Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a rare but life-threatening allergic skin reaction that causes the skin to peel off. It can occur after a single dose of Avelox, Cipro, Dilantin, Motrin, Zithromax, and dozens of other medications.
Need a Texas Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with SJS, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
What is SJS?
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a rare but serious allergic reaction of the skin and mucous membranes. It causes top layer of skin dies and peels off. Sores may grow on the skin, genitals, eyes, mouth and other organs. Around 5-10% of cases are deadly.
What is Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis?
Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) is the same disease as SJS, but more serious. It involves a skin rash over at least 30% of the body. The risk of death is also higher, with up to a 50% mortality-rate. SJS and TEN are sometimes called erythema multiforme or Lyell’s syndrome.
What Causes SJS?
Medications cause 75% of cases of SJS and TEN. Infections, vaccines, and organ or whole-body diseases can also cause SJS. The cause is not always known. The risk can be genetic (passed by a parent).
What Medications Cause SJS?
Over 100 medications can cause SJS, but the most common are antibiotics and anti-seizure medications. These drugs include:
- Avelox (moxifloxacin)
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
- Dilantin (phenytoin)
- Motrin (ibuprofen)
- Zithromax, ZPax (azithromycin)
Symptoms & Warning Signs of SJS
The first symptoms of SJS are usually a flu-like illness, with persistent fever, nausea, fatigue, and malaise. A rash can appear anywhere on the body. It is painful, raised, and red or purplish. The rash spreads quickly (within hours or days).
SJS also causes inflammation of the mucous membranes in the eyes, mouth, throat, nose, genitals, lungs, intestines. As the disease progresses, fluid-filled blisters of various sizes develop under the skin. Lesions continue to erupt for as long as 2-3 weeks. After a few days, the top layer of skin dies and peels off.
How Common is SJS?
Very rare. In 2015, a study estimated 12 cases per 1 million people in the U.S. per year, or an average of around 3,800 cases per year. Other studies estimate an even lower risk (3-6 cases per million).
Patients may have permanent vision problems, blindness, scarring, skin discoloration, sexual dysfunction, trouble urinating, reduced lung capacity, loss of hair or nails, and other medical problems. Death is usually caused by an infection, organ failure, or breathing problems.
Vision Problems and Blindness
SJS spreads to the eyes in 30-50% of patients. It causes inflammation of the mucous membranes around the eyes (conjunctivitis) and sometimes inside the eyeball. Lesions on the surface of the eye can cause permanent vision loss or blindness in one or both eyes.
Diagnosis of SJS and TEN
Diagnosis in the early stages of SJS can be challenging, but it should be considered in every patient with a skin rash and inflammation of mucous membranes. To confirm the diagnosis, doctors may take a skin biopsy to look for cell death in the top layer of skin (epidermis).
SJS and TEN are medical emergencies that must be treated in a hospital, and often in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or burn unit. The first step is stopping any medication that might be causing SJS.
Treatment may include medications to control pain, inflammation, infections, and help the body heal sores. Patients may also need intravenous (IV) fluids and nutrition if they cannot eat or swallow. Some patients need supplemental oxygen or a ventilator to breathe.
The prognosis varies for people who survive SJS and TEN. Some people have no long-term side effects, while others are permanently disabled and require special caregivers to help with ongoing medical problems (trouble seeing, swallowing, breathing, urinating, etc.).
Need a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawyer in Texas?
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.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Stevens-Johnson Syndrome lawyers for a free lawsuit review.