What is Lamictal?
Lamictal is an anti-epileptic medication that is used alone or with other medications to treat epileptic seizures in adults and children. The drug works by slowing bursts of electrical activity in the brain to stop seizures. Lamictal is manufactured and marketed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 20, 2003.
What's the Problem?
Stevens-Johnson syndrome is an immune-complex-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that has been linked as an adverse side effect to Lamictal and many other drugs.
Clinical features of SJS include significant involvement of skin and oral, nasal, eye, vaginal, urethral, GI, and lower respiratory tract mucous membranes. Skin rash can develop into papules, vesicles, bullae, urticarial plaques, or confluent erythema. Bullous lesions can rupture and may lead to further complications.
In patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, GI and respiratory involvement may progress to necrosis. SJS is a serious systemic disorder with the potential for severe morbidity and even death.
Related Article: Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit Update
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Symptoms
- Flu-like symptoms
- High temperature
- Sore throat
- Joint pain
- Rash that usually starts on the upper body before quickly spreading to the face, arms, legs, and other areas of the body, such as the genitals.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Associated with Lamictal: Study
A 2013 study published in the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences [3.] presented a case where a patient developed SJS 3 weeks after starting on Lamictal.
The patient, a 56-year-old woman, had been known to local mental health services as having a history of depression and anxiety and was attending follow-up appointments on and off.
Because she was unable to manage her symptoms of depression, Lamictal was added to her other medications (Sertraline and Buspirone), which she had been taking for many months. She was started on Lamictal 25 mg daily, which was gradually increased to 50 mg twice daily over the next 2 weeks.
Sixteen days after she was discharged from the hospital, the patient developed conjunctivitis and swelling of the face and lips. She also developed erosion of the mucous membrane inside her mouth and erythematous papules, as well as bullous eruptions over her body.
She was kept under the care of a medical specialist, ophthalmologist, and dermatologist, who all agreed she should be diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Lamictal and her other antidepressant medications were discontinued. After a few days, she started feeling better, made a full recovery in 2 weeks' time, and was discharged home.
Lamictal-Induced SJS: Clinical Report
A 2020 study [2.] conducted at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine looked at the case of a 33-year-old black woman who was admitted to an urgent clinic with a 24-hour history of sore throat, fever, chills, and cervical lymphadenopathy.
The patient was clinically diagnosed with Streptococcal pharyngitis and was started on cephalexin (Keflex) oral 250 mg, as well as an injection of penicillin. Approximately 3–4 days after starting this regimen, the patient experienced swelling and tingling of her lips and diffuse, maculopapular rash on the palms of the hands, forearm, chest, and back.
She was advised to go to the emergency department immediately, where she was then diagnosed with a possible delayed hypersensitivity reaction to Keflex or penicillin.
Two weeks after she was discharged from the hospital, the patient had a follow-up with her primary care physician, at which time she claimed to be suffering from depression and anxiety prior to her onset of symptoms. She was prescribed Zoloft 50 mg daily and Lamictal 100 mg orally daily.
The patient stopped using both drugs 2 weeks later. Her primary physician ultimately diagnosed her with Stevens–Johnson syndrome caused by recent use and discontinuation of Lamictal.
Severe Immune System Reaction with Lamictal: FDA Warning
In April 2018, the FDA issued a warning [1.] which stated that Lamictal can cause a severe reaction known as hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) which excessively activates the body’s infection-fighting immune system.
"HLH typically presents as a persistent fever, usually greater than 101°F, and it can lead to severe problems with blood cells and organs throughout the body such as the liver, kidneys, and lungs," FDA said. "This can cause severe inflammation and lead to hospitalization and death, especially if the reaction is not diagnosed and treated quickly."
As a result of these problems, FDA required that a warning about HLH be added to the labeling of Lamictal.
- Feldene Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit
- Flagyl Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Attorney
- Dolobid Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Litigation
See all related dangerous drug lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.
Get a Free Lamictal Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Lamictal Stevens-Johnson Syndrome lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently investigating potential settlements in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) after taking Lamictal, you should contact our law firm immediately for a free case review. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit for legal fees and our defective drug lawyers can help with a free case evaluation.