LaMICtal

1 What is LaMICtal?

Brand: LaMICtal, LaMICtal CD, LaMICtal XR

Generic: Lamotrigine

LaMICtal is used to treat epileptic seizures in adults and children. Lamotrigine is also used to delay the onset of mood episodes (sudden swings of mania and depression) in adult patients with bipolar disorder.

Lamotrigine is an anticonvulsant. The exact manner on how it works for epilepsy and bipolar disorders is not well known, but it may inhibit the spread of electrical signals that cause seizures.

Epilepsy is a condition characterized by frequent occurrence of seizures. Anticonvulsant drugs like Lamotrigine works for epilepsy by reducing the occurrence of seizures.

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual and sudden shifts in mood, energy, and activity. Someone with bipolar disorder experiences highs and lows in emotion in a short period of time. Lamotrigine works for bipolar disorder by delaying the onset of sudden mood changes. However, Lamotrigine is not the treatment for bipolar disorder, and it is not proven to treat mood episodes caused by the condition.

For treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder, Lamotrigine may be used alone.

Lamotrigine is available in immediate-release and extended-release forms. Immediate-release Lamotrigine (Lamictal, Lamictal ODT) can be used in children as young as 2 years old, in combination with other medicines. Note that Immediate-release Lamotrigine should not be used as a single treatment for patients younger than 16 years old. Extended-release Lamotrigine (Lamictal XR) can be used by adults and children older than 13 years old.

Lamotrigine is a prescription medicine.

Lamotrigine is known to cause serious skin rashes that require hospital care and discontinuation of treatment. Only use Lamotrigine following doctor’s instructions.

2 What to know before using

Before using LaMICtal, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

Note that Lamotrigine may cause life-threatening skin rash, which you must discuss with your doctor before receiving treatment. Chances of serious skin reactions are high if you take Lamotrigine with other medications such as Valproic acid and Divalproex. Note that Valproic acid and Divalproex is also used to treat seizures. Call your doctor first before discontinuing use of any drug used for treating seizures.

If you are receiving Lamotrigine, call your doctor right away if you experience purple or red painful skin rash with fever, sore throat and swelling of the face, and peeling or blistering of the skin.

If you experienced allergies to Lamotrigine before, tell it to your doctor. You cannot use Lamotrigine if you are allergic to it.

Before starting treatment with Lamotrigine, mention all your health problems to the doctor.

The doctor needs to know if you have the following conditions:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • History of depression, suicidal thoughts and attempts
  • Skin rash
  • Meningitis
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Blood disorders such as anemia, too low platelets, and white blood cell count, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia and red blood cell aplasia
  • Allergies to other anticonvulsants or anti-seizure medicines

Because Lamotrigine may induce suicidal behavior, you need to be monitored by close family members when taking the drug.

Discontinuing Lamotrigine suddenly may induce seizures. Do not stop using Lamotrigine without your doctor’s permission.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, tell it to your doctor before receiving Lamotrigine. Lamotrigine is not proven totally safe for unborn babies in pregnant women. However, seizures are more threatening to the life of the baby and the mother. The doctor will have to weight benefits and risks in prescribing Lamotrigine to pregnant patients. Breastfeeding should not be done while receiving Lamotrigine because it may be expressed in breast milk.

Birth control pills are known to reduce the effectiveness of Lamotrigine. If you are prescribed with Lamotrigine, you need to tell your doctor if you are starting or stopping the use of birth control pills. The doctor may have to adjust your dose of Lamotrigine.

Tell the doctor all the medicines you take before receiving Lamotrigine to avoid drug interactions.

The doctor needs to know if you take the following medicines before prescribing Lamotrigine:

  • Propoxyphene
  • Buprenorphine
  • Divalproex sodium
  • Dofetilide
  • Sodium oxybate
  • Valproic acid

3 Proper usage

To use LaMICtal properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Doctor’s orders in purchasing Lamotrigine.

