What Is Extended-Release Lamotrigine Used For?
Extended-release lamotrigine is taken with other seizure medications to help treat partial-onset seizures and grand mal seizures. It is thought to work by affecting the electrical system in the brain. Some of the "off-label" uses for extended-release lamotrigine include treating bipolar disorder and absence seizures. This product should not be used by children under 13 years old.
Extended-release lamotrigine (Lamictal® XR™) is a prescription seizure medication. It is a long-acting, extended-release formulation that is taken just once a day. Specifically, it is approved for use in people age 13 and older in combination with other seizure medications to treat the following types of seizures:
- Partial-onset seizures (with or without secondary generalization)
- Primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures (also known as grand mal seizures).
As is typical with new seizure medications, extended-release lamotrigine is not approved to be used alone, as it has not been adequately studied in this manner. In studies, people were given either extended-release lamotrigine or a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients) to take in addition to their usual seizure medications, because it would be unethical to give a person with epilepsy just a placebo without the other medications.
A person with epilepsy may experience more than 30 different types of seizures. These seizures are generally classified into two main categories: partial-onset seizures (also known as focal seizures or simply partial seizures) and generalized seizures.
A seizure can start out as a partial seizure before turning into a generalized seizure (this is known as secondary generalization). Generalized seizures are a result of abnormal brain activity on both sides of the brain. These seizures may cause loss of consciousness, falls, or massive muscle spasms. The two most common forms are absence seizures (also known as petit mal seizures) and tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures).