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Dilantin® is an anti-seizure drug created by major pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer Inc. Patients have reportedly developed serious conditions after taking Dilantin® and Flagyl®. In one case, a young girl died after developing toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)1, an advanced form of Stevens-Johns disease where a severe rash, skin sloughing, infections, and death can occur.
According to a study compiled by 15 burn centers across the U.S., more than 20% of TEN cases are believed to be caused by the use of Dilantin®.2
Dilantin® remains one of the most commonly prescribed anti-seizure drugs in the country.
What Is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?
First identified in 1922, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is an immune-complex–mediated hypersensitivity complex that is a severe expression of erythema multiforme. Simply put, it is a rare skin disorder that can be caused by severe allergic reactions to pharmaceutical drugs and can potentially be fatal.
Symptoms of Stevens Johnson Syndrome
- Rash, blisters, or red splotches on skin
- Persistent fever
- Blisters in mouth, eyes, ears, nose, genital area
- Swelling of eyelids, red eyes
- Flu-like symptoms
Nasal, oral, vaginal, eye, urethral, GI, and lower respiratory mucous membranes can develop as well. In some cases, mucous membranes in the respiratory and GI track progress to a condition called “necrosis.” As a serious systematic disorder, SJS can be fatal.
Epilepsy Drugs Linked to SJS
The FDA announced revisions to the labels of certain epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and nerve pain medications to strengthen warnings about potential risk for rare skin disorders such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. The FDA has recommended that patients with Asian backgrounds undergo genetic tests before they take the treatments, the Wall Street Journal reports. The revisions apply to Carbamazepine (the active ingredient in Carbatrol®, manufactured by Shire), Tegretol® (manufactured by Novartis) and Equetro® (manufactured by Validus Pharmaceuticals).
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