Lamictal And Weight Gain: Does It Really Happen?

Lamictal And Weight Gain

Lamictal is a powerful mood stabilizer that prevents mood swings caused by Bipolar disorder, especially in adults. It is anticonvulsant and antiepileptic and is often combined with other medications to treat a seizure.

This medication has the power to restore the balance of your brain and hence is effective as a mood stabilizer. Lamictal reduces the chances of the appearance of episodes of depression and prevents relapsing or depressive symptoms.

This is an approved medication and is listed on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. This article details the relationship between Lamictal and weight gain, and the side effects of Lamictal.

How Does Lamictal Work?

The human brain comprises sodium channels and by inhibiting these channels, Lamictal reduces the generation of chemicals that are responsible for sudden mood changes. Lamictal controls and regulates the neurotransmitters in your brain. Its sigma receptor activity helps in controlling bipolar disorder and preventing seizures. 

Unlike other drugs that control mood by suppressing the mania, Lamictal lifts the depression and controls the sudden shifts in your mood, and calms your mind, making it an effective medication in the bipolar spectrum. Lamictal is not your everyday antidepressant, rather it is a maintenance treatment that controls mood episodes making it a standard therapy in itself. 

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By regulating the electrical activity in your brain, Lamictal delays the mood episodes and the depressive and manic state of your brain. By acting as a maintenance treatment Lamictal also prevents any relapse of symptoms. 

The dosage of Lamictal varies based on multiple factors including your age, lifestyle, health condition, and so on, and varies for every individual. Fixed dosage will suit everyone when it comes to this medication. 

Lamictal is an effective and powerful medication that aids both immediate-release and extended-release formulations and is meant for use only for adults due to its strong dosage. Lamictal is strictly prohibited for children under the age of two. 

Dosage Of Lamictal

You can find Lamictal in both generic form and in brands and the dosage of Lamictal and frequency of consuming the same depends on the severity of your mood disorders and seizures. Your lifestyle, health issues, and other medications that you regularly consume will also play a role in determining your dosage.

Lamictal is available in the following categories and strengths.

  1. Tablets with strengths ranging from 25 mg to 200 mg 
  1. Chewable tablets with two strengths, 5 mg, and 25 mg 
  1. Oral disintegrating tablets with a minimum strength of 25 mg to a maximum of 200 mg 
  1. Extended-release tablets with a strength ranging from 25 mg to 300 mg 

Depending on the severity of your mood disorder your medical expert will prescribe the category and strength of Lamictal that best suits you. 

Lamictal should be consumed once or twice daily depending on the level of your bipolar disorder and as advised by your physician not the beginning, only a mild dosage will be prescribed to ensure Lamictal suits your body and the dosage will be increased slowly. A sudden increase or decrease n dosage is not advisable as it will distress your mind and worsen your mood disorder. 

It is important to consume only the dosage prescribed by your medical expert as an increased dosage will cause adverse effects on your body. If by mistake you consume an increased dosage of Lamictal visit your medical expert immediately. 

Side Effects: Is Weight Gain A Side-Effect Of Lamictal?

It is impossible to avoid weight gain when you consume antidepressants and mood stabilizers. But as compared to other mood stabilizers, Lamictal is less likely to cause significant weight gain. 

One of the harsh side effects of consuming Lamictal is the occurrence of Black box and life-threatening rashes hence it is important to patch test and slowly increase the dosage without consuming a higher dosage of Lamictal at the initial stages. 

Lamictal Weight Gain

Lamictal is known to contribute to weight gain in only a handful of people and many people have not reported weight gain as a common system as compared to the other side effects but it is important to be mindful of the dosage.

The other side effects of Lamictal include dizziness, headache, drowsiness, double vision, blurry eye, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, dry mouth, sore throat, stuffy nose, and so on. The symptoms vary between each individual and it is important to consult with your medical expert at the initial occurrence of the symptoms to prevent major health issues. 

Some might experience an allergic reaction to Lamictal and often experience serious skin rashes including toxic epidermal necrolysis which cause itchiness that might make you peel off your skin.

Other allergic reactions include multi-organ hypersensitivity, which leads to swollen lymph glands, severe pain in your muscles, and frequent occurrence of fever. 

By lowering your blood cell count, Lamictal makes you tired and weak and causes unexplainable bleeding in your nose or gums.

As much as Lamictal is a mood stabilizer, if it doesn’t suit your body it will hurt more than help and has the potential to accelerate your depression and cause restlessness and panic attacks. It will even make you cranky and violent if it doesn’t suit your body and hence if you notice any unusual behavior it is important to pay a visit to your medical expert.

By causing changes in your appetite and boosting your hunger levels, Lamictal plays a huge role in your weight. 

Click here to discover: Mirena Side Effects: Does It Cause Weight Gain?

How To Manage Weight Gain While Consuming Lamictal?

Although weight gain is not a common side effect of Lamictal, mood stabilizers have the potential to alter the weight of your body and hence you can avoid fluctuations in your weight by regulating your lifestyle and including exercise as part of your daily routine, you can curb the substantial increase in your weight and ensure the changes in your body are minimal to none. 

If you face a huge shift in your weight post-consumption of Lamictal, to control this weight gain, it is vital to know the reasons why your body changes while consuming Lamictal. Lamictal targets two main functions of your body, your appetite, and metabolism.

How To Manage Weight Gain While Consuming Lamictal

Within a few days of consuming Lamictal, your appetite will change and your body will start craving food at frequent intervals due to increased hunger levels. Hence, include the consumption of fruits and other green vegetables during this time to prevent yourself from binging on carbs and other packed foods. 

Lamictal alters your metabolism, a function that is important for your body to digest the food that you eat. By slowing down the metabolic rate of your body, Lamictal prevents your body from converting the food that you ate into energy and thereby retains it as fat and causes weight gain in your body. 

Hence you have to look for alternative sources of boosting your metabolism since your body loses the capability to speed up the process on its own. Start consuming apple cider vinegar 30 mins before every meal and work out for a minimum of 1 hour every day as this will help increase your metabolism and help your body in processing the food into energy rather than retaining it as fat. 

A healthy diet will ensure you are not actively eating weight-gaining food and will help you boost your metabolism and this will ensure you do not gain an increased weight. 

Avoid sugary and salty foods as much as possible and include green vegetables and foods rich in vitamins and protein as part of your daily diet.

Also read: Prednisone Weight Gain: How Can It Be Controlled?

What to avoid while taking Lamictal?

While consuming Lamictal it is important to reduce the consumption of alcohol and other drugs to reap the maximum benefits and avoid any adverse effects of the medication on your body.

If you are consuming medication for any other health issues, it is vital to mention the same to your medical expert to ensure consumption of Lamictal does not cause any complications to your body and mind. 

Can Lamictal be consumed long-term?

When it comes to Bipolar disorder, long-term treatment is inevitable. Hence Lamictal has to be consumed for a longer duration and can not be stopped once your mood disorders have eased because stopping the usage of Lamictal will relapse your symptoms and make them worse. Unless your medical expert advises you to stop using Lamictal, you have to consume it for a longer duration. 

Final Thought

Lamictal is a powerful medication and is the most effective one when it comes to bipolar disorder. Although Lamictal does not alter your weight significantly, by creating a strategic diet and workout plans with your dietician, you can curb all the side effects of Lamictal and remain healthy with a calm mind and a fit body. 

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