The doctor will determine your dose of Lamotrigine, and he or she may adjust your dose occasionally to achieve best results on seizures. It is very important to follow doctor’s prescribed dose in taking Lamotrigine.

aking too much Lamotrigine can greatly increase the risk of serious skin rash while taking too little increases risk of seizures.

Take Lamotrigine tablets by mouth. Do not chew, break or crush Lamotrigine tablets. Lamotrigine can be taken with or without food.

If you are prescribed with Lamotrigine orally disintegrating tablets (ODT), do not swallow it. First, place the tablet on the tongue and allow it to dissolve without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves, and drink a liquid to help make swallowing easier.

If you are prescribed with Lamotrigine chewable dispersible tablet, note that you can swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water or chewed first and then swallowed. Alternatively, you can add liquid on the tablet, allowed to mix, and swallow the mixture right away.

Use Lamotrigine daily and consistently for the best benefit, even if you feel fine. Refill your prescription once your supply runs low.

If you missed a dose of Lamotrigine, take it as soon as you remember. It is very important not to miss several doses of Lamotrigine.If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed Lamotrigine dose and take the drug as usual. Do not increase the dose of Lamotrigine to make up for the missed dose.

Overdose and serious skin reactions can occur if you took too much Lamotrigine. Overdose symptoms include:

  • blurred vision,
  • body coordination problems,
  • increased seizures,
  • lightheadedness,
  • fainting.

Call your doctor right away if these symptoms appear. If you took too much Lamotrigine, call emergency hotlines immediately.

Store Lamotrigine at room temperature away from light and moisture. Keep Lamotrigine tablets away from children and pets.

4 Precautions to take

Before using LaMICtal, there are some precautions you must take.

Always take Lamotrigine as prescribed, even if you do not feel any symptoms or seizures. Stopping or missing several doses of Lamotrigine greatly increases the risk of seizures. Do not discontinue taking Lamotrigine without doctor’s permission. Lamotrigine is normally discontinued by gradually reducing or tapering the dose.

Wear a medical jewelry or ID tag stating that you take Lamotrigine. If you receive care from a dentist, emergency care services, or another doctor, tell them you are taking Lamotrigine.

Lamotrigine may cause a false positive drug test result. Tell the laboratory staff you are taking Lamotrigine.

If you are taking Lamotrigine, make sure your family is able to monitor you at all times. If you have depression or thoughts of suicide, call your doctor right away.

The doctor will order lab tests while you are receiving Lamotrigine to monitor your condition. Make sure not to miss any lab or doctor appointments while receiving Lamotrigine.

Lamotrigine may cause drowsiness, blurred vision, impaired thinking and reaction times, so do not drive or perform unsafe activities after taking the drug.

If you are receiving Lamotrigine and became pregnant or breastfeeding, call your doctor right away.

5 Potential side effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with LaMICtal.

Call your doctor if you experience the following side effects while taking Lamotrigine:

  • Serious allergic reactions such as hives, skin rash, fever, swollen glands, painful sores around eyes or mouth, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat.
  • Serious skin rash symptoms such as fever, sore throat, swelling of the face or tongue, burning pain in the eyes, skin, the appearance of red or purple rash in the face and upper body that causes blistering or peeling.
  • Low blood cell counts symptoms such as flu, fever, chills, headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, purple spots on the skin, confusion, and drowsiness
  • Inflammation symptoms such as swollen glands, severe tingling or numbness, muscle weakness, upper stomach pain, jaundice, chest pain, new or a worsening cough with fever, and trouble breathing
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicidal attempt
  • Mood changes such as depression, anxiety, and hostility
  • Agitation
  • Hyperactivity, mentally or physically
  • Any skin rash, no matter how mild
  • Changes in menses

Lamotrigine may cause minor side effects such as:

  • A headache and dizziness
  • Blurring or double vision
  • Tremors
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Flu-like symptoms, sore throat, fever, and runny nose
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
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