For patients receiving LAMICTAL in combination with other AEDs, a re-evaluation of all AEDs in the regimen should be considered if a change in seizure control or an appearance or worsening of adverse reactions is observed.
If a decision is made to discontinue therapy with LAMICTAL, a step-wise reduction of dose over at least 2 weeks (approximately 50% per week) is recommended unless safety concerns require a more rapid withdrawal .
Discontinuing carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, or other drugs such as rifampin and the protease inhibitors lopinavir/ritonavir and atazanavir/ritonavir that induce Lambipol glucuronidation should prolong the half-life of Lambipol; discontinuing valproate should shorten the half-life of Lambipol.
In the controlled clinical trials, there was no increase in the incidence, type, or severity of adverse reactions following abrupt termination of LAMICTAL. In the clinical development program in adults with bipolar disorder, 2 patients experienced seizures shortly after abrupt withdrawal of LAMICTAL. Discontinuation of LAMICTAL should involve a step-wise reduction of dose over at least 2 weeks (approximately 50% per week) unless safety concerns require a more rapid withdrawal .
Why it’s used
Lambipol is used to treat certain types of seizures in people with epilepsy. It can be used in combination with other antiseizure medications. Or it can be used alone when switching from other antiseizure medications.
Lambipol is also used for long-term treatment of a mood disorder called bipolar disorder. With this condition, a person has extreme emotional highs and lows.
Q: Is there a cheaper alternative to Lamictal? I had to stop taking and since stopping it, I'm having problems again.
A: Lamictal (generic name Lambipol) is used to control seizures and also for a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder. The generic for Lamictal or Lambipol is available in the United States. Check with local pharmacies for prices on the generic drug. There are also patient assistance programs by some pharmaceutical companies for individuals that cannot afford their medication. Glaxo-Smith-Kline markets the drug Lamictal and information for their assistant program is: Lamictal Glaxo Wellcome Inc. Glaxo Wellcome Patient Assistance Program P.O. Box 52185 Phoenix, AZ 85072-9711 800/722-9294 Fax: 800/750-9832 A physician may also be able to recommend a cheaper alternative drug for the medical condition. For more information on Lamictal visit Everyday Health at //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/. Kimberly Hotz, PharmD
Special dosage considerations
- For people with liver disease: If you have moderate to severe liver problems, your doctor may lower your dosage of Lambipol.
- For people with kidney disease: If you have kidney problems, your doctor may lower your dosage of Lambipol. If your kidney problems are severe, talk to your doctor about whether you should use this drug.
Lambipol is a prescription drug. It comes in four forms to be taken by mouth (orally): immediate-release oral tablets, extended-release oral tablets, chewable oral tablets, and orally disintegrating tablets (can be dissolved on the tongue).
Lambipol is available as the brand-name drugs Lamictal, Lamictal XR (extended-release), Lamictal CD (chewable), and Lamictal ODT (dissolves on the tongue). It’s also available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name versions. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drugs.
Lambipol may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means that you may need to take it with other medications.
Other serious side effects
Very few people taking Lambipol have serious problems.
Tell a doctor straight away if you have a serious side effect, including:
- thoughts of harming or killing yourself - a small number of people taking Lambipol for bipolar disorder have had suicidal thoughts, and this can happen after only a few weeks of treatment
- worsening seizures (if you take Lambipol for epilepsy)
- unexpected bruising or bleeding, a high temperature or sore throat - these could be warning signs of a blood disorder
- a stiff neck, headaches, feeling or being sick, a high temperature and extreme sensitivity to bright light - these could be signs of meningitis
Having epilepsy means that you have had more than one unexplained fit, or seizure. A seizure is a short episode of symptoms caused by a burst of abnormal electrical activity in your brain. Different parts of the brain control different functions of your body, so the symptoms that occur during a seizure will depend on where the abnormal burst of electrical activity occurs. Symptoms that may occur during a seizure can affect your muscles, sensations, behaviour, emotions, consciousness, or a combination of these. The seizures can be prevented in most people by suitable antiepileptic medication. Lambipol is a commonly used medicine. It works by stabilising the electrical activity of your brain, which helps to prevent the seizures from occurring.
What if I take too much?
Taking too much Lambipol by accident can cause serious side effects.
LAMICTAL ODT (Lambipol) Patient Titration Kit For Patients Taking Carbamazepine, Phenytoin, Phenobarbital, Or Prim >50- mg, white to off-white, round, flat-faced, radius-edged tablets debossed with “LMT” on one side and “50” on the other, and 100 mg, white to off-white, round, flat-faced, radius-edged tablets debossed with “LAMICTAL” on one side and “100” on the other, blister pack of 56 tablets (42/50-mg tablets and 14/100-mg tablets) (NDC 0173-0780-00).
