SJS, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a skin disease that is caused by an allergic reaction to drug or medication. SJS and its more severe form Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) are thought to be serious variants of the condition erythema multiforme. SJS is a very serious and potentially fatal condition that results in the loss of skin and mucous. Some patients who develop SJS may be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries through a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome lawsuit.
It’s not understood what triggers the reaction, but what is known is that anyone can develop SJS from the use of nearly any medication. It has no bias and affects all races, all age groups, all ethnicities. However, it does strike females more than males, as well as those with HIV, those with a familial history of SJS, and those who have a weakened immune system. People of Chinese, Indian, and Southeast Asian descent may also face an increased risk of developing SJS.
Many medications, including over-the-counter medications, have been associated with SJS, though it may happen more with drugs that have a long half-life and those that are taken by mouth or injected.
Drugs Associated with SJS
Certain medications have been associated with a higher risk of SJS development, these include-
- Sulfa-based drugs
Drugs with a high number of incidents include-
Other drugs that have been known to cause SJS include –
- Antibiotics like penicillin, amoxicillin, erythromycin, and ciprofloxacin
- Anticonvulsants like Tegretol, Dilantin, phenobarbital, valproic acid, phenytoin, carbamazepine
- Pain relievers like Ibuprofen, naproxen, and Tylenol
Treatment for SJS
It is very important that you seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of the early symptoms of SJS, including hives, a swollen tongue, swollen face, a purple or red skin rash that is spreading, blisters on your skin, around your genitalia, or in your eyes, mouth, or nose. Your skin might be sensitive to the touch, and it may begin to peel.
The first thing the physicians will do it attempt to identify the medication or drug that is causing the reaction. If they are unable to pinpoint the specific medication, they may stop all non-essential medications.
You will probably be admitted to an intensive care unit or a specialized burn unit. You will immediately start receiving fluid replacement, and nutritional therapy and antibiotics may be started right away to help decrease the risk of infection.
Your wounds will have to be cleaned and dressed regularly. Though this may be painful, it is absolutely necessary. Because of how SJS affects the mucous membranes, your eyes and mouth will be checked regularly, and medications given to keep them moist.
Complications of SJS
There are severe complications that SJS patients must be aware of, including possible permanent skin damage including scars, bumps, and abnormal coloring. You may lose your hair, and the nails on your fingers and toes may be deformed. Your eyes may be irritated and dry and in severe cases, you may suffer scaring that can cause blindness. Your organs may be damaged from scaring and inflammation.
SJS may have long-lasting effects on your life. If you have developed this condition from a medication, you should speak to a Stevens Johnson Syndrome law firm to see what legal options may be available to you and to learn if you are eligible for compensation for your injuries.