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Lamictal (Generic)

Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is prescribed to control partial seizures in people with epilepsy. It is also used to control a serious form of epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Lamotrigine is used in combination with other antiepileptic medications or as a replacement for a medication such as Tegretol, Dilantin, phenobarbital, or Mysoline.


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*Lamictal® is a registered trademark of GSK.

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Uses

Lamotrigine is used in combination with other anti-seizure drugs in the treatment of some types of seizures. It also is used alone for treating partial seizures in patients 16 years and older when converting from the anti-epileptic drug valproate.
In addition, Lamotrigine is used to help prevent the manic and/or depressive phases of bipolar disorder.

How to take

·1 Take Lamotrigine by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
·2 Lamotrigine has a bitter taste. Do not crush or chew before swallowing. The tablet may be broken in half if your doctor tells you to do so.
·3 Continue to take Lamotrigine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.

Side effects

Severe, life-threatening rashes have occurred with lamotrigine. The risk in children (for whom lamotrigine is not approved) is as high as 1 in 50 to 1 in 100 patients. Rash is rare in adults, but the risk is increased if the dose is increased faster than recommended or if patients also are taking valproic acid. Nearly all reported rashes have occurred within 2 to 8 weeks of starting therapy. Patients taking lamotrigine should report any rash to a physician immediately.
Severe liver disease has been reported with lamotrigine rarely (less than 1 per 1000 patients).
As a general rule, anti-seizure medicines should not be abruptly stopped because of the possibility of increasing the frequency of seizures. In most cases, the dose of lamotrigine should be gradually lowered over a period of at least two weeks.
The most commonly noted side effects reported by patients taking lamotrigine (in combination with other anti-seizure medicines) are dizziness, somnolence, headache, double vision, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting and rash.

Precaution

Tell your doctor if you have: other illnesses, heart problems, liver problems, kidney problems, allergies (especially drug allergies). Sunscreen and/or protective clothing is recommended to protect against possible severe rash triggered by sunlight. Use caution operating machinery or engaging in activities requiring alertness. Limit alcohol intake while taking this drug. This medication should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug is excreted into breast milk. Due to possible risks to nursing infants, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor.

Drug interactions

Lamotrigine can interact with valproic acid. When lamotrigine is begun in patients already receiving valproic acid, the blood concentrations of valproic acid can decrease over a 3-week period. This may result in loss of seizure control. The risk of severe skin rash may be increased by combining lamotrigine with valproic acid.
There may be a higher incidence of dizziness, double vision, and blurred vision in patients receiving carbamazepine together with lamotrigine. The mechanism of this interaction is unclear.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.