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Generic name: lamotrigine [ la-MOE-tri-jeen ]
Brand names: LaMICtal, LaMICtal ODT, LaMICtal XR, Subvenite, LaMICtal CD, ... show all 20 brands
Dosage forms: oral tablet ((blue dose pack) 25 mg, (green dose pack) 25 mg-100 mg, (orange dose pack) 25 mg-100 mg, ... show all 24 dosage forms
Drug class: Triazine anticonvulsants

Medically reviewed by on Oct 10, 2022. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is lamotrigine?

Lamotrigine is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant.

Lamotrigine is used alone or with other medications to treat epileptic seizures in adults and children. Lamotrigine is also used to delay mood episodes in adults with bipolar disorder (manic depression).

Immediate-release lamotrigine can be used in children as young as 2 years old when it is given as part of a combination of seizure medications. However, this form should not be used as a single medication in a child or teenager who is younger than 16 years old.

Extended-release lamotrigine is for use only in adults and children who are at least 13 years old.

Lamotrigine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Lamotrigine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

If you have to stop taking lamotrigine because of a serious skin rash, you may not be able to take it again in the future.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Lamotrigine may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • chest pain, shortness of breath;

  • fever, swollen glands, weakness, severe muscle pain;

  • any skin rash, especially with blistering or peeling;

  • painful sores in your mouth or around your eyes;

  • headache, neck stiffness, increased sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting, confusion, drowsiness;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • pale skin, cold hands and feet, easy bruising, unusual bleeding.

Common side effects of lamotrigine may include:

  • headache, dizziness;

  • blurred vision, double vision;

  • tremor, loss of coordination;

  • dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea;

  • fever, sore throat, runny nose;

  • drowsiness, tired feeling;

  • back pain; or

  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Lamotrigine may cause a severe or life-threatening skin rash, especially in children and in people who take a very high starting dose, or those who also take valproic acid (Depakene) or divalproex (Depakote). Seek emergency medical attention if you have a skin rash, hives, blistering, peeling, or sores in your mouth or around your eyes.

Call your doctor at once if you have signs of other serious side effects, including: fever, swollen glands, severe muscle pain, bruising or unusual bleeding, yellowing of your skin or eyes, headache, neck stiffness, vomiting, confusion, or increased sensitivity to light.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking lamotrigine. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take lamotrigine if you are allergic to it.

Lamotrigine may cause a severe or life-threatening skin rash, especially in children and in people who take a very high starting dose, or those who also take valproic acid (Depakene) or divalproex (Depakote).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a rash or allergic reaction after taking another seizure medication;

  • kidney or liver disease;

  • heart problems such as heart block or irregular heartbeats;

  • depression, suicidal thoughts or actions; or

  • meningitis (inflammation of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord) after taking lamotrigine.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking lamotrigine. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Do not start or stop taking seizure medication during pregnancy without your doctor's advice. Having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of lamotrigine on the baby.

Birth control pills can make lamotrigine less effective, resulting in increased seizures. Tell your doctor if you start or stop using birth control pills. Your lamotrigine dose may need to be changed.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using lamotrigine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I take lamotrigine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Taking too much lamotrigine at the start of treatment may increase your risk of a severe life-threatening skin rash.

You may need frequent blood tests to help your doctor make sure you are taking the right dose.

Extended-release and immediate-release lamotrigine may be used for different conditions. Always check your refills to make sure you have received the correct size, color, and shape of tablet. Avoid medication errors by using only the form and strength your doctor prescribes.

If you switch to lamotrigine from another seizure medicine, carefully follow your doctor's instructions about the timing and dosage of your medicine.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with the orally disintegrating or dispersible tablets. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Do not stop using lamotrigine suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you use seizure medication.

Lamotrigine may affect a drug-screening urine test and you may have false results. Tell the laboratory staff that you use lamotrigine.

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include blurred vision, problems with coordination, increased seizures, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking lamotrigine?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how lamotrigine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

What other drugs will affect lamotrigine?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may affect lamotrigine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Popular FAQ

You should take lamotrigine at night if it makes you sleepy and if you are prescribed it once a day. But if it doesn’t make you sleepy or if it tends to keep you awake, then take it first thing in the morning. If you are prescribed lamotrigine twice a day, then space out the dosages as much as you can, which means taking one dose first thing in the morning and one dose at night. Continue reading

Contact your healthcare provider or other emergency medical services right away if you develop a skin rash, blistering or peeling of your skin, hives, painful sores in your mouth or around your eyes or other signs of a drug allergy (such as a fever or swelling of your lymph nodes) while taking lamotrigine. This could signal you are having a serious side effect to lamotrigine which may result in hospitalization or cause death. Continue reading

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.