Lamotrigine (By mouth)

Introduction

Lamotrigine (la-MOE-tri-jeen)

Treats certain types of seizures and mood disorders. Often used along with other medicines.

Brand Name(s)

Lamictal CD, Lamictal, Lamictal XR, Lamictal XR Patient Titration, Lamictal ODT Patient Titration, Lamictal ODT

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to lamotrigine.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Chewable Tablet, Dissolving Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • It is best to swallow the regular tablet whole. You may break or crush the tablet if your doctor tells you to, but the medicine might leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
  • The chewable tablet may be swallowed whole, or chewed and taken with a small amount of water or diluted fruit juice. You may also dissolve the chewable tablet in a teaspoon of water or fruit juice and swallow the mixture after 1 minute.
  • If you are using the disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack that contains the tablet until you are ready to take it. Remove the tablet from the blister pack by peeling back the foil, then taking the tablet out. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet in your mouth. It should melt quickly. After the tablet has melted, swallow or take a drink of water.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
  • This medicine can be used with other seizure medicines. Keep using all of your seizure medicines unless your doctor tells you to stop.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child are using any other medicine to control seizures (such as carbamazepine, divalproex, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, valproic acid, valproate, Depakene®, Depakote®, Dilantin®, Mysoline®, or Tegretol®). Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child are also using rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®). Tell your doctor if you are also using birth control pills, or if you are also using hormone replacement therapy.
  • Ask your doctor before you start or stop using any medicines, including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child are receiving methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®) or pemetrexed (Alimta®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver problems, heart problems, blood problems, bone marrow problems, or depression. Tell your doctor if you have had a rash or an allergic reaction to other seizure medicines.
  • It is important to tell your doctor if you become pregnant while using this medicine. Your doctor may want you to join a pregnancy registry for patients taking a seizure medicine.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • If you or your child have a skin rash while using this medicine, call your doctor right away. Sometimes a rash is a sign of a serious drug reaction.
  • This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions affecting multiple body organs (such as liver or kidney). Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have the following symptoms: fever, dark urine, headache, hives, muscle pain or stiffness, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away if you or your child start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourselves. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you, your child, or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you or your child start to have a stiff neck, confusion, drowsiness, fever, chills, headache, nausea or vomiting, rash, or sensitivity to light. These could be symptoms of a rare and serious condition called aseptic meningitis.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Bloody stools.
  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Changes in your menstrual cycle (period).
  • Chest pain.
  • Extreme weakness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Feeling unusually sleepy, sad, grouchy, moody, or nervous.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Nosebleed.
  • Pain, soreness, or itching in your vagina.
  • Painful sores in your mouth or around your eyes.
  • Painful urination or a change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Problems with balance or walking.
  • Severe muscle pain.
  • Swelling in your face, hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in your neck, armpit, or groin.
  • Thoughts of killing yourself.
  • Tremors.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Wheezing or troubled breathing.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Eye twitching or eye movements you cannot control.
  • Headache, neck pain, back pain, or joint pain.
  • Increased sexual desire.
  • Loss of appetite, or weight loss.
  • Mild rash.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset or pain, or passing gas.
  • Runny or stuffy nose, or nose irritation.
  • Unable to concentrate or remember things.
  • Unable to sleep, or sleeping too much.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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