Lamictal Uses, Side Effects & Interactions

Lamictal is used to control seizures from epilepsy as well as the negative effects of bipolar disorder. Know its uses and side effects to take it properly.

Lamictal is used to help prevent seizures, most notably those caused by epilepsy. This medication is an anticonvulsant that is used to manage excess energy in the brain that can lead to a negative episode. It may take several weeks before you begin to feel the full effects of Lamictal. Continue taking your medication regularly during this time to ensure that your body adapts to it as quickly as possible. Once your symptoms begin to disappear, continue your medication as instructed to ensure that they do not return or become worse.

Indications and Usage

Lamictal is the brand name for lamotrigine, an extended release tablet that is used to help manage epilepsy. Lamictal is often used alongside other medications to help manage this condition. You may also be prescribed Lamictal to help manage Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and may be used to help increase the time between extremely depressive or manic states in those who suffer from bipolar disorder. If you are taking other medications for these disorders, your doctor may gradually decrease these doses as they increase the doses of Lamictal.

If you receive a disintegrating tablet that can be chewed or swallowed with water, read packaging instructions carefully to ensure that you remove it in such a way that it will not start disintegrating before you get it in your mouth. If you are given an extended release tablet you should not chew or crush it when you take your dose. You may take this medication with or without food. Doses are either given once or twice a day, and in some cases will be taken every other day during the early stages of treatment.

Lamictal Dosage

Adults treating bipolar disorder will be given 25 mg once a day for two weeks. This will then be increased to 50 mg per day in divided in two for an additional two weeks. After this trial time period is finished, doses may be increased up to 200 mg as necessary to help manage your condition. Those treating epilepsy will be given 25 mg once a day for two weeks, followed by 50 mg in divided doses for an additional two weeks. After this period doses may be increased up to 375 mg per day in divided doses as necessary.

Children under 12 treating bipolar disorder will need to work with a doctor to determine the most appropriate dosing size for their condition. Those treating epilepsy will be started on .6 mg of Lamictal for every kilogram of body weight for two weeks. This will then be increased to 1.2 mg of mediation for every kilogram of body weight for an additional two weeks. After this point, doses can be increased up to 300 mg per day in divided doses based on the patient's reaction to the medication. Children under 2 should not be given Lamictal.


Usual Dosage

Special Dosage

Bipolar disorder

25 mg a day for two weeks, increased to 50 mg in divided doses for two weeks. This may be increased up to 200 mg as necessary.

Children's dosing will need to be determined by a doctor.


25 mg daily for two weeks, increased to 50 mg per day for two weeks. This may be further increased up to 375 mg per day in divided doses as necessary.

Children 2-12 will be given .6 mg for every kilogram of body weight, which will be increased to 1.2 mg per kilogram of body weight as necessary. Doses should not exceed 300 mg per day.

Lamictal Side Effects

There are several side effects of Lamictal that affect a large percentage of its users. The most common side effect associated with Lamictal is dizziness which can affect 54 percent of users overall. Additional common side effects of Lamictal are double vision which occurs in 49 percent of users, headaches which are reported in 29 percent of users, coordination problems reported in 28 percent of patients, blurred vision in 25 percent, nausea which occurs in up to 25 percent and vomiting which may occur in up to 20 percent of users. Overall, these side effects usually get better over time, but you should let your doctor know if any effect you suffer get worse or do not cease as you continue to use Lamictal.

Other common side effects, occurring in 5-20 percent of users, include chest pain, runny nose, drowsiness, sore throat, constipation, cough, shakiness, abdominal pain, dry mouth, fatigue, back pain, weakness, flu symptoms, indigestion, bronchitis, fever, painful menstrual cramps, diarrheaand weight loss. Let your doctor know if any of these occur to determine if you require a change in your medication.

Rare side effects of Lamictal include speech problems, vaginal infection, concentration problems, bladder infections, loss of appetite, joint pain, sinus infection,neck pain, nervousness, sensitivity to the sun, amnesia,vertigo,bloody nose, increased sex drive, sweating, migraines, dry skinand weight gain. Let your doctor know if any of these side effects occur to determine if your medication requires adjustment. Otherwise, these side effects are not dangerous and should require no further care.

If you begin to suffer from uncontrollable movements of the eyes, loss of balance or coordination, loss of consciousness or coma, increased seizures, you may be suffering from an overdose of Lamictal. You or someone else should contact emergency medical services as quickly as possible to get the necessary medical assistance to relieve these conditions. If at all possible, inform the medial personnel regarding how much Lamictal you have taken and when to help assist in diagnosing your condition.

Types of Side Effects


Common Side Effects

Dizziness, double vision, headaches, coordination problems, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting

Uncommon Side Effects

Drowsiness, runny nose, sore throat, cough, abdominal pain, insomnia, shakiness, weakness, back pain, fatigue, flu symptoms, painful menstrual cramps, bronchitis, diarrhea, fever, dry mouth, constipation, crest pain and weight loss.

Rare Side Effects

Vaginal infection, speech problems, bladder infection, concentration problems, joint pain, loss of appetite, neck pain, sinus infection, sensitivity to the sun, nervousness, vertigo, amnesia, increased sex drive, bloody nose, dry skin, sweating, migraines and weight gain.


Loss of balance or coordination, coma, loss of consciousness, increase seizures, or uncontrollable movements of the eyes


Drugs known to negatively interact with Lamictal include oral contraceptives containing estrogen, ethinyl estradiol, levonorgestrel, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, and valproate. These medications will affect your body's ability to absorb Lamictal properly, which will increase your chances that you will suffer from side effects or overdosing symptoms. Talk with your doctor about these risks as well as any medications you might be taking to help avoid this concern.



Diovan is used to manage high blood pressure. This medication is often prescribed in addition to other medications to manage your condition.

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