Lamictal, also known as lamotrigine, is an anticonvulsant drug that is used to treat various medical conditions, including epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and neuropathic pain. Lamictal has been suggested to be a safe and effective medication for managing symptoms related to these conditions. However, some individuals may experience side effects while taking this medication, including anxiety. The purpose of this article is to explore whether or not Lamictal can cause anxiety.
What is Lamictal?
Lamictal is a prescription medication that is used to control seizures in people with epilepsy. The drug is also used to treat bipolar disorder and neuropathic pain. It is classified as an anticonvulsant drug and works by reducing the occurrence of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
How Does Lamictal Work?
Lamictal works by stabilizing the electrical activity in the brain, which can prevent seizures and reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder. The medication interacts with sodium channels in the brain, which can help regulate electrical impulses in the brain. This results in a reduction in the frequency and severity of seizures, as well as a reduction in symptoms associated with bipolar disorder.
Can Lamictal Cause Anxiety?
While Lamictal is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience side effects while taking the medication. Anxiety is a potential side effect of Lamictal, though it is rare.
What Other Side Effects are Associated with Lamictal?
Common side effects of Lamictal include dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and rash. Serious side effects, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a potentially life-threatening skin condition, may occur in rare cases. It is important to notify your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms while taking Lamictal.
Why Would Lamictal Cause Anxiety?
The mechanism behind why Lamictal causes anxiety is not entirely understood. However, it is believed that anxiety may be caused by changes in brain chemistry or an interaction between the medication and other drugs.
What Can I Do if I Experience Anxiety While Taking Lamictal?
If you experience anxiety while taking Lamictal, it is important to speak with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend adjusting the dosage of the medication or adding a complementary medication that can help reduce anxiety. In some cases, Lamictal may need to be discontinued if the anxiety symptoms worsen.
How Can I Minimize Anxiety While Taking Lamictal?
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants
- Incorporate regular exercise into your routine
- Use relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga
- Avoid alcohol, which can increase anxiety
Can Anxiety be a Symptom of Withdrawal from Lamictal?
Withdrawal from Lamictal can cause anxiety as a possible symptom. Your doctor will advise you on how to reduce the dosage of Lamictal correctly in order to prevent or minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Lamictal is an anticonvulsant medication that is used to treat seizures, bipolar disorder, and neuropathic pain. While anxiety is a potential side effect of Lamictal, it is rare. Anyone experiencing any side effects of Lamictal should speak to their doctor promptly so that any necessary treatment can be taken. There are several ways to minimize the risk of developing anxiety while taking Lamictal, and it may take some trial and error to find the right treatment plan for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can Lamictal be used to treat anxiety?
While anxiety is a potential side effect of Lamictal, it is not typically used to treat anxiety. There are other medications that can be more effective in managing anxiety symptoms.
- How long does the side effect of anxiety last?
The duration of side effects varies depending on the individual. If anxiety symptoms persist, speak to your doctor to change the dosage of the medication, and/or discontinue the medication.
- Can I drink alcohol while taking Lamictal?
Alcohol intake can lead to increased anxiety symptoms, using alcohol with Lamictal is not recommended.
- How long does Lamictal take to start working?
Lamictal typically takes a few weeks to start working for seizures and mood disorders. The medication may take longer to work for neuropathic pain.
- NIH. Lamictal (Lamotrigine). (2017) Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441920/
- Mayo Clinic. Lamotrigine (Oral Route). (2020) Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/lamotrigine-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20067491?p=1