Tuesday, February 28, 2012

About Bipolar Disorder: A Scary Experience

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Bipolar Disorder

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From Marcia Purse, your Guide to Bipolar Disorder
I had a scare this week when I woke up with my left leg bright red from ankle to halfway up the shin. The ankle hurt so much it had awakened me, and the whole area was quite hot and painful to touch. The first thing I thought of was that it might be a rash from Lamictal. I didn't remember the symptoms, didn't even look them up. Frankly, I was in a panic, and took myself off to the ER. It turned out to be cellulitis, which is a serious skin infection... but because of this experience, this week I'm reminding you about the dangerous Lamictal rashes.

Lamictal Rash Warning
Lamictal - generic lamotrigine - a drug which is prescribed to treat epilepsy and as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder - can cause serious, even life-threatening rashes. The black box warning sent to doctors is written in complex medical language. Here is the plain English version of the Lamictal rash warning.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Symptoms
This condition can cause serious complications or even endanger the patient's life, so it's important to know the symptoms. Lamictal isn't the only medication that can cause the dangerous Stevens-Johnson Syndrome - see SJS from About Pediatrics for more information.

What Does Avolition Mean?
It's not a common symptom of bipolar disorder, but its presence may complicate a diagnosis.

My Bipolar Journal: Struggles Continue
In this chapter, it's now 17 months after my bipolar diagnosis. We're still trying to find a good combination of medications, and my insurance company is making everything more difficult.


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This newsletter is written by:
Marcia Purse
Bipolar Disorder Guide
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