Lamictal vs. Lidocaine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood. Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.Treats nerve pain. Lidoderm (Lidocaine) patches work well by releasing a local anesthetic into the skin and relieving pain by targeting damaged nerves.
How it works
Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to calm nerve activity in the brain.Lidoderm (Lidocaine) is a local anesthetic. It absorbs into your skin where it targets damaged nerves and relieves burning pain.
Type of medication
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Local anestheticPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Jelly
  • Spray
  • Topical solution
  • Patch
Used for (click to learn more)
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lamictal (Lamotrigine)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
of people say Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Side effects
  • Double vision 41%
  • Dizziness 27%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 18%
  • Blurred vision 15%
  • Nausea 14%
  • Vomiting 14%
  • Headache 10%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Incoordination 4%
More Lamictal side effects »

The Lidocaine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Lidocaine side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Increasing the dose too quickly
        • Taking birth control pills
        • Stopping Lamictal (Lamotrigine) suddenly
        Detailed Lamictal (Lamotrigine) risks & warnings »
        • Use of heating pad on skin
        • Applying patch to red, irritated or broken skin
        • Leaving patch on for more than 12 hours
        • Using patch on a very large area
        • Older age and lower body weight
        • Liver disease
        • Allergy to numbing medications (local anesthetics)
        • Not disposing of Lidoderm (Lidocaine) correctly
        • Children and pets can reach medication
        • Not washing hands after touching or applying Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
        • Applying Lidoderm (Lidocaine) to warm skin
        • Covering patch with wrap or heating pad
        • History of heart problems
        • Using Lidoderm (Lidocaine) with drugs to treat irregular heartbeat
        Detailed Lidoderm (Lidocaine) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

        Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

        See the FDA package insert
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
        • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
        • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
        • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
        • Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can treat pain better for people who can't take oral pain medications due to allergies or bad side effects.
        • Has been shown to relieve nerve pain due to shingles for up to 12 hours at a time.
        • Patches can be cut into smaller pieces to best fit the areas of skin they need to be used on.
        Downsides and risks
        • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
        • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
        • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
        • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
        • Can cause skin irritation after using it the first time, but for most people it's mild and goes away in a few minutes or hours.
        • Used patches contain enough medicine to be dangerous to children and pets, so store and dispose of the patches in a safe place out of their reach.
        • Might not be the best choice if you've had allergic reactions to numbing medications (local anesthetics) in the past.
        • Even though only small amounts of Lidoderm (Lidocaine) are absorbed into the body through the skin, if you're taking medications that treat arrhythmias, Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can affect how they work.
        • Patches shouldn't be left on for more than 12 hours, used on very large areas of skin, or covered with a heating pad.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        • Follow dose adjustments set by your doctor to minimize skin rash.
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        • Report rash, blurry vision, fever, persistent headache, or neck stiffness to your doctor.
        • Makes hormonal birth control less effective.
        • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
        • Starts working with the first dose, but full effects can take longer.
        • Remove the protective lining on the patch before applying the patch to unbroken skin.
        • Leave the patch on for up to 12 hours during a 24 hour period.
        • You can cut the patches to create a custom fit for the area of skin you need to apply it to.
        • Don't place any tight wraps or heating pads over the patch while it's on.
        • Make sure not to touch your eyes after touching the patch. Always wash your hands after putting it on or taking it off.
        Learn more
        More about LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about LidocaineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert