View Full Version : What does Lamictal rash look like?

09-18-07, 03:10 PM
I have seen one or two of the extreme pictures on the net. However, the first time I took it my duaghter had mites so I thought I was reacting to that. Now six days in I have little red bumps at the bae of my neck. I wasn't sure if it was from shaving since I have sensitive skin, although some of the bumps go a little bit lower than my shaving. I have also noticed slight red bumps on the die of my face, outer cheek. I am seeing the PDoc tomorrow so I will ask hime to look at it, but I was wondering...can the lamictal rash be very subtle at first? I want this drug to work badly, but of course its one bad side effect is really bad. Is this just sensitive skin?

Thought I would ask to see what others who have had a bad reaction experienced.


09-18-07, 05:56 PM
Can't post images here...but here is one link.... (

This blurb taken from (

Stevens-Johnson is usually classified as a severe form of a skin rash known as erythema multiforme, although it is unknown if the two are truly related.

The hallmark of Stevens-Johnson syndrome is the development of large blisters in the mouth, in the throat, on the skin, around the anus or genitals, or even on the eyes. These blisters may rupture, leaving the immature layers underneath exposed, which may cause severe pain or discomfort. Eye inflammation can be severe and may result in scarring and even blindness.

In addition, affected persons may develop reddish skin rashes in various shapes, sizes, and locations in addition to joint pains, fever, and itching. A wide range of distribution and severity of these symptoms may occur, sometimes making the diagnosis of Stevens-Johnson syndrome difficult.

I would hope the doc knows the difference? If you have it now, and see him tomorrow.

09-18-07, 06:28 PM
Ugh! Thank you for those pictures. Let's hope that the doc knows what to look for and it's just my sensitive skin, not a reaction to the meds.

09-18-07, 07:01 PM
Um you are welcome....I hope so too...Sponge....

09-18-07, 07:26 PM
I can shed some light on SJS (aka "toxic shock"). It can happen with anything that you ingest. Basically your body thinks it is allergic to itself and starts taking itself apart. This is serious stuff. It can maim and kill.

I hope this is not too graphic.

Several years ago I developed what might have been SJS. It could also have been viral, the doctors are not sure. The reason SJS is hard to diagnose is that the symptoms are "nonspecific" and there are several viruses that can have the same symptoms (all of them nasty), so the doctors can't really be sure much of the time.

It happens really fast, and progresses rapidly.

It started with a mild sore throat that lasted for 6-8 hours after which I was suddenly very itchy. My skin itched. By the following morning skin had turned red and my throat , mouth and tongue were swollen. I could no longer eat, and could barely drink fluids. I recognized it as possibly SJS and called my doctor who took me in immediately.
I stopped taking my meds at that point.

I ended up on a full course of antibiotics and steroids. My instructions were that if I began to run a high fever that I should go straight to the hospital and call the doctor from there. My fever never went above 101.

After about 3-4 days things began to improve. After about 7 days I was able to eat solid food again. On the 11th day healing was well in progress and my skin becan to slough off revealing fresh new skin underneath. Yes indeed... I lost much of the skin on my body.

This stuff is no joke. If you have SJS stop the meds and call the doctor. To me this translates to: If you are on meds and develop a rash, stop taking the meds and call the doctor.

It's absolutely fatal if it is allowed to progress and those who survive a serious bout with it are often disfigured.


09-18-07, 08:32 PM
Holy rashes Batman! Wow that must have been something else. I am glad you came out of it okay though. I have had only a little bit of red bumps around my neck for a few days, but nothing else. My skin is very sensitive so it could be shaving and allergies, but I do feel slightly paranoid about how deadly that rash can be.

Thanks for sharing thst Speedo.

09-19-07, 12:22 PM
The rash is apprx 1 in 2000...the stats for the severe form and mortalitiy for it a lot bigger spectrum....need stats....

Your appt? Today?????

What is the word????????

09-19-07, 01:23 PM
My appointment is at 6:45. I have a few reddish light bumps at the base of my neck for the last week. It hasn't spread, but I can't tell if it's me or the drug. I hope he can tell. I have been cycling again so my mind started running with this story about how maybe I am treatment resistant and will just be up the creek...ugh...nice..

09-19-07, 02:35 PM
Stevens-Johnson is usually classified as a severe form of a skin rash known as erythema multiforme, although it is unknown if the two are truly related.My oldest had erythema multiforme as a result of sulfa drugs. It looks scary but is not dangerous and passes away all on its own.

