Lamictal is an antiepileptic drug used for treating partial seizures and generalized tonic-clonic seizures and seizures associated with the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It is approved for use in combination with other antiepileptic drugs. Lamictal is also approved for conversion to monotherapy in patients who are taking another antiepileptic drug (in other words, if you are taking another antiepileptic medication, you can be switched to Lamictal as a single drug therapy by your doctor). Other approved indications for Lamictal include the treatment of bipolar disorder.
Lamictal is available in chewable tablets (2 mg, 5 mg, 25 mg) and in tablets (25 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg and 200 mg).
What side effects can be caused by Lamictal?
Just like other drugs, Lamictal can cause side effects. Also, every patient is different. If you experience any bothersome side effects, report them to your doctor. (There is a risk of serious side effects, including death, with all medications that are used to treat seizures; however, the risk is exceedingly small). This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Please refer to the package insert for more details about Lamictal.
Some of the common side effects of Lamictal include:
Rash. The incidence of rash is approximately 5-10%. The rash usually occurs in the first 4-6 weeks of treatment. The incidence of rash is higher when Lamictal is added to Depakote and it is higher in children. The risk of rash is lower if the dose Lamictal is increased slowly over several weeks.
Rare but serious side effects:
Failure of other organs
In rare instances, the rash can progress to serious and potentially life-threatening skin conditions called "Stevens-Johnson syndrome" or "Toxic epidermal necrolysis."
Women who plan to have children should consult with their doctor about the possible effects on the fetus.
How should I take Lamictal?
It is important that you take the total dose of Lamictal as prescribed by your doctor. Lamictal is normally taken one or two times a day. A convenient dosing would be at breakfast and at bedtime. Do not stop this medication without the advice of your doctor; doing so may result in an increase in seizures.
Does Lamictal interact with any other medications?
Tegretol/Carbatrol (carbamazepine), Depakote/Depakene (divalproex sodium or valproic acid), Dilantin/Phenytek (phenytoin), phenobarbital, primidone and oral contraceptives may affect lamotrigine levels in the bloodstream.
This list is not meant to be complete. Please ask your doctor about any specific drug-drug interactions, especially when starting a new prescribed or over-the-counter drug.
Can I take Lamictal with food or other medications?
Yes, Lamictal can be taken with meals and at the same time as other medications.