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Lamictal (lamotrigine) is a commonly used drug for the treatment of bipolar disorder. It can also be used to treat disorders like epilepsy. You might experience adverse effects if you take Lamictal but do not have bipolar disorder.

You must never take prescription medicines that your doctor has not recommended. This can result in severe adverse effects and drug interactions.

This article discusses the effects of taking Lamictal without having bipolar disorder. The article will also familiarize you with Lamictal and its other adverse effects.

Lamictal is a commonly prescribed medicine for the treatment of seizure disorders, such as epilepsy. Physicians also recommend Lamictal to treat bipolar disorder symptoms. It can help prolong the period between manic and depressed episodes of bipolar illness.

Although Lamictal can provide good transient symptomatic relief, it is ineffective in actually treating depressive or manic episodes in long term. Your physician may offer additional medications to help you control your episodes and recover from them.

Lamictal may take up to six weeks to reach full effectiveness. Do not discontinue taking a medicine such as Lamictal without first consulting your physician. Keep on taking it as prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better.

You must not take prescription drugs without a doctor’s authorization. Lamictal is primarily used for the treatment of epilepsy and other neurological conditions of seizure disorders. Furthermore, it can also aid in the management of manic and depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

Even if you do not have a seizure or bipolar disorder, you are still prone to adverse effects if you take Lamictal. These adverse effects may include a severe rash and thoughts of committing suicide.

Lamictal has the potential to produce an overdose or interfere with other drugs. Therefore, it is essential to only take Lamictal as prescribed by your doctor. They can guide drug dosing and cross-reaction between drugs.

Most drugs, including Lamictal, can have serious or mild adverse effects. To provide you with an overview of the possible side effects of Lamictal, we have included some of the most prevalent ones below. We have not listed all possible adverse effects.

Consult your physician or pharmacist for further information regarding the possible adverse effects of Lamictal. They might also be able to offer measures to prevent or alleviate adverse effects.

Certain factors may influence the adverse effects of a medicine. These considerations can include your age, any additional health concerns you may have, and any other medications you may be taking.

Mild Side Effects

Below are some of the minor side effects that Lamictal may induce. For information about the drug’s other moderate side effects, we recommend speaking with your doctor or pharmacist. It may also be useful to consult the Lamictal medication guide.

Included among the mild side effects of Lamictal described in studies are:

  • Increase or decrease in body weight
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Mild rash
  • Tremors
  • Infections, such as influenza
  • Abdominal (tummy) pain
  • Back pain
  • Sleepiness
  • Vomiting, nausea, and loose stools
  • Insomnia (trouble sleeping) 
  • Hair loss
  • Enhanced libido and other sexual side effects (sex drive)
  • Headache
  • Acne

In a few days to a few weeks, the majority of medications’ mild adverse effects subside. However, if you feel that the side effects are bothersome, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Infrequently, Lamictal may have serious side effects. If you experience major adverse effects after taking Lamictal, you should contact your doctor immediately. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, you must immediately call your local emergency service.

Among the serious adverse effects of Lamictal reported in research are:

  • Aseptic Meningitis (Inflammation Of The Covering Layers Of Your Spinal Cord)
  • Hazy Or Distorted Vision
  • The Development Of Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH, Could Be A Fatal Immune System Reaction)
  • Decreased Blood Cell Counts
  • Allergic Reaction
  • Suicidal Ideation Or Actions
  • Boxed Warning: Severe Skin Rashes

If your doctor recommends Lamictal, you may question if the drug’s negative effects are permanent.

Lamictal, like most medications, can induce both moderate and severe side effects. In a few days to a couple of weeks, the majority of medications’ mild side effects will subside.

A significant skin reaction, like toxic epidermal necrolysis, may cause Lamictal to have long-term consequences. Multiorgan hypersensitivity reaction, also called a drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), is yet another of these severe skin reactions.

DRESS can have an adverse effect on organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. There have, for instance, been extremely rare instances of liver failure caused by DRESS. (For additional information on DRESS and Lamictal, please read “Allergic response” below.)

If you are concerned about the long-term detrimental consequences of your Lamictal treatment, we recommend you consult your physician.

In healthy individuals, the half-life of lamotrigine is approximately 25 hours, indicating that it takes around 25 hours to eliminate half of the drug from the body. In between four and five half-lives, the majority of medication is eliminated from the body. The majority of transient adverse effects, including headache, drowsiness, dizziness, rash, nausea, and visual issues, often subside within four to five days after the final dose of lamotrigine.

Some adverse effects may improve as the body responds to the medication. According to medical advice, lamotrigine should be stopped at the first indication of rash, unless the rash is unrelated to the drug. This is because a lamotrigine-induced rash may range from mild to severe or even life-threatening.

Meningitis, blood abnormalities, severe allergic reactions, immune system problems, and status epilepticus are among the adverse effects that may require medical therapy to address. Many of these illnesses are life-threatening and require rapid emergency care. Some disorders may have long-lasting effects.

  • Share all medical problems and prescriptions with the healthcare practitioner.
  • Use lamotrigine as prescribed.
  • Stay away from alcohol
  • Drive with caution and avoid other unsafe activities.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Consult a healthcare professional.
  • Observe for indicators of heart issues.
  • Do not abruptly cease using lamotrigine

Examine your medications every time you fill a prescription. Due to different formulations and other pharmaceuticals that are occasionally confused with lamotrigine (due to similar sounding or looking drug names), it is a good idea to verify your prescription each time you have a refill.

  1. Lamotrigine side effects and how to avoid them. The Checkup. Available at: https://www.singlecare.com/blog/lamotrigine-side-effects.
  2. Lamictal: Side effects, dosage, and more. Psych Central. Available at: https://psychcentral.com/drugs/lamictal#lamictal-rash.
  3. Lamictal: Uses, dosages, common side effects, and interactions. Drugwatch.com. Available at: https://www.drugwatch.com/lamictal.
  4. Taking Lamictal without having bipolar disorder. Healthgrades. Available at: https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/bipolar-disorder/what-happens-if-you-take-lamictal-and-are-not-bipolar.

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