09-19-07, 02:50 PM
The rash is apprx 1 in 2000...the stats for the severe form and mortalitiy for it a lot bigger spectrum....need stats
Ok what I meant to

The (milder version of the SJS appears in 1 in 2000 folks on all kinds of meds)
Not just Lamictal...right..
What I can't find now...since I am at work..and the statistics for the worst case sceneiro of the deadly SJS or the SJS that ends up in the 2nd & 3rd degree which the statistics are a LOT further apart...and it ususally doesn't get this far IF you are not waiting forever ,going hmmm I'm itchy,..hmm this looks like a blister,...hmm this is spreading all over my body....

You are NOT doing this. you are currently very aware,,,perhaps ummm hyperfocusing....on the RASH....I doubt you will end up with the RARER form of SJS....(which you probably would have known you had by now).

...if you have's obviously mild (unlike the nightmare Speedo had ..yikes) and if the doc says yes that's it...stop the meds and you should be fine....

hate it when I can't find stats.....quicker...

Hang in there buddy..only a few more hours to go!

I will check in see....

Hope ;)

09-19-07, 04:18 PM
Ok what I meant to

is the statistics for the worst case sceneiro of the deadly SJS or the SJS that ends up in the 2nd & 3rd degree which the statistics are a LOT further apart...and it ususally doesn't get this far IF you are not waiting forever ,going hmmm I'm itchy,..hmm this looks like a blister,...hmm this is spreading all over my body....

Hope ;)

*reads that part again*


I am more concerned about having to go off Lamictal, but yeah I am feeling slightly paranoid about winding up like Speedo after a week or two. I know everything will be fine in the big picture, but the little picture stinks sometimes.

09-19-07, 05:55 PM
More scarey stats... I recall that the severe form is fatal about 90% of the time if untreated. It's the kind of thing that you will drfinitely know that you are having a major problem. This is something that starts out mild and gets very bad very rapidly...

The way it hit me was I had a mild sore throat in the late part of the day and by the next morning I was very, very sick. I did not wait on anything. I called the doctor right away because I knew what it was. This did not develop over a couple of weeks. It hit like a ton of bricks pretty much at once. The next couple of weeks was basically spent recovering from it.


09-19-07, 07:55 PM
I went to the PDoc who is very nice btw....sounds like a Seinfeld thing but legs were starting to get itchy and have little red bumps so he looked me over and said (to continue with the Seinfeld thing) NO LAMICTAL FOR YOU! Starting tomorrow I will be on Trileptal. He said if the trileptal doesn't work we will move on to another family of meds. He made an apt for two weeks so we can see how the trileptal is doing.

This has been very challenging and last night I had had a major trigger occur that left me in the ol down swing. I am hoping it doesn't last too long. As always thanks for the support.

09-19-07, 07:58 PM
Hmmmmm I was under the impression that Toxic Shock Syndrome was caused by a bacterial toxin invader. The Lamictal Rash is caused by the medication. (


Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a serious medical condition commonly caused by an allergic reaction to drugs. The drugs associated with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) are antibiotics (penicillin and sulfa's), anti-convulsants, and pain relievers. Prescription pain relievers, such as Bextra (valdecoxib), Celebrex (celecoxib) and Daypro, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Motrin, Ibuprofin, Children's Motrin and Advil, have reportedly been associated with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Cocaine has also recently been added to the list of drugs capable of eliciting Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. SJS can also occur in response to infections or illnesses. Twenty-five to 50% of all cases derive from unknown origin.

What is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?

Stevens Johnson Syndrome patients suffer from inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes. Since mucous membranes are present in many organs throughout the body, such as the eyes, digestive system, lungs and respiratory system, many organs can become significantly affected during the disease process. SJS technically is an immune-complex-mediated hypersensitivity (allergic) condition. It is a severe expression of the condition known as erythema multiforme and is a lesser form of the condition known as toxic epidermal necrolysis. SJS is a serious disorder with potential for severe morbidity and in some cases, it can be fatal.

Erythema multiforme can be present and become noticeable in the form of a classic skin lesion, without displaying whole-body symptoms. This condition is normally associated with herpes simplex or mycoplasma infections. It occurs most often in children and young adults.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a much more severe condition than erythema multiforme. SJS typically involves multiple areas of the body and extensive lesion formation. The lesions can extend to the mucous membranes, thus affecting the lungs, eyes, mouth, stomach, intestines and virtually every major organ.

{End Quote}

It happens really fast, and progresses rapidly. It is my understanding as A PATIENT WHO HAS BEEN PRESCRIBED LAMICTAL, that The Rash will come on long before it becomes a deadly situation.
and there is ample time to treat it. Sorry about what happened to you, Speedo, but that is NOT the case scenerio I was warned about, nor is it the information provided to me on the leaflet provided with me every month when I refill my Lamictal.

