Cipro is an antibiotic that is associated with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a rare but life-threatening skin reaction that causes the outermost layer of skin to peel off.

Cipro and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)

Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is an antibiotic made by Bayer that has been on the market in the U.S. since 1987. The Prescribing Information (PDF) for Cipro includes warnings about Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS).

Patients should be warned that Cipro is associated with hypersensitivity reactions, even following a single dose, and they should stop using Cipro at the first sign of a skin rash or other allergic reaction.

Cases Linking Cipro and SJS

In 1993, a case report was published of a 31 year-old woman who developed a rash after her first dose of Cipro. She continued taking it and the rash worsened.

Six days after her first dose of Cipro, the rash covered her entire body and she had to be treated in the burn unit. Her skin biopsy was positive for Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), the most severe form of SJS.

In 2003, researchers published two case reports linking Cipro and SJS. They also reviewed eight more reports that occurred in Sweden between 1988 and 2000.

What is SJS?

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a drug reaction that causes a rash on the skin and mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, throat, nose, genitals, or intestines). The severity ranges from minor sores to deadly illness. In mild cases, SJS is often misdiagnosed as a similar skin disease called erythema multiforme.

How Common is SJS?

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is very rare — only 2 or 3 people out of every million people in the U.S. and Europe are diagnosed with it every year. Most cases are caused by allergic reactions to drugs. Patients who develop SJS should never take that medication again.

Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)

When the skin rash covers at least 30% of the skin, SJS is referred to as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). They are the same disease, but TEN has much greater risks. TEN is also known as Lyell’s syndrome, after a doctor who described 4 cases of TEN in the 1950s.

Early Warning Signs

  • Fever
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • General ill feeling
  • Itchy skin
  • Achy joints and muscles
  • Rash
  • Skin lesions or sores

Symptoms of SJS

SJS can occur after just a few doses of Cipro. It usually starts with a flu-like illness and a rash or hives anywhere on the body or the face. The rash spreads quickly — within hours or days — and is red or purplish, raised, and painful. Fluid-filled blisters of various sizes grow under the skin. The top layer of skin (epidermis) dies and peels off.


Meet Your Attorney

Collen A. Clark

Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.

“Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”

To contact Collen, please fill out the contact form below:

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

Verified 100% Secure SiteTo contact us for a free review of your potential case, please fill out the form below or call us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing: (866) 879-3040.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.