Lamictal side effects may cause birth defects

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted October 1, 2006


The FDA has issued an alert that Lamictal side effects may pose a danger if taken during the first three months of pregnancy. The side effect of Lamictal could result in a birth defect known as a cleft lip or cleft palate.

Lamictal (generic name lamotrigine) is an epilepsy drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline PLC for treatment of seizures and bipolar disorders. It is used for treatment of partial seizures, seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome and one of the most serious types of epilepsy, grand mal seizures.

A cleft lip is a birth defect where there is a seperation of the left and right side of the lip and a cleft palate involves seperation of the roof of the mouth. As the baby develops during the early weeks of pregnancy, normally the right and left sides of the lip and mouth grow together. The Lamictal side effects may increase the risk of a baby being born without the left and right sides meeting.

Surgery usually corrects a cleft lip or cleft palate and improves the facial appearance. However, children with this birth defect tend to be more suceptible to colds, hearing loss and speech defects.

There has been no indication that women who are pregnant or who are planning on becoming pregnant should stop taking the medication without consulting with a physician. Additional information is being reviewed to evaluate the risk of these birth defects as a side effect of Lamictal.


Saiontz & Kirk investigates lawsuits for injuries suffered as a result of dangerous medical products and drugs. We are currently investigating claims for injuries as a result of these medication side effects.

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