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Dry, Itchy, Peeling, and other skin problems


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#1 elocinintherain

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 07:13 PM

I am not sure if it's the seroquel or the lamictal, but I'm guessing it may be the lamictal, since it has a reputation for making skin sensitive.
Here's my issue:
Even though I try to stay hydrated, my skin seems to be drying out... no visible rash, just prickly feelings like you get when you need to moisturize or when you are about to get a heat rash, and horribly itchy pits (again, no visible rash). I don't usually use lotions, since I am allergic to a lot of stuff. I am using Dove Sensitive skin bar soap and Dove Sensitive skin deodorant, both with the 1/4 added moisturizers.
Has anyone else gone through this with Lamictal? And, which lotion is best to use while on Lamictal?
Any advice would be appreciated...
thanks!
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#2 Bipolar Bear

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 08:05 PM

Well, since rash is always an issue with lamictal and you don't want to use anything that would set that off, I'd go with something very gentle. I recommend Eucerin Calming Creme. It's thick and works well and it's gentle. it's fragrance free, too, which is a good thing.
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#3 In_Remission_beachgal

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 12:26 PM

Well, since rash is always an issue with lamictal and you don't want to use anything that would set that off, I'd go with something very gentle. I recommend Eucerin Calming Creme. It's thick and works well and it's gentle. it's fragrance free, too, which is a good thing.


When I was on Lamictal I used Eucerin Calming Creme, but it didn't help me. I got a bunch of little tiny bumps under the skin like orange peel, which is why I started using that creme. I had it for several weeks and thought it was weird cause I always had smooth skin. Well, to make a long story short I ended up with a rash and had to go off Lamictal after 8 1/2 months. I don't know if that bumpiness is a precursor to the rash or not, just be watchful.

#4 In_Remission_bd1972

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 06:04 PM

Just in the last week or so, ever since I went up to 400 mg of Lamictal, the skin on fingers and palms to a lesser extent has started to peel slightly. It's not to the point where it's freaky or anything and I don't (and never did) have a rash of any kind, but I'm wondering if I should be concerned. It's not peeling anywhere else on my body to the best of my knowledge. I would certainly think if it was related to SJS it would have shown up during the last 6 months while increasing my dosage. The only physical issues I've had until now were some pimples in weird places like upper thigh, chest, etc.

I'm not on any other meds and can't think of any lifestyle changes recently.

#5 Jerod Poore

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 07:39 PM

Just in the last week or so, ever since I went up to 400 mg of Lamictal, the skin on fingers and palms to a lesser extent has started to peel slightly. It's not to the point where it's freaky or anything and I don't (and never did) have a rash of any kind, but I'm wondering if I should be concerned. It's not peeling anywhere else on my body to the best of my knowledge. I would certainly think if it was related to SJS it would have shown up during the last 6 months while increasing my dosage. The only physical issues I've had until now were some pimples in weird places like upper thigh, chest, etc.


Please go to the Lamictal page and look at the picture of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) in progress.

You can be on Lamictal for years at the same dosage and that bastard of a syndrome can strike.

Of course it could also just be a case of an anticonvulsant just messing with your skin in a freaky way.
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#6 In_Remission_bd1972

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 07:15 PM

Thanks Jerod. I called my pdoc and he told to see my doctor to rule out other possibilities but he's thinking I might have to stop Lamictal.

#7 In_Remission_bd1972

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 08:30 AM

Please go to the Lamictal page and look at the picture of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) in progress.

You can be on Lamictal for years at the same dosage and that bastard of a syndrome can strike.

Of course it could also just be a case of an anticonvulsant just messing with your skin in a freaky way.


You were 100% correct Jerod. I went to my general prac today and she stopped midsentence when she compared my symptom to Lamictal side effects. She told me to immediately discontinue it and not to start it again. Here's my concern though, she told me to stop cold turkey. I mentioned to her that I heard it can seizures if you don't tapper off and she told me that's only if you were taking it for seizures. I'm currently at 400 mg. Should I be concerned?

#8 Jerod Poore

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 09:49 AM

You were 100% correct Jerod.


