Lamictal Linked to Potentially Fatal Skin Reaction
Patients who use the prescription drug Lamictal may be at risk for developing a potentially fatal condition known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome.
Lamictal (lamotrigine) was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1994 to treat patients suffering from certain types of seizures, including partial seizures and primary and secondary tonic-clonic seizures. In 2003, the FDA also approved Lamictal for the treatment of patients suffering from bipolar I disorder.
Lamictal is known to cause a variety of side effects, including sleeplessness, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. In recent years, the drug has also been linked to another serious side effect known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). It’s believed that Stevens Johnson Syndrome is triggered by an allergic reaction.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome Symptoms
Stevens Johnson Syndrome and a related condition called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) are marked by a specific set of symptoms. These include:
- Swelling of the face and tongue
- Skin pain
- Sore throat
- Burning sensation in or around the eyes
Following the onset of these symptoms, patients who have SJS will begin to develop a reddish or purplish rash that can take several hours or several days to spread. The rash typically affects the mucous linings around the eyes, nose, mouth and genital areas more severely than other parts of the body. Some patients may develop blisters or lesions and the top layer of skin may shed away.
Patients who are diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome require hospitalization to receive treatment for their injuries. One of the primary concerns associated with this disorder is the risk of infection, which can potentially be fatal.
Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
Some patients who are diagnosed with SJS may experience a worsening of their condition and may develop another condition known as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). With TEN, the rash is typically more severe and the risk of death is generally much higher, with as many as 35% of TEN cases proving fatal.
Long-term Effects of SJS/TEN
Patients who are diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis and eventually recover may still suffer some long-term side effects. These may include:
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Vision loss or other problems with eyesight
- Infection caused by cellulitis
- Internal organ damage
If your doctor is recommending that you use Lamictal to treat an epileptic or psychiatric condition, it’s important that you discuss the risks beforehand. Patients who developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome or TEN after using Lamictal may be eligible to seek compensation for their injuries by filing a product liability claim. If you or a loved one sufferd complications after using Lamictal, you need to contact an experienced Stevens Johnson Syndrome attorney as quickly as possible to discuss your rights.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP is currently investigating Lamictal side effects claims in all 50 states. For more information on filing a Lamictal Stevens Johnson Syndrome lawsuit, call 1-800-718-4658.