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How does lamotrigine treat bipolar disorder?

Lamotrigine treats bipolar disorder by preventing episodes of mania and/or depression. Bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar depression or manic depression, is a mental disorder characterized by episodes of extreme energy or irritability (mania) and extreme depression. Lamotrigine has no affect on these episodes when they do occur; it simply acts as a maintenance drug to help prevent them. Other drugs are used when an acute episode occurs.
Lamotrigine (Lamictal) is a relatively new medication. Recent research suggests that it can act as a mood stabilizer, and may be especially useful for the depressed phase of bipolar disorder. One serious risk of lamotrigine use is that 3 out of every 1,000 individuals (0.3%) taking the medication develop a serious rash.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.