Stevens Johnson Syndrome
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a serious and sometimes life-threatening medical condition, is usually caused by an allergic reaction to certain drugs, in particular pain relievers and antibiotics. Patients with Stevens-Johnson, or SJS, suffer from inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes in the eyes, digestive system, lungs, and respiratory system. This condition can be very painful and leave long-lasting health effects.
Causes of Stevens Johnson Syndrome
Technically known as an immune-complex-mediated hypersensitivity condition, it is an allergic reaction to certain drugs. SJS is a more severe form of erythema multiforme, which forms the skin lesions typically associated with herpes simplex. When compared with erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is much more severe, involving extensive lesions over multiple areas of the body, including internally.
Symptoms usually begin as an upper respiratory tract infection and flu-like symptoms before progressing to lesions on the skin and mucous membranes, with outbreaks lasting several weeks. In severe cases, SJS legions lead to significant scarring and loss of function of the involved organs, with blindness being one particularly common effect. Up to 15% of severe SJS cases result in the patient’s death.
Among the drugs associated with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome reactions are antibiotics (such as penicillin and sulfa’s), pain relievers, and anti-convulsants. Among the pain relievers believed to cause SJS are prescription pain relievers such as Celebrex, Bextra, and Daypro and over-the-counter pain relievers including Motrin, Children’s Motrin, Advil, and Ibuprofen. It is also thought that cocaine is capable of causing SJS, and the condition can also occur as a response to certain illnesses or infections. However, in some cases – according to some estimates, up to 25-50% of all cases of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome – the cause cannot be determined. Although most Stevens-Johnson Syndrome patients are 40 or older, cases have been reported in children as young as three months old.
Filing a Stevens Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has been afflicted with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, your first step is to attempt to determine the underlying cause. Most cases of SJS are caused by allergic reactions to a drug. If this is the case, the drug manufacturer may be financially responsible for the harm caused. If you suspect that your SJS symptoms may have been caused by an allergic drug reaction, you may need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer as you pursue a claim against the drug company.
If you plan to file a lawsuit to claim damages relating to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, seek out a personal injury lawyer with knowledge of this medical condition. Stevens-Johnson is a rare condition – with about 300 new cases diagnosed per year in the United States – and you need a lawyer who understands just how devastating the effects of SJS can be.
Contact a SJS Lawyer
If you are considering filing a claim over Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, contact our lawyers as soon as possible. When you file a claim against a drug manufacturer, you should know that they will have a team of skilled lawyers on their side. An unrepresented plaintiff is likely to make legal errors, prolonging the case and giving the other side a better chance of fighting the suit. Instead, seek skilled legal representation to fight on your behalf and ensure that your rights and interests are protected and that you receive fair compensation.
The laws regarding drug liability suits are complex, and settling a Stevens-Johnson Syndrome can require the assistance of several specialists. Our attorneys can help you find medical experts and other specialists to assemble a strong legal claim against the drug company. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you stand a much better chance of receiving the compensation you deserve for injuries resulting from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.