I hate it when that happens. Sorry.

She told me to immediately discontinue it and not to start it again. Here's my concern though, she told me to stop cold turkey. I mentioned to her that I heard it can seizures if you don't tapper off and she told me that's only if you were taking it for seizures. I'm currently at 400 mg. Should I be concerned?


If one is epileptic and not on another anticonvulsant the odds of having a seizure are pretty damn good.

If one isn't epileptic there is still a chance of having a seizure. A short-term prescription of clonazepam would be really helpful, just to be on the safe side. Plus there are the rebound mood swings, headaches and other crap that will make you feel like shit. Clonazepam just would make your life easier.
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#9 anywho

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 04:37 PM

So, did your Dr say it was the early form of SJS?
My GP completely over re-acted when I thought I had 'the rash' and wanted me to discontinue lamictal immediately even tho he said it's not SJS. I refused and my pdoc agreed it wasn't SJS. That's why I ask because what is the technical term they used to warrant going cold turkey?

Aside from the possible seizure due to abruptly stopping, are you going to taper down? Is there a game plan on what to put you on next?

I'm really curious because my dose needs to be adjusted and I wonder if you went from 300mgs to 400mgs abruptly if that what may have brought this on.
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#10 In_Remission_always_doing_laundry

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:39 PM

I notice it most when I shower, which I did today ... my skin is almost paper-thin these days (which isn't typical, as I have olive complexion), and literally rubs off -- with a washcloth, my fingers, when I use lotion (it collects with the lotion as I slather it on). I have always experienced rashiness with Lamictal/lamotrigine, and I continue to, but I haven't even been subject to significant (any, really) sun exposure, and my dose was decreased.

The only thing I can figure is a new sensitivity of the kind that occurs just because it is a new reaction -- or that my allergy to yellow dye No. 5 is cross-reactive with the yellow oxides listed in the info for generic lamotrigine 150 mg tablets. It sorta freaks me out, but I don't have any other issues; already take vistaril at night; claritin during the day prn; and otherwise tolerate it well. I haven't experienced headaches, brain fog, cognitive changes, anything bad at all other than the recurrent itchies that pop up in different places every day/throughout the day. This is the best drug I have taken. I haven't had a big seizure in four years, though I had a breakthrough kind of episode 18 months ago and a few auras that didn't materialize now and then. I also take neurontin and klonipin.

Any thoughts? Is this one to call the doc about, since I don't want him to take me off it -- but I don't want all my skin peeling off and feeling all stinging and sensitive, either.

#11 dymphna

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 12:22 AM

I notice it most when I shower, which I did today ... my skin is almost paper-thin these days (which isn't typical, as I have olive complexion), and literally rubs off -- with a washcloth, my fingers, when I use lotion (it collects with the lotion as I slather it on). I have always experienced rashiness with Lamictal/lamotrigine, and I continue to, but I haven't even been subject to significant (any, really) sun exposure, and my dose was decreased.

The only thing I can figure is a new sensitivity of the kind that occurs just because it is a new reaction -- or that my allergy to yellow dye No. 5 is cross-reactive with the yellow oxides listed in the info for generic lamotrigine 150 mg tablets. It sorta freaks me out, but I don't have any other issues; already take vistaril at night; claritin during the day prn; and otherwise tolerate it well. I haven't experienced headaches, brain fog, cognitive changes, anything bad at all other than the recurrent itchies that pop up in different places every day/throughout the day. This is the best drug I have taken. I haven't had a big seizure in four years, though I had a breakthrough kind of episode 18 months ago and a few auras that didn't materialize now and then. I also take neurontin and klonipin.

Any thoughts? Is this one to call the doc about, since I don't want him to take me off it -- but I don't want all my skin peeling off and feeling all stinging and sensitive, either.


Assuming you have experienced no fever and that your skin is neither burned looking or blistered... my internet wonk guess would be that you need to get your ass to a doctor. You are having a drug reaction to a severe enough degree that it is expressing itself in your skin (your largest organ).

