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Allopurinol Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit Update

Allopurinol, a prescription medication used to treat gout and prevent kidney stones, has recently been linked to an increased risk for the development of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a rare but severe skin condition that causes a painful rash that spreads and blisters.
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Free Confidential Allopurinol Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit Review
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) after taking Allopurinol, you should contact dangerous drugs law firm immediately.

You may be entitled to obtain compensation for medical bills by filing an Allopurinol Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit and our lawyers can help. Please click the button below for a Free Case Evaluation or call us for a free legal consultation 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

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What is Allopurinol?

Allopurinol is prescribed to treat gout, prevent specific types of kidney stones, and for the high uric acid levels that can occur with chemotherapy. The drug works by decreasing high uric acid levels in the blood. Allopurinol was first approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in August 1966 and is currently available under the brand names Zyloprim and Lopurin.

What’s the Problem?

Concomitant use of medications like Allopurinol can potentially lead to interactions resulting in severe side effects. There have been reports in the medical literature of Stevens-Johnson syndrome associated with the administration of this medication.

Related Article: Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit

Allopurinol-induced Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis: Study

Allopurinol is well-known for its association with severe cutaneous adverse reactions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and a more severe form of the condition known as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). A July 2022 study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics [1.] looked at a spontaneous reporting database to identify reports of allopurinol-induced SJS/TEN in Vietnam from 2010 to 2019.

Among 72,822 reports submitted to the Vietnam National Drug Information and Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Centre, at least 392 involved a diagnosis of SJS/TEN, of which, 65 cases (16.6%) were related to allopurinol. The signals of allopurinol-induced SJS/TEN identified by the researchers began in 2014 (ROR of 3.531, 95% CI: 1.830–6.810) and increased annually until 2019 (ROR of 11.923, 95% CI: 8.508–16.710).

The researchers concluded that correction of medical errors relating to prescription could prevent more than 60% of SJS/TEN cases in allopurinol users. “This is a feasible and practical solution, provided that there would be a systematic change in both healthcare systems and public awareness,” the authors said.

What is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare but extremely serious disorder of the skin and mucous membranes. In most cases, SJS occurs as a reaction to medication that starts with flu-like symptoms, followed by a painful rash that spreads and blisters. Over time, the top layer of the skin dies and sheds from the body.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a medical emergency that requires hospitalization in most cases. A more severe form of SJS is called toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which involves more than 30% of the skin surface and extensive damage to the mucous membranes.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Symptoms

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • High temperature
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Joint pain
  • Blister
  • Sores
  • Rash usually starts on the upper body before quickly spreading to the face, arms, legs and other areas of the body, such as the genitals.

Treatment

Most cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome must be treated in a hospital, often in an intensive care unit (ICU). Without treatment, the symptoms of SJS can result in death.

If the physician determines that Stevens-Johnson syndrome is being caused by Allopurinol or another medication you’re taking, the medicine will be discontinued immediately for a drug with less severe side effects.

Treatment to relieve symptoms of SJS may include:

  • Fluids into a vein to prevent dehydration
  • Creams and dressings to moisturize and protect the skin
  • Painkillers to help ease any pain
  • Medications to control inflammation and prevent infection

Prognosis (Outlook)

Because the skin acts as a protective barrier, extensive skin damage can lead to a dangerous loss of fluids and allow infections to develop. Serious complications of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome may include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Overwhelming bacterial infections (sepsis)
  • Shock
  • Multiple organ failure
  • Death

Approximately 10% of people with Stevens-Johnson syndrome die from the disease, while the condition is fatal in up to half of those who develop toxic epidermal necrolysis.

How Quickly Does Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Progress?

SJS/TEN can develop within a few days to 8 weeks after beginning exposure to Allopurinol or other offending medication. A subsequent exposure can result in symptoms within just a few hours.

Is SJS the Same Thing as TEN?

While once considered to be different diseases, Stevens–Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are now believed to be variants of the same condition, distinct from erythema multiforme, which is a skin disorder that’s considered to be an allergic reaction to medicine or an infection.

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The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Allopurinol Stevens-Johnson Syndrome lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently investigating potential settlements in all 50 states.

Again, if you or a loved one was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) after taking Allopurinol, you should contact our law firm immediately for a free case review. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit for legal fees and our defective drug lawyers can help with a free case evaluation.

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