Lamotrigine side effects cover a wide range of possible reactions that may or may not appear in people using the medication. Most are minor and disappear shortly after the human body adjusts to the drug, but some can be signs of a serious reaction. Patients using the medication might experience weight gain or loss, constipation or diarrhea, and rashes that are minor or serious, among the dozens of lamotrigine side effects. The most common complaint is dizziness.
The second most common side effect has been defined as vision problems that might cause blurriness or double vision. Headaches, problems with coordination, nausea, and vomiting, respectively, have been identified as lamotrigine side effects most reported by users. The main reason patients stop taking the drug is a rash that resembles poison ivy and might cause severe itching.
A rash that develops while using the drug might signal a serious allergic reaction that could kill skin cells. If the rash is accompanied by fever or sores in or near the mouth, a doctor should be notified. Rashes that appear only on the torso or neck could also be signs that an allergic reaction is occurring. These can appear between five days and eight weeks after a person starts taking the drug.
Lamotrigine is an anticonvulsant drug used to treat seizures. It could also be effective as a mood stabilizer in some people with bipolar disorder. This medication is stronger than other drugs used to treat these conditions, and may help patients whose symptoms are difficult to control. Myriad possible side effects are typically weighed against the benefits for people who haven’t responded to other medications.
The drug has shown promise in some people suffering from depression. It is used as a maintenance medication to prevent bouts of depression or manic behavior. In some patients, however, suicidal thoughts might increase while taking lamotrigine. Doctors typically monitor patients for lamotrigine side effects closely within the first month of use, when side effects commonly surface.
There is the possibility of seizures when any anticonvulsant drug is abruptly stopped. For this reason, patients who exhibit lamotrigine side effects that are troublesome are usually weaned off the medication slowly. Speech problems, heart pain, and tremors are side effects that might signal the potential for seizures or other serious reactions to the treatment.