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|How does this medication work? What will it do for me?|
Lamotrigine belongs to a class of medications known as antiepileptics. It is used alone or in combination with other medications to manage seizures associated with epilepsy when other medications have not been effective or have been stopped. It is also used along with other medications to manage seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Lamotrigine works by decreasing the chemicals in the brain that are believed to contribute to seizures.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
|How should I use this medication?|
The recommended dose of lamotrigine varies according to a person's need and the other antiepileptic medications they are taking. In adults, lamotrigine is started at a low dose, ranging from 25 mg every other day to 50 mg once a day. Over a number of weeks, the dose is gradually increased until a maintenance dose is reached, ranging from 50 mg to 250 mg twice a day. In children, lamotrigine is given according to the weight of the child.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
The chewable tablets may be swallowed whole, chewed, or dissolved in a teaspoonful of water and then swallowed immediately.
Lamotrigine may be taken with or without food.
It is important to take this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
|What form(s) does this medication come in?|
|Who should NOT take this medication?|
Do not take this medication if you are allergic to lamotrigine or any ingredients of the medication.
|What side effects are possible with this medication?|
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
|Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?|
Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Birth control pills/hormone replacement therapy: The dose of lamotrigine you take may need to be adjusted if you start or stop oral contraceptives or other female hormonal treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy.
According to some case reports, when lamotrigine was taken in combination with these medications, the following effects occurred on a rare basis: seizures, unexpected pregnancies, and menstrual bleeding disorders (e.g., breakthrough bleeding).
You should not start or stop taking these medications without consulting your doctor. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience changes in your menstrual pattern such as breakthrough bleeding while taking lamotrigine with these medications.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: If you have uncontrolled epilepsy, you should not drive or handle potentially dangerous machinery. Common side effects of lamotrigine include dizziness, problems with muscle coordination, drowsiness, double vision, and blurred vision. You should not to undertake activities requiring mental alertness or physical coordination until you determine how lamotrigine affects you.
Hypersensitivity reaction: Lamotrigine has occasionally caused a hypersensitivity reaction that may be life-threatening or fatal. If you experience any rash, swelling of the face or lymph nodes around the neck, contact your doctor immediately.
Kidney function: If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: If you have reduced liver function or liver disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Rashes: Severe skin rashes leading to hospitalization have been reported by people taking lamotrigine. This appears more likely to happen if the dose is increased too quickly. The risk of a serious rash is higher for children and may be higher for people who have experienced rashes when taking other medication for epilepsy. Nearly all cases of serious rashes associated with lamotrigine have occurred within 2 to 8 weeks of the start of treatment. If you notice a skin rash, fever, or swollen glands, seek medical attention immediately.
Stopping the medication: Suddenly stopping any antiepileptic medication may cause rebound seizures. In general, the medication should be stopped gradually, as directed by your doctor, to minimize this risk. Before stopping lamotrigine, contact your doctor for guidance.
Suicidal or agitated behaviour: People with epilepsy sometimes experience depression. If you have depression or bipolar disorder, you may be at an increased risk of feeling agitated (restless, anxious, aggressive, emotional, and feeling not like themselves), or wanting to hurt yourself or others. If you experience these side effects or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Pregnancy: The use of lamotrigine during pregnancy has been associated with an increased number of cases of cleft palate, a birth defect. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Do not stop taking the medication until you've consulted your doctor, since doing so can cause rebound seizures that may be harmful to the mother and unborn baby.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking lamotrigine, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding. Generally, breast-feeding while taking lamotrigine is not recommended.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using lamotrigine for children under 16 years of age, other than those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, have not been established.
|What other drugs could interact with this medication?|
There may be an interaction between lamotrigine and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
The contents of this site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.
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