Lamotrigine is thought to act at voltage-sensitive sodium channels to stabilize neuronal membranes and inhibit the release of excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters (e.g. glutamate, aspartate) that are thought to play a role in the generation and spread of epileptic seizures. In placebo-controlled clinical studies, lamotrigine has been shown to be effective in reducing seizure frequency and the number of days with seizures when added to existing antiepileptic drug therapy in adult patients with partial seizures, with or without generalized tonic-clonic seizures, that are not satisfactorily controlled. Lamotrigine has emerged as a first line treatment for bipolar depression, which is an area of weakness for other mood stabilizers, with positive effect for resistant bipolar disorders and rapid cycling bipolar disorders. We review the Literature on the topic with a specific interest on bipolar disorders.
Keywords: Antiepileptic drugs, Bipolar depression, DSM-IV, double-blind maintenance, randomized controlled trials
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