How Effective is Lamictal & What are it’s Side Effects?

Lamictal or lamotrigine may trigger thoughts about suicide. While using lamictal or lamotrigine, you need regular checkups by the doctor. If you experience new or worsening symptoms, report them to your doctor. These symptoms may be changes in behavior and mood, anxiety, depression or feelings of hostility, agitation, restlessness hyperactivity (mentally or physically) or thoughts about hurting yourself or suicide.

How Effective is Lamictal?

How Effective is Lamictal?

Lamictal or lamotrigine also known as anticonvulsant is an anti-epileptic medication. Lamictal or lamotrigine can be used alone or combined with other medications for epileptic’s seizures treatment in both children and adults. Mood episodes in adults caused by bipolar disorder (manic depression) can also be delayed by lamotrigine.

Regular tablet and orally disintegrating tablet is typically the immediate release form of lamictal or lamotrigine and can be combined with other medications to treat seizures in children as young as 2 years old. This medication should not be used single in children or teenagers less than 16 years of age.

The extended form of lamictal or lamotrigine that is otherwise known as Lamictal XR should only be used to treat people with 13 years and above.

Important Information

Life threatening or severe skin rash may be a side effect of lamictal or lamotrigine especially in children and people who start at a high dose or people who take divalproex (depakote) or valproic acid (depakene).

If you have sore throat, fever, swelling on the tongue or face, skin pain, burning in the eyes and purple or red skin rush which spreads (especially on the upper body and face) causing peeling and blistering then you should seek emergency medical attention.

Lamictal or lamotrigine medication should not be stopped without consultations with your doctor even if you feel fine. Seizures may increase of there is a sudden stop of using lamictal or lamotrigine. If seizures get worse or if they become often while under this medication then you need to tell your doctor about it. Lamictal or lamotrigine can increase the risk of a baby being born with cleft palate or cleft lip if it is used during early pregnancy. You need to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you get pregnant during treatment.

Before Taking Lamictal

If you are allergic to lamictal or lamotrigine then you should not take Lamictal. To ensure your safety before using lamictal or lamotrigine, tell your doctor if you have:

While using lamictal or lamotrigine, you need to visit the doctor regularly to have him check on your progress because some people have thoughts about killing themselves while taking this drug. Your family and people who take care of you should also be alert to changes in your symptoms and moods.

Do not start or halt lamictal or lamotrigine medication during pregnancy without advice from your doctor. Both the mother and the baby risk harm when the pregnant mother experiences seizures. This is one of the reasons you should tell your doctor immediately you become pregnant.

Your name may be listed on the pregnancy registry if you are pregnant. This helps in tracking of the outcome of the pregnancy and evaluation of any effects of lamictal or lamotrigine on the child.

Birth control pills may result in increased seizures as they make lamictal or lamotrigine less effective. It is important to inform your doctor if you stop or start using birth control pills while under Lamictal medication. This may lead to the doctor changing your lamictal or lamotrigine dosage.

There are possibilities for lamictal or lamotrigine passing into the breast milk and harming a nursing baby. It is therefore important to inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

The risk of severe dangerous skin rash may be increased by taking too much of this medicine during the beginning of the treatment.

What are the Side Effects of Lamictal?

If you have any signs of an allergic reaction to lamictal or lamotrigine then you need emergency medical help. The allergic reactions may be: fever, hives, swollen glands; painful sores around or in the eyes and mouth, breathing difficulties, swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat.

If you have signs of a life threatening skin rash then you should seek emergency medical attention. Sore throat, fever, swelling on your tongue or face, skin pain, burning in the eyes, purple or red skin rash which spreads especially on the upper body or face causing blistering and peeling should be attended to by a doctor immediately.

You may not be able to take lamictal or lamotrigine in future if you stop taking it because of serious skin rash.

Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the doctor. The symptoms may include; depression, behavior or mood changes, anxiety or feeling of agitation, hostility, restlessness, hyperactivity (physically or mentally) or having thoughts of hurting yourself or even committing suicide.

Call your doctor immediately if you have the below severe side effects of lamictal or lamotrigine:

  • The first skin rash sign no matter how mild it is
  • Menstrual periods changes
  • Flu like symptoms-low blood cell count, mouth sores, skin sores, swollen gums, rapid heart rate, easy bruising, pale skin, feeling light headed and unusual bleeding.
  • Signs of brain inflammation- chills, fever, increased sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, purple spots on the skin, drowsiness and confusion.
  • Signs of body inflammation- severe tingling or numbness, swollen glands, muscle weakness, Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), upper stomach pain, new or worsening cough with fever, chest pain, trouble in breathing.

Lamictal or lamotrigine common side effects include:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 10, 2019

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