What is Lamotrigine?
Lamotrigine , marketed in most of the world as Lamictal by GlaxoSmithKline, is an anticonvulsant drug used in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. It is also used off-label as an adjunct in treating clinical depression. For epilepsy, it is used to treat focal seizures, primary and secondary tonic-clonic seizures, and seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Like many other anticonvulsant medications, lamotrigine also seems to act as an effective mood stabilizer, and has been the first US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug for this purpose since lithium, a drug approved almost 30 years earlier. It is approved for the maintenance treatment of bipolar type I.
Chemically unrelated to other anticonvulsants (due to lamotrigine being a phenyltriazine), lamotrigine has many possible side-effects. Lamotrigine is generally accepted to be a member of the sodium channel blocking class of antiepileptic drugs, but it could have additional actions since it has a broader spectrum of action than other sodium channel antiepileptic drugs such as phenytoin and carbamazepine and is effective in the treatment of the depressed phase of bipolar disorder, whereas other sodium channel blocking antiepileptic drugs are not. In addition, lamotrigine shares few side-effects with other, unrelated anticonvulsants known to inhibit sodium channels, which further emphasises its unique properties. Lamotrigine is inactivated by glucuronidation in the liver.
Lamotrigine was developed in 1994.