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Lamictal rash: trying to get the story straight

Posted by Lauren B on November 25, 2003, at 7:37:16

Hi. I need a little advice about coping with Lamictal rash. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out what the presence of itchy, little red bumps on arms and legs means—exactly.....postings I've read are a little confusing regarding whether this clearly sensitive reponse to the drug means you should 1. stop gradually, 2. stop abruptly, or 3. tough the itchy bumps out in the hopes that after a few days, the rash subsides on its own and your body begins to tolerate the drug somehow.
I know that with any drug for bipolar disorder, response can be radically different for different folks. I guess by posting this, I'm hoping that someone with an experience close to mine can offer guidence.
So, as to the narrative: I started taking Lamictal 3 weeks ago on a 25 mg dose every other day. (Prior to that, I'd been "washing out" the long-used maintenance doses of Depakote and my antidepressant, and in fact, had been clear of everything for a week prior to beginning with Lamictal.) After the first week, I ramped up to 25 daily. I felt vague body itchiness, especially in my feet (of all places), dismissed it as psychosomatic, and continued. The real trouble started when I took two 25 mg. tablets daily. After two days of this, those little red bumps I mentioned at the start of the post made their appearance on the inside of both arms and on my thighs. Meanwhile, the "foot itch" (which would be comical if it weren't so annoying) got exponentially worse.This happened after only a two-day dose of 50 mgs. My doctor (not shrink—who I couldn't reach, but my primary care physician) said STOP and see a dermatologist, which I'm doing later today. I left an intense message with my shrink, basically saying, "I'm done with this." But then, I began to do further research online.
Based on what I could determine from the variety of postings out there: Some people seem to get over this rash, which, confusingly, seems to be an annoying side effect NOT ASSOCIATED WITH SJ disorder. (Further confusing things, no posts seem to clearly indicate what SJ disorder EXACTLY IS. I'm guessing it's some sort of extreme allergeric, auto-immune response.)
Can someone tell me what they did about little red it SJ or not...did they go away on their own while you still took the drug...or what....I'd like Lamictal to work for me. I'm told it's a better option for a bipolar female who is MOSTLY depressed. I'm functional in society, but there is no joy for me out there and quite frankly, I need to get my "life verve" back again. Lauren B




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