Lamictal or the generic alternative Lamotrigine is an anticonvulsant medication that is prescribed to help control epileptic seizures. This can be helpful for children over the age of two years and adults that experience partial and tonic-clonic seizures as well as the seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Lamictal medication is a sodium channel blocker. By preventing sodium from entering nerve cells, Lamictal can stop excessive electrical activity which can trigger a seizure. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Epilepsy usually develops when your brain’s electrical activity becomes uncontrolled and overactive, causing you to experience temporary episodes of unconsciousness. These episodes are the seizures that characterize epilepsy, and during them you may spasm violently or stare blankly depending on the type. There is no cure for epilepsy at this time, but Lamictal medication helps reduce the severity of the seizures by controlling excess brain activity.
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a severe form of epilepsy that begins in childhood, usually between five and six years of age. Parents may begin to notice behavioral problems and developmental delays. Tonic seizures are the most common with LGS, especially during sleep. Seizures can range from a few seconds to one minute, disturbing the child’s sleep without waking them. Many times, tonic seizures go unnoticed due to the very short time they appear.
In addition to its use for treating epilepsy, Lamictal or generic Lamotrigine may be prescribed as a mood stabilizer to treat people with the psychiatric illness, bipolar affective disorder. Lamictal medication may help prevent episodes of depression in people who suffer mostly from this side of the illness. It is not fully understood how Lamotrigine works in this illness, but is thought to be to do with the reduction of glutamate in the brain.
Be sure to tell your doctor whether you have ever had depression or liver/kidney disease before you begin treatment with Lamictal. Lamictal medication does not react well when combined with certain drugs, including other anticonvulsants and hormonal birth control medications so tell your doctor about any OTC or Rx drugs you take, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements.
You should not stop taking Lamictal suddenly unless your doctor advises you to. Contact your doctor right away if you begin to have worse symptoms of depression or feel you may harm yourself. Until you know how Lamictal will affect you, avoid operating a vehicle, machinery, or performing any task that requires you to be alert.
Taking too much Lamictal at the start of treatment may increase your risk of a severe life-threatening skin rash. You may require frequent blood tests to help your doctor make sure you are taking the right Lamictal dosage.