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Lamictal Rash : Causes,Symptoms,Pictures,Treatment

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Lamotrigine (Lamictal) is a highly efficient anti-seizure medication commonly used for the treatment of epilepsy. It is also recommended by the psychiatrists for treating bipolar mood disorder. It is very useful in the treatment of severe depression phase. Lamictal was introduced in 1994 to be included as a medical drug and is commonly used thereafter. Today, it is a constituent of World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medications Lamictal has a very common and serious side effect i.e. Lamictal Rash.

 

What is Lamictal Rash?

 

Lamictal rash

 

 

A Lamictal rash is a chronic side effect of the anti-convulsive medication “Lamictal”. A review was done in the year 2014 and it had been reported that 10 percent people were prone to develop a Lamictal rash i.e. 1 out of 10 patients.

The manifestations of this hypersensitive reaction usually appear within two to eight weeks after the beginning of treatment. But usually, Lamictal rashes disappear once the medication is stopped and there are no further side effects and problems. But it has been reported that it has a significantly high mortality rate of 5 percent to 30 percent, that is, this condition can be life-threatening to certain people.

It has been observed that this condition is more common in children of 2 to 16 years of age.

Presence of Lamictal Rash with some other symptoms may lead to the diagnosis of other diseases and syndromes such as:

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS),
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and
  • Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS syndrome)

Each of these reactions possesses their own characteristic features which are described below:

Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)

It is characterized by flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, diarrhea, vomiting, and headache. It is followed by a hypersensitive reaction of the bodily immune system in the form of rashes that quickly spread throughout the body. Also, the face and tongue get swollen and mucous membranes of the mouth, eye, and nose suffers from blistering. The rashes can be extremely painful and it can also cause the removal of skin. The detachment of skin occurs to about less than 10 percent.

Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)

It is the worse condition of SJS. In this, the detachment of skin occurs to more than 30 percent. Furthermore, the mortality rate is higher than that of SJS and the risk of death is greater ( 4 or 5 times) than SJS.

DRESS Syndrome

It is also a hypersensitive reaction which is accompanied by rashes along with other symptoms such as nerve pain and an organ inflammation. It can occur in any organ such as liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, muscles, and pancreas.

It is quite uncertain to clarify which type of rash can become serious; hence it is highly recommended that as soon as a patient starts experiencing this Lamictal rash or any other such manifestations, then the patient should stop taking medication i.e. Lamotrigine or Lamictal.

 

What Are Causes Of Lamictal Rash?

 

beginning stages of lamictal rash

 

Now, it has been clear that Lamictal rash is a hypersensitive reaction to the Lamictal medication. It is known that the hypersensitive reaction is an auto-immune response of the body when it reacts abnormally to a drug or any other substance. There is no definite time for the appearance of such reactions rather they may be visible immediately or after a certain period of time.

 

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Although there is no as such specific cause of Lamictal rash still, there are certain factors that may increase the likelihood of developing a rash in few patients which are described below:

  1. Age: Children are more prone to developing Lamictal rash.
  2. Co-medication: The Lamictal rash is more common in those patients who consume anti-epileptic drugs such as Valproate which constitute Divalproex and valproic acid. Valproic acid inhibits the excretion of the Lamictal from blood thereby increasing the serum levels and hence causing the misbalanced proportion of Lamictal.

 

  1. Starting dose: Those patients who consume high doses of this drug are more likely to develop Lamictal rash.

 

  1. Rapid Dose Escalation: if the dosage is increased abruptly, then it can act as one of the causal factors.

 

  1. Pre- responses: if any sort of hypersensitive reaction has already occurred after consumption of another anti-epilepsy medication, then it is more likely to get another rash.

 

  1. Genetic factors: According to a study in 2017, there are specific immune markers that can increase the risk of getting prone to these rashes. That is, it has a genetic component involved.

 

What Are The Symptoms Of Lamictal Rash?

 

It is highly recommended that one should go the health practitioner or a doctor for proper diagnosis of this Lamictal rash and whether it is a dreadful condition or just a harmless one. However, one should be aware of the symptoms which are helpful determinants of whether a rash has occurred due to consumption of Lamictal or not.

It has been reported that there are very fewer chances that a person develops a serious problem. But as we have already seen that there is 1 percent chance children are more likely to develop this disease whereas, in adults, the chances of danger are just 0.3 percent.

There is the multitude of signs and symptoms for recognizing a Lamictal rash which is listed below:

  1. blistering at the regions of face and mouth
  2. redness and itching on the skin
  3. presence of hives
  4. feverish feeling and discomfort

If the condition becomes serious, then the following symptoms can be seen:

  1. shedding of skin and skin detachment
  2. Painful blistering
  3. inflammation at the region of eyes along with redness and swelling
  4. body aches and flu-like symptoms
  5. lymph nodes become swollen around the neck area
  6. Eosinophils become high in number

Also, the reactions may be seen in the human body in the form of the three syndromes mentioned above: SJS, TEN and DRESS Syndrome.

