Date approved: December 27, 1994
Status: Prescription Only
Approved uses: Epilepsy, Bipolar Disorder
Off-Label uses: Cluster Headaches, Bipolar II, migraines, PTSD & neuropathic pain.
• Stevens Johnson Syndrome
• Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
• Muscle Pain
Common Misspellings: lamital, lamiktal, lamictol
Lamictal is an anticonvulsant drug used in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Because of its relatively low number of side effects, Lamictal is also a popular treatment for cluster headaches and migraines. Currently Lamictal is the only FDA approved treatment for bipolar disorder other than lithium.
Currently, Lamictal has a Black Box Warning because of the risk of developing serious skin rashes associated with Stevens Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. Patients may develop these potentially life-threatening skin problems within the first 2 to 8 weeks of therapy, or if medication is stopped and resumed at the normal dose. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, or SJS, is caused when cell death causes the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, to separate from the dermis. Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis is also characterized by cell death, but is often more severe than SJS, with a much higher mortality rate.
Patients who are taking the drugs Depakoteand Depakene may be at an increased risk of developing the rash.