Lamictal And Alcohol


Its downstream activity on other neurotransmitter systems such as serotonergic and dopaminergic has also been reported. Since both glutamate and monoamines might be involved in alcohol craving and relapse, our aim was to examine the effects of lamotrigine on alcohol seeking and relapse-like drinking behaviour. Administration of 5mg/kg of lamotrigine caused a significant decrease of cue-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking behaviour. Usually, Lamictal is prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorder and seizures. It is important to note that alcohol can precipitate seizure episodes in these patients.


Most patients discontinued participation and, of those that completed therapy, divalproex was not superior to lithium alone on both mood and substance-related outcomes. A 2009 double-blinded RCT by Myrick et al. evaluated gabapentin compared with lorazepam in reducing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in the outpatient setting. The lowest-dose gabapentin group (600 mg/day) was discontinued after two patients had seizures and one a presyncopal event and their data were not included in the analyses. CIWA-Ar scores decreased over the first 4 days in all treatment groups, but the high-dose gabapentin group (1200 mg/day) had the lowest scores with a continued downward trajectory even after medication discontinuation. Both gabapentin groups had decreased drinking, reduced craving, and decreased anxiety compared with lorazepam during the active treatment days.

If you still have questions about Lamictal after reading this article, we recommend that you talk with your medical professional. Together you can decide if Lamictal might be a good choice for you. You can ask your medical professional to explain anything that you find unclear. If you and your medical professional agree Lamictal is working to treat your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.


Other medications can affect the removal of lamotrigine from your body, which may affect how lamotrigine works. Examples include hormonal birth control , estrogens, other medications to treat seizures , certain HIV protease inhibitors (such as lopinavir/ritonavir, atazanavir/ritonavir), and rifampin, among others. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of lamotrigine if you are on these medications. A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself. Read the patient Medication Guide, which explains the benefits and risks of lamotrigine, every time you get a new prescription because the information may change.

Additionally, positive findings from studies with medications such as topiramate and zonisamide showing substantially reduced drinking even in actively heavy drinking subjects that don’t want to be totally abstinent, is also promising. Further research with the NBACs for treating AUDs is warranted. Few high-quality controlled studies have examined NBAC pharmacotherapies for AWS and AUD to date. Many of the reviewed studies are underpowered or open-label pilot studies, making interpretations of the potential efficacy of these pharmacotherapies difficult. Early studies of NBAC for AWS predate the use of validated alcohol withdrawal symptom measurements (CIWA-Ar scores) and were underpowered to examine outcomes that occur with relatively low frequency such as seizures and DTs.

More ways to manage your symptoms

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter ) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements. Adults who are discontinuing valproic acid (Depakote®) or discontinuing carbamazepine (Tegretol®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), or primidone (Mysoline®)—Dose will be determined by your doctor. Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor to help your condition as much as possible and to decrease the chance of unwanted effects. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

mental health

But if you find that the side alcohol questions and answers bother you, talk with your medical professional or pharmacist. If you have bipolar disorder, epilepsy, or seizures, your medical professional may recommend a prescription drug called Lamictal. Some people may also experience more euphoria, depression, irritability or all three. A combination of alcohol and lamotrigine leads to significantly more lethargy which can easily tip over into coma, respiratory depression seizures and death.

Gabapentin was also noted to be safe, well-tolerated, and have a low side effect profile. A randomized, open-label, controlled trial with hospital inpatients compared gabapentin with phenobarbital in the AWS treatment of 27 individuals with alcohol dependence . A 4-day detoxification was offered to both groups with symptom-triggered phenobarbital used for breakthrough withdrawal.

Lamictal taken with other treatments for epilepsy

Benzodiazepines have long been the treatment of choice for detoxifying patients and managing alcohol withdrawal syndrome . Non-benzodiazepine anticonvulsants are increasingly being used both for alcohol withdrawal management and for ongoing outpatient treatment of alcohol dependence, with the goal of either abstinence or harm reduction. This expert narrative review summarizes the scientific basis and clinical evidence supporting the use of NBACs in treating AWS and for reducing harmful drinking patterns.

drink alcohol

Some mixtures of medications can lead to serious and even fatal consequences. Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCPAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

But they’re more likely to occur during the first 2 to 8 weeks of taking the drug. Most medications, including Lamictal, may cause side effects that can be serious or mild. To give you an idea of what might occur with Lamictal, we’ve listed some of the medication’s more common side effects below. Alcohol and lamotrigine affects dopamine levels in the brain, causing the body both mental and physical distress.

More about Lamotrigine

Kranzler HR, Armeli S, Wetherill R, Feinn R, Tennen H, Gelernter J, et al. Self-efficacy mediates the effects of topiramate and GRIK1 genotype on drinking. Ray LA, Miranda R, Jr, MacKillop J, McGeary J, Tidey JW, Rohsenow DJ, et al. A preliminary pharmacogenetic investigation of adverse events from topiramate in heavy drinkers. Karam-Hage M, Brower KJ. Open pilot study of gabapentin versus trazodone to treat insomnia in alcoholic outpatients.

  • Pregabalin has also been compared head-to-head with naltrexone, which revealed similar efficacy on drinking-related outcomes in 71 recently detoxified alcohol-dependent subjects .
  • Perucca E. Clinical pharmacology and therapeutic use of the new antiepileptic drugs.
  • Some important things to discuss with your medical professional when considering treatment with Lamictal include your overall health and any medical conditions you may have.

However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Medically Reviewed By Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmDA licensed behavioral health or medical professional on The Recovery Village Editorial Team has analyzed and confirmed every statistic, study and medical claim on this page. Our chef and nutrition specialist will design your personalized diet plan supporting your body & mind recovery as well as helping with weight management. Use of the gym, a personal trainer, yoga, other fitness workshops, and nutrition workshops will help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Alcohol and bipolar disorder

Your medical professional can help answer other questions about your risk of developing a rash while taking Lamictal. The costs of prescription medications may depend on several factors, such as your insurance coverage and the pharmacy you use. Working with your healthcare team may help you stay on track with your treatment.

Your medical professional may decide to check the level of Lamictal in your body. But checking the drug level is more common with lithium treatment. Furthermore, since seizure medications, including Lamictal, can significantly lower the patient’s alcohol tolerance, the rate of intoxication is far more common in these patients. Rapid intoxication is a serious health concern that can present as the side effects of Lamictal. It can be quite difficult to distinguish simple Lamictal side effect with acute symptoms of alcohol intoxication.

Lamictal Alcohol interactions can be present but not as severe as you think. If you want to take Lamotrigine with alcohol, talk to a medical professional first. It’s important to be careful with alcohol when starting any new medication, especially one prescribed for mood disorders. Although there are presently no particular precautions against Lamictal with alcohol, the effects of both substances may get worse when combined. But when taking Lamictal, it’s advised to limit your alcohol consumption and consume it occasionally. For women, one drink per day, and for males, two drinks per day is a moderate amount of alcohol use.

Rashes may be more likely if you start at too high a dose, if you increase your dose too quickly, or if you take this medication with certain other anti-seizure medications . These rashes may occur anytime during use, but most serious rashes have occurred within 2 to 8 weeks of starting lamotrigine. When treating bipolar disorder symptoms, Lamictal is routinely prescribed. Using Lamictal and alcohol simultaneously with bipolar disorder symptoms can have severe consequences. Lamictal and alcohol bipolar symptoms can come from addiction. For instance, addiction, which can arise when someone abuses drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication, affects many people with bipolar disorder.

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