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Lamictal® & Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)

January 4, 2021

First approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 1994, Lamictal® (generically referred to as lamotrigine) is a prescription drug indicated for the treatment of epilepsy, specifically partial seizures, primary and secondary tonic-clonic seizures and the symptoms of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Nearly a decade later in January 2003, the FDA also approved Lamictal® for use in the treatment of Bipolar I disorder. Lamictal® is produced and distributed by GlaxoSmithKline, and it is commonly known to cause dizziness, insomnia, vivid dreams and nausea.

Some patients have reported a number of serious, life-threatening side effects while using Lamictal®. The more serious side effects include Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Some patients have reported an outbreak of Stevens-Johnson syndrome between 2 and 8 weeks following first use of the medication; others have reported the development of the condition up to six months after first use.

Long-Term Effects and Complications

If you experience any signs of rash or discomfort in the nose, mouth or eyes while using Lamictal®, you should see your doctor immediately. If a diagnosis of Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis (a more serious form of the same condition) is made, you must stop taking Lamictal® immediately. If you continue to use the drug, your condition will likely worsen.

It will be important to be treated immediately, as the potential effects can be damaging long term. Some serious complications that have been associated with the condition include, hair loss, permanent scarring, vision loss due to scarring in the eyes, lost finger or toenails, organ damage and death.

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