1. What’s lamotrigine
Lamotrigine is a medication used to deal with epilepsy. It will probably additionally assist stop low temper (despair) in adults with bipolar dysfunction.
Lamotrigine is accessible on prescription. It comes both as tablets you swallow or tablets you chew or dissolve in water to make a drink.
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- It is regular to take lamotrigine a few times a day. You possibly can take it with or with out meals.
- The most typical unwanted side effects of lamotrigine are pores and skin rashes and complications.
- It will probably take as much as 6 weeks for lamotrigine to work. You should still have matches or seizures or really feel low throughout this time.
- Don’t cease taking lamotrigine with out speaking to your physician first.
- When you’ve got epilepsy, you are entitled to free prescriptions for your entire medicines, not simply your epilepsy ones.
3. Who can and can’t take lamotrigine
Lamotrigine will be taken by adults, and by youngsters aged 2 years and over. Lamotrigine will not be appropriate for some individuals.
To verify lamotrigine is protected for you, inform your physician if you happen to:
- have ever had an allergic response to lamotrigine or different medicines prior to now
- have liver or kidney issues
- have bipolar dysfunction and have ever had ideas of harming or killing your self
- have ever had meningitis or a rash brought on by lamotrigine
- are pregnant or making an attempt to get pregnant
- have an intolerance to or can’t digest lactose (lactose intolerance) – some manufacturers of lamotrigine comprise lactose
4. How and when to take lamotrigine
Lamotrigine is a prescription medication. It is vital to take it as suggested by your physician.
For epilepsy, the same old dose for:
- adults and older youngsters (aged 12 years and over) is 100mg to 700mg a day, taken as 1 or 2 doses
- youthful youngsters (aged 2 to 11 years) – the dose will differ relying on their weight
For bipolar dysfunction, the same old dose for adults is:
- between 200mg and 400mg a day, taken as both 1 or 2 doses
Find out how to take it
It is regular to take lamotrigine a few times a day. You possibly can take it with or with out meals. For those who take it twice a day, attempt to house your doses evenly by means of the day. For instance, very first thing within the morning and within the night.
Non-chewable or non-dispersible tablets – swallow complete with a glass of water. Don’t chew them.
Chewable or dispersible tablets – will be swallowed complete with a glass of water, chewed or blended with water or juice to make a drink.
Will my dose go up or down?
Once you begin taking lamotrigine, it is vital to extend the dose slowly as this can assist scale back or cease some unwanted side effects taking place. When you discover a dose that fits you, it’s going to often keep the identical.
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When you’ve got epilepsy, it is probably that after your situation is below management you may nonetheless have to take lamotrigine for a few years.
When you’ve got bipolar dysfunction, it is probably that you’re going to take lamotrigine for a minimum of 6 months, however probably for much longer.
Don’t cease lamotrigine with out chatting with your physician first.
What if I neglect to take it?
For those who take lamotrigine and also you neglect a dose:
- as soon as a day – take the missed dose as quickly as you bear in mind. If it is lower than 12 hours till your subsequent dose is due, miss the missed dose and take your subsequent dose as regular.
- twice a day – take the missed dose as quickly as you bear in mind. If it is lower than 8 hours earlier than the subsequent dose is due, it is higher to go away out the missed dose and take your subsequent dose as regular.
- Don’t take 2 doses on the identical time. By no means take an additional dose to make up for a forgotten one.
- When you’ve got epilepsy, it is vital to take this medication frequently. Lacking doses might set off a seizure.
- For those who neglect to take your tablets for greater than 5 days in a row, communicate to your physician, as you may want to begin on a low dose once more and regularly improve to your regular dose.
- For those who neglect doses usually, it could assist to set an alarm to remind you.
- You may additionally ask your pharmacist for recommendation on different methods that will help you bear in mind to take your medication.
What if I take an excessive amount of?
Taking an excessive amount of lamotrigine may cause critical unwanted side effects.
Speedy motion required: Name 999 or go to A&E if:
You are taking an excessive amount of lamotrigine and:
- have speedy, uncontrollable eye actions
- really feel clumsy or lose your stability
- really feel a change within the rhythm of your heartbeat
- have had a match or seizure
- cross out
Don’t drive your self. Get another person to drive you or name for an ambulance. If you could go to hospital, take the lamotrigine packet or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medication, with you. Discover your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) division
5. Negative effects
Like all medicines, lamotrigine may cause unwanted side effects, though not everybody will get them.
Pores and skin rashes
- It’s normal to get a pores and skin rash with lamotrigine. Most pores and skin rashes aren’t critical.
- However if you happen to develop a pores and skin rash or redness, inform a health care provider right away, as this may develop right into a life-threatening pores and skin situation known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a uncommon facet impact of lamotrigine. It causes flu-like signs, adopted by a pink or purple rash that spreads and kinds blisters. The affected pores and skin finally dies and peels off.
- It is extra more likely to occur within the first 8 weeks of beginning lamotrigine, or when the dose is elevated too shortly.
- It will probably additionally occur if lamotrigine is stopped immediately for a couple of days after which restarted on the identical dose as earlier than, with out lowering the dose after which rising it slowly once more.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome is extra widespread in:
- individuals who developed a rash with a unique epilepsy medication prior to now
- people who find themselves allergic to an antibiotic known as trimethoprim
- individuals additionally taking a medication known as sodium valproate
To assist stop the possibility of you getting a rash that might be confused with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, it is best to not begin any new medicines, meals or merchandise through the first 3 months of remedy with lamotrigine.
It is also finest to not begin lamotrigine inside 2 weeks of a viral an infection, vaccination or rash brought on by one thing else.
