What is Lamictal ® (lamotrigine) used for?
Lamictal ® is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant.
Lamictal ® is used either alone or in combination with other medications to treat epileptic seizures in adults and children. Lamotrigine is also used to delay mood episodes in adults with bipolar disorder (manic depression).
The immediate-release form of Lamictal ® (regular tablet and orally disintegrating tablet) can be used in children as young as 2 years old when it is given as part of a combination of seizure medications. However, this form should not be used as a single medication in a child or teenager who is younger than 16 years old.
The extended-release form of Lamictal ® is for use only in adults and children who are at least 13 years old.
How should I take Lamictal ® (lamotrigine)?
Take Lamictal ® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Taking too much Lamictal ® at the start of treatment may increase your risk of a severe life-threatening skin rash.
You may need frequent blood tests to help your doctor make sure you are taking the right dose.
Extended-release Lamictal ® XR may be used for different conditions than immediate-release Lamictal ® is used for. Always check your refills to make sure you have received the correct size, color, and shape of tablet. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.
If you switch to Lamictal ® from another seizure medicine, carefully follow your doctor’s instructions about the timing and dosage of your medications.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release Lamictal ® XR tablet. Swallow the tablet whole.
Do not swallow the orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) whole. Place it on your tongue and move it around in your mouth. Allow the tablet to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
To take the chewable dispersible tablet, you may either swallow it whole with a glass of water, or chew it first and then swallow it. You may also place the tablet into 1 teaspoon of water or diluted fruit juice and allow it to disperse in the liquid for about 1 minute. Gently swirl the liquid and then swallow all of the mixture right away. Do not save it for later use.
Do not stop using Lamictal ® suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures.
Lamictal ® can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking lamotrigine.
How do I store Lamictal ® (lamotrigine)?
Lamictal ® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Lamictal ® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Lamictal ® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Lamictal ® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Lamictal ® (lamotrigine)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Lamictal ® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Lamictal ® may cause a severe or life-threatening skin rash, especially in children and in people who take too high a dose at the start of treatment. Serious skin rash may also be more likely to occur if you are taking lamotrigine together with valproic acid (Depakene) or divalproex (Depakote).
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Lamictal ®. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Birth control pills can make Lamictal ® less effective, resulting in increased seizures. Tell your doctor if you start or stop using birth control pills while you are taking this medicine. Your lamotrigine dose may need to be changed.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Lamictal ® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Lamictal ®. Lamictal ® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Lamictal ® (lamotrigine)?
Common side effects may include:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Loss of coordination
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Drowsiness, tired feeling
- Back pain
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- The first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild
- Changes in your menstrual periods
- Low blood cell counts – flu-like symptoms, swollen gums, mouth sores, skin sores, rapid heart rate, pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, feeling light-headed
- Possible signs of brain inflammation – fever, chills, headache, neck stiffness, increased sensitivity to light, purple spots on the skin, confusion, drowsiness
- Signs of inflammation in your body – swollen glands, severe tingling or numbness, muscle weakness, upper stomach pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), chest pain, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing
Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Lamictal: hives; fever; swollen glands; painful sores in or around your eyes or mouth; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Seek emergency medical attention if you have signs of a life-threatening skin rash: fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
If you have to stop taking Lamictal® because of a serious skin rash, you may not be able to take it again in the future.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Lamictal ® (lamotrigine)?
Lamictal ® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products that may interact with this drug are:
- Hormonal forms of birth control (pills, injections, implants, or skin patches)
- Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol)
- Divalproex (Depakote)
- Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
- Phenobarbital (Solfoton)
- Primidone (Mysoline)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane)
- Valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor)
Does food or alcohol interact with Lamictal ® (lamotrigine)?
Lamictal ® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Lamictal ® (lamotrigine)?
Lamictal ® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:
- Kidney or liver disease
- A history of depression or suicidal thoughts or actions
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Lamictal ® (lamotrigine).
What is the dose of Lamictal ® (lamotrigine) for an adult?
The target dose is 200 mg/day (100 mg/day in patients taking valproate, which decreases the apparent clearance of lamotrigine, and 400 mg/day in patients not taking valproate and taking either carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, or other drugs such as rifampin and the protease inhibitor lopinavir/ritonavir that increase the apparent clearance of lamotrigine).
In the clinical trials, doses up to 400 mg/day as monotherapy were evaluated; however, no additional benefit was seen at 400 mg/day compared with 200 mg/day. Accordingly, doses above 200 mg/day are not recommended.
What is the dose of Lamictal ® (lamotrigine) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Lamictal ® (lamotrigine) available?
Lamictal ® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Tablet; tablet, chewable; tablet, orally disintegrating: lamotrigine 25mg
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Lamictal ®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: July 14, 2017 | Last Modified: July 14, 2017