"The" rash that everyone flips out about is called Steven Johnsons. If it is left untreated, it can progress to another nastiness called TEN, or Toxic Epidermis Necrosis, wherein a person's skin blisters, peels, and falls off. Oh, and their internal organs fail, too. If you had that, you wouldn't be typing on a chat board. But you have epidermis something. Seizure control or not, you need to fess up and get it biopsied.


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#12 In_Remission_always_doing_laundry

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 06:11 AM

dymphna -- thank you for the kick in the ass to the doctor. When I read your reply, I almost flipped out, because I think I take being reactive for granted and I, therefore, don't necessarily give due attention to new symptoms. I'm so used to most of these meds sucking or me sucking on them, that I just figure life is going to be smoother on the brain but tough on the body. I have a message in with the doc, whose nurse said he's probably going to want me to stop taking it, which is what I was dreading. But we'll see.

#13 dymphna

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 09:32 AM

It's alright. We all do that.

It took a bad liver panel to get me to stop taking Lamictal. Pay no mind my nose had been bleeding every day for a year... (or that my fingertips were peeling, or my feet and palms were itching, or that I had a wicked rash on my face, etc. etc.).

It will all work out.


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#14 Anna

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:29 AM

Glad you are following dymphna's advice... it''s too bad about the lamictal.

To give you some hope here, I had to stop lamictal a couple years ago for sjs, and I literally cried.

But, I've found a new cocktail that works for my symptoms, and I"m pretty stable now. You probably have lots more options.

Hopefully it's something unrelated, but you really need to get it checked out.

Good luck,

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#15 Jerod Poore

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:41 AM

The only thing I can figure is a new sensitivity of the kind that occurs just because it is a new reaction -- or that my allergy to yellow dye No. 5 is cross-reactive with the yellow oxides listed in the info for generic lamotrigine 150 mg tablets.


On the off chance that the problem is due to your allergy hating the lamotrigine coloring, you have two options: going back to brand or the ever-expensive compounding. Both of which would have to be reintroduced at a slow titration.

Obviously the pros who can see what your skin looks like are the only ones who can tell you if those are even options or not, but you might have a slim chance of keeping Lamictal.
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#16 In_Remission_synapticgap

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 02:50 PM

I notice it most when I shower, which I did today ... my skin is almost paper-thin these days (which isn't typical, as I have olive complexion), and literally rubs off -- with a washcloth, my fingers, when I use lotion (it collects with the lotion as I slather it on). I have always experienced rashiness with Lamictal/lamotrigine, and I continue to, but I haven't even been subject to significant (any, really) sun exposure, and my dose was decreased.

The only thing I can figure is a new sensitivity of the kind that occurs just because it is a new reaction -- or that my allergy to yellow dye No. 5 is cross-reactive with the yellow oxides listed in the info for generic lamotrigine 150 mg tablets. It sorta freaks me out, but I don't have any other issues; already take vistaril at night; claritin during the day prn; and otherwise tolerate it well. I haven't experienced headaches, brain fog, cognitive changes, anything bad at all other than the recurrent itchies that pop up in different places every day/throughout the day. This is the best drug I have taken. I haven't had a big seizure in four years, though I had a breakthrough kind of episode 18 months ago and a few auras that didn't materialize now and then. I also take neurontin and klonipin.

Any thoughts? Is this one to call the doc about, since I don't want him to take me off it -- but I don't want all my skin peeling off and feeling all stinging and sensitive, either.


I've just starting taking Lamictal and I have had weird skin reactions/sensitivities. I have a patch of dry skin on my chest which randomly appeared and I have had a relapse of dyshidrotic excema which I had as kid but hadn't had in at least 10+years. Obviously Lamictal and skin issues go hand in hand.

#17 In_Remission_always_doing_laundry

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:15 PM

So, I'm not experiencing a rash that will kill me, but I have some really angry and fragile skin. We've decided to concurrently treat the reaction and take care of my skin, while trying to stay with a drug that has worked so well for me after many medication failures/things I can't take for various reasons. We have gone back to the brand name, but at a temporarily (slightly) lower dose with a wait-and-see, watchful approach and plans to go back up slowly.

