MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- GlaxoSmithKline's epilepsy drug Lamictal (lamotrigine) gained broader U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval on Monday to treat "grand mal" seizures, medically called primary generalized tonic-clonic (PGTC) seizures. They are one of the most serious forms of epilepsy, affecting 20 percent of people with the condition, Glaxo said.
PGTC seizures usually occur without warning, and people who have them become stiff, lose consciousness, and jerk repetitively. Typically lasting a few minutes, they are followed by a period of drowsiness, confusion, headache, and sleep.
In clinical testing, Lamictal reduced PGTC seizures by 66 percent, compared with 34 percent of patients given a non-medicinal placebo, Glaxo said in a statement. Common side effects of Lamictal included dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea.
The drug was approved previously for several other types of seizures, and for adults with bipolar 1 disorder.
To learn more about PGTC seizures, visit the National Library of Medicine.