Lamictal XR Warnings and Precautions
If you have kidney or liver problems, your body may not handle Lamictal XR as well as it should, increasing your risk of side effects. Other important warnings and precautions with Lamictal XR apply to people with depression, a blood disorder, or a history of suicidal behavior. If you are allergic to any ingredients in Lamictal XR, you should not take this drug.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Lamictal XR?Prior to taking Lamictal® XR™ (extended-release lamotrigine), talk to your healthcare provider if you have:
- Depression or a history of suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Liver disease, such as liver failure or cirrhosis
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- A blood disorder
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Lamictal XR Warnings and PrecautionsPrecautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking Lamictal XR include the following:
- Lamictal XR can cause life-threatening skin rashes (see Lamictal Rash). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you develop any rash while taking this medicine.
- Lamictal XR can cause life-threatening allergic reactions (sometimes even without the typical serious skin rash). These allergic reactions can cause organ failure and even death. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you have any early signs of such a reaction, including:
- Swollen lymph nodes (swollen "glands")
- Swelling of the mouth or lips
- Difficulty breathing.
- There have been cases of liver failure caused by Lamictal XR. Children under two years old are at especially high risk, especially children with mental retardation, brain damage or disease, or certain other health problems. This medicine is not approved for children under 13 years old and should rarely be used in young children, due to the risk of liver damage.
- Lamictal XR can cause anemia or other blood disorders that might increase your risk of bleeding or infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any unusual bruising or bleeding, as well as any frequent infections.
- Studies suggest that seizure medications may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Along with their friends and family, people taking Lamictal XR should be aware of this risk and should be watchful for any changes in mood or behavior.
- As with all seizure medications, Lamictal XR should not be stopped suddenly, as this may increase the risk of seizures.
- If you stop taking this medication for any reason (even for just a few days), do not start taking it again without talking with your healthcare provider. In many cases, you may need to start back at a low dosage and slowly work your way up to your previous Lamictal XR dosage.
- If you have liver or kidney problems, your body may not handle Lamictal XR as well as it should, and you may be at a higher risk for Lamictal XR side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking this medicine if you have liver or kidney problems.
- Lamictal XR can accumulate in the eyes, potentially causing problems. You should receive regular eye exams during treatment.
- There are several other medications with names similar to Lamictal XR. Medication mix-ups are possible and could be lethal. Always check your tablets to make sure they are the right ones.
- Lamictal XR can interact with other medications, including birth control pills (see Lamictal XR Drug Interactions).
- Lamictal XR is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for pregnant women, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug when pregnant (see Lamictal XR and Pregnancy).
- Lamictal XR passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Lamictal XR and Breastfeeding).