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Health Agencies Update
September 22/29, 2010

Lamotrigine Warning

JAMA. 2010;304(12):1317. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1332

Lamotrigine, a drug used to treat bipolar disorder in adults and seizures in children at least 2 years old, can cause aseptic meningitis, according to a warning to patients and physicians issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA has revised the label for lamotrigine to indicate this risk. Between December 2004 and November 2009, a period during which an estimated 46 million prescriptions were dispensed, the agency received 40 reported cases of aseptic meningitis in patients taking the drug. Most patients' symptoms resolved after discontinuing the drug; however, in 15 cases, the symptoms returned after the patients resumed taking lamotrigine.