Brand names: Lamictal CD, Lamictal
Lamictal is prescribed to control seizures in people with epilepsy. It is also used to control a serious form of epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Lamictal is used in combination with other antiepileptic medications or as a replacement for a medication such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, or valproate.
In addition, Lamictal is used to help prevent the manic and/or depressive phases of bipolar disorder.
You may develop a rash during the first 2 to 8 weeks of Lamictal therapy, particularly if you are also taking Depakene or Depakote. If this happens, notify your doctor immediately. The rash could become severe and even dangerous, particularly in children. Signs of a more serious reaction include hives, fever, swollen lymph glands, painful sores in the mouth or around the eyes, or swelling of the lips or tongue. A slight possibility of this problem remains for up to 6 months.
Take Lamictal exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Taking more than the prescribed amount can increase your risk of developing a serious rash. Do not stop taking Lamotrigine without first discussing it with your doctor. An abrupt halt could increase your seizures. Your doctor can schedule a gradual reduction in dosage.
Lamictal Chewable Dispersible (CD) tablets may be swallowed whole, chewed, or dissloved in liquid. When chewing the tablets, drink a small amount of water or diluted fruit juice to aid in swallowing. When dissolving the tablets, add them to a small amount of water or diluted fruit juice (about 1 teaspoonful), and wait 1 minute until the tablets are completely dissolved. Swirl the solution and drink immediately. Do not try to cut the dose by drinking only part of the solution.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Lamictal.
If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Lamictal, you should not take Lamotrigine. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.
Lamictal may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, or less alert. Do not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any activity that requires full mental alertness until you are certain the drug does not have this kind of effect on you. Remember to be alert for development of any type of rash, especially during the first 2 to 8 weeks of treatment (see "Most important fact about Lamotrigine").
Be sure to tell your doctor about any medical problems you have before starting therapy with Lamictal. If you have kidney or liver disease, or heart problems, Lamictal should be used with caution.
Lamictal may cause vision problems. If any develop, notify your doctor immediately. Also be quick to call your doctor if you develop a fever or have any other signs of an allergic reaction. Notify your doctor, too, if your seizures get worse.
If you're taking Lamictal for bipolar disorder, be aware that the drug should not be used to stop an episode of mania or depression once it has started.
There are no clinical studies to prove the safety and effectiveness of Lamictal for treating bipolar disorder in children less than 18 years old.
If Lamictal is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Lamictal with the following:CarbamazepineDrugs that inhibit folate metabolism, such as methotrexateOral contraceptivesPhenobarbitalPhenytoinPrimidoneValproic acid
The effects of Lamictal during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. Lamictal should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Lamictal appears in breast milk. Because the effects of Lamictal on an infant exposed to Lamotrigine are unknown, breastfeeding is not recommended.
The doctor will adjust your dosage based on your condition and what other medications you are taking.
A massive overdose of Lamictal can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately.