What is lamotrigine used for?
Lamotrigine is used alone or with other medications to prevent and control seizures. It may also be used to help prevent the extreme mood swings of bipolar disorder in adults.
Lamotrigine is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. It is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.
How should I take lamotrigine?
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablets whole since chewing them may leave a bitter taste.
It is very important to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions exactly. The dose must be increased slowly. It may take several weeks or months to reach the best dose for you and to get the full benefit from this medication. Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Also, if you have stopped taking this medication, do not restart lamotrigine without consulting your doctor.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
How do I store lamotrigine?
Lamotrigine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store lamotrigine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine 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 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 lamotrigine or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You are using female hormonal medications such as hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, injections, implants, or intrauterine devices), or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Talk to your doctor before you start or stop taking any of these medications while you are taking lamotrigine. If you are taking a female hormonal medication, tell your doctor if you have any bleeding between expected menstrual periods.
- You have or have ever had an autoimmune disease (condition in which the body attacks its own organs, causing swelling and loss of function) such as lupus (condition in which the body attacks many different organs causing a variety of symptoms), a blood disorder, or kidney or liver disease.
- You are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking lamotrigine.
You should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
Remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using lamotrigine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking lamotrigine. Lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine?
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
- Blurred or double vision
- Painful menstrual periods
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Stomach upset or pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight loss
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness)
- Absent menstrual period or other menstrual changes
- Calf pain or tenderness
- Chest pain
- Dark urine
- Decreased coordination
- Difficult or painful urination
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Fever, chills, or persistent sore throat
- New or worsening mental or mood changes (e.g., anxiety, depression, restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, behavior changes)
- New or worsening seizures
- Pale stools
- Reddened, blistered, swollen, or peeling skin
- Severe muscle pain or tenderness
- Severe or persistent dizziness or stomach pain
- Shortness of breath
- Sores in the mouth or around the eyes
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet
- Swollen lymph glands
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Unusual weakness or tiredness
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Vision changes
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
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 lamotrigine?
Lamotrigine 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:
- Carbamazepine because it may decrease lamotrigine’s effectiveness and increase the risk of side effects, such as dizziness, double vision, blurred vision, and decreased coordination.
- Valproate (e.g., valproic acid, divalproex sodium) because it may increase the risk of lamotrigine’s side effects.
- Dofetilide because the risk of its side effects may be increased by lamotrigine.
- Atazanavir/ritonavir, estrogens, lopinavir/ritonavir, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, rifampin, or succinimides (e.g., methsuximide) because they may decrease lamotrigine’s effectiveness.
- Hormonal contraceptives (e.g., birth control pills) because the effectiveness of both medicines may be decreased.
Does food or alcohol interact with lamotrigine?
Lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine?
Lamotrigine 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.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using lamotrigine.
What is the dose of lamotrigine for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Seizure Prophylaxis
Added to an Antiepileptic Drug Regimen Containing Valproic Acid:
Weeks 1 and 2: 25 mg every other day
Weeks 3 and 4: 25 mg every day
Usual maintenance dose: 100 to 400 mg/day (1 or 2 divided doses). To achieve maintenance, doses may be increased by 25 to 50 mg/day every 1 to 2 weeks. The usual maintenance dose in patients adding lamotrigine to valproic acid alone ranges from 100 to 200 mg/day.
Usual Adult Dose for Bipolar Disorder:
Treatment with lamotrigine is introduced based on concurrent medications.
What is the dose of lamotrigine for a child?
Usual Pediatric Dose for Seizure Prophylaxis
Added to an antiepileptic drug regimen therapy:
Children 2 to 12 years: Immediate release formulation: (only whole tablets should be used for dosing): children 2 to 6 years will likely require maintenance doses in the higher end of recommended range; patients weighing less than 30 kg may need as much as a 50% increase in maintenance dose, compared with patients weighing greater than 30 kg; titrate dose to clinical effect.
How is lamotrigine available?
Lamotrigine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Tablet, Oral: 25 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg.
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 lamotrigine, 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.
Lamotrigine. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/lamotrigine.html. Accessed July 26, 2017
Lamotrigine. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-4582-7217/lamotrigine-oral/lamotrigine-oral/details. Accessed July 26, 2017
Review Date: July 31, 2017 | Last Modified: July 31, 2017