What Is Lamictal?


Quick Answer

Lamictal, generic name lamotrigine, is a prescription anticonvulsant drug used to treat certain epileptic seizures in both adults and children. The drug is also used to treat bipolar disorder.

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Full Answer

Lamictal is thought to balance electrical signals throughout the brain. It reduces the frequency of seizures and lengthens the amount of time between mood episodes like mania and depression in bipolar disorder. It comes in both immediate- and extended-release forms. The immediate-release form can be used in children as young as 2 as part of a combination of seizure medications. The extended-release form is for adults and children 13 and older.

Lamictal can take several weeks to work fully and is often started gradually to help avoid serious side effects. One serious side effect is a rash that can be life-threatening. This side effect is more common in children and those who take too much medication at the start of their therapy. This medication can also cause suicidal thoughts. Changes in mood or behavior, feelings of agitation or hostility, or thoughts of self-harm should be reported to a doctor at once. Other common side effects may include headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, loss of coordination, dry mouth, nausea, stomach upset or pain, fever, sore throat, runny nose, drowsiness, tiredness, and trouble sleeping.

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