1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Lamictal and Weight

Bipolar Medications Library - Lamictal (Lamotrigine)

By

Updated June 02, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

The effect of Lamictal (lamotrigine) on weight has been studied quite a bit. The results should be reassuring to patients with bipolar disorder, who have so many reasons to be concerned about weight gain from their medications.

Lamictal is an anticonvulsant medication that can be used to treat seizure disorders and as a mood stabilizer in bipolar disorders. In the original clinical trials, 5% of adults with epilepsy lost weight while taking Lamictal, while between 1 and 5% of patients with Bipolar I disorder gained weight. The amount of weight gained or lost is not listed.

A study comparing the effects on weight of Lamictal, lithium, and a placebo found that some patients receiving Lamictal gained weight, some lost weight, and most remained at about the same weight -- but the weight changes weren't significant compared to the placebo group. Obese patients taking Lamictal lost an average of four pounds, while non-obese patients' weight remained essentially the same.

Another study that looked specifically at Lamictal for possible treatment of obesity found that the drug definitely caused a decrease in BMI compared to placebo. Thus, researchers feel confident placing Lamictal in the "weight neutral" category.

Sources:

Bowden, Charles, MD, et al. Impact of Lamotrigine and Lithium on Weight in Obese and Nonobese Patients With Bipolar I Disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry. 163.7 (2006): 1199-1201. Web. 18 Feb 2011.

Meredith, CH. A single-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of lamotrigine in the treatment of obesity in adults. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (via PubMed) 67.2 (2006): 258-62. Web. 18 Feb 2011

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.