If anyone experiences such signs and symptoms, then he/she should immediately contact their doctors. And in case of emergency, immediate treatment should be taken.

 

 Precautions for Lamictal Rash

 

lamotrigine rash how long will it last

You should make sure that you must discuss your health conditions before taking Lamictal. Also, you should provide all the information to your healthcare provider in case you are taking some other medications since past.

You should tell your doctor certain things especially if:

  • You suffered previously from any depression, mood-related issues, experienced suicidal thoughts or any such form of behavior.
  • You had an allergic reaction to any other previously taken anti-seizure medication
  • If after taking Lamictal, you suffered from aseptic meningitis.
  • You are taking any oral contraceptives or other medications to control hormonal changes. Do not begin or end in using any birth control medication or any hormonal medicine unless you talk to your doctor. Also, discuss with your healthcare provider regarding any changes in menstrual process especially heavily uncontrolled bleeding. It is because terminating the usage of these medications may cause some side effects such as dizziness, lack of coordination, or double vision.

 

  • You are pregnant or planning to conceive a child. Although the effect of Lamictal on the conception and development of the baby is not known, you should always talk to your doctor regarding whether it is safe to use an antiepileptic drug during pregnancy.
  • You are in a breastfeeding phase. Once you take Lamictal drugs, it passes on to the breast milk and may cause side effects in the baby. In case you breastfeed an infant while on medications, then you should cautiously observe whether the child is facing difficulty in breathing, feels sleepy all the time, sucking poorly or any other unusual behavior. In case you see any such signs, then immediately call the pediatrician.

To get rid of the Lamictal rash, you have to keep patience and follow the instructions given by the doctor on a strict basis. Also, it has been clearly observed that certain side effects may occur due to the interference of one medication with the other. So, you should consult prior to your doctor about any new medicine which is planning to take, any prescribed or non prescribed medications which you are taking or any other supplements.

Hence following precautions can be taken to prevent the occurrence of Lamictal rash:

  • You should always consume the medication in exact quantity as it is prescribed.
  • You must not change the quantity of dose without consulting your health practitioner.
  • You should not stop taking Lamictal without consulting your doctor. Sudden stoppage of medication may lead to serious consequences. For instance, in epilepsy, if you suddenly stop taking medicine, then you may experience continuous seizures.
  • In case you miss your dose and then take it as soon as possible. But make sure that you do not take two doses at the same time.
  • In case you take more than the prescribed dose of medicine, then go to your health care provider immediately.
  • In case you are suffering from epilepsy, then ask your healthcare provider in case your seizures get worsened.
  • Swallow the whole tablets of Lamictal.
  • In case you feel difficulty in swallowing the Lamictal tablets, then discuss with your healthcare provider so that he can tell you another form of taking the medicine.

 

Treatment for Lamictal Rash

 

Lamictal rash is caused as a side effect of consuming the Lamictal medicine, hence, its treatment will depend upon the condition of the patient, whether the patient is severely experiencing this hypersensitive reaction or he/she is out of danger zone. Generally, in case of severity, the doctor usually terminates the treatment procedure i.e. stops the medication of the patient.

If the patient is experiencing mild rashes, then rather than terminating the treatment, doctors advise the patient to keep patience and wait for the rashes to disappear on its own.

But if we consider the three reactions which we just studied above, then the treatment procedure differs:

  • In Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Hospitalization is mandatory. And the patient is hospitalized in a burning unit. Although the most effective strategy for the treatment is still unknown the drugs through which immune system is targeted, are considered to be helpful in certain cases with some people. Those people who suffer from this syndrome get proper care and their symptoms will be managed as they should be.

 

  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) essentially requires the hospitalization of the patient. The person may require antibiotics which can be given intravenously or fluids. The person may have to be isolated for prevention of further infection to other healthy beings and also, some patients may require immune therapy to treat this disorder. Also, the symptoms will define the treatment procedure as it has been observed that in such cases, the treatment is very important because the disease spreads quickly.

 

  • In DRESS syndrome, multiple therapies are required during the hospitalization. It also involves the drug treatment which is given to suppress the functioning of the immune system. Corticosteroids are also given. In this disorder, usually an organ inflammation occurs and because of this, additional treatments for preventing complication are also required. Hence, the doctor may prescribe oral Cortisteroids or antihistamine compounds to control the hypersensitive reactions and may recommend you to undergo certain tests for determining the damage caused to an organ.

Hence, one should take care that if the rash is not related to the Lamictal, then the medication should not be stopped in any case. But in case there is a significant relation between experiencing a rash and the medicine uptake, then one should immediately consult their healthcare provider regarding the same. Also, one should note that there is no proper way to confirm if a mild rash will lead to a drastically dangerous situation. However, the doctor may raise or lower down the dosage of the medicine after noticing your reaction condition. In severe cases, the doctor stops the medication immediately.

