Can You Drink Alcohol While on Lamictal?
What are the possible interactions between alcohol and Lamictal? Can you drink alcohol while on Lamictal?
These are questions people commonly have. Understanding the possible reactions between the two substances can be life-saving.
Before going into the specifics of combining alcohol and Lamictal, and answering “can you drink alcohol while on Lamictal,” what is it?
Lamictal is the brand name of a generic drug called lamotrigine, which is an anti-epileptic medicine. It’s classified as an anticonvulsant, and it can be used by children and adults, often in combination with other medications for the treatment of epileptic seizures. In some cases, it can also be used to treat certain symptoms of bipolar disorder in adults.
There is an immediate-release version of this medicine that can be used even in children, but for use in kids, it shouldn’t be used as the only medication. Instead, it should be combined with other anti-epileptic medicines. There’s also an extended-release version of Lamictal.
You should speak with your doctor about taking Lamictal if you have liver or kidney disease, a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or you’re allergic to other anti-seizure medicines.
As with most medications, there are some side effects that may be possible such as dizziness, blurred vision, headache, dry mouth, drowsiness or sleep problems.
There are certain drug interactions possible with Lamictal as well. For example, you should let your doctor know if you take a hormonal form of birth control, carbamazepine or divalproex, among others.
So what about alcohol and Lamictal? Can you drink alcohol while on Lamictal?
As with many other medicines, people may wonder, “can you drink alcohol while on Lamictal, or would there be dangerous interactions”?
First and foremost, many of the negative side effects of Lamictal are the same as alcohol. Shared symptoms include blurred vision, drowsiness and headache. If you combine alcohol and Lamictal at the same time, it can make these symptoms worse.
It can also be dangerous to operate a vehicle or machinery, although you shouldn’t do those things when drinking regardless.
The truth is that drinking alcohol is going to affect pretty much any medicine you take, but the range of these effects can differ between people and situations.
While the symptoms of alcohol and Lamictal may worsen when combined, there are currently no specific warnings about using them together. This only refers to a moderate amount of alcohol, however, and many people aren’t aware of how little a “moderate” amount really is. For women, a moderate amount of alcohol is considered a drink a day, and two drinks per day for men. A drink equals 1.5 ounces of liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.
What’s more important to think about is the fact that alcohol and Lamictal together may affect bipolar disorder, if that’s what you’re using this drug for.
Lamictal is frequently prescribed to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder. If you combine alcohol and Lamictal while experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, the combination can create significant problems. For example, many people who have bipolar disorder also struggle with substance use disorders, which can develop as a way to self-medicate. During a manic phase of bipolar, some people may drink because they’re experiencing a lack of inhibitions.
During a depressive period, someone with bipolar disorder might drink to help them feel better. When you have bipolar disorder and drink, it can increase the chances of not only developing a substance use disorder, but it can also increase mood swings worse and the likelihood of violence, depressive periods and suicide.
If you take Lamictal for seizures, there is some research showing that alcohol can increase your chances of having seizures, so you should be cautious.
So, can you drink alcohol while on Lamictal? The answer is that you may be able to if you use Lamictal to treat epilepsy, but if you’re on this medicine because you have bipolar disorder, this is something you should weigh heavily and speak with your doctor about.
Alcohol and Lamictal may make certain side effects of both substances worse or more noticeable. Lamictal may lower your tolerance to alcohol, so you may feel the effects more strongly and quicker.
There is always the risk of interactions when you mix substances, and this includes alcohol and Lamictal, so it’s important to use caution and follow your doctor’s instructions.
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