Lamotrigine (Lamictal®)

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Lamotrigine (la MOE tri jeen) is most commonly used to treat seizures and mood disorders. 

Remember

  • Lamotrigine may be affected by other drugs used to prevent seizures. Tell your doctor if your child is taking any other medicine.
  • Extended release lamotrigine tablets allow the dose of medicine to be given once daily. Do not crush, break or let your child chew them. This can cause the medicine not to work or to cause more side effects.
  • Regular lamotrigine (immediate release) can be crushed and given with small amounts of food.
  • Read the label carefully and make sure you are giving your child the proper amount. It is easy to confuse the many different dosage forms and strengths.
  • Give the exact dose of medicine that your doctor ordered.
  • Stay with your child until they have swallowed the dose of medicine.

If You Forget to Give a Dose

Missing one or more doses of medicine may increase the risk of a seizure.

If you forget to give a dose of medicine, give it as soon as you remember. Do not give it closer than 4 hours before the next dose.

Food and Medicine Interactions

Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, vitamins and antacids are generally safe to give with lamotrigine. Check with the doctor or pharmacist before giving other over-the-counter medicines.

If a Dose Is Vomited

If your child throws up within 15 minutes of taking his medicine, you can repeat the dose one time. If they vomit again, do not give any more medicine. Wait until the next scheduled dose and try again. If they throw up and it has been 15 minutes or more since taking the medicine, do not give any more medicine. The medicine has already been absorbed into their body.

Possible Side Effects

  • Skin rash severe at times (Stevens Johnson reaction)
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness or insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight

Anti-seizure medicines may increase the risk of suicidal behavior or thoughts. If you notice these thoughts or any unusual changes in behavior, call your child’s doctor right away or consider emergency help.

What to Do About Side Effects

  • If a skin rash occurs, stop giving the medicine and call your child's doctor.
  • If your child becomes drowsy, do not let them ride a bike or operate machinery (such as a lawnmower or car) or take part in any activities where they must stay alert.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your child's doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • If your child has a rash or irritation of the eyes or mouth.
  • If your child is having any side effects that continue or are very bothersome.
  • If you notice a change in the number of seizures your child has.

When You Get the Prescription Filled

  • Have your pharmacist give you 2 labeled containers if your child care provider will be giving this medicine.
  • Get this prescription refilled at least 3 days before the last dose is given. This is very important.

Storage of Medicine

  • Store all medicine out of the reach of children.
  • Always keep medicine in the original container from the pharmacy.
  • If lamotrigine is compounded into a liquid, it is best to refrigerate it.
  • Do not use this medicine after the expiration date printed on the container.

Safety Tips

  • Do not stop giving this medicine or change the amount given without first talking with your child's doctor or pharmacist. Stopping this medicine may increase the number or severity of seizures that your child has.
  • Tell your child's doctor and pharmacist if your child has an unusual or allergic reaction to any medicine.
  • If you carry medicine in your purse, keep it in its childproof container and keep your purse out of the reach of children.
  • Bring all your child's medicines with you in the original containers whenever your child sees a doctor, goes to an emergency room or is admitted to the hospital. This helps doctors who may not know your child.
  • Learn the name, spelling and dose of this medicine. Also, teach your child if they are old enough. You will need to know this information when you call your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If your child or someone else takes too much of this medicine, first call the Central Ohio Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 (TTY 614-228-2272). They will tell you what to do.
  • The doctor has prescribed this medicine for your child only. Do not give to anyone else.
  • Tell your child's teacher, school nurse, coach, babysitter and others your child is taking this medicine and what side effects to watch for.

Female Patients

If a patient thinks they might be pregnant or is thinking of becoming pregnant, they should tell the doctor before beginning this medicine or while taking this medicine.

There are pregnancy registries to help gain information about babies born to mothers who took Lamictal when pregnant. Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for more information.

If a patient is breastfeeding their baby, they should tell the doctor before beginning this medicine or while taking this medicine. This medicine may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in the baby.

Lamotrigine (Lamictal®) (PDF)

HH-V-183 ©2003, revised 2020, Nationwide Children’s Hospital