    Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

    Also Check: Bleed In The Brain Stem

    Will Lamictal Affect My Contraception

    The combined pill, patch and vaginal ring can lower the amount of lamotrigine in your blood, so you might want to use a different type of contraception instead.

    If you decide to take the combined pill, you may need to change your dose of lamotrigine, but this depends on what other epilepsy medicines youre taking.

    What Are Some Key Facts About Lamictal

    Lamotrigine for Bipolar Disorder

    · its usual to take lamotrigine once or twice a day, with or without food

    · the most common side effects of lamotrigine are skin rashes and headaches

    · it can take up to six weeks for lamotrigine to work and you may still have fits or feel low during this time

    · the most common brand name is Lamictal

    · Lamotrigine can be taken by adults, and by children aged two years and over

    · Lamotrigine is not suitable for some people.

    Don’t Miss: Complications Of Intracerebral Hemorrhage

    How Does Lamictal Work On The Brain


    . Subsequently, one may also ask, how does Lamictal work on the brain for bipolar?

    Lamotrigine, acts through several molecular targets and overcomes the major limitation of other conventional antidepressants by stabilizing mood from below baseline thereby preventing switches to mania or episode acceleration, thus being effective for bipolar I disorder.

    Also Know, how long does it take for Lamictal to work? 6 weeks

    Similarly, it is asked, what neurotransmitters are affected by Lamictal?

    Lamotrigine does not have pronounced effects on any of the usual neurotransmitter receptors that anticonvulsants affect .

    Does Lamictal damage the brain?

    If you or somebody you care for takes the anticonvulsant drug lamotrigine , you should be aware that in rare cases it can cause inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, a serious condition known as aseptic meningitis.

    Our Final Take On Lamictal

    Lamictal is a drug used to treat very serious medical conditions thus, it should not be taken lightly. Its long list of adverse effects, as well as interaction with other forms of medication should serve as warning to individuals that might consider adjusting the dosage they have been prescribed.

    This product is not available for online or over-the-counter purchase, as it requires a prescription from your doctor. If you are suffering from any of the conditions mentioned in this review, contact your doctor immediately, and together youll decide what is the correct treatment and dosage for you.

    We strongly recommend you never take a different dosage than that prescribed by your physician. Also, in case of side-effects occurring, contact the person that prescribed the medication immediately.

    Also Check: Are Brain Hemorrhages Hereditary

    Efficacy Of Lamotrigine: Dysfunction Of Neural Network In Bipolar Depression

    The detailed investigations in the study showed that anticonvulsant activity of the antiepileptic drugs such as lamotrigine and valproic acid is conferred to the inhibition of the brain activation caused by the reduced excitability of the motor cortex induced by TMS stimulation. However, lamotrigine exerts a different action in the prefrontal corticolimbic system on TMS stimulation which shows that lamotrigine differs from valproic acid in molecular mechanisms of action as increased TMS-induced BOLD response was observed in corticolimbic circuits when TMS was applied over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex . This contrasting neurological effects of lamotrigine on the excitability of prefrontal and motor circuits shows some relevance to the drugs efficacy in the treatment of bipolar disorder and epilepsy respectively . Thus, lamotrigine, anticonvulsant drug, was found to exert a positive effect on the activity of the corticolimbic circuits in patients with bipolar disorder.

    Who Can Take Lamotrigine For Bipolar Disorder


    Doctors may prescribe lamotrigine to adults or adolescents who are otherwise being treated for bipolar disorder or weaning off other medications used to treat bipolar disorder. Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of lamotrigine and prescribed lower doses. When people respond to lamotrigine, they often say they can see things in perspective better and are less reactive under stress. They usually still have days of depression, but these tend to be shorter and less frequent, says Dr. Aiken.

    Children under age 18 are at higher risk of developing a skin rash from lamotrigine if dosed too rapidly. In spite of the potential side effects, however, Dr. Goldberg points out that many studies support the use of lamotrigine for treating bipolar disorder in youth.

    Definitive information about the safety of lamotrigine in pregnancy is not available, as there are no adequate studies in a pregnant woman population, but according to Dr. Goldberg, many doctors perceive it to be among the safer options when treatment benefit outweighs risk to the fetus, especially in women who are more prone to depression than mania. Like many psychotropic drugs, lamotrigine is secreted into breast milk, so women are advised to discuss with their doctors the risk and benefits of breastfeeding while taking lamotrigine.

    Lamotrigine is not recommended in patients who have demonstrated hypersensitivity to the medication or any of its ingredients.

    Read Also: Whats Brain Freeze

    Bipolar Disorder In Bipolar I Disorder

    Efficacy of lamotrigine was evaluated in subjects with bipolar I depression in a double-blind, parallel-group, multicenter trial . In this study, lamotrigine 50 mg/d , lamotrigine 200 mg/d , or placebo were given to the patients showing 17-item HDRS score 18. After 7 weeks of treatment, primary measures were not significantly different secondary measures, had a significantly superior response rate on mean ± SD observed scores on 17-item HDRS, CGI-Severity of Illness, and CGI-Improvement in lamotrigine 200 mg/d group. In the four other studies subjects diagnosed with bipolar I disorder were treated with lamotrigine 200 mg/d or placebo. 17-item HDRS total scores or the MADRS was not significantly different in treated or placebo, with the exception of 1 trial . However, CGI-Improvement score was significantly greater with lamotrigine treated group in two studies . suggested that sufficient evidence are not available to recommend use of lamotrigine in the treatment of rapidly-cycling bipolar I.

