Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Claims
UPDATED: August 6, 2012
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a potentially deadly skin disease that is usually the result of an allergic drug reaction, though in rare cases it can also be caused by bacterial infection. Severe Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN).
This condition garnered media attention in 2005 when some small children died or were seriously injured after taking OTC forms of ibuprofen. At that time, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) refused to require warnings on the label of these drugs because Stevens-Johnson’s Syndrome was so rare.
Family members of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome victims and some medical experts petitioned the FDA to require changes to OTC labels in early 2005. In late 2005 and early 2006, the FDA began approving updated labels containing a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome warning for the following OTC products
If you see any of the following side effects after taking drugs related to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, see your health care provider as soon as possible as they may be very serious:
- Skin lesions on legs, arms, palms, hands, feet, face, or lips that may come on suddenly and spread to other parts of the body. These are usually symmetrical and may take the form of blisters;
- Aching joints;
- Abnormal vision;
- Bloodshot eyes;
- Eye pain;
- Burning eyes with discharge;
- Mouth sores;
- Inflammation of the mouth and throat;
- General malaise.
Types of Drugs that Can Cause SJS
SJS is particularly serious because it can be caused not only by prescription drugs, but by over-the-counter remedies such as ibuprofen. It can be caused by reaction to a long list of drugs. The types of drugs that have been found to cause SJS include:
- Anti-convulsants (i.e. Phenobarbital);
- Sulfonamides and sulfa drugs;
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) (i.e. ibuprofen);
- Certain antibiotics (i.e. amoxicillin, tetracycline).
A complete list of drugs associated with SJS follows:
Brand: Tolectin tablets and capsules Advil Allergy Sinus Tablets Advil Cold & Sinus Tablets Advil Liquid-Gels Advil Migraine Capsules Children’s Advil Children's Motrin Chewable Tablets Motrin Junior Strength Chewable Tablets Motrin Cold & Sinus Tablets Motrin IB Tablets Motrin Infants' Drops
Generic: Tometin Sodium ibuprofen, pseudoephedrine HCI, chlorpheniramine maleate ibuprofen, pseudoephedrine HCI ibuprofen capsules ibuprofen ibuprofen ibuprofen ibuprofen, pseudoephedrine HCI ibuprofen ibuprofen oral suspension
The FDA has also required warning about Stevens-Johnson Syndrome on the following prescription drugs: Arava (leflunomide – arthritis), Cipro (ciprofloxacin hydrochloride – antibiotic), Cordarone (amiodarone HCI – heart drug), Coreg (carvedilol – beta blocker), Daypro (oxaprozin potassium – anti-inflammatory NSAID), Methazolamide (neptazane – glaucoma), Provigil (modafinil – narcolepsy), Relafen (nabumetone – anti-inflammatory NSAID), Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate – anti-viral), and Zevalin (ibritumomab tiuxetan – lymphoma). The drug Dilantin (phenytoin – antiepileptic) has also been linked to SJS.