"" Lamotrigine: How to Use, Side Effects - Health and Fitness Informatics


Lamotrigine: How to Use, Side Effects


Lamotrigine is a medicine used to treat bipolar and epilepsy disorders. It prevents and manages seizures and calms your overactive nerves. Common brand names of lamotrigine include Lamictal® and Subvenite®.
You can take Lamotrigine (LTG) orally with water and do not chew the tablets. It's important to follow the prescription label and not take more than directed.
The most serious side effect of this medication is a skin rash called lamotrigine rash.   
This article will lead you to the detailed facts and answer your question regarding lamotrigine medications.

What is Lamotrigine (LTG)?

Lamotrigine (LTG) stops and manages seizures in people with epilepsy and bipolar disorder. It works by calming overactive nerves in your body. Common brand names are Lamictal and Subvenite.

What are the other uses of this medication?

Other uses not officially approved include treating acute bipolar depression, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, and unipolar depression.

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Is lamotrigine a mood stabilizer?

Yes, LTG may be used as a mood stabilizer to treat depression in people with bipolar disorder. If you are 18 or older your healthcare provider can prescribe you to treat the low temper which is a part of bipolar disorder.

What information should I share with my healthcare provider before starting this medication?

Your healthcare provider needs to be aware if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Liver disease
  • History of irregular heartbeat
  • Heart disease
  • Immune system problem
  • Lupus
  • Lessen levels of folic acid in the blood
  • Kidney disease
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts by you or any family member
  • An allergic response to lamotrigine, other seizure medications, preservatives, dyes, or foods

How should I use this medication?

  • You can use this medicine orally with a glass of water
  • Firmly follow the directions written on the medicine label
  • Don’t chew it. You can take lamotrigine with milk or food if it upsets your stomach
  • Take your medication at consistent intervals.
  • Do not take it more frequently than instructed.
  • The pharmacist will provide you with a special MedGuide each time you get a new prescription or refill (https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/clinicalpractice)

Can I share lamotrigine with others?

No, you should not share this medication with others. It is meant for your personal use only.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for your next dose, just take that one. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed one.

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What are the possible side effects of lamotrigine? 

Side effects that you should promptly report to your care team include:

  • Fever, neck pain or stiffness, sensitivity to light, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion
  • Changes in vision
  • Allergic reactions include hives, itching, skin rash, and swelling of the throat, lips, tongue, face, or lips.
  • Heartbeat changes like fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, trouble breathing, and chest pain
  • Infection symptoms such as chills, sore throat, fever, chills, or cough,
  • Liver injury signs like right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Low red blood cell count symptoms like unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness, headache, trouble breathing
  • Rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
  • Thoughts self-harm or of suicide, feelings of depression, or worsening mood
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Blistering, redness, peeling, or loosening of the skin, as well as inside the mouth

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention but should be reported to your health care team if they continue or are bothersome include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Tremors or shaking

This list may not cover all possible side effects. Contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Lopinavir
  • Rifampin
  • Certain medications for seizures like valproic acid, carbamazepine, primidone,  phenobarbital, phenytoin,
  • Atazanavir
  • Birth control pills
  • Certain medications for irregular heartbeat
  • Ritonavir

It is possible that this list does not include all possible interactions. It is important to give your healthcare provider a comprehensive list of all the herbs, medications, dietary supplements, or non-prescription drugs you are taking. You should also let them know if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs, as some substances can interact with your medicine.

What should I be careful about while using lamotrigine?

It's crucial to take this medication exactly as directed. When starting treatment, your dose will need to be adjusted slowly. It may take weeks or months before your dose is stable. Contact your care team if your seizures worsen or if you experience new types of seizures. Do not stop taking this medication unless instructed by your care team, as suddenly stopping it can increase your seizures or their severity.

If you're taking this medication for bipolar disorder, it's important to report any changes in your mood to your care team. If your condition worsens, you feel very hyperactive or depressed, have difficulty sleeping, or have thoughts of hurting yourself, seek help from your care team right away. If you are a caregiver for someone taking this medication for bipolar disorder, report these behavioral changes immediately. The use of this medication may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions, so pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medication.

You may experience drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. Avoid driving, using machinery, or doing anything that requires mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, avoid sudden changes in posture, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness, so it's best to avoid alcoholic drinks.

Make sure to visit your healthcare provider regularly to check your progress. If you're taking this medication for seizures, consider wearing a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace and carrying an identification card with information about your condition, medications, and care team.

This medication may cause serious skin reactions, which can occur weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team immediately if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips, or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.

Dry mouth may occur. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your care team if the problem persists or is severe.

Women who become pregnant while using this medication may enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. This registry collects information about the safety of antiepileptic medication use during pregnancy.

This medication may cause a decrease in folic acid. Make sure to discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your care team to ensure you get enough folic acid while taking this medication.

Where should I keep my medication?

  • Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Store at 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). Protect from light. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
  • To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
  • Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.

If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. 
If it is safe to put it in the trash, empty the medication in the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substances. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.


This piece of writing may not include all possible information about lamotrigine. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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