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Lamictal Side Effects

Lamictal is commonly prescribed for the treatment of bipolar disorder and epilepsy. In particular, it is prescribed to control partial seizures in people with epilepsy. It is typically used in combination with other antiepileptic medications or as a replacement for a medication such as phenobarbital, Tegretol, Dilantin, or Mysoline.

Common Lamictal Side Effects

Blurred vision, headache, nausea, rash, dizziness, double vision, sleepiness, uncoordinated movements, vomiting.

Less Common Lamictal Side Effects

Depression, diarrhea, fever, "flu-like" symptoms, abdominal pain, accidental injury, sore throat, tremor, anxiety, constipation, increased cough, inflammation of the vagina, irritability, painful menstruation

It is quite possible for side effects other than those listed above to occur. If this happens and/or if any seem particularly strange or bothersome, contact a doctor as quickly as possible. It is particularly important that a doctor be contacted if you are taking Lamictal and notice redness of skin or swelling as side effects. Some patients (particularly younger ones) have suffered potentially fatal rashes which resulted in the FDA having the labeling of this medicine changed so that it better reflects potential side effects.

Special Lamictal Precautions

It is possible that you may develop a rash during the first two to eight weeks of Lamictal therapy (especially if you are also taking Depakene). If this occurs, notify your doctor immediately as it is possible for this rash to become severe and even dangerous, particularly in children. A slight possibility of this problem remains for up to six months.

The effects of Lamictal during pregnancy have not been studied adequately. If you are pregnant (or plan to), let your doctor know immediately. Lamictal should be used during pregnancy only if it is clearly needed. Lamictal appears in breast milk and because the effects of Lamictal on an infant that has been exposed to this medication are unknown, breastfeeding is definitely not recommended.

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to this prescription medication, you should not take it. Ensure that your doctor is aware of any and all drug reactions that you may have experienced in the past. Be sure also to inform your doctor about any medical problems that you have before starting therapy with Lamictal. If you have kidney/liver disease, or heart problems, Lamictal should be prescribed with caution.

Lamictal may cause some individuals to become drowsy, dizzy, or less alert. You should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any activity that requires full mental alertness until you are certain that this medication does not have this sort of effect on you. Lamictal may also cause problems with vision. If any develop, inform your doctor immediately. Also be quick to call your doctor if you develop a fever or have any other signs of an allergic reaction. Finally, notify your doctor also if your seizures seem to have gotten worse.

If Lamictal is taken with certain other drugs (particularly other medications for seizures), the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Lamictal with any of the following drugs - Carbamazepine (Tegretol); Phenobarbital (Donnatal, Quadrinal, others); Phenytoin (Dilantin); Primidone (Mysoline); Valproic acid (Depakene). Lamictal may also inhibit the action of sulfa drugs such as Proloprim, Bactrim, and Septra.

Warning: This information is intended to supplement, not be a substitute for the expertise and judgment of a doctor. Please consult a doctor for final and more detailed information about the possible side effects of this prescription medication.
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