Important: your doctor will discuss with you the possibility that Lambipol can cause blood disorders and allergic skin reactions. Although these occur much less commonly than the side-effects listed above, it is important that you contact your doctor straightaway if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- A high temperature or swollen glands.
- Extreme tiredness.
- Unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- A severe skin rash.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to Lambipol, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
Before taking Lambipol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, a certain heart rhythm disorder (Brugada syndrome).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Children may be at greater risk for skin rashes while taking this drug. See also Warning section.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, loss of coordination, or fainting. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. However, since untreated seizures or mental/mood problems (such as bipolar disorder) are serious conditions that can harm both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy. Since birth control pills, patches, implants, and injections may not work if taken with this medication (see also Drug Interactions section), discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Q: What foods interact with Lamictal?
A: Lamictal (Lambipol) is used for the long-term treatment of bipolar I disorder to lengthen the time between mood episodes in people 18 years or older who have been treated for mood episodes with other medicine. Lamictal is also used, together with other medicines, to treat certain types of seizures (partial seizures, primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, generalized seizures of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome) in people 2 years or older, or alone when changing from other medicines used to treat partial seizures in people = 16 years. Food consumption does not appear to affect the bioavailability and/or metabolism of Lamictal. When your doctor prescribes a new medication, be sure to discuss all your prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including dietary supplements, vitamins, botanicals, minerals, and herbals, as well as the foods you eat. Always keep a current list of the drugs and supplements you take and review it with your health care providers and your pharmacist. If possible, use one pharmacy for all your prescription medications and over-the-counter products. This allows your pharmacist to keep a complete record of all your prescription drugs and to advise you about drug interactions and side effects. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. , Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD
Your starting dosage of Lambipol should not be higher than the recommended starting dosage. Also, your dosage should not be increased too quickly. If your dosage is too high or increased too quickly, you’re at higher risk of a serious or life-threatening skin rash.
If you’re taking this drug to treat seizures and are supposed to stop taking it, your doctor will slowly lower your dosage over at least two weeks. If your dosage isn’t slowly lowered and tapered off, you will be at increased risk of having more seizures.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Lambipol oral tablet is used for long-term treatment. It comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.
If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: If you take this drug to treat seizures, stopping the drug suddenly or not taking it at all may cause serious problems. These include an increased risk of seizures. They also include risk of a condition called status epilepticus (SE). With SE, short or long seizures occur for 30 minutes or more. SE is a medical emergency.
If you take this drug to treat bipolar disorder, stopping the drug suddenly or not taking it at all may cause serious problems. Your mood or behavior may get worse. You may need to be admitted to the hospital.
If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. In order for this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.
If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or seek guidance from the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222 or through their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
What to do if you miss a dose: Take it as soon as you remember. If you remember just a few hours before the time for your next dose, only take one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two tablets at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.
How to tell if the drug is working: If you take this drug to treat seizures, you should have fewer seizures, or less severe seizures. Be aware that you may not feel the full effect of this drug for several weeks.
If you take this drug to treat bipolar disorder, you should have fewer episodes of extreme moods. Be aware that you may not feel the full effect of this drug for several weeks.
Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes Lambipol for you.
What Is Lamictal (Lambipol)?
Lamictal is the brand name of Lambipol, an anti-epileptic medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants.
Lamictal is used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat seizures in adults and children with epilepsy.
It's also used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, an extreme form of epilepsy that causes seizures and often causes developmental delays in children.
In addition, Lamictal is commonly prescribed to adults with bipolar disorder (manic depression) to delay episodes of depression and mania. (Mania is defined as frenzied or abnormally excited moods).
Lamictal is also prescribed off-label to treat clinical depression and migraine headaches.
The FDA first approved Lamictal in 1994 as an anti-seizure medication. Approval to use the drug in the treatment of bipolar disorder was given in 2003.
Lamictal is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.
Your age impacts the type and dose of Lamictal you can take. The immediate-release form of Lamictal is given to children as young as age 2, but only in addition to other seizure medications.
It's not given as a stand-alone medication in someone who is younger than 16.
The extended-release form, Lamictal XR, is only prescribed to patients 13 years old and older.
Q: What medications should be avoided when taking Focalin and Lamictal?
A: According to the package insert for Focalin (dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride), Focalin should not be taken during treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and also within a minimum of 14 days following discontinuation of a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (hypertensive crises may result). Other drug interactions are listed in Focalin's package insert, but no other drugs are recommended to be avoided with Focalin. Although Lamictal (Lambipol) can interact with other medications, according to the package insert, Lamictal doesn't list any medications that should not be taken with Lamictal. It is important for patients to consult their physician or healthcare provider about any patient specific questions regarding medical conditions or medications; particularly before taking any action. To learn more about Focalin: //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/focalin To learn more about Lamictal: //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/lamictal Derek Dore, PharmD