Different widespread unwanted side effects
These widespread unwanted side effects might occur in additional than 1 in 100 individuals. They’re often gentle and go away by themselves. Hold taking the medication, however speak to your physician if these unwanted side effects hassle you or don’t go away:
- feeling drowsy, sleepy or dizzy
- aggression, or feeling irritable or agitated
- shaking or tremors
- problem sleeping
- feeling or being sick (nausea or vomiting)
Different critical unwanted side effects
Only a few individuals taking lamotrigine have critical issues.
Inform a health care provider right away when you’ve got a critical facet impact, together with:
- ideas of harming or killing your self – a small variety of individuals taking lamotrigine for bipolar dysfunction have had suicidal ideas, and this may occur after just a few weeks of remedy
- worsening seizures (if you happen to take lamotrigine for epilepsy)
- surprising bruising or bleeding, a excessive temperature or sore throat – these might be warning indicators of a blood dysfunction
- a stiff neck, complications, feeling or being sick, a excessive temperature and excessive sensitivity to vibrant gentle – these might be indicators of meningitis
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In uncommon circumstances, it is potential to have a critical allergic response (anaphylaxis) to lamotrigine.
Speedy motion required:
- you get a pores and skin rash that will embrace itchy, pink, swollen, blistered or peeling pores and skin
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- you might have hassle respiration or speaking
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You may be having a critical allergic response and might have speedy remedy in hospital.
These aren’t all of the unwanted side effects of lamotrigine.
6. How to deal with unwanted side effects of lamotrigine
What to do What’s:
- complications – ensure you relaxation and drink loads of fluids. Don’t drink an excessive amount of alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to suggest a painkiller. Speak to your physician in case your complications last more than per week or are extreme.
- feeling drowsy, sleepy or dizzy as your physique will get used to lamotrigine, these unwanted side effects ought to put on off. Don’t drive, trip a motorbike or function equipment till you are feeling extra alert. If they don’t go inside per week or two, your physician might scale back your dose or improve it extra slowly. If that doesn’t work, communicate to your physician. Chances are you’ll want to change to a unique medication.
- aggression, or feeling irritable or agitated –speak to your physician.
- shaking or tremors – speak to your physician if that is bothering you. These signs could be a signal that the dose is simply too excessive for you. It might assist to alter your dose or take your medication at a unique time of day.
- problem sleeping – speak to your physician.
- diarrhoea – drink plenty of fluids, corresponding to water or squash, to keep away from dehydration. Indicators of dehydration embrace peeing lower than regular or having darkish, strong-smelling pee. Don’t take another medicines to deal with diarrhoea with out chatting with a pharmacist or physician. Communicate to a health care provider if signs worsen or last more than per week.
- feeling or being sick – persist with easy meals and don’t eat wealthy or spicy meals. It’d assist to take your lamotrigine after a meal or snack. For those who’re being sick, take small, frequent sips of water or squash to keep away from dehydration. Communicate to a health care provider if signs worsen or last more than per week.
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Lamotrigine and being pregnant
- There is no agency proof that lamotrigine is dangerous to an unborn child.
- However for security, your physician will solely advise you to take it in being pregnant if the advantages of the medication outweigh the dangers.
- It is vital for you and your child to remain effectively throughout being pregnant.
- For those who grow to be pregnant whereas taking lamotrigine, inform your physician or nurse right away. Don’t cease taking it with out speaking to your physician first.
- When you’ve got epilepsy, it is essential that it is handled throughout being pregnant as seizures can hurt you and your unborn child.
- For those who’re pregnant, or making an attempt to get pregnant, and taking lamotrigine, you are really helpful to take the next dose of folic acid, a vitamin that helps your child develop usually.
- Your physician would possibly prescribe a excessive dose of 5mg a day when you’re making an attempt to get pregnant and through the first 12 weeks of being pregnant.
Lamotrigine and breastfeeding
In case your physician or well being customer says your child is wholesome, lamotrigine will be taken when you’re breastfeeding.
It is vital to maintain taking lamotrigine to maintain you effectively. Don’t cease taking it with out speaking to your physician. Breastfeeding may even profit each you and your child.
For those who discover your child will not be feeding in addition to regular, appears unusually sleepy, or you might have another issues What’s them, speak to your pharmacist, well being customer or physician as quickly as potential.
Non-urgent recommendation: Inform your physician if you happen to’re:
- making an attempt to get pregnant
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For extra info What’s how lamotrigine can have an effect on you and your child throughout being pregnant.
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Some medicines and lamotrigine intrude with one another and improve the possibilities of unwanted side effects. Your physician might have to alter your dose of lamotrigine.
Examine along with your pharmacist or physician if you happen to’re taking:
- different medicines used to deal with epilepsy, corresponding to carbamazepine, felbamate, gabapentin, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, pregabalin, primidone, topiramate, valproate or zonisamide
- aripiprazole, lithium, olanzapine or risperidone (used for psychological well being issues)
- bupropion, a quit smoking medication
- rifampicin, an antibiotic often given to deal with tuberculosis (TB)
- medicines used to deal with HIV
- hormonal contraceptives or hormone alternative remedy (HRT)
Mixing lamotrigine with natural cures and dietary supplements
There is perhaps an issue taking some natural cures and dietary supplements alongside lamotrigine, particularly ones that may trigger rashes, sleepiness or shaking and tremors.
Ask your pharmacist for recommendation.
9. Widespread questions What’s lamotrigine
- Don’t cease taking lamotrigine with out speaking to your physician first.
- Inform your physician or pharmacist if you happen to’re taking another medicines, together with natural medicines, nutritional vitamins or dietary supplements.
- Bipolar dysfunction
- Epilepsy and being pregnant