At my recent visit to the new neurologist, he prescribed a new preventive med for me to try: Lamictal (Lamotrigine). This is an anti-epileptic drug that’s also used for bi-polar disorder. But like many meds used to treat migraine, it’s use is off-label to treat migraine with aura.
I’ve done a fair amount of research before decided to start the drug. When desperate, I’m not always so vigilant about this, but this drug comes with a large scary warning label: THE RASH. Along with some other anti-epileptic drugs, Lamotrigine can cause Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which is a serious rash that can be deadly. So scary! It didn’t help that the way the doctor described this risk was less than reassuring. So, I filled the prescription but have yet to start taking it until I’ve felt fully comfortable with it.
After doing some research, I think I’ll take the jump. It’s important to build up the drug very slowly. People who build up quicker than prescribed seem to increase the risk of the rash significantly. I am very good at taking meds as prescribed, however, so I will not be doing that. I also wanted to wait until the hives I’ve been having on my hands for the past couple months went away completely. I got stung by a wasp back in February and started developing hives on my hands every day or so. After getting some prednisone from my allergist, the hives have slowly dissipated. But I didn’t want that lingering while I started on a new med that’s said to cause rashes.
I know I have to be hyper vigilant about recognizing a rash on my body and take action right away if I get one. The risk is fairly low but the benefits have the potential to be very high. The studies that have been done on this drug for the treatment of migraine with aura have been quite amazing… like miracle drug amazing. As long as I don’t get THE RASH, the drug has the potential to greatly decrease my auras and headaches too. We shall see…