Lamictal has a relatively low risk of causing side effects, but these need to be followed carefully as they may be indicators of more serious effects. Common side effects of lamotrigine include
- Feeling unexpectedly drowsy, sleepy or dizzy
- Feelings of aggression, irritability or agitation
- Shaking or tremors
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nausea or vomiting
- Mild skin rash.
These side effects are generally mild and go away on their own. If they persist or get work, consult soon with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
There have been rare reports of a serious, life-threatening skin rash known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. It can start with flu-like symptoms, followed by a painful rash that spreads and blisters. This must be treated as an emergency and the person should be taken to an emergency clinic together with the medication history to enable rapid diagnosis and treatment.
The FDA has issued a warning that Lamictal can in rare cases cause aseptic meningitis. The main symptoms of aseptic meningitis are fever, neck pain or stiffness, photophobia, headache, nausea or vomiting and perhaps altered mental status. If such symptoms present together and persits, it is essential to stop treatment and go immediately to an emergency healthcare facility with details of the medications being taken.
Lamictal has three main uses:
- As an adjective therapy for young epileptic patients two years of age and older suffering partial or primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and the severe condition known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
- As a monotherapy for epileptic patients 13 years and older. Treatment of epilepsy with a single drug has many advantages, such as fewer adverse events and better tolerability, avoidance of drug interactions, reduced treatment costs, and improved compliance. Monotherapy is usually the preferred initial treatment for adults.
- To treat depression in adults and teenagers over the age of 16 diagnosed with bipolar I disorder (also known as manic-depressive disorder). This disorder is a form of mental illness in which a person displays periods of abnormally elevated or irritable moods, in a cycle with episodes of deep depression. Manic episodes in bipolar I disorder require treatment with drugs, such as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics like Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid). Lamictal is especially effective in treating or preventing manias or depressions.
Lamictal comes in two forms – either in extended-release (LTG-XR) form, which is good for long-term maintenance, or immediate release lamotrigine (LTG-IR), when the patient’s levels of depression are deep, or the threat of suicide becomes more real.
Lamictal brand pill comes in a chewable tablet in strengths from 5 mg up to 200 mg, or generic Lamogine in 100 mg tablets. The prescribing healthcare professional will select the appropriate form and dosage.