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Lamotrigine (Lamictal) is approved for therapy of bipolar I disorder and a wide variety of seizure disorders including Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and partial seizures. Its many off-label uses include treatment of migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, and treatment-refractory depression. Lamotrigine inhibits glutamate release (an excitatory amino acid) and voltage-sensitive sodium channels to stabilize neuronal membranes; it also weakly inhibits the 5-HT3 (serotonin) receptor.
Lamotrigine oral bioavailability is very high (approximately 98%).The drug is metabolized by glucuronic acid conjugation to inactive metabolites. The half-life is 25 to 33 hours in adults, but decreases with concurrent use of phenytoin or carbamazepine (13-14 hours), and increases with concomitant valproic acid therapy (59-70 hours), renal dysfunction, or hepatic impairment. The therapeutic range is relatively wide, 2.5 to 15 mcg/mL for most individuals. Common adverse effects are dizziness, ataxia, blurred or double vision, nausea, or vomiting.
Monitoring serum concentration of lamotrigine
Adjusting lamotrigine dose in patients receiving other anticonvulsant drugs which interact pharmacokinetically with lamotrigine
The serum concentration should be interpreted in the context of the patient's clinical response and may provide useful information in patients showing poor response (noncompliance?) or adverse effects, particularly when lamotrigine is co-administered with other anticonvulsant drugs.
While most patients show response to the drug when the trough concentration is in the range of 2.5 to 15.0 mcg/mL, and show signs of toxicity when the peak serum concentration is >20 mcg/mL, some patients can tolerate peak concentrations as high as 70 mcg/mL.
Serum separator tube acceptable but serum should be removed from gel within 24 hours.
Patients receiving therapeutic doses usually have lamotrigine concentrations of 2.5-15.0 mcg/mL.
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