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Drug-related Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
All prescription and over-the-counter drug products have the propensity to cause allergic reactions in people who use them. An allergic reaction occurs when a person’s immune system overreacts to a drug, causing the production of antibodies to the medicine. These antibodies may attack the body’s own cells, causing damage that can range from mild (rash) to severe (respiratory failure and death).
Steven Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis are two very severe and potentially life-threatening allergic skin conditions that can be caused by certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These conditions often begin with flu-like symptoms, followed by a painful red or purplish rash that spreads quickly and blisters. The severity of the condition ultimately causes the top layer of skin (the dermis) to die and separate from the underlying tissue (the epidermis), similar to a very serious burn.
SJS and TEN are very serious conditions that can lead to infection, blindness, organ failure, and death and require emergency hospitalization. Treatment focuses on eliminating the underlying cause, controlling symptoms and attempting to minimize complications. Recovery can take weeks to months, depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, tissue grafts and other plastic surgical interventions may be necessary to reconstruct damaged areas.
A number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs have been associated with cases of SJS and TEN. A partial list includes the following:
Joint, muscle and arthritis pain relievers:
- Bextra (valdecoxib)
- Celebrex (celecoxib)
- Vioxx (rofecoxib)
- Arcoxia (eterocoxib)
- Prexige (lumiracoxib)
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS), including:
- Children’s Motrin
- Daypro (oxaprozin)
- Feldene (piroxicam)
- Arava (leflunomide)
Over-the-counter Cold Remedies, including:
- Advil Cold & Sinus
- Dimetapp Sinus
- Motrin IB Sinus
- Aleve Cold And Sinus
Anti-Seizure Medications and Anticonvulsants, including:
- Phenytoin Sodium/Dilantin
Eye Medications, including:
The list of drugs with SJS and TEN warning labels required by FDA continues to grow each year as more data becomes available. Unfortunately, there is usually a delay between the dates on which reports linking drugs to these conditions are received by drug companies and the dates on which FDA is able to act to change product labeling.
Do you have a drug-related Steven Johnson Syndrome or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis lawsuit?
Drug makers are liable for failing to warn the public of drug risks such as SJS and TEN as soon as they know of such risks.
Because of the severity of SJS and TEN, drug manufacturers may be required to warn health care professionals and consumers about scientific data that links their products to these devastating conditions. Although the exact reason why drugs cause SJS and TEN in some individuals is not clearly understood, drug manufacturers may nevertheless become aware of reports and other information linking specific products to these dangerous adverse reactions.
Since 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required drug companies to enhance their warnings to health care professionals and consumers concerning the risk of severe allergies such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and TEN, including many common cold remedies and pain/fever relievers intended for use in children.
Suing a drug manufacturer for injuries related to serious drug allergies such as Stevens Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis requires lawyers who are experienced in the high stakes and complicated field of pharmaceutical products liability. The lawyers at The Senators Firm have decades experience litigating drug products liability cases all over the United States and they have achieved tens of millions of dollars in compensation for their clients.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious allergic reaction to a drug, such as Stevens Johnson Syndrome or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, or if you suspect that your injuries may be drug-related, contact us for a free case evaluation.