I have to disagree with that statement.
I'm BP1-hypomanic, and I take Lamictal 300mg for mania, only. Rapid cycling, specifically (as in, cycling between full blown mania to hypomania).
If Lamictal were only working from the depressive side of the house, it wouldn't be working for me at all. I believe it is simply a mood leveler, whatever that mood may be.
From the CrazyMeds Lamictal Page:How Lamictal Works in Your Brain: Lamictal (lamotrigine) works on binding to voltage sensitive sodium and maybe calcium channels in the brain. The calcium bit is a matter for debate. It also invokes glutamate which is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain which is responsible for sending messages from neuron to neuron in 85% of the brain. It also lightly brushes the 5-HT3 serotonin receptor and the sigma opioid receptors, which probably account for its lovely antidepressant properties. Nothing like a combined serotonin and opiate reaction.
As to precisely where in your brain Lamictal does its sodium and calcium channel magic, that's a mystery.
Layman's terms? Erm, Kassi? Seriously... the serotonin receptors getting brushed are what (usually) brings a person up from a depressed state, and touching the sigma opioid receptors are (usually) what brings down a manic. As Jerod points out, the mechanism for this isn't understood (hell, we don't even understand aspirin!).
As to stimulation (or not), that is just a quirk of the drug. Some people get it, some people don't. Some get it when they first start taking it (like I did - very badly), and don't later (like now) or vice versa, or always, or never.
From the CrazyMeds Lamictal Page:Lamictal's Not So Common Side Effects: <snip> Don't be surprised if you get anxious or have other hypomanic effects if taking it for bipolar disorder. Another not-so-common effect is a type of insomnia where you're tired, but you can't sleep.
BP varies over time, your response to meds varies over time, and every permutation in between.
As to the seizure stuff, I haven't a clue, but I would postulate that, since epilepsy has to do with neural misfires, the anti-convulsant action of Lamictal comes from the sodium and calcium channel "magic" as Jerod calls it. I just have this gut feeling about salts, elementals and electrical charges, even tho' people always tell me I'm wrong....
Like I said, this is my THEORY. I have read many posts from other Lamictal users that they have had the same experience.
And, yeah, I've already read all the stuff on Lamictal on crazymed.org. Remember that information is someone's else's opinion and based on their experiences as well. None of us are doctors here.
Maybe when I get to a higher dosage like you, I will agree with your opinion, but until then, I disagree with you. Lamictal is actually classified as an antidepressant over in Europe. It has definitely helped my depression, but made me more hypomanic. I am just trying to help 7.