Depression is characterized by feelings of being overwhelmed that make it difficult to live a normal life. Because the disorder affects each person differently, medical professionals tailor the treatment based upon the individual’s unique situation and condition. People dealing with depression are usually encouraged to adopt lifestyle changes that help lower stress levels and improve sleep. The regimen will also include recommendations for creating a supportive social network, exercising on a regular basis and eating a nutritious diet. While these changes are beneficial, some patients also need the help of prescription medications, such as a mood stabilizer or an antidepressant.
What is Lamictal?
Lamictal is the brand name for the generic prescription medication lamotrigine, which is typically used as an anticonvulsant in the treatment of epilepsy. The medication can also be prescribed to treat depression. The most common application is to alleviate the depressive episodes experienced by those who suffer from bipolar disorder. Lamictal is also used to treat depression in individuals who are not bipolar as well as those whose depression has not been sufficiently controlled by other medications, such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants.
Mechanism of Action
It is believed that Lamictal inhibits the protein on nerve cells known as voltage-dependent sodium channels. The blocked channels prevent certain nerve cells from activating and releasing brain chemicals associated with depression. Lamictal helps to balance out the abnormal brain chemistry associated with depression and relieve the symptoms of the debilitating disorder. The typical daily dose is between 100 and 200 milligrams. It can take as long as 30 days for the drug’s full effects to become apparent. The most common side effects include headaches, dizziness, double vision and nausea. If you experience mania or agitation while on Lamictal, your doctor may prescribe a small dose of lithium to counteract these symptoms. Lamictal is only approved for patients over 16 years of age.
Treatment for Depression
Even though you may feel like the sadness will continue forever, most depression is treatable. If you or a loved one suffers from depression, you should schedule an appointment with an experienced clinician to obtain professional assistance. During the consultation, your health care provider will review your medical history and discuss a possible course of treatment. The session will help you to choose the treatment option that is best for your circumstances, which may include a prescription for Lamictal. With the proper treatment regimen, you can reclaim your life from depression.