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Lamotrigine

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Anticonvulsant Lamictal Adult, Children

Lamotrigine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Lamotrigine cause?

Like all medicines, lamotrigine may cause side effects but not everyone experiences them. Consult your healthcare professional if any of the side effects lasts more than a few days or become severe and bothersome.

The common side effects of Lamotrigine include:

  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
    • Get up slowly from sitting or lying down position
  • Drowsiness, fatigue
    • Avoid driving, operating machinery or doing strenuous physical activities
  • Constipation
    • Drink more water, eat more high-fibre foods and exercise regularly
  • Nausea, vomiting
    • Take the medicine with or after food to reduce nausea and vomiting
    • Avoid food that is too rich, spicy or has strong smells
    • Do not take the medicine with carbonated drinks
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Blurred or double vision or uncontrolled eye jerking
  • Joint pain, neck pain, numbness in the hands and feet ("pins and needles" sensation)
  • Swelling of hands or legs from water retention - to tell your doctor if it worries you or does not go away
  • Painful menstruation

  • Skin rash
  • Blurred or double vision or abnormal eye movements
  • Prolonged fever or chills, flu-like symptoms, sore throat
  • Increase in seizures
  • Unusual bleeding and bruising
  • Liver problems: Dark coloured urine or light-coloured stools, yellowing of your eyes or skin, severe loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting that does not go away, pain, tenderness or unusual swelling over the liver area in the upper right belly

In rare cases, this medication may cause the following changes to a person's mental condition, especially in the first few weeks of treatment or during dose changes:

  • Worsening agitation, restlessness, violent behaviour, or
  • New or worsening thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life
  • Other changes in mood or behavior 

Please inform your doctor as soon as possible, or for your family or caregiver to inform your doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.

Do not stop taking this medication on your own without discussing with your doctor.

It is important to note that your doctor has prescribed this medication as he/she feels you will benefit more from taking this medication over the possible risks that it may cause, which have a low chance of occurring, and most people take this medication without any such problems.

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Lamotrigine , what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professionals if you have the following medical conditions before starting on Lamotrigine:

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Drug allergies

For female patients of child-bearing age: Discuss with your doctor regarding family planning if you will be starting or are currently taking Lamotrigine.

Tell your healthcare professional immediately if your seizures get worse or change differently after you start on this medicine.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Lamotrigine ?

  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine as it can cause excessive drowsiness.
  • Inform your healthcare professionals regarding your choices if you intend to use birth control while on Lamotrigine.
  • Please consult your healthcare professionals before using any other medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, supplements and herbal products as some of these may affect the medicine in your body.
  • Updated on Tuesday, June 30, 2020
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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