Lamictal is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994 for the treatment of many different types of seizures. Lamictal is usually prescribed as an adjunctive medicine to be taken with other antiepileptic drugs. Lamictal is also known by its drug name, Lamotrigine.
Lamictal is an anticonvulsant, or drug that is used to control seizures. It is believed that Lamictal works in cases of epilepsy by inhibiting nerve signals.
How do I take it?
Lamictal is taken orally as a tablet once or twice a day. Lamictal tablets come in different formats, including regular, extended-release, chewable, and orally-disintegrating tablets. Only take Lamictal according to the directions for that format. Try to take Lamictal at the same times each day. Lamictal may be taken with or without food. Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of Lamictal and gradually increase the dosage.
Avoid driving or operating machinery until you are certain you understand how Lamictal affects you.
Drinking alcohol while taking Lamictal may intensify some side effects, such as drowsiness.
Some oral contraceptives may affect blood concentrations of Lamictal. Ask your doctor whether you need to switch birth control methods while taking Lamictal.
Do not stop taking Lamictal suddenly. If you decide to stop taking Lamictal, consult your physician for a plan to taper off gradually.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Lamictal.
The most serious side effects of Lamictal are a severe rash and multi-organ hypersensitivity reaction. Both conditions can become life-threatening. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience a rash, especially with fever and symptoms of a viral infection, while taking Lamictal. Children between the ages of two and 16 years have a higher risk of developing a severe rash while taking Lamictal.
Common side effects of Lamictal include sleepiness, weakness, headache, unsteadiness, trouble walking, vision changes, nausea, and diarrhea.
Rarely, some people experience neurological symptoms including depression or suicidal thoughts while taking Lamictal. Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects.
Lamictal can also increase your risk of developing aseptic meningitis, a dangerous brain condition. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop a headache, stiff neck, fever, vomiting, sensitivity to light, or chills while taking Lamictal.
Many drugs can cause allergic reactions that, in the most serious cases, can result in death. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.
For answers to frequently asked questions about exposure to Lamotrigine during pregnancy and breastfeeding, visit the experts at MothertoBaby.org.