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Epilepsy Res. 1989 Nov-Dec;4(3):222-9.

Double-blind crossover trial of lamotrigine (Lamictal) as add-on therapy in intractable epilepsy.

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Instituut voor Epilepsiebestrijding, Heemstede, The Netherlands.


A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is reported of lamotrigine as add-on treatment in therapy-resistant epilepsy. A within-patients serial design was used, with two 3-month treatment periods and an intervening 6-week washout/crossover period. An unblinded investigator adjusted lamotrigine dosage to achieve a plasma concentration within a previously predicted therapeutic range. All patients had therapy-resistant partial seizures, some in combination with other seizure types and were without serious neurological or intellectual deficit. Of 34 patients recruited only one was withdrawn because of an adverse experience (maculo-papular rash) probably related to the experimental drug and 30 completed the trial. The other 3 withdrawals were due to default during baseline, dispensing error and cholecystectomy. There was a modest statistically significant reduction in total and partial seizures on lamotrigine compared to placebo treatment. There was no difference in adverse experiences or abnormal biochemical or haematological findings between the lamotrigine and placebo periods. The plasma concentrations of concomitantly administered antiepileptic drugs were not affected by lamotrigine treatment. It is concluded that lamotrigine shows promise as an antiepileptic drug with low toxicity.

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