Lamictal and alcohol

The exact working mechanism of Lamictal is unknown. It is believed that it affects chemicals in the brain that are involved in seizures and also in bipolar disorder. Lamictal is used alone or together with other medications for treating seizures. Lamictal is used for treating bipolar disorder too. There are also many other uses of Lamictal in the medical field. It is not recommended to drink alcohol while taking Lamictal. If you take alcohol along with Lamictal, the dizziness or drowsiness caused by Lamictal may get increased for which alcohol would be responsible. Alcohol seems to increase the risk of seizures too. If you have taken alcohol with Lamictal, the side effects of alcohol such as blurred vision, poor coordination, drowsiness and dizziness may be pronounced high, and you will not be able to do certain functions. Therefore, under such circumstances, do not drive a car or operate machinery. You should not perform hazardous activities in these conditions.

It is recommended that alcohol in any form is avoided while taking Lamictal. As lamotrigine, the active ingredient available in Lamictal is used for treating epilepsy and seizures, people who suffer from seizures should be very careful about their alcohol intake. However, the data on this drug do not give any instruction to the effect that alcohol should be avoided while taking Lamictal. Notwithstanding the absence of any warning in this respect, it is advisable to stop drinking till your course of medication with Lamictal comes to a halt. The reason is that alcohol can cause liver damage. The lamotrigine you take is broken down in the liver only. Therefore alcohol should be avoided while taking Lamictal. Especially if you have a damaged liver the situation will become worse when you combine Lamictal and alcohol. If your liver is good and you are only a sportive drinker, it seems the harms are less when you take alcohol together with Lamictal, provided the amounts of alcohol are moderate.

Like alcohol increasing the effects of Lamictal, Lamictal can increase the effects of alcohol. It is to be remembered that both are affecting the Central Nervous System (CNS). Certain medical conditions such as alcohol withdrawal and low blood sugar can cause seizures. It is very difficult to find out the actual cause of seizures. It can be caused by a brain injury too. If you take alcohol while on Lamictal, it becomes further complicated. As Lamictal can increase the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system depressants, you may feel more vulnerable after taking the usual amount of alcohol. If you are a regular drinker or if you are on a CNS depressant, talk to your doctor before taking Lamictal. Remember, alcohol may increase the severity of the side effects that lamotrigine can cause.

Lamotrigine, which is a clinically used drug, inhibits Na(+) channel activity which in turn reduces glutamate release. Lamictal's downstream activity on other neurotransmitter systems, for example serotonergic and dopaminergic has also been reported. It appears that both glutamate and monoamines might be involved in the urge for alcohol and relapse. Therefore it is to be examined if the effects of lamotrigine on alcohol are alcohol craving and relapse-like drinking behavior. However, certain tests suggest that lamotrigine has these effects when combined with alcohol.

If you are taking alcohol or other CNS depressants and choose to take Lamictal medication, check with your doctor before you start this medication. Strong possibilities are there that Lamictal might increase the alcoholic effects and CNS depressants. This will make you feel drowsier even with the same amount of alcohol that you used to take. Have yourself educated thoroughly on the effects that Lamictal can cause in you, before starting drinking. In case you feel anything unusual while combining alcohol with Lamictal, call your doctor for immediate medical attention.