Lamotrigine is the generic medical name for Lamictal. It is an anti-seizure medication used to treat people suffering from epilepsy. The Mayo Clinic reports it also can be used for people who suffer from bipolar disorder. It is a prescription medicine that can help in the control of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, tonic-clonic and partial seizures. Lamotrigine may be administered as a pill in three forms: standard, extended release and chewable.
Among the most common serious potential side effects of taking lamotrigine are problems with your vision. For example, you may have changes in the way you see, such as becoming far-sighted or near-sighted. You also may have blurry vision as a side effect of the drug. Another common serious side effect is diplopia, or seeing double images of objects and people. Tell your physician immediately if you get sudden vision problems while taking lamotrigine because you may need medical aid and your doctor may want to change your medicine.
Lamotrigine also may throw off your ability to maintain your balance. These types of side effects may make you feel unsteady when you walk or otherwise move, or they may make you clumsy. Your usual coordination when doing common tasks or activities also may be affected and diminished. Another common side effect, dizziness, also may occur, but it is not considered serious, the Mayo Clinic states. It should recede and vanish as you continue the drug therapy.
Taking lamotrigine also can induce a rash on your skin that may be itchy. Although it may not at first appear so, this problem is serious, so talk to your physician immediately.
When you begin taking lamotrigine, you may experience nausea and vomiting. This queasiness occurs as your body acclimates to the medication and most likely will go away the more you continue to take the medication at your doctor-recommended dose. Unless nausea and vomiting persist, you normally will not need medical attention, the Mayo Clinic states. Drugs.com also lists constipation, diarrhea and weight loss as common, non-serious side effects of the drug.
Pain and Sleep Problems
When you begin taking lamotrigine, it may make you feel very tired, more so than you normally would. This drowsiness will pass as you continue taking the drug. Conversely, Drugs.com states that another common and non-serious side effect is trouble falling or staying asleep. You also may experience headaches at the beginning of treatment. If any of these side effects persist, tell your doctor.