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Lamictal

 
  Generic Name: Lamotrigine (la MOE tri jeen)
 
  Brand Names: Lamictal  
     
   
 

What is Lamictal?

Lamictal is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant.

Lamictal is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat seizures in adults and children who are at least 2 years old. It is also used to delay mood episodes in adults with bipolar disorder.

Lamictal may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Lamictal

Lamictal may cause severe or life-threatening skin rash, especially in children and in people who are allergic to other seizure medications. Serious skin rash may also be more likely to occur if you are taking Lamictal together with valproic acid (Depakene) or divalproex (Depakote). Seek emergency medical attention if you have a fever, sore throat, swollen glands, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

If you have to stop taking Lamictal because of a serious skin rash, you may not be able to take it again in the future.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking Lamictal. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel better. You may have increased seizures if you stop taking Lamictal suddenly. You will need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Contact your doctor if your seizures get worse or you have them more often while taking Lamictal.

Taking this medication during early pregnancy can increase the risk of the baby being born with cleft lip or cleft palate. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant during treatment.

Before taking Lamictal

You should not use Lamictal if you are allergic to lamotrigine.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use Lamictal:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease; or

  • heart disease.

You may have thoughts about suicide while taking Lamictal. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

FDA pregnancy category C. Lamictal may be harmful to an unborn baby. Taking this medication during early pregnancy can increase the risk of the baby being born with cleft lip or cleft palate. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Your name may need to be listed on a Lamictal pregnancy registry when you start using this medication.

Lamotrigine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Lamictal?

Take Lamictal exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

The extended-release form of lamotrigine (Lamictal XR) may be used for different conditions than immediate-release lamotrigine is used for. Always check your refills to make sure you have received the correct brand and type of medicine prescribed by your doctor. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose over several weeks or months to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

To make sure you are taking the right dose of this medication, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

If you are switching to Lamictal from another anticonvulsant medication, carefully follow your doctor's instructions about timing and dosage when switching from one drug to another.

Lamictal can be taken with or without food.

Take the regular Lamictal tablet with a full glass of water.

To take the chewable dispersible tablet, you may either swallow it whole with a glass of water, or chew it first and then swallow it. You may also place the tablet into 1 teaspoon of water or diluted fruit juice and allow it to disperse in the liquid for about 1 minute. Gently swirl the liquid and then swallow all of the mixture right away. Do not save it for later use.

Do not stop taking Lamictal without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel better. You may have increased seizures if you stop taking Lamictal suddenly. You will need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Contact your doctor if your seizures get worse or you have them more often while taking this medication. Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking Lamictal, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking a seizure medication.

Birth control pills can make Lamictal less effective, which may result in increased seizures. Your Lamictal dose may need to be changed when you start or stop using birth control pills. You may also have side effects during the weeks when you are taking an inactive (placebo) pill from your birth control pack.

Tell your doctor if you plan to stop taking birth control pills.

It is important to use this medication regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store this medication at room temperature away from light and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include blurred vision, problems with coordination, increased seizures, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Lamictal?

Lamictal can cause side effects that may impair your vision or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.

Lamictal side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Lamictal: hives; fever; swollen glands; painful sores in or around your eyes or mouth; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

This medication may cause severe or life-threatening skin rash, especially in children and in people who are allergic to other seizure medications. Serious skin rash may also be more likely to occur if you are taking Lamictal together with valproic acid (Depakene) or divalproex (Depakote). Seek emergency medical attention if you have a fever, sore throat, swollen glands, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

If you have to stop taking Lamictal because of a serious skin rash, you may not be able to take it again in the future.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • the first sign of any skin rash;

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;

  • chest pain;

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness with fever or flu symptoms and dark colored urine; or

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious Lamictal side effects may include:

  • dizziness or drowsiness;

  • blurred vision;

  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach;

  • headache;

  • lack of coordination;

  • weight loss;

  • sleep problems (insomnia), unusual dreams; or

  • runny or stuffy nose.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Lamictal?

Birth control pills can make Lamictal less effective, resulting in increased seizures. Tell your doctor if you start or stop using birth control pills while you are taking this medicine. Your dose may need to be changed.

Before taking Lamictal, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • hormonal forms of birth control (pills, injections, implants, or skin patches);

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);

  • divalproex (Depakote);

  • oxcarbazepine (Trileptal);

  • phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);

  • primidone (Mysoline);

  • phenytoin (Dilantin);

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane); or

  • valproic acid (Depakene).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Lamictal. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Lamictal.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2009 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.01. Revision Date: 07/06/2009 4:25:21 PM.
 
 
 
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