The question I have now is whether anyone else has had unusual sensory experiences with even slight tapering: In particular, smells. For instance, Ivory soap that normally has little to no scent to me, smells like watermelon. Coffee smells like tuna. It can be almost anything, unexpectedly and not in particular pattern. I will experience an incongruent smell, or a smell where there really isn't anything to smell. Or, a family member may have a really offensive personal odor that only I notice. I also feel a little emotionally labile inconsistent with any previous experience/pattern. It's very weird. I feel sorta hyper-aware, which extends to the smell thing and the emotionality. Has anyone else had this happen with medication changes of any kind?

#18 Anna

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:17 PM

I've had weird smells at times but I've never been able to connect it to a particular medication, although it typically happens when I am unstable.... so it could be either the med itself, or some neurological weirdness brought on by changing the dose itself-- leading to different or more increased symptoms?

Definitely worth mentioning to pdoc sooner rather than later, I would think...

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#19 dymphna

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 12:09 AM

Two separate things: Phantom smells and smell perversion. Smell perversion (such as you describe) is common with all AEDs. Phantom smells (smelling smoke when there is none, smelling cat pee, etc.) can occur both in MI and with seizures. I had it horribly until I was put on Diamox, of all things (it's an anti-convulsant from 1952).

Since you just dropped your dose, and you are epileptic, my vote would be on mild EEG changes?


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#20 Jerod Poore

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 12:28 PM

Two separate things: Phantom smells and smell perversion. Smell perversion (such as you describe) is common with all AEDs. Phantom smells (smelling smoke when there is none, smelling cat pee, etc.) can occur both in MI and with seizures.


And having both at the same time makes it difficult to sort out. The two occurring simultaneously? Phantom smells overwhelming true smells, so it's not truly smell perversion? Or smelly perverts smell perversion messing with ambient scents one would normally ignore?

Since you just dropped your dose, and you are epileptic, my vote would be on mild EEG changes?


Not enough data for me. All three have equal probability as far as I'm concerned.
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#21 In_Remission_always_doing_laundry

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:32 PM

I'm having the two (different, I now understand) "smell experiences" concurrently but not simultaneously. For example, my husband might fire up the coffee-maker, and I think: "Oh, my God, that smells horrible ... like tuna." There may not be another weird smell thing until one comes up ... like when I later go to shower and my soap smells like watermelons. And yet another time, I'll think my extremely clean, neat-freak husband smells so bad ... sorta like a raw pumpkin when you scoop the seeds out to carve it ... that I can't possibly stand to be in the same vicinity. No one else smells this offensive odor (nor did I previously ... and it doesn't necessarily remain ... he may not smell at all later).

The kids don't notice; they don't smell the tuna-like coffee; and when they sniff the bar soap, it still smells like Ivory/nothing. The day can randomly continue just fine, with no weird smell things that I notice, then I'll go to chew a piece of gum (from the same package of Trident White peppermint I've been chomping from) ... and it will smell like pineapple and "metal," (whatever that smells like), and I will be convinced that the Cadbury Adams folks have had an assembly-line/mechanization error that accidentally landed tropical chiclets in my peppermint package.

#22 dymphna

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:14 AM

Ok. I know that. That is your epi cooties.

I call this my "oh my god, the chicken is RAW" smell.

Talk to your neuro: it sounds like you need an adjunct med.


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I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

St. Dymphna is the Patron for brain maladies.

 

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#23 In_Remission_always_doing_laundry

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 03:50 AM

I call this my "oh my god, the chicken is RAW" smell.

... I have actually had the "chicken is RAW smell" ... hamburger, too (a raw meat in general thing ... as in everything smells like it).

I feel so much better calling the nurse with the knowledge that this is not a solitary experience and they won't send little men to lock me up. This forum is great ... it helps me feel more validated that something is weird, and that it isn't melodramatic to call the doc. I keep learning that the brain is pretty amazing ... makes me wonder how it all manages to work just right in so many folks every day. Thanks, everyone.

#24 In_Remission_ssplash

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:04 AM

Hi, lovely people!

