Lamotrigine is a medication whose brand name is Lamictal.
It works as both an anticonvulsant and a mood elevator.
It assists in treating seizures as an anticonvulsant.
It works as a mood stabilizer to prolong the intervals between severe depressive episodes in bipolar disorder.
It is used to treat bipolar I disorder, a more severe form of the condition, over the long term.
Additionally, it is only prescribed to adults 18 years of age and older who have already had treatment for mood episodes with another medication for bipolar I disease.
It is well known that most mood stabilizers used to treat bipolar disorder lead to weight gain. Lamictal is frequently an exception, though.
Lamictal, mood stabilizers, and weight gain
It is well known that most mood stabilizers used to treat bipolar disorder lead to weight gain. The way a mood stabilizer affects your weight depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of your disorder and any co-occurring disorders.
But with Lamictal, weight gain is less likely than with most mood stabilizers. Less than 5% of Lamictal users who participated in clinical trials had weight gain. If you are taking Lamictal and have put on weight, the disorder itself may be to blame.
Your metabolism may vary or become more active if you have bipolar disorder. It might be challenging to determine what the true cause may be because these changes can result in a weight increase.
Gaining weight and bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder’s persistent mood swings can make it difficult for you to stay motivated to work out or stick to a nutritious diet.
Your doctor can recommend a dietitian if you’re worried about gaining weight while receiving treatment for bipolar disorder. You can keep your weight in check by consulting a dietitian.
Continued mood swings may indicate that the medication you’re taking isn’t functioning as effectively as it should, in addition to having an impact on your weight. Inform your doctor if your mood swings persist while you are receiving treatment for bipolar illness.
The effectiveness of a mood stabilizer varies from person to person. Before you find a drug that works for you, you might need to try a few different ones. But you should never stop taking your medication for bipolar disorder without first consulting your doctor.
Discuss Lamictal with your doctor if weight gain is a problem for you while receiving treatment for bipolar illness. Lamictal has a lower risk of making people gain weight, but it still has potential interactions and side effects.
If you currently take this medication or intend to, read the additional information that is provided below.
More frequent adverse effects
When used to treat bipolar I disorder, Lamictal’s more frequent adverse effects include:
- Sleeping issues
- drowsiness or excessive exhaustion
- Running nose
- Stomach ache
- Mouth dry
Significant skin rashes
A hospital may need to treat these rashes. They might even be lethal. The first eight weeks of treatment are when this side effect is most likely to occur, while it can occur at any time. Some symptoms include:
- Skin blisters or skin peeling
- uncomfortable sores around your eyes or in your mouth.
Reactions that may interfere with how well your liver or blood cells work
These responses can cause symptoms like:
- recurring illnesses
- significant muscular ache
- enlarged lymph nodes
- unexpected bleeding or bruises
- Weakness or fatigue
- Yellowing of the whites of your eyes or skin
- swollen tongue, lips, face, or eyes
Suicidal ideas or behaviors
The protective membrane that encases your brain and spinal cord is inflamed. Some symptoms include:
- tense neck
- extraordinary light sensitivity
- Muscle aches
Lamictal may interact negatively with some medications, leading to negative side effects. One or more of the medications may cease functioning as they should as a result of interactions.
Valproic acid or divalproex sodium (Depakene, Depakote), which are anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers, might increase the quantity of Lamictal that stays in your body by twofold. Your risk of experiencing Lamictal side effects may significantly rise due to this effect.
Contrarily, using Lamictal together with the anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing medications carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), phenobarbital (Luminal), or primidone (Mysoline) can cause a 40% reduction in the amount of Lamictal in your body.
Birth control medications that contain estrogen and the antibiotic rifampin (Rifadin) can both reduce Lamictal levels by roughly 50%. These side effects can significantly lessen how effective Lamictal is at treating your bipolar disorder symptoms.
Your body may not properly metabolize Lamictal if you have moderate liver or renal impairment. Your doctor might advise an alternative medication or a lower starting dose.
Breastfeeding and becoming pregnant
If Lamictal is safe to use while pregnant is unknown. Before using this medication, let your doctor know if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
If you breastfeed, Lamictal can enter the breast milk and have negative effects on the baby. If you take Lamictal, discuss the appropriate feeding strategy with your doctor.
Consult your physician
It might be difficult to find a medication that not only effectively treats your bipolar disorder but also has the fewest negative effects. Speak with your doctor if weight gain worries you and Lamictal isn’t the right medication for you.
Most other bipolar disorder medications do result in weight gain. Your doctor might advise.