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Lamotrigine - What is it for

Lamotrigine is used to control seizures (commonly known as fits) and as a mood stabiliser to reduce mood swings in bipolar disorder. It may also be used for other conditions related to the nervous system.

Lamotrigine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Lamotrigine cause?

Like all medications, Lamotrigine may cause side effects but not everyone experiences them. Consult your healthcare professional if any of the side effects lasts more than a few days or become severe and bothersome.

The common side effects of Lamotrigine include:

  • Dizziness, feeling lightheaded
    • Get up slowly from sitting or lying down position 
  • Drowsiness, fatigue
    • Avoid driving, operating machinery or engaging in strenuous physical activities
  • Constipation
    • Drink more water, eat more high-fibre foods, and exercise regularly
  • Nausea, vomiting
    • Take the medicine with or after food to reduce nausea and vomiting
    • Avoid food that is too rich, spicy or has strong smells
    • Do not take the medication with carbonated drinks
  • Headache
    • Take paracetamol if needed to relieve headache
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Blurred or double vision or uncontrollable eye jerking
  • Joint pain, neck pain, numbness in the hands and feet ("pins and needles" sensation)
  • Swelling of hands or legs from water retention - to inform doctor if bothersome or persistent
  • Painful menstruation

 If the following serious side effects happen, you should consult your healthcare professional immediately:

  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash due to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
    • SJS is a rare and serious skin reaction. Symptoms include face swelling, blisters on skin, skin rashes that spread within hours to days.
    • TEN is a more severe form of skin reaction. Symptoms include fever and flu-like symptoms, blisters on skin, skin rashes that spread within hours to days. Areas such as the mouth, eyes and genitals are commonly involved.
    • It usually occurs within the first few months (monitor closely for the first 3 months) of treatment.
    • As SJS and TEN progress rapidly, please consult your healthcare professional if you show the first sign of rash.
  • Blurred or double vision or abnormal eye movements
  • Prolonged fever or chills, flu-like symptoms, sore throat
  • Increase in seizures
  • Unsual bleeding and bruising
  • Liver problems: Dark coloured urine or light coloured stools, yellowing of your eyes or skin, severe loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting that does not go away, pain tenderness or unusual swelling over the liver area in the upper right belly

In rare cases, this medication may cause the following changes to a person's mental condition, especially in the first few weeks of treatment or during dose changes:

  • Worsening agitation, restlessness, violent behaviour, or
  • New or worsening thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life
  • Other changes in mood or behavior 

Please inform your doctor as soon as possible, or for your family or caregiver to inform your doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.

Do not stop taking this medication on your own without discussing with your doctor.

It is important to note that your doctor has prescribed this medication as he/she feels you will benefit more from taking this medication over the possible risks that it may cause, which have a low chance of occurring, and most people take this medication without any such problems.

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Lamotrigine , what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professionals if you have the following medical conditions before starting on Lamotrigine:

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Drug allergies

For female patients of child-bearing age: Discuss with your doctor regarding family planning if you will be starting or are currently taking Lamotrigine.

Tell your healthcare professional immediately if your seizures get worse or become different after you have started this medication.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Lamotrigine ?

  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine as it can cause excessive drowsiness.
  • Inform your healthcare professionals regarding your choices if you intend to use birth control while on Lamotrigine.
  • Please consult your healthcare professionals before using any other medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal products.

Lamotrigine - Dosage and How to Use

How should Lamotrigine be used?

  • Follow the instructions on your medication label and take the medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  • You can take this medication with or without food.
  • Dispersible tablets can be chewed, swallowed whole or dispersed in room temperature water. To disperse the tablet, cover the tablet with one teaspoon of water and allow to dissolve. The entire amount should then be taken or consumed.
  • You may not experience any benefits immediately after starting the medication as it may take up a few weeks before this medication can exert its full effects. You should continue to take your medication regularly as instructed by your doctor even if you feel well. Stopping your medication without telling your healthcare professional may cause your condition to worsen quickly.
  • Do not stop taking or adjust the dose of this medication without consulting your healthcare professional. Do not the medication that was dispensed to you without informing your healthcare professional.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double your dose or use extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Lamotrigine - Handling

How should I handle Lamotrigine safely?

Lamotrigine - Storage

How should I store Lamotrigine ?

;#Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Lamotrigine safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Lamotrigine - Additional Information


  • Updated on 3/31/2022 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth


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