 

How to Get Rid Of Lamictal Rash?

 

Neem is considered to be a very useful substance for treating any sort of skin diseases. Also, one can prepare a paste of an oatmeal or baking soda with lukewarm water. One can also apply turmeric paste or coriander leaves so as to trigger the healing process of the skin.

To Get Rid of Lamictal Rash Fast, certain remedies can be done. Some remedies are discussed below which you can follow:

  1. Olive Oil

Olive oil acts as an amazing moisturizer. It aids in the healing process and helps in rejuvenating skin. It is a rich source of vitamin E and also it possesses antioxidant properties. It also acts as a soothing agent for the skin and reduces the inflammation of the skin. One can apply olive oil on rashes by simply dabbing it on the rash. Also, olive oil can be mixed with turmeric (antibacterial and anti-inflammatory substance) and applied as a paste on rashes.

Rashes can also be healed by using castor oil or coconut oil. One can also apply a paste of Vitamin E oil; Cod liver oil or olive oil to treat the rashes.

  1. Baking Soda

Baking soda helps the rashes by making it dry. But one should always be careful about not using baking soda for a long time as it can also cause irritation.

The baking soda can be used in the form of a paste by mixing it with coconut oil or with warm water.  This paste can then be applied on to the rashes and after 5 minutes of keeping it, it can be washed. This procedure can be repeated once or twice on a daily basis to get rid of Lamictal rash.

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is well known for its multifarious benefits as it acts as an antibacterial and an antifungal agent. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It heals the rashes, soothes the skin and also provides instant relief from the itching and redness of the skin.  The Aloe Vera gel can be used in its natural form or one can also buy a commercial product such as Aloe Vera gel for the same. You can apply the Aloe Vera gel to the affected region and rinse it off after 20 minutes.

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal helps in reducing the inflammation of the skin and also, provides relief from skin irritation. It is because this substance possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

You can easily use it by mixing it with warm water, coconut oil or milk to form a paste-like thing which could be then applied to the affected portion. Allow it to get soaked for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off.

  1. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps in controlling skin infections and enhances the vigor and vitality of the skin.

For using this ingredient, you just need to dip cotton in the vinegar and apply it to the affected region. You need to keep the cotton in the affected region for few minutes and then take it off.

  1. Cold compress

The cold compress is very beneficial for treating rashes as it helps in getting relief from itching, inflammation, and swelling. It also helps in preventing the blister formation.

For using this, take a plastic bag and put some ice cubes in to apply to the affected area.

  1. Neem

Neem has been one of the amazing medicines containing multiple properties:

  • It is anti-inflammatory in nature
  • It works as an analgesic
  • It prevents irritation
  • It acts as an antiviral and antibacterial agent

Neem is very effective in curing skin diseases. It possesses antioxidant properties and acts as an anti-aging tool and helps in rejuvenation of skin cells.

You just need to boil the Neem leaves in water and you have to filter the liquid and add it to your bathing tub. Also, Neem products can be used.

  1. Chamomile

Chamomile possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in getting relieved from itching. It also acts as an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent. Hence, it is very effective in curing rashes.

You just need to have chamomile tea and soak it in a clean washcloth. Put it on the affected area and compress it for 10-15 minutes.

  1. Coriander

Coriander is commonly used in Ayurvedic treatments and helps in treating rashes and rejuvenation of skin cells. It also possesses anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It also provides soothing effect from itching. It has a very calming effect on the skin.

To use this, form a paste of coriander leaves after grinding it. Please note that water should not be added while grinding. Apply the paste on the affected region and leave it for 30 minutes. After this, wash the affected portion. You can apply a paste of ground coriander leaves on the affected area. Leave it on for at least half an hour, and then wash it off. Do not add water while grinding.
Also, one can boil the coriander leaves using water and drink the same.

  1. Calendula Oil

Calendula oil possesses multiple medicinal properties, It acts as an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agent; also, it has anti-inflammatory properties and it can be used as an astringent.

To use this, the bath water can be supplemented with the calendula oil and soak the affected portion for 15 minutes or one can also use calendula tea for compressing at the affected portion. Calendula oil can simply be applied on the affected portion and left for few hours till it gets absorbed by the skin.

 

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One can also use calendula induced olive oil which can be prepared easily. To prepare this, olive oil can be simply added on to the calendula flowers in an open container (one has to keep the flowers for 15 minutes in order for wilting to take place) and then the container has to be placed on the boiler. The heating should be done for 3-5 hours and then the oil should be strained and stored in a jar.

Conclusion

If you experience and notice the first sign of rash then you should immediately stop taking the drug and contact your health care provider immediately regardless of whether the condition is mild or severe. It is because if there is any internal organ affected due to this hypersensitive reaction, then it can be lethal also.

If the Lamictal rash appears within 5 to 8 weeks of consumption of the drug, then it may lead to very dreadful consequences.

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