Rarely, serious (sometimes fatal) skin rashes have occurred while taking this medication. These rashes are more common in children under 16 than in adults. Rashes may be more likely if you start at too high a dose, if you increase your dose too quickly, or if you take this medication with certain other anti-seizure medications (valproic acid, divalproex). These rashes may occur anytime during use, but most serious rashes have occurred within 2 to 8 weeks of starting lamotrigine.
Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any type of skin rash while taking this medication, or if you have hives, fever, swollen lymph glands, painful sores in the mouth or around the eyes, or swelling of the lips or tongue. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking lamotrigine. Even after you stop taking this medication, it is still possible for the rash to become life-threatening or cause permanent scars or other problems.Who should not take lamotrigine?
This product is used to prevent or control seizures (epilepsy).
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used to help prevent the extreme mood swings of bipolar disorder in adults.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking lamotrigine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication with or without food, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and use of certain interacting drugs. (See also Drug Interactions section.) If you are being switched from the immediate release form of this medication, your doctor will usually start you on a dose similar to what you were taking with the immediate release form.
It is very important to follow your doctor's dosing instructions exactly. The dose must be increased slowly. It may take several weeks or months to reach the best dose for you and to get the full benefit from this medication. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Also, if you have stopped taking this medication, do not restart lamotrigine without consulting your doctor.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
See also Warning section.
Dizziness, drowsiness, headache, blurred/double vision, lack of coordination, shaking (tremor), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or hot flushes may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizure, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor immediately if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: fainting, easy bruising/bleeding, stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, signs of infection (such as fever, stiff neck, persistent sore throat), muscle pain/tenderness, change in the amount of urine, unusual tiredness, fast heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before taking lamotrigine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This drug may make you dizzy, drowsy, or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, loss of coordination, or fainting. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. However, since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy. Since birth control pills, patches, implants, and injections may not work if taken with this medication (see also Drug Interactions section), discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before breast-feeding.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Other medications can affect the removal of lamotrigine from your body, which may affect how lamotrigine works. Examples include hormonal birth control (such as pills, patches), estrogens, other medications to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, valproic acid), and rifampin, among others. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of lamotrigine if you are on these medications or if you stop these medications. If you are using hormonal birth control or estrogens, tell your doctor immediately of any changes in your menstrual pattern (such as breakthrough bleeding).
This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness, including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, unusual eye movements (nystagmus), loss of consciousness.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver/kidney function, complete blood count) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
There are different types of this medication available. Some do not have the same effects. There are also some medications that sound the same as this product. Make sure you have the right product before taking it.
It is important to take each dose at the scheduled time. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised December 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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