This is what I found out about TSS:


Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare, life-threatening illness that is caused by toxins (poisons) that circulate in the bloodstream. Bacteria that have infected some part of the body release these toxins. People with toxic shock syndrome develop high fever, rash, low blood pressure, and failure of multiple organ systems in the body.

Toxic Shock Syndrome Causes

Toxic shock syndrome is caused by toxins produced by bacteria. Only certain rare strains of specific bacteria produce these poisons. As the bacterial toxins are released into the bloodstream, they begin to overstimulate the immune system in the body. This, in turn, causes the severe symptoms of toxic shock syndrome.

In the most common form of toxic shock syndrome, the bacteria live in the vagina of women who are infected, and the bacterial growth is encouraged by the presence of a tampon. However, these toxins can be produced from bacteria in other locations in the body as well. Sometimes, the location of the infection is not clear.

Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome: Most cases of toxic shock syndrome are caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus. The most well-known form of staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome is associated with menstruating women using tampons. However, men, children, and nonmenstruating women can develop toxic shock syndrome as well. In fact, a third of all cases of toxic shock syndrome occur in men.
Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome: Some cases of toxic shock syndrome are caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, the same bacterium that causes strep throat. S pyogenes often comes from a skin infection and causes a more serious form of toxic shock syndrome than S aureus.
Possible sources of infection

Vagina (superabsorbent tampon use)
Nose (nasal packing)
Surgical wound
Any skin wound, such as those from chickenpox

{End Quote}

Clearly, the Lamictal Rash has nothing to do with Toxic Shock Syndrome. As a female who has reason to be concerned about Toxic Shock Syndrome, as well as The Lamictal Rash, I have to say that there is VERY little reason for Sponge to be concerned about a severe and immediate reaction!!

As I mentioned, my own CHILD has had Erythema Multiforme, SPECIFICALLY caused by an allergic reaction to a sulfa drug. There was more than enough time to contact a doctor and it cleared up after we discontinued the medication.

Let's not go overboard and be alarmist here, shall we? :cool:

09-19-07, 08:59 PM
I am not too worried. I am more annoyed at having another rash. In June a doc put me on an antibiotic for a sinus infection and I got a nasty rash onmy arms and legs that itched like crazy and took a month and a half to get rid of.

I know veyr little about trileptal though. Can it be helpful for those of us who cycle like crazy?

09-19-07, 10:17 PM
I have taken Trileptal (noticing a pattern yet here? :rolleyes: I had tried a lot before Lamictal, remember) but I cannot now tell you what my results were BP-wise. It was too long ago for me to remember (curses, foiled again by my own ADHD).

I discontinueed Trileptal due to a booming headache that would last as long as the medication was in my system :(...I understand that's a possible side effect with this medication.

Here's what I found about Trileptal:

What is Trileptal and what does it treat?

Trileptal is an anticonvulsant medication that is most commonly used to treat seizures in patients with epilepsy. Although epilepsy is the only FDA approved indication, Trileptal is also used to treat bipolar disorder and neuropathic pain. The intent of using Trileptal is to even out the highs (mania) and lows (depression) in mood associated with bipolar disorder.

A manic episode, or mania, is when a person experiences several of the following symptoms at the same time: “high” or irritable mood, very high self esteem, decreased need for sleep, pressure to keep talking, racing thoughts, being easily distracted, frequently involved in activities with a large risk for bad consequences (for example, excessive buying sprees). A depressive episode, or depression, is when a person experiences several of the following symptoms at the same time: “low” or depressed mood (for example, sad, empty, tearful), decreased interest in most or all activities, changes in appetite (usually decreased), changes in sleep (usually poor sleep), loss of energy, feeling worthless/guilty/ hopeless/ helpless, difficulty concentrating, thoughts of death (suicidal thinking).

What is the most important information I should know about Trileptal?

Bipolar disorder requires long-term treatment. Only your healthcare provider can determine the length of Trileptal treatment that is right for you.
Do not stop taking Trileptal or change your dose without talking with your healthcare provider first.
Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking birth control pills. Trileptal may reduce the effectiveness of these medications, putting you at risk for pregnancy. Your birth control pill dose may need to be adjusted, or you may need to use an additional method of birth control while taking Trileptal.
Trileptal may reduce the effectiveness of some medications. Make sure your healthcare provider knows what other medications you are taking.
Trileptal may make you drowsy. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

What are the possible side effects of Trileptal?

