lamotrigine, Lamictal, Lamictal CD, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal XR

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is lamotrigine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Lamotrigine is an oral drug that is used primarily for treating seizures. It is chemically unrelated to other anti-seizure drugs. The precise mechanism by which lamotrigine exerts its anti-seizure action is not known. The FDA approved lamotrigine in December 1974.

What brand names are available for lamotrigine?

Lamictal, Lamictal CD, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal XR, Lamictal Starter

Is lamotrigine available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for lamotrigine?

Yes

What are the side effects of lamotrigine?

The most common side effects of lamotrigine are:

Severe, life-threatening rashes have occurred with lamotrigine. The risk of rash is increased if the dose is increased faster than recommended or if patients also are taking valproic acid. Patients taking lamotrigine should report any rash to a physician immediately.

Other important side effects include:

Multiorgan failure, including fatal liver disease rarely has been observed during lamotrigine treatment.

As a general rule, anti-seizure medications should not be abruptly stopped because of the possibility of increasing the frequency of seizures. In most cases, the dose of lamotrigine should be gradually lowered over a period of at least two weeks. Antiepileptic medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need for the drugs. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.

Quick GuideEpilepsy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Epilepsy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
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