Is it better to take Lamotrigine at night? (7+ common side effects) 

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Is it better to take Lamotrigine at night?”. Lamotrigine is one of the most commonly used medications for the management and treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. 

However, the timing at which you take this medication may affect the side effects it causes you. This blog will cover when you should and when you should not take Lamotrigine at night or at bedtime. 

Is it better to take Lamotrigine at night?

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It is better to take Lamotrigine at night if the drug makes you sleepy. Lamotrigine can cause a number of sleep-related side effects in different individuals, one of which include sleepiness or drowsiness. If Lamotrigine makes you feel tired and drowsy, it’s best to take this medication at bedtime. 

This will not only help you fall asleep at night but will also help you avoid tiredness and drowsiness during the daytime, which can significantly affect your mental alertness. 

If your mental alertness is compromised as a result of taking Lamotrigine in the morning, it will become difficult for you to perform your daily life activities or work-related tasks. However, Lamotrigine can cause insomnia in some people. 

Several people have reported this side effect and have stated that they find it extremely difficult to fall asleep at night when they take Lamotrigine at bedtime. If you’re one of such people then I would recommend you to not take Lamotrigine at night. 

Instead, take it in the morning every day so that insomnia associated with this mood stabiliser will die down when the nighttime comes. This does not guarantee you an insomnia-free night, but you will find this side effect to be much less intense. 

In short, you should take Lamotrigine at the best possible time in accordance with your side effects. If it causes insomnia, take it in the morning and if it causes drowsiness then take it at bedtime. Just make sure that you take this medication at the same time every day. 

It is extremely important to keep the time interval between two Lamotrigine doses constant. This can help you achieve the maximum therapeutic response from this medication. 

It is also important to make sure that you only take this medication if prescribed by your healthcare provider. If your doctor has advised you to take the med, it is extremely important for you to stick to the doctor’s recommended dose. 

What is Lamotrigine and why is it prescribed by healthcare providers? 

Lamotrigine is a mood stabiliser. It works by inhibiting the sodium ion channels in your brain, which play an important role in the release of two major excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain; glutamate and aspartate.

Excessive levels of these chemicals can worsen the symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. In fact, bipolar and other personality disorders are caused by the imbalance of these excitatory neurotransmitters. 

The chemicals in your brain are controlling a hell lot of functions in your body, including psychological and physiological functions. They can either make you feel tired or enhance your energy levels. Similarly, they can either make you feel happy or cranky. 

You may become hungry or may lose your appetite. They can also help you carry out a number of other body functions. They can help you make decisions, good or bad. 

Glutamate and aspartate are the main neurotransmitters that are behind the disturbing symptoms of bipolar disorder and other mood-related disorders. Lamotrigine controls and blocks the release of these chemicals and helps you recover from disturbing symptoms. 

However, make sure you only take this medication if your healthcare provider has prescribed it. Lamotrigine may not suit everyone and this med is associated with a number of mood-related side effects as well. 

You just have to be certain that Lamotrigine is the right choice of medication for you and it holds a good chance of treating your condition in the long run. If it doesn’t suit you, immediately report to your healthcare provider. 

Do not stop using this medication on your own. Meds like Lamotrigine that can affect the chemical composition of your brain should never be stopped abruptly. The symptoms associated with bipolar disorder are inevitable. 

You can literally become a maniac in just a matter of seconds. That’s why you should not change the dose or the frequency of dose administration without your doctor’s approval. 

What are the side effects associated with the use of Lamotrigine? 

Like every other medication on this planet, Lamotrigine is also associated with some side effects. These side effects can vary from person to person. 

Some people may not develop unbearable side effects, but some people can develop an allergic reaction to Lamotrigine which can lead to the discontinuation of treatment with this medication. Some of the common side effects associated with the use of Lamotrigine include:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Constipation 
  • Headache 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Restlessness 
  • Anxiety 
  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Heartburn or acid reflux 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Joint pain 
  • Inability to speak 
  • Difficulty in remembering things 
  • Difficulty in making decisions 
  • Difficulty in understanding your surroundings
  • Genital swelling or itching, especially in women 
  • Tremors or involuntary movements 
  • Vision problems like blurry vision, double vision, inability to focus on the image, or pain in one or both eyes
  • Infections in different parts of the body

Lamotrigine can also cause some rare and serious side effects which may require immediate medical attention. Make sure you reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as you can if you suffer from the following side effects:

  • An allergic reaction 
  • Redness of skin 
  • Itching 
  • Burning sensation 
  • Blue-purple patches 
  • Tightness of chest 
  • Wheezing 
  • Hoarseness 
  • Inability to breathe 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body 
  • Muscle twitching and weakness 
  • Cough 
  • Severe diarrhoea 
  • Confusion 
  • Forgetfulness 

Ensuring the proper use of Lamotrigine is the main key to achieving your desired therapeutic goals. First and the most important thing is to make sure that you are not allergic to Lamotrigine. 

