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Oct 30, 2023


Anti-seizure Drug

What You Should Know About Lamotrigine

What is Lamotrigine?

Lamotrigine is an anti-seizure medication. It has been approved by the FDA to manage seizures under three specific criteria. These three criteria include use as:

  • an additional medication for epilepsy when seizures are not appropriately controlled by one of the first-line medication therapies.
  • an isolated medication after cessation of a different anti-seizure drug due to unsuccessful use.
  • an additional medication for management of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a very severe form of epilepsy).

Lamotrigine is also used for management of bipolar I disorder.

Read The Highs and Lows of Bipolar Disorder

What are Seizures?

Seizures are episodes of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. They can present in a number of different ways. For example, an absence seizure is characterized by becoming unresponsive and “staring off into space”, almost as if you are daydreaming. Very differently, tonic-clonic seizures (otherwise known as grand-mal seizures) present more noticeably as uncontrollable muscle movements as well as possible drooling, biting your tongue, and/or loss of bladder/bowel control.

Seizures can be very dangerous when left uncontrolled, and therefore medication management is essentially always necessary when someone has been diagnosed with a seizure disorder.

Types of seizures

Side Effects

Typical Side Effects of Lamotrigine

Most side effects are mild and resolve after 2 weeks of taking lamotrigine. However, it is still important to be aware of the changes that may occur to your body when starting lamotrigine. The most common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Poor muscle control
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision

If you experience any side effects, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider to ensure it is still the right medication for you.

Serious (Rare) Dangers of Taking Lamotrigine

Even though most of the common side effects of lamotrigine are mild, there is the possibility of experiencing serious and life-threatening effects when first taking lamotrigine. These serious side effects require immediate medical attention and usually discontinuation of the medication. These effects include:

  • Skin reactions
    • This includes Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). These are both extremely serious skin reactions that cause fever and rash and can even be life threatening if left untreated.
    • If any signs of rash or fever appear when you are taking lamotrigine, speak to your healthcare provider as they may decide that you must discontinue the medication for your safety.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
    • Sometimes people can be overly sensitive to lamotrigine. This can lead to multi-organ reactions such as DRESS (Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms). These reactions can involve multiple organs, though they present first with fever, swollen lymph nodes, and sometimes rash.
  • Suicidal thoughts and or actions
    • Sometimes people on lamotrigine experience thoughts of hurting themselves in some way and/or of suicide. It is essential for healthcare professionals to monitor patients for any signs of suicidal thoughts or behaviours.

Learn more about the risks of long-term anti-seizure medication.

Medications That May Have to be Modified When Taken at the Same Time as Lamotrigine

Due to the specific way in which lamotrigine works, there are some medications that interact with its effects. In most cases this just requires a dosage adjustment of one or more of the medications, but sometimes it can cause serious drug reactions. Because of this, it is important your healthcare provider is aware of any medications or substances you are taking. Some of the medications that may need to be adjusted if you are taking lamotrigine include:

  • Oral contraception pills
    Interestingly, the levels of lamotrigine seem to be increased in your body while taken at the same time as the hormone-containing birth control pills, but are then decreased again during the hormone-free (placebo) week. Therefore, there may be some dose adjustment required for those taking lamotrigine and oral contraceptive medications at the same time.
  • Certain other antiepileptic medications
    Sometimes the effect of one of the antiepileptic medications may be increased or decreased when taken in combination. Often one of the medications requires a dose adjustment to ensure efficacy of both medications.
  • Many other medications
  • You Can Get Your Lamotrigine Prescription at Marley Drug

    At Marley Drug, you can get 6-month supply of lamotrigine for $37, or even a full 12-month supply for only $70. At other pharmacies, a 6-month supply of lamotrigine can cost over $200, and a full 12-month supply can cost over $500. That is over 5x the cost of lamotrigine at Marley Drug.

    We are able to price our medications so low because we buy them straight from prescription wholesalers rather than through insurance companies. Insurance companies are generally responsible for the increase in drug costs. Cutting out this step allows our prices to be much lower, often lower than the best insurance plans.

    Learn more about our Wholesale Price List

    To learn more about how you can get your lamotrigine prescription from Marley Drug, just call us at 1-800-810-7790.

    Prices mentioned in this article are based on average retail price at major box chain pharmacy in the U.S. as of November 26, 2022.

    1. 1. Lamictal (lamotrigine) – Access data FDA-Approved Drugs [Internet]. [Amended 04/2009; accessed 11/2022].

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