Lamotrigine is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat epilepsy (also known as fits or seizures).
It is also used to treat a mood disturbance called bipolar disorder.
Take Lamotrigine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take Lamotrigine with or without food.
Lamotrigine is available as a normal tablet, chewable/dispersible tablet or an extended-release tablet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist on how to take this medicine as certain preparations and brands may be taken differently.
If you are taking the normal tablet, swallow it whole with water.
If you are taking the chewable/dispersible tablet, you may swallow it whole, chew, or disperse it in water. After dispersing in water, make sure that you drink the entire glass of water dose immediately.
If you are taking the extended-release tablet (may be labelled “XR”), swallow it whole. Do not chew, crush or divide the tablet.
Lamotrigine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Lamotrigine even when you feel better. Lamotrigine is not a cure and you may need to take it long-term to keep the seizures under control. Do not stop taking Lamotrigine unless instructed by your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Inform your doctor if you have:
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- recently taken or are still taking other epilepsy medicines, especially sodium valproate
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while being treated with Lamotrigine. You may need to take folate supplements. Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
Lamotrigine may cause drowsiness, tiredness and dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, irritability, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dry mouth, anxiety, problems sleeping, difficulty in controlling movements such as unsteadiness in walking or involuntary eye movements, tics or tremor, double or blurred vision and joint or back pain.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you have or experience:
- rashes, with or without peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
- swelling of the eyes, face or lips or breathing difficulties
- persistent fever or sore throat or mouth ulcers
- extensive or unusual bleeding or bruising
- yellowing of the skin or eyes with abdominal pain or persistent tiredness, nausea or vomiting
- confusion or hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having thoughts of self-harm)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for epilepsy e.g. sodium valproate, carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone
- medicine to treat TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin
- medicines for HIV infections e.g. ritonavir, atazanavir
- hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control pills e.g. oestrogen
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Lamotrigine.
Inform your doctor if you are currently taking birth control pills as this can reduce the effectiveness of Lamotrigine. You should not stop or start any birth control pills without first informing your doctor. Ask your doctor about using non-hormonal birth control as an alternative while being treated with Lamotrigine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.