Lamictal is used for treating certain types of seizures. It may be used alone or with other medicines. It may also be used to delay the occurrence of mood problems in certain patients with bipolar disorder. Lamictal is an anticonvulsant.
Use Lamictal as directed by your doctor.
- Take Lamictal by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
- Lamictal has a bitter taste. Do not crush or chew before swallowing. The tablet may be broken in half if your doctor tells you to do so.
- Continue to take Lamictal even if you feel well. Do not miss any dose.
- If you miss a dose of Lamictal, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Lamictal.
Store Lamictal at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Lamictal out of the reach of children and away from pets.
LAMICTAL MORE INFO:
Do NOT use Lamictal if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Lamictal.
Some medical conditions may interact with Lamictal. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have liver, kidney, or heart problems; certain blood problems (eg, thalassemia); or if you receive dialysis treatment
- if you have a skin rash or have ever developed a skin rash from taking Lamictal or any other medicines to treat seizures
- if you have a history of mental or mood problems (eg, depression, suicidal thoughts or attempts).
Some medicines may interact with Lamictal. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Carbamazepine because it may decrease Lamictal's effectiveness, and the risk of side effects, such as dizziness, double vision, blurred vision, and decreased coordination, may be increased
- Valproate (eg, valproic acid, divalproex sodium) because it may increase the risk of Lamictal's side effects
- Estrogens, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, rifampin, or succinimides (eg, methsuximide) because they may decrease Lamictal's effectiveness
- Hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills) because the effectiveness of both medicines may be decreased.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Lamictal may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Important safety information:
- Lamictal may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Lamictal with caution. Do not drive or perform other possible unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do not take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Do not suddenly stop taking Lamictal or change your dose without checking with your doctor. Doing so may increase seizure frequency. If you need to stop taking Lamictal, your dose should be gradually reduced over a period of at least 2 weeks.
- If you stop taking Lamictal for any reason, contact your doctor right away. Do not start taking it again unless your doctor tells you to. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- If you develop new or worsening seizures, contact your doctor right away.
- Patients who take Lamictal may be at increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. The risk may be greater in patients who have had suicidal thoughts or actions in the past. Patients who have bipolar (manic-depressive) illness may also have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. Watch patients who take Lamictal closely. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
- Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may change the amount of Lamictal in your blood. Talk to your doctor before you start or stop taking hormonal birth control while you are taking Lamictal. Women who take hormonal birth control may be at greater risk of side effects during the week of inactive pills in their pack. Contact your doctor if side effects, such as dizziness, decreased coordination, or double vision, occur.
- Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using Lamictal. Check with your doctor if you have questions about how Lamictal might affect your hormonal birth control. Contact your doctor right away if you notice any unusual vaginal bleeding or spotting. If you wish to avoid pregnancy, talk with your doctor about the use of effective birth control methods.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Lamictal before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Lamictal. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Different medicines may look like or have names similar to Lamictal. Always check your medicine to make sure it is correct. If you notice any change in the appearance of your medicine (eg, shape, color, size, wording), check with your pharmacist.
- Caution is advised when using Lamictal in children; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially the risk of serious rash.
- Increased sensitivity to the sun has been reported in some children taking Lamictal. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if your child will be exposed to the sun. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Lamictal should be used with extreme caution in children younger 18 years with bipolar disorder; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- Lamictal should be used with extreme caution in children younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Lamictal may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Lamictal while you are pregnant. Lamictal is found in breast milk. Do not breastfeed while taking Lamictal.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Blurred or double vision; constipation; decreased coordination; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; nausea; painful menstrual periods; runny or stuffy nose; stomach upset or pain; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weakness; weight loss.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); absent menstrual period or other menstrual changes; calf pain or tenderness; chest pain; dark urine; difficult or painful urination; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; new or worsening mental or mood changes (eg, anxiety, depression, restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, behavior changes, suicidal thoughts or attempts); new or worsening seizures; pale stools; reddened, blistered, swollen, or peeling skin; severe muscle pain or tenderness; severe or persistent stomach pain; shortness of breath; sores in the mouth or around the eyes; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; swollen lymph glands; tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual weakness or tiredness; vaginal itching or discharge; vision changes; yellowing of the eyes or skin.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.