If you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction or any unusual side effect right after taking your first ever Lamotrigine dose, then Lamotrigine is not a good choice of medication for you. 

To prevent that from happening, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about the excipients present in the formulation to make sure it does not contain anything that you know you’re allergic to. 

It is also extremely important to inform your doctor about all the meds you have been taking before you take Lamotrigine. Medications don’t always go well together. Some meds are highly incompatible with one another. 

Some meds are incompatible in terms of the side effects as they all cause the same kind of side effects that may become too much for you to bear. This is why you should inform your doctor if you have been taking anything like:

  • Vitamin or mineral supplements
  • Hypertensives, especially ACE Inhibitors 
  • Antiarrhythmic drugs 
  • Other antiepileptics
  • Antidepressants like Monoaminoxidase inhibitors 
  • Anti-anxiety medications 
  • Antihistamines 
  • Drugs used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder 
  • Sleeping pills 
  • Narcotic analgesics
  • Other controlled substances
  • Alcohol

You should definitely inform your healthcare provider if you are a heavy drinker. The concomitant use of Lamotrigine and alcohol can make you suffer terribly. This is because both of these meds can act as CNS depressants. 

Excessive intake of these two can induce depression and suicidal behaviour in people. It can also cause side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, impaired senses, impaired motor coordination, confusion, inability to speak, blackouts, coma, and even death. 

This is why you should never pair these two together. If you’re an alcoholic, don’t forget to mention it to your healthcare provider. Your honesty is necessary to save your own life. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed whether or not you should take Lamotrigine at night. It is better to take Lamotrigine at night if the drug makes you sleepy. However, Lamotrigine can cause insomnia in some people. 

Several people have reported this side effect and have stated that they find it extremely difficult to fall asleep at night when they take Lamotrigine at bedtime. 

If you’re one of such people then I would recommend you to not take Lamotrigine at night. Instead, take it in the morning every day. Make sure you stick to your doctor’s directions. 

FAQs: is it better to take lamotrigine at night

Does lamotrigine help you sleep? 

Lamotrigine can cause a number of sleep-related side effects in different individuals, one of which include sleepiness or drowsiness. If Lamotrigine makes you feel tired and drowsy, it’s best to take this medication at bedtime. However, Lamotrigine can cause insomnia in some people. Several people have reported this side effect and have stated that they find it extremely difficult to fall asleep at night when they take Lamotrigine at bedtime.

How many hours does it take for lamotrigine to work?

Lamotrigine can start working within an hour of two of the dose administration. The effects of a single standard dose of Lamotrigine last for an entire day or even a few hours more than that. This is why the drug is often prescribed to be taken once daily. However, your doctor may also split your dose and ask you to take Lamotrigine twice a day. It totally depends on the severity of your condition. 

How do you know if lamotrigine is working?

You will know that Lamotrigine is working for you if you will start to see the differences in your mental health condition for which you started taking this med in the first place. Lamotrigine is a mood stabiliser. It works by inhibiting the sodium ion channels in your brain, which play an important role in the release of two major excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain; glutamate and aspartate. Excessive levels of these chemicals can worsen the symptoms associated with bipolar disorder.

What are the side effects of Lamotrigine? 

Some of the common side effects associated with the use of Lamotrigine include:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Constipation 
  • Headache 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Restlessness 
  • Anxiety 
  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Heartburn or acid reflux 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Joint pain 
  • Inability to speak 
  • Difficulty in remembering things 
  • Difficulty in making decisions 
  • Difficulty in understanding your surroundings

What is the best mood stabiliser for bipolar?

Lithium is used as the best mood stabiliser. However, it may not be tolerated well by some people. Lamotrigine can also be used. It works by inhibiting the sodium ion channels in your brain, which play an important role in the release of two major excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain; glutamate and aspartate. Excessive levels of these chemicals can worsen the symptoms associated with bipolar disorder.

References 

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