As with other AEDs, physiological changes during pregnancy may affect lamotrigine concentrations and/or therapeutic effect. There have been reports of decreased lamotrigine concentrations during pregnancy and restoration of pre-partum concentrations after delivery. Dosage adjustments may be necessary to maintain clinical response.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. In animal studies, lamotrigine was developmentally toxic at doses lower than those administered clinically. Lamotrigine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. When lamotrigine was administered to pregnant mice, rats, or rabbits during the period of organogenesis (oral doses of up to 125, 25, and 30 mg/kg, respectively), reduced fetal body weight and increased incidences of fetal skeletal variations were seen in mice and rats at doses that were also maternally toxic. The no-effect doses for embryofetal developmental toxicity in mice, rats, and rabbits (75, 6.25, and 30 mg/kg, respectively) are similar to (mice and rabbits) or less than (rats) the human dose of 400 mg/day on a body surface area (mg/m2) basis.
In a study in which pregnant rats were administered lamotrigine (oral doses of 5 or 25 mg/kg) during the period of organogenesis and offspring were evaluated postnatally, behavioral abnormalities were observed in exposed offspring at both doses. The lowest effect dose for developmental neurotoxicity in rats is less than the human dose of 400 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis. Maternal toxicity was observed at the higher dose tested.
When pregnant rats were administered lamotrigine (oral doses of 5, 10, or 20 mg/kg) during the latter part of gestation, increased offspring mortality (including stillbirths) was seen at all doses. The lowest effect dose for peri/postnatal developmental toxicity in rats is less than the human dose of 400 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis. Maternal toxicity was observed at the 2 highest doses tested.
Lamotrigine decreases fetal folate concentrations in rat, an effect known to be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in animals and humans.
To provide information regarding the effects of in utero exposure to lamotrigine, physicians are advised to recommend that pregnant patients taking lamotrigine enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry. This can be done by calling the toll-free number 1-888-233-2334 and must be done by patients themselves. Information on the registry can also be found at the website http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org.
The effect of lamotrigine on labor and delivery in humans is unknown.
Lamotrigine is present in milk from lactating women taking lamotrigine. Data from multiple small studies indicate that lamotrigine plasma levels in human milk-fed infants have been reported to be as high as 50% of the maternal serum levels. Neonates and young infants are at risk for high serum levels because maternal serum and milk levels can rise to high levels postpartum if lamotrigine dosage has been increased during pregnancy but not later reduced to the pre-pregnancy dosage. Lamotrigine exposure is further increased due to the immaturity of the infant glucuronidation capacity needed for drug clearance. Events including apnea, drowsiness, and poor sucking have been reported in infants who have been human milk-fed by mothers using lamotrigine; whether or not these events were caused by lamotrigine is unknown. Human milk-fed infants should be closely monitored for adverse events resulting from lamotrigine. Measurement of infant serum levels should be performed to rule out toxicity if concerns arise. Human milk-feeding should be discontinued in infants with lamotrigine toxicity. Caution should be exercised when lamotrigine is administered to a nursing woman.
Lamotrigine is indicated as adjunctive therapy in patients aged 2 years and older for partial-onset seizures, the generalized seizures of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and PGTC seizures.
Safety and efficacy of lamotrigine used as adjunctive treatment for partial-onset seizures were not demonstrated in a small, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled withdrawal trial in very young pediatric patients (aged 1 to 24 months). Lamotrigine was associated with an increased risk for infectious adverse reactions (lamotrigine 37%, placebo 5%), and respiratory adverse reactions (lamotrigine 26%, placebo 5%). Infectious adverse reactions included bronchiolitis, bronchitis, ear infection, eye infection, otitis externa, pharyngitis, urinary tract infection, and viral infection. Respiratory adverse reactions included nasal congestion, cough, and apnea.
Additional information describing a clinical study in which efficacy was not demonstrated in pediatric patients ages 10 to 17 years is approved for GlaxoSmithKline LLC’s LAMICTAL® (lamotrigine) products. However, due to GlaxoSmithKline LLC’s marketing exclusivity rights, this drug product is not labeled with that pediatric information.
Juvenile Animal Data
In a juvenile animal study in which lamotrigine (oral doses of 5, 15, or 30 mg/kg) was administered to young rats (postnatal days 7 to 62), decreased viability and growth were seen at the highest dose tested and long-term behavioral abnormalities (decreased locomotor activity, increased reactivity, and learning deficits in animals tested as adults) were observed at the 2 highest doses. The no-effect dose for adverse effects on neurobehavioral development is less than the human dose of 400 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis.
Clinical trials of lamotrigine for epilepsy and bipolar disorder did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 years and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients or exhibit a different safety profile than that of younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Experience in patients with hepatic impairment is limited. Based on a clinical pharmacology study in 24 subjects with mild, moderate, and severe liver impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ], the following general recommendations can be made. No dosage adjustment is needed in patients with mild liver impairment. Initial, escalation, and maintenance doses should generally be reduced by approximately 25% in patients with moderate and severe liver impairment without ascites and 50% in patients with severe liver impairment with ascites. Escalation and maintenance doses may be adjusted according to clinical response [see Dosage and Administration (2.1) ].
Lamotrigine is metabolized mainly by glucuronic acid conjugation, with the majority of the metabolites being recovered in the urine. In a small study comparing a single dose of lamotrigine in subjects with varying degrees of renal impairment with healthy volunteers, the plasma half-life of lamotrigine was approximately twice as long in the subjects with chronic renal failure [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ].
Initial doses of lamotrigine should be based on patients’ AED regimens; reduced maintenance doses may be effective for patients with significant renal impairment. Few patients with severe renal impairment have been evaluated during chronic treatment with lamotrigine. Because there is inadequate experience in this population, lamotrigine should be used with caution in these patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.1) ].
Overdoses involving quantities up to 15 g have been reported for lamotrigine, some of which have been fatal. Overdose has resulted in ataxia, nystagmus, seizures (including tonic-clonic seizures), decreased level of consciousness, coma, and intraventricular conduction delay.
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