Lamotrigine is an antiepileptic for partial seizures and primary and secondarily generalised tonic-clonic seizures. Lamotrigine is used in adults to treat other types of seizures called tonic-clonic, absence, atypical absence, and myoclonic. It may be used in infants and children to treat a condition called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It is also used for myoclonic seizures and may be tried for atypical absence, atonic, and tonic seizures in the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Lamotrigine is an antiepileptic medicine. It works by stabilising electrical activity in the brain.The brain and nerves are made up of many nerve cells that communicate with each other through electrical signals. These signals must be carefully regulated for the brain and nerves to function properly. When abnormally rapid and repetitive electrical signals are released in the brain, the brain becomes over-stimulated and normal function is disturbed. This results in fits or seizures.
Lamotrigine prevents epileptic fits by preventing the excessive electrical activity in the brain. It does this by preventing sodium from entering nerve cells when they begin to fire rapid and repetitive electrical signals. A build up of sodium in the nerve cells is necessary for the electrical signal to build up and be passed on to other nerve cells. As lamotrigine prevents this, it helps stabilise the electrical activity in the brain.
Preventing the build-up of the electrical signal also prevents the release of a neurotransmitter called glutamate from the nerve cells in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are stored in nerve cells and are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural 'nerve-exciting' agent. It is released when electrical signals build up in nerve cells and subsequently excites more nerve cells. It is thought to play a key role in causing epileptic seizures. Reducing the release of glutamate from the nerve cells in the brain is another way in which lamotrigine helps stabilise the electrical activity in the brain and prevent epileptic fits.