Epilepsy NZ Position Statement - Lamotrigine

  • ENZ opposed this change from Lamictal to Logem from the start, and staff have advocated on behalf of people with epilepsy in discussions with Pharmac.
  • All ENZ educators have attended a discussion session on this and are equipped to support people with epilepsy through this change.
  • Many people will have changed brands already due to their pharmacy practises and not noticed the change.
  • The majority of people will be fine with the change and not experience any negative side effects.
  • It is possible to measure blood levels of lamotrigine, the active agent in both preparations of the drug. ENZ recommends that doctors measure the level shortly before the change takes place, and then again two weeks later. If the level has changed, the dose of the Logem brand should be adjusted accordingly.
  • There will be some people who do experience negative side effects. If you experience negative side effects your GP is your first port of call. GPs can apply to Pharmac for exceptional circumstances in order for you to remain on your current meds.
  • ENZ is establishing a register to determine how many people with epilepsy do have adverse consequences as a result of the change-over from the Lamictal brand to the Logem brand. (Click here to fill in our questionnaire and email it to info@epilepsy.org.nz).
  • ENZ thinks that the best way to determine if the Lamictal brand and the Logem brand are truly interchangeable is to conduct a double-blind, double-dummy, , randomised controlled crossover trial. Dr Bergin, the president of ENZ, and the chairman of the EpiNet study group, suggested to Pharmac previously that such a study should be conducted before any changeover is instituted. ENZ continue to believe that this trial should be undertaken, and would be happy to help facilitate such a trial.

Ross Smith
Chief Executive
28 August 2019

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