Lamotrigine (By mouth)


Lamotrigine (la-MOE-tri-jeen)

Treats certain types of seizures and mood disorders. Often used along with other medicines.

Brand Name(s)

Lamictal, Lamictal CD, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal ODT Patient Titration, Lamictal XR, Lamictal XR Patient Titration

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Chewable Tablet, Dissolving Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • It is best to swallow the regular tablet whole. You may break or crush the tablet if your doctor tells you to, but the medicine might leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
  • The chewable tablet may be swallowed whole, or chewed and taken with a small amount of water or diluted fruit juice. You may also dissolve the chewable tablet in a teaspoon of water or fruit juice and swallow the mixture after 1 minute.
  • Make sure your hands are dry before you handle the disintegrating tablet. Peel back the foil from the blister pack, then remove the tablet. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet in your mouth. After it has melted, swallow or take a drink of water.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Use only the brand of medicine your doctor prescribed. Other brands may not work the same way.
  • This medicine can be used with other seizure medicines. Keep using all of your seizure medicines unless your doctor tells you to stop.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child are using any other medicine to control seizures (such as carbamazepine, divalproex, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, valproic acid, valproate, Depakene®, Depakote®, Dilantin®, Mysoline®, or Tegretol®). Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child are also using rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®). Tell your doctor if you are also using birth control pills, or if you are also using hormone replacement therapy.
  • Ask your doctor before you start or stop using any medicines, including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child are receiving methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®) or pemetrexed (Alimta®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver problems, heart problems, blood problems, bone marrow problems, or depression. Tell your doctor if you have had a rash or an allergic reaction to other seizure medicines.
  • It is important to tell your doctor if you become pregnant while using this medicine. Your doctor may want you to join a pregnancy registry for patients taking a seizure medicine.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • If you or your child have a skin rash while using this medicine, call your doctor right away. Sometimes a rash is a sign of a serious drug reaction.
  • This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions affecting multiple body organs (such as liver or kidney). Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have the following symptoms: fever, dark urine, headache, hives, muscle pain or stiffness, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away if you or your child start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourselves. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you, your child, or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you or your child start to have a stiff neck, confusion, drowsiness, fever, chills, headache, nausea or vomiting, rash, or sensitivity to light. These could be symptoms of a rare and serious condition called aseptic meningitis.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Bloody stools.
  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Changes in your menstrual cycle (period).
  • Chest pain.
  • Extreme weakness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Feeling unusually sleepy, sad, grouchy, moody, or nervous.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Nosebleed.
  • Pain, soreness, or itching in your vagina.
  • Painful sores in your mouth or around your eyes.
  • Painful urination or a change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Problems with balance or walking.
  • Severe muscle pain.
  • Swelling in your face, hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in your neck, armpit, or groin.
  • Thoughts of killing yourself.
  • Tremors.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Wheezing or troubled breathing.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Eye twitching or eye movements you cannot control.
  • Headache, neck pain, back pain, or joint pain.
  • Increased sexual desire.
  • Loss of appetite, or weight loss.
  • Mild rash.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset or pain, or passing gas.
  • Runny or stuffy nose, or nose irritation.
  • Unable to concentrate or remember things.
  • Unable to sleep, or sleeping too much.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.