    A Fifth Type Of Medication That Affects Brain Function

    Opiate pain medications. Unlike the other drugs mentioned above, opiates are not on the Beers list of medications that older adults should avoid. That said, they do seem to dampen thinking abilities a bit, even in long-term users. As far as I know, opiates are not thought to accelerate long-term cognitive decline.

    • Commonly prescribed opiates include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, methadone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl.
    • Tramadol is a weaker opiate with weaker prescribing controls.
    • Many geriatricians consider it more problematic than the classic Schedule II opiates listed above, as it interacts with a lot of medications and still affects brain function. Its a dirty drug, as one of my friends likes to say.
  • Alternatives depend on what type of pain is present. Generally, if people are taking opiates then they have pain that needs to be treated. However, a thoughtful holistic approach to pain often enables a person to get by with less medication, which can improve thinking abilities.
  • For people who have moderate or severe dementia, its important to know that untreated pain can worsen their thinking. So sometimes a low dose of opiate medication does end up improving their thinking.
  • Other risks in older adults:
  • There is some risk of developing a problematic addiction, especially if theres a prior history of substance abuse. But in my experience, having someone else usually younger steal or use the drugs is a more likely problem.
  • Recommended Reading: President Kennedy Brain Missing

    How Should This Medicine Be Used

    Lamotrigine comes as a tablet, an extended-release tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet , and a chewable dispersible tablet to take by mouth with or without food. The extended-release tablets are taken once a day. The tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, and chewable dispersible tablets are usually taken once or twice a day, but may be taken once every other day at the beginning of treatment. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.

    There are other medications that have names similar to the brand name for lamotrigine. You should be sure that you receive lamotrigine and not one of the similar medications each time you fill your prescription. Be sure that the prescription your doctor gives you is clear and easy to read. Talk to your pharmacist to be sure that you are given lamotrigine. After you receive your medication, compare the tablets to the pictures in the manufacturer’s patient information sheet. If you think you were given the wrong medication, talk to your pharmacist. Do not take any medication unless you are certain it is the medication that your doctor prescribed.

    Swallow the tablets and extended-release tablets whole do not split, chew, or crush them.

    To take an orally disintegrating tablet, place it on your tongue and move it around in your mouth. Wait a short time for the tablet to dissolve, and then swallow it with or without water.

    Why Is This Medication Prescribed


    Lamotrigine extended-release tablets are used with other medications to treat certain types of seizures in patients who have epilepsy. All types of lamotrigine tablets other than the extended-release tablets are used alone or with other medications to treat seizures in people who have epilepsy or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome . All types of lamotrigine tablets other than the extended-release tablets are also used to increase the time between episodes of depression, mania , and other abnormal moods in patients with bipolar I disorder . Lamotrigine has not been shown to be effective when people experience the actual episodes of depression or mania, so other medications must be used to help people recover from these episodes. Lamotrigine is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

    Read Also: What Part Of The Brain Controls Imagination

    Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder Include Both Manic And Depressive Episodes Signs Of A Manic Episode Are:

    · feeling very up or elated

    · increased energy and activity levels

    · feeling jumpy or wired

    · talking very fast about a lot of different things

    · agitation or irritability

    · think they can do a lot of things at once

    · taking risks such as spending a lot of money or having reckless sex.

    Depressive episodes can cause feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness.

    Serious Skin Rash And Allergic Reactions

    • Risk factors: Taking divalproex or valproic acid | Taking more lamotrigine than prescribed or raising the dose too quickly | Children | History of rash from other antiepileptic drugs

    Although rare, lamotrigine can cause a serious or life-threatening skin rash or an allergic reaction with life-threatening organ failure. The risk is higher for people who are also taking divalproex or valproic acid. Severe rashes can happen at any time while youre taking lamotrigine , but it usually happens 2 to 8 weeks after starting the medication. Get medical care right away if you have a rash, blistering or peeling skin, painful sores on your face, fever, swelling, or trouble breathing.

    You May Like: Diet To Shrink Meningioma

    Will Lamotrigine Affect My Ability To Play Sports

    Lamotrigine is not a banned substance in sport.

    It could, however, make you feel dizzy and give you blurred or double vision when you start taking it.

    It might be better to delay any sport that needs a lot of focus until you know how it affects you.

    Do not worry – most people play sports as normal while taking lamotrigine.

    Lamictal Warnings And Interactions

    how does lamictal work for anxiety

    Lamictal carries a black box warning regarding a potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity drug rash. In some cases, a severe rash can develop and lead to conditions known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrosis , both of which require emergency medical treatment.

    The risk of developing a serious rash may be increased if:

    • You’re currently taking a valproate medication
    • You have a history of hypersensitivity to other anticonvulsants
    • You take more than the recommended dose of Lamictal or increase the dosage more quickly than recommended

    Children may also face a higher risk of developing a serious rash than adults.

    If you notice any type of rash while taking this medication, you should seek immediate medical attention. Severe cases require hospitalization, and once a hypersensitivity reaction has occurred, no matter how mild, Lamictal treatment should never be restarted.

    Other potential problems with Lamictal include:

    You should remain under the close care of your doctor while taking Lamictal. You should not stop taking your medication abruptly. If you decide to stop the medication, you may need to wean off slowly as withdrawal symptoms are possible.

    Read Also: Does A Brain Hemorrhage Hurt

    How To Use Lamotrigine Oral

    Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking lamotrigine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

    Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablets whole since chewing them may leave a bitter taste.

    Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and use of certain interacting drugs. For children, the dosage is also based on weight.

    It is very important to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions exactly. The dose must be increased slowly. It may take several weeks or months to reach the best dose for you and to get the full benefit from this medication. Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

    Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Also, if you have stopped taking this medication, do not restart lamotrigine without consulting your doctor.

    Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

    More articles

    Popular Articles