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Lamotrigine

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Lamotrigine LAMICTAL® Adult, Children

Lamotrigine - What is it for

Lamotrigine is used to control seizures (fits) and other conditions related to the nervous system including use as a mood stabilizer.

In particular it is used to treat conditions such as:

  • Epilepsy (fits)
  • Bipolar disorder (alternating mood)

It may be given to you for other reasons. Do check with your doctor what you are taking this for.

Lamotrigine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Lamotrigine cause?

Generally, the common side effects tend to occur at the beginning of treatment. Such side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness, headache, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia. Be careful when administering/taking over-the-counter medicines. Medicines for cold and allergy may add on to the drowsiness. If applicable, be sure to supervise your child if he/she is involved in activities such as cycling or swimming while taking this medication. If dizziness occurs remember to get up slowly from a lying or sitting position and supervise any child taking this medicine to do the same.
  • Blurred or double vision or abnormal eye movements
  • Unusual behavioral changes such as anxiety, irritability.
  • Nausea, vomiting, indigestion and abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, decreased appetite. If the medication upsets the stomach, take it with food but do not take it with carbonated drinks.
  • Tremor, joint pain, neck pain, numbness at hands and feet (“pin-prick sensation”)
  • Painful menstruation

Inform your doctor if any of the above side effects lasts for more than a few days or if they become serious or bothersome.

Rare but serious effects may sometimes occur. Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:

  • Skin rash
  • Prolonged fever, sore throat, mouth sores
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Any unusual bleeding or bruises
  • Enlarged liver - symptoms may include pain, tenderness or unusual swelling over the liver area in the upper right belly 

Inform your doctor if you notice any other unusual symptoms. Always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you or your child has any problems or difficulties during or after taking lamotrigine.

 

Before taking Lamotrigine , what precautions must I follow?

​What do I need to tell my doctor before I take this medicine?

  • Drug allergies
  • Pre-existing medical conditions such as blood disorders, fits (seizures), liver and kidney problems.
  • Whether you are taking any other medicines, supplements or traditional medicines. Some of them may affect how this medicine works.

For women:  tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding or have plans to become pregnant. If you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, your doctor would have discussed the potential benefits and side-effects with continuing/starting this medication but should you have further questions or concerns, do consult your doctor.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Lamotrigine ?

 This medicine may interact with a number of medicines. Inform your doctor if you are taking or intend to start taking other medicines or supplements.

Lamotrigine - Dosage and How to Use

How should Lamotrigine be used?

  • Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the instructions on the medicine label or as advised by the pharmacist.
  • This medicine may not have an effect immediately. It may take up to a few weeks before this medicine can exert its full effects. Continue taking it regularly to benefit from it. Do not stop taking this medicine even after you feel better.
  • Do not change brands or dosage forms without informing your doctor.
  • Lamotrigine can be taken with or without food.
  • Doses may be changed by your doctor depending upon your response.
  • Avoid taking alcohol while you are on this medicine.

Tablets

  • Swallow tablets whole with a glass of water.

Dispersible tablets:

  • Dispersible tablets can be chewed, swallowed whole or dispersed in water. To disperse the tablet, cover the tablet with one teaspoon of water and allow to dissolve. The entire amount should then be taken/consumed.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

  • Administer the dose as soon as you remember and then continue to take it as you normally would. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the usual time.
  • Do not double or increase the dose.
  • If you or your child has missed more than two doses or you are not sure of what to do, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you or your child has less than two weeks supply of medication, please ensure that you have made an appointment with your doctor or made arrangements to collect more medication.

What should I do if I overdose?

​If you take/administer more than the dose prescribed to you by your doctor, consult your doctor or health care professional immediately.

Lamotrigine - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Lamotrigine safely?

How should I store Lamotrigine ?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

How should I dispose of Lamotrigine safely?

Throw away any unused or expired medicines. Consult your medical professional if you are unsure with respect to how to safely dispose of any excess medicines/expired medicines.

Lamotrigine - Additional Information

Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any other medicines, supplements or herbal products.

If you or your child sees another doctor, inform him that you or your child is taking lamotrigine before he prescribes any other medications.

Avoid driving or any other activities that requires concentration until you see how this drug affects you (or your child if applicable).

Do not share your medicines with others.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your medicines.

 

  • Updated on Monday, May 21, 2018
  • This article is contributed by Department of Pharmacy KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Changi General Hospital

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