Potential side effects of Trileptal include: headache, dizziness, sedation, unsteady or abnormal gait, fatigue, tremor, double vision, abnormal vision, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and indigestion. Memory impairment, concentration difficulties, rash, and weight gain have also been reported. Trileptal can cause a decrease in the body’s sodium level, especially at higher doses. Although low sodium levels may not cause observable symptoms, some signs of low sodium include nausea, drowsiness, impaired consciousness, or confusion. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a serious skin reaction, has occurred with Trileptal in rare cases.

Talk with your healthcare provider if you experience side effects that are bothersome to you. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop a skin reaction, fever, swelling, or shortness of breath.


So it looks like a viable option, to me. I was given it, after all.

09-19-07, 11:29 PM
Well Spongey...sorry about the Lamictal...dang that sensitive skin of yours! :eyebrow:

But Congrats on the Trileptal.. I don't know much about it, personally.
However, I have heard some good things about it from my mom.
She has been an RN forever.........and she worked at the TX State School for Mentally Ill and Mentally Retarded for about 20 years...and now works for a hospital in their geriatric psyc unit. So she has dealt with many folks in many extremes..and many BP's...never mind her 4 crazy kids...1 with ADD, 1 with ADHD/Dyslexia (my dear old moderatings sister...MeADD823) , 1 suspected by us all, but not diagnosed...borderline ADD'er, and well me...ADD/BPII.....
shall I go on....grandkids..oh yes...she has 6 of them.....5 of them...yep...ADD and 2 Bp's.....poor ole gal...however did she do it! :D

So I like to think she knows what the heck she is talking about...and I have heard it has worked well for many. So hang in there. ;)

I know it's easy way around it. But when it's over...and you get what works for will be worth much better than the alternative....crazy roller coaster ville! :faint:

We will be here for you...for the long worries. :p

Let us know you are.


09-20-07, 06:19 AM
I had high hopes for Lamictal, but its cool. It simply wasn't meant to be.

I am on a bit of the manic upturn now so my mind is racing yaddy yaddy yadda. I suppose the good thing is I no longer think it's "me." I know that a lot of the crap chatter is simply the condition. This doesn't make it any less painful or annoying, but it is nice to know it's not me. Strangley enough it also makes it easier to take control of some of my crazy behaviors. If I recognize the condition is running it makes it easier to say okay lets create some space and see what happens before soing something really crazy. It only works 3 out of 10 times right now but that is better than 0 out of 10.

Also yesterday I spoke with an old friend and blurted out about my BiPolar and strangely enough the conversation ended rather quickly. I also had a heck of a time with the Pharm. She kept asking me what the trileptal was for and instead of telling her it's for nunya (as in nunya business) after the third time I blurted out BP off label. The good news is that even though I would like to have said nunya I wasn't completely mortified or angry about her unprofessional behavior (I kept telling her off label and she kept asking).

09-20-07, 11:08 AM
And see you have arrived at one of the most healthy turning points my friend. Acceptance. And wiht acceptance and education, you will find although we can't function 100% without meds....Meds are not 100% cure. You realizing the triggers , realizing that you are cycling is 1/2 of the battle. you are doing very well, to understand that it's happening and making a path away from destruction is good news Sponge. If it worked 100% of the time...just with thinking power we wouldn't need meds at all, we could think it or discipline it away. But knowing and getting away from the harmful symptoms on your own 3/10's of the time is huge. The meds will help wiht the other 8% or so...then...the other 2% we just have to live with you know. But you are right it's so much better than 0...

I am proud of you Spongey. For what it's worth. It's nice to see the positive progress in you even in the midst of medication hell.

I have the utmost faith you will be fine. If you have read here...there are so many that are still at the first stepping stone in the path to recovery...and they have been stuck there for awhile. Sadly some never make it past that step. You have made leaps and bounds...and you might not think it..but for those of us who have been there...and made it quite aways....we see it.

Happy to hear you have not given up....

If you need someone to pry you off the ceiling just hollar! I will be in and out all day....I hope. Off to work now....

BTW....While I was less embarrassed about having ADD picking up my scripts always made me feel when they realized it was for me...and not my son....and I would wonder do they think I'm a feen?
And the BP was more of a blow to me...but getting the meds doesn't bother me.

If they asked me...well I guess being the consumate smart alec...(if I was in the mood) I would say...well I'll tell you tell me what meds you are on and why? And I will tell you? We can compare notes?

On a good day,...Why do ask?

Bad day for me...I take it for my homicidal tendiencies towards nosey people? brwahahaha....

Take care...