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January 19, 2021

Where is Lamotrigine used and how does it work?

Lamotrigine is a prescription that belongs to the class of medications called anti-epileptics. This is an FDA-approved medication that has the strength of 200 mg tablet for oral use. This is used to treat two conditions:

  1. Epilepsy

Lamotrigine can be used alone or with other medications to prevent and control epilepsy or seizures. In this condition, the drug works by reducing the nerve impulses that cause epilepsy. It helps decrease the symptoms of the condition such as:

By controlling the frequency of epilepsy, it helps you go about your daily routines and activities that you would otherwise be scared to do. How this medicine work effectively might take several weeks as the dose is being adjusted. For the treatment of epilepsy, Lamitor must be taken regularly and carefully follow all instructions given by your doctor.

  1. Bipolar Disorder

In bipolar disorder, Lamotrigine works to restore the normal balance of nerve activity in the brain. Sometimes, it is called a mood stabilizer that helps prevent extreme mood changes. It also helps you feel less agitated. For this medicine to work effectively, take it regularly as prescribed by your doctor. It may take several weeks for it to work. While having the treatment with Lamitor, you need to continue eating well and keep fit to lessen the symptoms of bipolar disorder such as:

  • Irritability
  • Sleep problems
  • Appetite changes
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Feeling empty or hopeless
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

How is Lamotrigine taken?

How this medicine is taken and its dosage depends on the condition being treated and the instructions given by your doctor. You must follow the full prescription given by your doctor for the drug to work effectively and your condition will improve.

Each dose of Lamotrigine can be taken either with or without food. While having the drug, you need to drink plenty of fluids unless your doctor instructs you to do the opposite. Take it at the same time and in the same way each day for the best results. Do not take less or more than the given dosage. It might cause your current condition to get worse or you might develop other complications. Even if you feel well, continue to take the full prescription. Consult your doctor before stopping this treatment. 

What are the side effects of Lamitor?

If any of these side effects persist or get worse, contact your doctor right away.

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired coordination
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia

Alcohol consumption while having this medicine can increase the risk of these side effects especially nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. It is advised for the patients who are taking Lamitor to not drink any alcoholic beverages.

What are the precautions in using Lamitor?

  • Suicidal thoughts

Upon treatment, this drug might increase the risk of suicidal thoughts. Hence, it must be used carefully especially with those who suffer from suicidal tendencies and depression. Close monitoring of behavior and mood is needed for them. Proper caregiver and patient counseling and dose adjustments may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

  • Skin reactions

This should be used carefully since it may cause skin reactions in some patients. If any symptoms of a skin rash occur, this treatment should be stopped and you need to contact your doctor right away.

  • Blood cell count

Lamitor may cause aplastic anemia and neutropenia. Regular monitoring of blood cell count is needed. Any signs of low blood count must be reported to the doctor. Applicable dose changes or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

  • Withdrawal symptoms

Sudden withdrawal of this treatment could increase the risk of severe adverse effects, especially if you have been taking a high dose for a long period. A slow dose reduction is suggested to avoid these reactions.

  • Driving or operating machinery

This medicine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision in some patients. It is recommended to not perform any action that needs high mental alertness like operating machinery or driving a vehicle if you experience any of these symptoms.

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Lamitor is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women unless necessary. The benefits and risks should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.

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