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Concurrent Use of Lamotrigine and Electroconvulsive Therapy

Sienaert, Pascal MD, PhD*; Roelens, Yolente MD; Demunter, Hella MD*; Vansteelandt, Kristof PhD*; Peuskens, Joseph MD, PhD; Van Heeringen, Cornelis MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3181e63318
Original Studies

Objective: To evaluate the effect of lamotrigine (LMT) on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)-induced seizures.

Methods: Charts of all patients receiving LMT while undergoing an ECT course from July 2001 through May 2009 were reviewed. Apart from demographic variables, data collection consisted of diagnosis, indication for ECT, index or continuation ECT, electrode placement, stimulus dose, motor and electroencephalographic seizure duration, LMT dose, and number of restimulations. The stimulus dose and the seizure duration of ECT treatments with concurrent LMT (≥200 mg/d) were compared with the stimulus dose and seizure duration of ECT treatments without concurrent LMT.

Results: Lamotrigine was used by 19 patients (16 women, 3 men) during 289 treatment sessions. Eleven patients had ECT treatments with and without LMT, of which 8 were at a dosage of 200 mg/d or higher. Analyses did not reveal a significant difference in seizure duration and stimulus dose. Missed seizures, however, occurred more frequently during ECT treatments with concurrent LMT.

Conclusions: In all patients, seizures of adequate duration could be elicited. The combination was well tolerated. Therapeutic doses of LMT do not seem to have a clinically significant influence on the length of ECT-induced seizures nor on the stimulus dose.

From the *ECT Department and the Department of Mood Disorders, University Psychiatric Center, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Campus Kortenberg, Kortenberg; †University Psychiatric Service, University Hospital of Ghent, Gent; and ‡University Psychiatric Center, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Campus Kortenberg, Kortenberg, Belgium.

Received for publication March 25, 2010; accepted April 15, 2010.

Reprints: Pascal Sienaert, MD, PhD, University Psychiatric Center, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Campus Kortenberg, Leuvensesteenweg 517, 3070 Kortenberg, Belgium (e-mail:

Pascal Sienaert has received honoraria from Glaxo-Smith-Kline for lectures and advisory boards.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.