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.