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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lamotrigine?
You should not take lamotrigine if you are allergic to it.
To make sure you can safely take lamotrigine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking this medication. Tell your doctor if you have new or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several months of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether lamotrigine will harm an unborn baby. Taking this medication during early pregnancy can increase the risk of the baby being born with cleft lip or cleft palate. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking lamotrigine.
Birth control pills can make lamotrigine less effective, resulting in increased seizures. Tell your doctor if you start or stop using birth control pills while you are taking lamotrigine. Your lamotrigine dose may need to be changed.
Tell your doctor if you plan to stop taking birth control pills.
Lamotrigine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take lamotrigine?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Taking too much lamotrigine at the start of treatment may increase your risk of a severe life-threatening skin rash. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose over several weeks or months to make sure you get the best results. Take only the amount prescribed by your doctor whenever your dose is changed.
To make sure you are taking the right dose of lamotrigine, your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.
Extended-release lamotrigine (Lamictal XR) may be used for different conditions than immediate-release lamotrigine is used for. Always check your refills to make sure you have received the correct size, color, and shape of tablet. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.
If you are switching to lamotrigine from another anticonvulsant medication, carefully follow your doctor's instructions about timing and dosage when switching from one drug to another.
Do not crush, chew, or break a regular lamotrigine tablet. Swallow it whole.
To take the orally disintegrating tablet (Lamictal ODT), place the tablet on your tongue and move it around in your mouth. Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
To take the chewable dispersible tablet, you may either swallow it whole with a glass of water, or chew it first and then swallow it. You may also place the tablet into 1 teaspoon of water or diluted fruit juice and allow it to disperse in the liquid for about 1 minute. Gently swirl the liquid and then swallow all of the mixture right away. Do not save it for later use.
Do not stop taking lamotrigine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures if you stop using lamotrigine suddenly. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take lamotrigine. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you take seizure medication.
Use lamotrigine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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