In this brief article, we’ll describe “Lamictal and Alcohol”, bipolar disorder, how does alcohol affects Lamictal and how can alcohol bipolar disorder.
LAMICTAL AND ALCOHOL:
Lamictal (LamoTRIgine) is a medication that is used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder. Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of LamoTRIgine such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. People have also experienced an impairment in thinking and judgment as well.
What is Lamictal?
Lamictal is a brand name for the drug LamoTRIgine, which is an anticonvulsant drug, it’s used to help control certain kinds of seizures and also used as maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder in adults. It usually helps by delaying the time between episodes of extreme shifts in mood and also helps in preventing extreme shifts in mood.
However, Lamictal doesn’t treat extreme shifts in the mood the moment they start, therefore, it’s not usually recommended to prescribe for the treatment of acute manic or mixed episodes.
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels, and severely interferes with everyday life. There are two types of Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar I Disorder and Bipolar II disorder. Lamictal is only used to treat Bipolar I Disorder.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder which includes both manic and depressive episodes. Signs of a manic episode are:
- Elation or overly charged mood
- Increased energy and activity levels
- Feeling overly excited
- Talking very fast about a lot of different things
- Agitation or irritability
- Racing thoughts
- Taking risks such as spending a lot of money or having reckless sex
The following are symptoms of a depressive episode:
- Feelings of sadness and emptiness
- Very low energy and activity levels
- Trouble sleeping (either sleeping too much or too little)
- Loss of enjoyment in hobbies or activities
- Helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness
- Trouble in concentrating and remembering things
- Changes in appetite (either eating too much or too little)
- Feeling sluggish
- Suicidal ideations
Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days or severe manic symptoms that require immediate hospitalization. Depressive episodes occur as well and usually last at least 2 weeks. Bipolar I Disorder patients may also have mixed episodes with both manic and depressive symptoms simultaneously. Bipolar I Disorder is more severe than Bipolar II Disorder.
Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes. Hypomanic episodes have some features of typical manic episodes but are not severe enough to be considered manic.
HOW DOES ALCOHOL AFFECT LAMICTAL?
The combination of any medications and alcohol is always dangerous. The effects may range from mild to severe, it depends on the medication and the dose which has been prescribed. Also, the amount of alcohol taken is also responsible for the effects.
Although there is not much evidence on alcohol interfering with the way Lamictal works, it can add up to the side-effects like nausea, insomnia, drowsiness, dizziness, and rashes. It can also have effects on the thinking process, it might make a person think and act more quickly than required.
But still, there have been no warnings against drinking moderate amounts of alcohol while taking Lamictal. A moderate amount of alcohol is considered one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Normally, a standard drink is equal to one of the following:
- 2 bottles of beer
- 1 glass of wine
- 1 peg of liquor, such as gin, vodka, rum, or whiskey
HOW CAN ALCOHOL AFFECT BIPOLAR DISORDER:
Even though there is not much evidence on Alcohol being harmful with Lamictal, but drinking alcohol can have a direct effect on bipolar disorder. It increases the chance of misusing alcohol because of the symptoms, either it is a manic episode or depressive episode.
During manic episodes, patients are more likely to engage in impulsive and aggressive behavior, they consider themselves as on the top of the world and consuming excess alcohol gives them the same feeling. And this misuse of alcohol often leads to alcohol dependence.
In the depressive episodes, patients indulge in alcohol in order to get rid of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Although, the patient feels that he is being benefitted with the alcohol in his symptoms but it happens quite opposite of it. Alcohol can make the symptoms of bipolar disorder worse, it can increase the chances of shifts in mood and can also increase violent behavior like suicidal ideations and self-harm behavior.
In this blog, we’ve described “Lamictal and Alcohol”, bipolar disorder, how does alcohol affect Lamictal and how can alcohol bipolar disorder. Please feel free to leave a comment or a suggestion, we appreciate your time.
Can you drink alcohol while taking Lamictal?
Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of LamoTRIgine such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. People have also experienced an impairment in thinking and judgment as well.
Can you drink alcohol while taking mood stabilizers?
While taking mood stabilizers, it is not necessary to stop drinking alcohol altogether, but one should try not to overdo with the drinks, one to two drinks per day would be enough.
Can you drink alcohol while taking bipolar medication?
A combination of alcohol with bipolar disorder is a risky thing, not just with the medication. Drinking alcohol can have a direct effect on bipolar disorder. It increases the chance of misusing alcohol because of the symptoms, either it is a manic episode or depressive episode.
Can Lamictal make you gain weight?
Lamictal is not likely to make your weight gain, although if you have gained weight then it may be an effect of the disorder itself.
Should you take Lamictal in the morning or at night?
For proper dosage and timings, it is best to consult your doctor, dosage and timings are dependent on the person taking the medicine.