What is Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a disorder that affects the skin and mucous membranes. It is a rare, but life threatening disorder. SJS can have debilitating affects on its victims and can be fatal.
What are the symptoms of Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Symptoms of Stevens Johnson Syndrome include, but are not limited to, flu-like symptoms, high fever, peeling skin, skin rash, swelling of the eyelids and painful blisters. Since it affects the skin and mucous membranes, sores can also occur in areas such as the mouth, eyes, throat, intestinal tract, genital and anal areas. In severe cases, the victim’s skin may peel off in sheets. SJS essentially burns its victims from the inside out.
What is the cause of Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens Johnson Syndrome is caused by an adverse drug reaction to prescription or over-the-counter medications. Over two million Americans will suffer from an adverse drug reaction every year.
Are there any other names for Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens Johnson Syndrome has several different names. Stevens Johnson Syndrome is also sometimes referred to as SJS, Erythema Multiforme Major, Erythema Multiforme Minor, and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). In cases of TEN, death results in nearly one-third of the cases.
When was Stevens Johnson Syndrome first diagnosed?
Stevens Johnson Syndrome was first diagnosed nearly 100 years ago in 1922 by pediatricians A.M. Stevens and S.C. Johnson. It was discovered when the doctors diagnosed a child who was having a severe adverse drug reaction.
Who are the victims of Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens Johnson Syndrome does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, of any age, who takes prescription or over-the-counter medications. Unfortunately, often times children fall victim to SJS. Children as young as three years old have died from complications of Stevens Johnson Syndrome.
Is Stevens Johnson Syndrome more common in males or females?
Although SJS does not discriminate, in some cases, depending on the medication being used, females appear to be in more danger than men.
What should I do if I suspect Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
If you suspect Stevens Johnson Syndrome stop taking the medication and contact your doctor immediately. It is extremely important that you are seen by a doctor immediately if you suspect you have SJS. In some cases, victims are admitted to intensive care units, pediatric care units or burn units. Early detection and treatment is the key to minimizing the affects of the devastating disorder.
What types of drugs are connected with Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Almost any type of prescription or over-the-counter drug can be linked to SJS. The drugs most commonly connected to it are anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics and anti-convulsants. Prescription drugs that have been associated with SJS include antibiotics such as Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Tetracycline, Ciprofloxacin, and Zithromax/Azithromycin, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Bextra (which has been taken of the market because of the adverse drug reactions it was causing), Celebrex, and Vioxx and seizure medication such as Tegretol, Phenobarbital and Dilantin. Non-prescription, commonly used over-the-counter medications that have been associated with SJS include, but are not limited to, Children’s Motrin, Children’s Advil, Advil Cold and Sinus, Dimetapp Sinus, Aleve Cold and Sinus, Motrin IB, Advil, Aleve, Excedrin, Bayer, and Ibuprofen.
What is the treatment for Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
The first step anyone should take if they believe they are affected by SJS is to stop taking the prescription or over-the-counter medication immediately. The next step is to contact and be seen by a doctor immediately. Most patients are then managed in intensive care units or burn units. Antibiotics are given and pain medications are given as well to make the patient comfortable.
What should I do if I or someone I know has been affected by Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
If you or someone you love has been affected by this devastating disorder, you may have grounds for a potential lawsuit. Doctors, pharmacists, drug companies and the FDA are aware of SJS. The makers of these drugs need to be held responsible for the disabilities and deaths they have caused.
If you are looking for more information about Stevens Johnson Syndrome or have suffered from the disease due to defective products, please contact a personal injury lawyer.