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Lamictal for Depression

Updated on June 25, 2010
Lamictal tablet, 100 mg.
Lamictal tablet, 100 mg.

Lamictal is a medication in the class of drugs called anticonvulsants. Though anticonvulsants are designed to prevent seizures, several anticonvulsants are effective medications for treating mood disorders. Psychiatrists may prescribe Lamictal for depression and bipolar disorder.

There is no cure for depression. Medications are used to decrease the symptoms of mood disorders. Lamictal may help in depression treatment by increasing the amount of time between episodes of depression. Similar to other anticonvulsant medication for depression, Lamictal acts as a mood-stabilizer to help prevent depressive episodes. Lamictal is not well suited to treating depression symptoms when they occur. Antidepressant medication may be necessary to alleviate symptoms of depression.

The Lamictal generic form is called lamotrigine. Lamictal is sold in tablets of 25 mg., 100 mg., 150 mg., and 200 mg. The recommended adult Lamictal dosage is 200 mg. The physician may prescribe more or less depending on several factors including other medications the person is taking. The doctor may prescribe a low dose of Lamictal and gradually increase the dosage. Patients should discuss any concerns over their Lamictal dose with their physicians and take the medication as prescribed.

Lamictal tablet, 200 mg.
Lamictal tablet, 200 mg.

Lamictal Side Effects

Possible side effects of Lamictal include drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, runny nose, difficulty concentrating, cough, loss of balance, diarrhea, vomiting, and blurred vision. Lamictal side effects can also include insomnia, nervousness, irritability, and pain in the back, joints, or stomach. Women may experience missed menstrual periods or irritation of the vagina.

Many people refuse to try Lamictal due to the risk of a serious skin rash that could require hospitalization. The Lamictal rash can be potentially fatal, though this reaction is extremely rare. People taking Lamictal need to thoroughly examine their skin for any signs of a skin rash and contact their doctors immediately if they develop a rash.

Other signs of adverse Lamictal effects include sores in the mouth or near the eyes, yellowing of the eyes or skin, swollen lymph nodes, or swelling of the tongue or lips. Patients should notify their doctors immediately if they have chest pain, severe weakness or fatigue, seizures, swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet, or unusual bruising or bleeding. Frequent infections or severe muscle pain can be signs of serious Lamictal side effects.

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