Look at the table below. It tells you what to do if you get any side effects. Not everyone will get the side effects shown.
There are many other possible side effects. Ask your pharmacist, doctor or nurse if you are worried about anything else
that you think might be a side effect.
Side effect What is it? What should I do if it happens to me?
DROWSINESS Feeling sleepy or sluggish. It can last for
a few hours after taking your dose
Don’t drive or use machinery. Ask your doctor if you can take your
lamotrigine at a different time.
HEADACHE When your head is painful and pounding. It should be safe to take aspirin or paracetamol.
LETHARGY You feel tired all the time and don’t feel
like doing anything.
This should wear off after a while. Contact your doctor if it is bad.
NAUSEA You feel sick or have an upset stomach. This should wear off after a while. Taking each dose with or after
food may help. Contact your doctor if it doesn’t.
RASH A rash seen anywhere on the skin. This is more common if the dose is increased too quickly. Contact
your doctor now. See also “rare” side effects.
Things look fuzzy and you can’t focus
Don’t drive or use machinery. You won’t need glasses. See your
doctor if you are worried.
DIPLOPIA Seeing double Don’t drive or use machinery. You won’t need glasses. See your
doctor if you are worried.
DIZZINESS You feel light headed and faint. Contact your doctor.
INSOMNIA You find it difficult to sleep at night. Contact your doctor.
Going blotchy in the sun. Avoid direct sunlight or sun-lamps. Use a high factor sun block
ATAXIA Being very unsteady on your feet. Your level may be too high. Contact your doctor.
CONFUSION Your mind is all mixed up. Your level may be too high. Contact your doctor.
You feel more on edge. Try and relax by taking deep breaths. Wear loose clothing. See
your doctor if it is bad.
This may show as anaemia, bruising or
Stop taking your lamotrigine and contact your doctor as soon as
This may show as a rash or influenza-like
Stop taking your lamotrigine and contact you doctor as soon as
possible, particularly if this occurs within the first eight weeks of
If you are also taking valproate or carbamazepine, you are more likely to suffer from some of the uncommon side effects.
What about alcohol?
It is officially recommended that people taking lamotrigine should not drink alcohol. This is because both lamotrigine and
alcohol can cause drowsiness and if you taken both at the same time, severe drowsiness can result. This can lead to falls
or accidents. As well as this, drinking alcohol often makes your mood unstable. Excessive drinking is especially likely to do
this. Once people are used to taking medication, they can sometimes drink alcohol in small amounts without any harm.
Avoid alcohol altogether for the first one or two months. After this, if you want a drink, try a glass of your normal drink and
see how you feel. If this doesn’t make you feel drowsy, then it is probably OK to drink small amounts. It pays to be very
cautious because alcohol affects people in different ways, especially when they are taking medication.
Don’t stop taking your medication because you fancy a drink at the weekend. If you do drink alcohol, drink only small
amounts. Never drink any alcohol and drive while on lamotrigine. Discuss any concerns you may have with your
pharmacist, doctor or nurse.
Remember, leaflets like this can only describe some of the effects of medication. You may find other
books or leaflets also useful. If you have access to the internet you may find a lot of information
there as well, but be careful, as internet based information is not always accurate.
2001 United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group www.ukppg.org.uk
This leaflet is to help you understand about your medicine. It is not an official manufacturer's Patient Information Leaflet.
For more information call the UKPPG National Telephone Helpline, 11am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 020 7919 2999 or
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