lamotrigine

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Lamictal, |lamotrigine

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lamotrigine

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

What is lamotrigine?

Lamotrigine is an antiepileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant.

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

Lamotrigine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about lamotrigine?

This medication may cause severe or life-threatening skin rash, especially in children. Serious skin rash may also be more likely to occur if you are taking lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine because of a serious skin rash, you may not be able to take it again in the future.

Do not stop taking lamotrigine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel better. You may have increased seizures if you stop taking lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine. Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking lamotrigine, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking a seizure medication. Lamotrigine 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. 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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lamotrigine?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to lamotrigine.

Before taking lamotrigine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease; or

  • heart disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use lamotrigine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication 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 lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine?

Take this medication 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.

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 lamotrigine, 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 lamotrigine from another anticonvulsant medication, carefully follow your doctor"s instructions about timing and dosage when switching from one drug to another.

Lamotrigine can be taken with or without food.

Take the regular lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel better. You may have increased seizures if you stop taking lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine. Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking lamotrigine, 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 lamotrigine less effective, which may result in increased seizures. Your lamotrigine dose may need to be changed when you start or stop using birth control pills. You may also have lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine 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.

Symptoms of a lamotrigine overdose may include blurred vision, problems with coordination, increased seizures, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking lamotrigine?

Lamotrigine 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.

Lamotrigine side effects

This medication may cause severe or life-threatening skin rash, especially in children. Serious skin rash may also be more likely to occur if you are taking lamotrigine 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 lamotrigine because of a serious skin rash, you may not be able to take it again in the future.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • the first sign of any skin rash;

  • chest pain;

  • sudden bruising or bleeding;

  • pale skin, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or

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

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

  • dizziness or drowsiness;

  • blurred vision;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach;

  • headache;

  • lack of coordination;

  • weight loss;

  • anxiety, sleep problems (insomnia), unusual dreams; or

  • runny or stuffy nose.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect lamotrigine?

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

Before taking lamotrigine, 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).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use lamotrigine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect lamotrigine. 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 has information about lamotrigine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Lamotrigine is available with a prescription under the brand name Lamictal. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medicine, especially if it is new to you.

  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.02. Revision Date: 10/17/06 12:21:13 PM.




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