People who take Lamictal need to know that this drug can cause aseptic meningitis. According to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), there have been at least 40 cases of aseptic meningitis in children and adults taking Lamictal since it was approved in 1994.
Aseptic meningitis is a frightening and painful condition that can become very serious in certain instances. Our Lamictal meningitis lawyers are offering free lawsuit consultations to anyone who developed meningitis while taking this medication.
If you or someone you love suffered because of aseptic meningitis while taking Lamictal, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. We urge you to contact one of our Lamictal meningitis lawyers right away to protect your legal rights.
Lamictal Aseptic Meningitis
Lamictal (lamotrigine), marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, is an anticonvulsant drug used in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Lamictal is sold as a conventional oral tablet, as an orally disintegrating tablet (Lamictal ODT), a chewable, dispersible tablet (Lamictal CD), and as an extended release product (Lamictal XR).
According to an FDA alert issued in August 2010, a review of adverse event reports submitted to the agency from December 1994 (when the drug was approved) through November 2009 revealed that 40 cases of aseptic meningitis were reported in pediatric and adult patients taking Lamictal. Thirty-five of the 40 patients required hospitalization. There was one reported death, although the death was not thought to be the result of aseptic meningitis.
In the 40 cases, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, nuchal rigidity, rash, photophobia and myalgias were noted. According to the FDA, symptoms occurred 1 to 42 days after starting Lamictal (mean of 16 days). In the majority of cases, symptoms resolved after Lamictal was discontinued. Fifteen cases reported a rapid return of symptoms following re-initiation of Lamictal, with symptoms reoccurring within 30 minutes to 24 hours following re-initiation of Lamictal (mean of 5 hours). In these re-challenge cases, symptoms were frequently more severe after re-exposure, the FDA said.
According to the FDA, some of the patients treated with Lamictal who developed aseptic meningitis had underlying diagnoses of systemic lupus erythematosus or other autoimmune diseases. In addition, some patients also had new onset of signs and symptoms of involvement of other organs (predominantly hepatic and renal involvement), which may suggest that some of the cases of Lamictal-associated meningitis were part of a hypersensitivity or generalized drug reaction.
The FDA said in its alert that it was working with Glaxo to update the “Warnings and Precautions” section of the prescribing information and the patient medication guide for Lamictal to include this risk.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes (the meninges) that cover the brain and spinal cord. Aseptic meningitis is generally diagnosed when tests of a patient with signs and symptoms of meningitis do not detect bacteria. Causes of aseptic meningitis include viruses and other non-bacterial infections, toxic agents, some vaccines, malignancy, and certain medications, including Lamictal.
Antibiotics are not a useful treatment for aseptic meningitis. Doctors often will recommend bed rest, plenty of fluids, and medicine to relieve fever and headache. A hospital stay may be necessary in more severe cases or for people with weak immune systems.
Symptoms of meningitis may include headache, fever, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, rash, and sensitivity to light. In cases of meningitis, it is important to rapidly diagnose the underlying cause so that treatment can be promptly initiated. The FDA has advised that any patient taking Lamictal contact their healthcare provider if they experience any of these symptoms.
Legal Help for Victims of Lamictal Meningitis
If you or a loved one became ill with aseptic meningitis while taking Lamictal, you may have valuable legal rights. For a free evaluation of your case, please contact one of our Lamictal meningitis lawyers today by filling out our online form or calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).