The study aimed to assess the available data on the use of lamotrigine as a mood stabilising agent. We reviewed all published and unpublished data available to us through a Medline search from 1987–1998 and from our own files, which include reference materials presented at conferences as well as published reports.
Most of the data found were derived from case reports or open trials. We could find no published double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. The data from initial open trials suggest that lamotrigine may be effective in bipolar disorder, but futher data are required before specific treatment recommendations can be made.
At this early stage, there are too few data to recommend lamotrigine for first or second line therapy in bipolar disorder. However, initial reports are very promising and this agent may eventually be unequivocally shown to be useful in treating mania, hypomania, depression, rapid cycling and mixed affective states in people with bipolar disorder.
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