Certain prescription medications can trigger an allergic reaction known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Patients who use Dilantin to treat an epileptic condition may be at risk for developing this potentially life-threatening condition.
What is Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is an immune reaction that typically affects the skin and mucous membranes. The condition can be triggered by a number of factors but has been frequently associated with the use of certain prescription medications, including Dilantin (phenytoin). Stevens Johnson Syndrome is also referred to as erythema multiforme major.
How Can Dilantin Users Tell if They Have Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Patients who use Dilantin for the prevention of grand mal or temporal lobe seizures need to be able to recognize the symptoms of Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Typically, the majority of patients will experience symptoms that are similar to the flu, including fever, body aches, chills and a general feeling of malaise. Some patients may also experience a burning or tingling sensation near the eyes and/or mouth, vision problems, dry mouth or dry eyes.
The signature marker of Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a rash that begins to develop a few days after initial symptoms occur. They rash can be purplish or reddish in color and spread relatively quickly. Patients may eventually develop blisters, sores or lesions on the torso and limbs. They may appear similar to hives or be surrounded by a pale red ring. Stevens Johnson Syndrome lesions can also appear in or around the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth and genital area.
What Are the Long-term Health Risks Associated With Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
The primary issue for many Stevens Johnson Syndrome is the risk of infection. As the rash spreads, the upper layers of skin may die and begin to slough off, leaving the under layers of skin exposed. Lesions may also develop on the heart, lungs, kidneys or liver, potentially causing permanent organ damage. Stevens Johnson Syndrome sufferers may also experience permanent vision loss, skin damage, scarring or shock caused by loss of body fluid. The mortality rate for Stevens Johnson Syndrome is estimated at between 10 and 15 percent.
What Should I Do if I Believe Dilantin Caused My Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome after using Dilantin, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you think you may have grounds to file a Dilantin SJS injury lawsuit, you should consult an experienced Stevens Johnson Syndrome attorney to discuss your rights.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing Dilantin Stevens Johnson Syndrome victims in all 50 states. For more information on filing a Dilantin SJS injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658.