What is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?

Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a severe and potentially life-threatening (15 percent of cases) disease, it is a hypersensitivity complex affecting the skin and the mucous membranes, a severe expression of erythema multiforme (EM) (and so SJS is also called erythema multiforme major).

SJS is characterized by fever, sore throat, and headache leading to the sudden development of circular mucocutaneous lesions that can cover the majority of the skin. These lesions begin as macules and can develop into papules, vesicles, bullae, or urticarial plaques. The most extreme cases are termed Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome (TENS) or Lyell’s Syndrome, in these cases the entire skin is affected.

Treatment is initially similar to that of patients with thermal burns, and continued care can only be supportive and symptomatic, there is no specific drug treatment.

Early medical intervention is vital as the initiation of treatment can make a difference as to the seriousness and extent of the disease.  If the cause of SJS or TEN is a drug or medication, that medication must be immediately stopped.  Manufacturers of drugs that cause SJS/TEN have a responsibility to provide safe products that do not endanger the health of their customers.  Some studies show that 100,000 people die each year due to complications and infections caused by SJS.  Ms. Faust has been instrumental in achieving good results for our clients.

The cause of SJS is either infections (usually following viral infections such as herpes simplex virus, influenza, mumps, cat-scratch fever, histoplasmosis, Epstein-Barr virus, or similar), drug-induced (penicillins, barbiturate, sulfas, phenytoin, lamotrigine, nevirapine, malignancy-related (carcinomas and lymphomas), or idiopathic (50 percent of the time).

If you believe that you or a relative developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or another skin condition after taking medication please use the form below contact our law firm.

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