Has anyone researched a way a way to minimize dryness (skin, mouth, eyes) caused by Lamictal? There must be something that can be done without Lamictal losing efficiency. What's causing it, I wonder?

Also, I know about the binding with melanin. I'm biracial, it might affect people of colour more, don't know. What do you think?

I want to manage secondary effects a bit better. I'm bipolar II self-taught :mad:

Thanks!

oNE LoVE

Greetings from Madrid, Spain

#25 mj1127

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 09:07 AM

I'm curious about this too. The skin on my fingertips is falling apart. I was hold a stud earring between my thumb and second finger the other night as I have done thousands of times before, except this time, the skin was so fragile, the earring made a hole in my fingertip. My hands are extremely dry all over.

I've tried a couple of moisturizers, but I haven't found anything that really works. Suggestions?

As far as dry eyes go, lubricant eye drops work well and are safe. The ones we use are called Thera Tears, and they come in individual vials, not a bottle, so you are always using sterile drops. I don't know whether they have them in Spain, but I am sure there is something similar.

I drink a lot and suck on sour candies or chew gum for dry mouth.
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#26 dymphna

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:24 AM

For the body, Baby Oil is pretty inert. You just have to remember to put it on while you are still moist from your bath/shower (before you towel off).

Lips do well with any balm that you are accustomed to - remember, don't add new make-up & toiletries when you have just started Lamictal.

The best solution is always to drink more water. Not soda, coffee, tea or anything else - just water. If you get totally bored, get fizzy water (but don't take your meds with fizzy water: it can hasten the meds out of your system).


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Yes, my name really is Dymphna.

 

I'm not a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or therapist.

I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

St. Dymphna is the Patron for brain maladies.

 

I'm the Enforcer.

 

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#27 In_Remission_ssplash

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 12:25 PM

Thanks so much for your replies!

Yes, your advice is great as well.

I was also wondering in bio-chemistry ways, you know. If anything could be done to foster protection to the skin and eyes, mmmhh. I'll search on this a bit further and will report soon.

Cheers and keep well

oNE LoVE

#28 elegy

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 03:46 PM

Water is the simplest and most effective way I've found to combat the dryness. Unfortunately I don't remember to drink enough water frequently.

I have super dry skin pretty much all over, including my scalp. And with that comes itchiness. Like I-just-slammed-some-dilaudid itchy, without any warm and fuzzy feelings.

I've tried more lotions and moisturizers than I have meds in search of relief. Apparently I'm not in the least bit rash prone(so far).

So far, for me, I've found Eucerin Calming Cream(Rite Aid brand is just as good, btw) is very helpful for my dry skin. Aveeno is decent as well, but it's a bit pricey and the store brand seems to have more alcohol in it. Which is no good for itchy dry skin. If I take a bath, I also put baby oil in the water, which works well. It's also important to avoid any harsh soaps, shampoos, and other skin products and to look for products that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Eczema lotions are good too.

Sorry this is kind of scattered, though trying to write this post just reminded me to take my Focalin.
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#29 dymphna

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:20 PM

Oh, and eat more fish.

You can't slam Vitamin E or A while on Lamictal, but you can eat more fish, which can help with natural conditioning.


D
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Yes, my name really is Dymphna.

 

I'm not a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or therapist.

I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

St. Dymphna is the Patron for brain maladies.

 

I'm the Enforcer.

 

eqnmrt.jpg

 


#30 Crystal

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:08 AM

I've found with lamotrogine and seroqel causing a dry mouth it drives me...well crazyer! Bored with water i sip flattened diet lemonade. it seems to keep my mouth 'wetter'. make sure it's diet if you're sipping it all day as your teeth won't appreciate a constant influx of sugar to the bad bugs in your mouth & we all hate fillings! for dry skin i've switched to using Doublebase (uk name, not sure about other names) which is 10 for 500 mls and lasts for months - it's available on prescription in the uk. it was first precribed for me for exthma (sorry can't spell but i'm sure you know what i mean) and it worked well, and i'm allergic to most cosmetic / washing stuff.
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