Contraceptive vaginal ring reduces lamotrigine levels

Alexa King, Elizabeth Bachman, Micheal P. Macken, Jungwha Lee, Elizabeth E. Gerard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to describe the effect of the vaginal ring and transdermal patch on lamotrigine serum levels in women with epilepsy. Background: Previous studies demonstrate that oral hormonal contraceptives containing synthetic estrogen increase lamotrigine clearance through induction of glucuronidation. This leads to variable lamotrigine serum concentrations throughout monthly cycles in women who are on combined oral contraceptives (COCs). The effects of estrogen-containing nonoral hormonal contraceptive methods, including the vaginal ring and transdermal patch, on lamotrigine pharmacokinetics are not well described. Methods: Retrospective chart review was performed to identify serum lamotrigine levels drawn from women with epilepsy while on the active phase of vaginal ring or transdermal patch and while off contraception. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests for paired data were used to compare the difference in dose-corrected lamotrigine concentration in plasma between values while on hormonal contraception to those while off contraception in patients using a vaginal ring. Results: Six patients were using the vaginal ring, and one patient was using the transdermal patch. Lamotrigine dose-corrected concentrations were decreased during the active phase of the vaginal ring compared with concentrations during the period off contraception (p = .04). There was one patient without a decrease in concentration, but the other five patients on the vaginal ring had a decrease in dose-corrected lamotrigine concentration ranging from 36 to 70% while on the vaginal ring. Similarly, one patient using the transdermal patch had a decrease of 37% in dose-corrected lamotrigine concentration while on the patch. Conclusions: The findings support that the vaginal ring contraceptive method decreases lamotrigine concentrations during the active phase of treatment. This has important implications for contraceptive counseling and maintaining therapeutic levels in women of childbearing age with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107162
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Antiepileptic drug interactions
  • Contraception
  • Epilepsy
  • Lamotrigine
  • Transdermal patch
  • Vaginal ring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Contraceptive vaginal ring reduces lamotrigine levels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this