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Common Brand Names: Lamictal

Side Effects & Precautions

Medically reviewed by Jessica Swirble, PharmD
Last updated on 5/14/2024

Drug Information | Side Effects | Use & Dosage | Request a Prescription

What are the side effects of lamotrigine?

The use of lamotrigine can lead to various side effects in some individuals.

Common mild side effects of lamotrigine use include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Rash

More severe side effects of lamotrigine use can include:

  • Severe rash, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Severe allergic reactions (such as rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, trouble breathing)
  • Multi-organ hypersensitivity (which can affect the liver or kidney and can be fatal)
  • Blood disorders (such as neutropenia, anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia)
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Aseptic meningitis (symptoms include headache, fever, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, rash, and sensitivity to light)
  • Severe neurological disturbances (such as ataxia, tremor, seizures)

If you experience any severe or concerning side effects while taking lamotrigine, contact your healthcare provider right away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before using lamotrigine?

Tell your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions, allergies, or other medications you are taking before starting treatment with lamotrigine. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements, as they may interact with lamotrigine.

Tell your provider if you are taking these medications or supplements:

  • Oral contraceptives (birth control pills may decrease the level of lamotrigine)
  • Other medications for epilepsy (such as valproate, which can increase the level of lamotrigine)
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Heart rhythm medications
  • Rifampin
  • Ritonovir

You should also mention medical conditions such as:

  • Kidney or liver disease
  • History of depression or bipolar disorder
  • Previous allergic reactions to medications
  • Blood disorders
  • Heart disease or heart rhythm disorders

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, consult your healthcare provider before using lamotrigine to assess potential risks and benefits.

Are there any other special instructions I should follow?

Take lamotrigine exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not exceed the recommended dose or duration of treatment.

Lamotrigine should be taken with or without food, but try to be consistent in the way you take it to maintain even levels of the medicine in your body.

Monitor for signs of skin rash or allergic reactions, especially during the first few months of treatment or when changing doses.

What should I do in case of an overdose?

In case of a lamotrigine overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include severe dizziness, ataxia, unconsciousness, and seizures. If you suspect an overdose, contact the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222 or call emergency services.