Lamotrigine, also known by the brand name Lamictal, is a prescription medication used in the treatment of several conditions. Lamotrigine helps to relieve various types of seizures, particularly from epilepsy and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It also combats the symptoms of bipolar disorder, though it is not a cure for any of these conditions. The side effects of lamotrigine include changes in vision, dizziness, nausea and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Lamotrigine is primarily prescribed to treat epileptic seizures, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a type of epilepsy that begins in early childhood), and bipolar disorder. Lamotrigine comes in pill form and is typically taken once or twice per day, depending on the patient and the specific condition being treated. The dosage is usually started low and increased over time to limit the scope of potential complications. Certain types of medications are best avoided while using lamotrigine; it may not be prescribed side-by-side with oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. While most patients react well to lamotrigine, it can sometimes cause serious adverse reactions.
According to the UK National Health Service, the most common side effects of lamotrigine or Lamictal are headaches, dizziness, feeling tired, impaired coordination, nausea, and vomiting. Other moderate side effects of lamotrigine are dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, nasal congestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and weight loss, per the University of Maryland Medical Center. These side effects are typically mild and not harmful medically, but if they worse or fail to ease over time, inform your doctor.
Lamotrigine can also cause some serious complications. According to the University of Michigan Health System, one serious side effect of lamotrigine is Stevens-Johnson syndrome. In Stevens-Johnson syndrome, sores develop on the eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals and severe complications can arise. It can lead damage to the skin, eyes, and internal organs and it can become fatal. If sores or rashes develop, stop taking lamotrigine and seek medical attention.
According to the Mayo Clinic, other serious side effects of lamotrigine or Lamictal include blurry or double vision, chest pain, fever, chills, cloudy urine or blood in urine, blood in stool, and yellowing of the skin or eyes. In rare, cases, lamotrigine can even worsen existing symptoms of the condition being treated. In the event of an allergic reaction, symptoms can include hives, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Lamotrigine, marketed as Lamictal, is a prescription drug used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder. Common side effects of lamotrigine include blurred vision, headaches, and nausea. More serious reactions can occur, including dangerous skin sores known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Seek immediate medical attention for any severe side effects of lamotrigine.
Lamotrigine. National Health Service.
Lamotrigine (By Mouth). University of Maryland Medical Center.
Lamotrigine (Oral Route). Mayo Clinic.
Mood-stabilizing medicines for bipolar disorder. University of Michigan Health System.