What is this medicine?
LAMOTRIGINE (la MOE tri jeen) is used to control seizures in adults and children with epilepsy and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It is also used in adults to treat bipolar disorder.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Lamictal, Subvenite
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- aseptic meningitis during prior use of lamotrigine
- folate deficiency
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
- an unusual or allergic reaction to lamotrigine or other seizure medications, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not chew these tablets. If this medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each new prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
- female hormones, including contraceptive or birth control pills
- valproic acid
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care provider for regular checks on your progress. If you take this medicine for seizures, wear a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace. Carry an identification card with information about your condition, medicines, and doctor or health care provider.
It is important to take this medicine exactly as directed. When first starting treatment, your dose will need to be adjusted slowly. It may take weeks or months before your dose is stable. You should contact your doctor or health care provider if your seizures get worse or if you have any new types of seizures. Do not stop taking this medicine unless instructed by your doctor or health care provider. Stopping your medicine suddenly can increase your seizures or their severity.
This medicine may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medicine. Contact your health care provider right away 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.
You may get drowsy, dizzy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
If you are taking this medicine for bipolar disorder, it is important to report any changes in your mood to your doctor or health care provider. If your condition gets worse, you get mentally depressed, feel very hyperactive or manic, have difficulty sleeping, or have thoughts of hurting yourself or committing suicide, you need to get help from your health care provider right away. If you are a caregiver for someone taking this medicine for bipolar disorder, you should also report these behavioral changes right away. The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Women who become pregnant while using this medicine 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 drug use during pregnancy.
This medicine may cause a decrease in folic acid. You should make sure that you get enough folic acid while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care provider.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- changes in vision
- depressed mood
- elevated mood, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, impulsive behavior
- loss of balance or coordination
- mouth sores
- rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- right upper belly pain
- severe muscle pain
- signs and symptoms of aseptic meningitis such as stiff neck and sensitivity to light, headache, drowsiness, fever, nausea, vomiting, rash
- signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
- suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
- swollen lymph nodes
- trouble walking
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- unusually weak or tired
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- dry mouth
- stuffy nose
- trouble sleeping
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.