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What are the side effects of lamotrigine?

There are many possible side effects of lamotrigine. A "black box warning" has been issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration for lamotrigine because of the risk of serious skin rashes, which include Stevens-Johnsons syndrome, angioedema, and toxic epidermal necrolysis. These rashes, although infrequent, may require admission to the hospital and maybe even cause death.

Other infrequent, yet serious, side effects of lamotrigine include worsening of seizures, depression and suicidal thoughts or behavior (even when used for epilepsy), bone marrow problems with low blood cell counts, frequent infections, meningitis, and allergic reactions. Lamotrigine may also cause potentially fatal multiorgan failure and may cause damage in many organs and tissues, including the liver and muscles.

The most common side effects of lamotrigine, which occur in more than 20% of individuals, include dizziness, double or blurred vision, headaches, coordination problems, nausea, and vomiting. Other common effects, found in 5-20% of people, include drowsiness, fatigue, irritated or runny nose, sore throat, dry mouth, cough, flu-like symptoms, bronchitis, fever, difficulty with sleeping, shakiness, weakness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, loss of weight, painful menstrual cramps, back pain, and chest pain.

There are many rare side effects of lamotrigine (occurring in less than 5% of people) that are not as serious as those mentioned earlier. They include speech or concentration problems, nervousness, amnesia, spinning sensation, nosebleeds, neck pain, joint pain, vaginal infection or irritation, bladder infection, sinus infection, dry skin, sweating, and weight gain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.