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Lamictal, or lamotrigine (generic name) is a medication used for the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Also, it is occasionally used among adults with mood swings associated with bipolar disorder. Lamictal is also known to be used to relieve pain among patients, although it is rarely prescribed for such purpose.

Things To Consider Before Taking Lamictal

Lamictal is not for every patient with epilepsy or seizure disorder. There is a lot of things to be considered before taking this medication. First is to consult the doctor, and to give a detailed medical, drug and allergy history. These facts will help the doctor evaluate whether Lamictal is safe for use to a certain patient. Those who have experienced heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease, or patients under two years of age may not be allowed to take Lamictal as the primary medication used for the treatment of their condition.

The medication is known as a category C pregnancy risk. Category C means that damage to unborn babies are highly possible. Also, Lamictal is known to pass through the breast milk. Thus, women who are pregnant, nursing, or might be pregnant, cannot take this medication.

Lamictal, when mixed with another medication, could have a negative interaction, leading to a serious health problem. Patients should understand that they should discuss with their doctors any current medications before taking Lamictal. This includes OTC and other prescription medications, herbal and vitamin supplements. Those who are taking birth control pills, implants, skin patches or injections will not be prescribed with Lamictal, as well as for those who are under medication of any of these drugs: valproic acid, rifampin, phenytoin, primidone, phenobarbital, oxcarbazepine, divalproex, and carbamazepine. These medications are known and proven to interact negatively with Lamictal.

Dosage And Administration

Lamictal is available in 25mg, 100mg, 150mg, and 200mg tablets. Doctors will determine the right dose and schedule for each patient according to their medical, drug and allergy history.

Patients should strictly follow the dose and schedule prescribed by the doctor. In the event that the patient misses a scheduled dose, it is best to take the next scheduled dose without making it double. Making the dose double just to catch up is not advisable, as it increases the likelihood for the patient to experience overdose. Patients suspected for an overdose has any of these symptoms: blurry vision, fainting,  light-headedness, loss of coordination, and increase in seizures. In case of overdose, it is best to send the patient to the nearest health facility.

Side Effects

Like other medications, Lamictal also has its share of mild, moderate and severe side effects. Regardless of the severity of the side effects, patients should tell their doctors about it to be given immediate relief and assistance.

For those taking Lamictal, it is normal to experience these side effects: nausea and vomiting, congested nose, upset stomach and diarrhea, dizziness, sluggishness, blurry vision, insomnia, anxiety, lack or loss of coordination, and many others. These are mild, and could be remedied by reducing the dose of Lamictal.

Take note of these signs: hives, swelling of facial and mouth area, extremities and airways. These are signs of allergy, and should be given prompt medical attention, before the patient complains about difficulty and breathing. Other side effects which should be closely monitored are: bruising and bleeding for no apparent reason, skin rash, chest or stomach pain, paleness or jaundice, loss of appetite, dark urine, and stools of unusual color and texture. Children are more susceptible to these side effects, particularly skin rash. If there are skin rashes, immediately seek medical attention.

Other Details

Lamictal has the molecular formula of C9H7Cl2N5 and the IUPAC name 6-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-1,2,4-triazine-3,5-diamine. It bears a molecular weight of 256.091 g/mol. There are other brands of Lamotrigine aside from Lamictal. These brands are: Lamotriginum, Lamotrigina, Lamictal Cd.

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