New Rx & now I smell. Badly. Please help. (TMI?)

I’m bipolar, and take mood stabilizers. I was on Lamictal, and everything was fine until I got a reaction, a mild case of the Steven-Johnson Syndrome. Since SJS can be fatal, no more Lovely Lamictal. (I was working so well, too!)

Now I’m ramping up on a different mood stabilizer, Trileptal. Just like Lamictal, it’s an anticonvulsant that seems to be very helpful for people with the milder forms of bipolar disease. I’ve gotten up to 900mgs twice a day starting on 6/20, and will hang out at this dosage for a few weeks, waiting to see if it’s enough to be truly therapeutic. So far, it seems to be working.

However, I believe it’s making me smell. When I’m walking outside (95+ degrees and walking = sweat) I can smell something not quite right. And, oh lord forgive me, when I go to the bathroom it’s really strong, although I’m not sure if it’s from urine or sweat or vaginal secretions or a combination.

I’m meticulous about grooming. I use deoderant & powder in the summer. I shave my pits, I brush my teeth…etc. I hate smelling myself under normal circumstances, and this new smell is not BO.

Has anyone experienced this from a medication? Will I habituate to the drug ans smell less as time goes on? If you’ve had this, did you do anything about it, anything that worked? I was thinking of trying parsley - the plant or in a concentrated pill for if it’s available that way – any one tried that?

I don’t want to change meds for this problem because I realize it’s minor in comparision to the benefits I’ll get from this drug, but I’d like to try to make the smell less of an issue!

Is it like That Yellow Bastard in Sin City? Because then the only cure is to have Bruce Willis shoot you, and that seems a bit harsh.

Sorry - haven’t seen Sin City.

But, yeah, I’m thinking that being shot by Bruce Willis, while ultimately curing the problem, is not something I’m interested in trying.

Thanks though.

Are you sure its not just making you extra sensitive to smells? Have you experienced any other smells that seem pungent or very strong?

I’m on Lamictal right now and I’m curious, how long were you on it before you developed the rash?

No, nothing else smells stonger or off, so it’s not heightened sense of smell. I’ve had that phenomenon with migraines, and that’s a lot worse than what I’m currently experiencing.

I was on Lamictal for five months. Starting in December, I did the whole gradually increasing dosage thing as prescribed and had been at 200mg for about three months. I suspect that the problem was not entirely Lamictal, but rather Lamictal + an antibiotic. This was actually the second time I’d gotten a rash on that combo. The first rash (March) was on my shoulder, which is not a typical way for Steven-Johnson to begin, so the dr. assumed it was an allergic reaction to some unidentified allergen. It went away when I was done with the antibiotic. The second rash (May) was more of the traditional, oral sores type Steven-Johnson reaction, although very mild. I had sores on my tongue, gums and lips. It hurt to talk and eat, but that’s still considered very mild. After starting Trileptal I had to go through another course of this same antibiotic and didn’t get a rash. (Why so many antibiotic courses? Tonsilitis, culminating in a tonsilectomy on 6/3.)

How’s Lamictal working for you Ghanima? I loved it. I was diagnosed as bipolar in December, and for the first time in 12 years or so, by March I felt like I had a life outside of my chaotic emotions. I’m hoping Trileptal works as well.

I checked out the labeling information for Trileptal ( and at that link is a link to the PDF file of all product information, including adverse events reported.

It looks like the closest thing reported was taste perversion, which really isn’t related, but was the closest thing to your senses acting wonky I could find. Of course, some of the side effects are pretty technical terms, so there could be another word for “excessive body odor”.

Anyway, my point is that it doesn’t seem to be a reported effect. But that doesn’t mean it’s not because of the drug. It might not be a bad idea to call your doctor and run it by him/her just in case.

Quite well, actually. I feel “normal” with no side effects that I am noticing. Its been a couple months now and I’m on a relatively low dose still (150 mg). It’ll probably stay low because I’m responding so well the way it is now. It also seems to be helping with my depression, although I’m also taking Wellbutrin for that. But in general I’m not miserably dwelling on the past, uptight to the point of violent explosion and full of hatred for everyone, all of which I was suffering from when I finally sought help. I actually feel relatively happy with my life now.

And if there is, you can bet they’d use it. I imagine that smelling bad is an aspect of their product that they’d try to downplay.

I just read through the adverse events by body system tables in the labeling info that scout1222 linked to and the only thing that stood out was excessive sweating - but you should definitely talk to your doctor about your concerns!

Thanks, everyone.

I went to the doc this am to rule out anything else that could be making me smell this way, like a UTI or kidney infection. I have no infection, so it’s the Trileptal. He said it’s just the way I’m metabolizing this drug. It may go away or become less noticeable over the next week or two.

Bizarre on an individual basis, but not a cause for concern. Plus, I seem to specialize in odd & rare, but most often minor, side effects from drugs.