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Epilepsy Res. 1996 Mar;23(2):149-55.

A randomised open multicentre comparative trial of lamotrigine and carbamazepine as monotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent epilepsy.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Oulu, Finland.


The efficacy and safety of lamotrigine and carbamazepine as monotherapy in patients with untreated, newly diagnosed or recurrent partial and/or generalised tonic-clonic seizures, were compared in a randomised, open, multicentre study. Patients received 24 weeks' treatment with oral lamotrigine 100 mg (LTG 100, n = 115) or 200 mg (LTG 200, n = 111) or carbamazepine 600 mg (CBZ 600, n = 117). Efficacy measurements were comparable between the three treatment groups, although the higher lamotrigine dose was possibly most effective, with 60.4% completing seizure free compared with 51.3% (LTG 100) and 54.7% (CBZ 600). Both dosage regimens of lamotrigine were well tolerated. More patients on CBZ 600 reported adverse experiences, 66% versus 53% (LTG 100) and 58% (LTG 200), and of these a greater proportion were attributed to CBZ 600 treatment, 53% versus 23% (LTG 100) and 28% (LTG 200). Similarly, a greater proportion of the CBZ 600 group required a change in dose, 47% versus 20% (LTG 100) and 17% (LTG 200) or withdrew completely due to adverse experiences, 10.3% versus 4.3% (LTG 100) and 4.5% (LTG 200). The most common adverse experience leading to withdrawal was rash, with approximately double the proportion of reports occurring in patients on CBZ 600 (5.1%) compared with lamotrigine (1.7% on LTG 100 and 2.7% on LTG 200). Overall lamotrigine appeared equally effective but better tolerated compared with carbamazepine.

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