What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking It?Prior to taking extended-release lamotrigine, talk to your healthcare provider if you have:
- Depression or a history of suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Liver disease, such as liver failure or cirrhosis
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- A blood disorder
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Lamictal XR and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Lamictal XR and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medications you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Extended-Release Lamotrigine to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
How Does Extended-Release Lamotrigine Work?Seizures are the result of brief changes in how the brain's electrical system works. It is not known exactly how extended-release lamotrigine works to treat seizures. Studies suggest that it may work by affecting sodium channels in the brain, preventing the abnormal activity from "firing" and spreading to other parts of the brain. This action helps control seizures.
This medication has been thoroughly evaluated in clinical studies. These studies evaluated extended-release lamotrigine in people with partial-onset seizures whose seizures were not adequately controlled with their current medications.
In one study, adding extended-release lamotrigine significantly reduced seizure frequency by up to 47 percent, compared to only 25 percent who were given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients) in addition to their regular seizure medications.