Episode Where Everything Smelled Horrific - Lamictal?
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Q:  Episode Where Everything Smelled Horrific - Lamictal?


Hello!

I have bipolar disorder and the only medication I take is 300 mg Lamictal once a day.  It has changed my life!  I'm really stable.

Recently, though, I had a very serious episode (five days) where everything smelled horrific.  I told my family it was like being down a well with 10 rotting corpses.  I had a second, although not as severe nor long-lasting two weeks later.  No attack since then.

Could this be the Lamictal and - if it is - is there anything I could take on onset?  It was the worst thing I've ever lived through.  In fact, it made life unbearable. 
Thanks a lot -


Dear Ms. T' -- 
That's pretty weird (and surely you thought so too). Never heard of this as having anything to do with lamotrigine. . The only thing that comes to mind is whether there might be a seizure-like phenomenon, like you're getting part of a seizure but not the rest (which would be really odd since lamotrigine is an antiseizure medication, which should protect you against this kind of thing). At least you should know that there is a thing called "olfactory hallucinations" and they are often part of a seizure kind of thing. So if it happened again, one approach would be to try to see a neurologist while it was going on and see if that doc' wanted to order an electroencephalogram (EEG), which is a painless test in which they just put a bunch of measuring electrodes on your head and monitor your brainwaves; standard test to make sure there's no seizure-like thing going on.  Here's a
page about seizures that describes "simple partial seizures", which is the version I was talking about. That's really a long shot but it's the only thing that comes to mind. I did a little searching around with terms like lamotrigine smell and found nothing like what you're talking about. 

Dr. Phelps


Published January, 2007
 
 

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