What is Aloprim?
Aloprim is a prescription xanthine oxidase inhibitor medication used to manage patients with gout, leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumor malignancies who are receiving cancer therapy which causes elevations of serum and urinary uric acid levels and who cannot tolerate oral therapy. The drug works by decreasing high uric acid levels in the blood. Aloprim was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1966, and is the injectable brand name for allopurinol.
What's the Problem?
Studies have found that up to 60% of cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome can be linked to exposure to medications like Aloprim. To date, over 100 drugs have been identified as potential causative agents of SJS/TEN.
Study Finds Aloprim to Be Most Common Cause of SJS/TEN in Europe and Israel
In 2007, a group of researchers from the EuroSCAR Study Group sought to examine the causes of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, with a focus on the rate of cases linked to Allopurinol (the active ingredient in Aloprim).
The researchers identified a cohort of 379 patients with severe cutaneous adverse reactions validated as SJS or TEN, and 1505 matched hospitalized control subjects. Allopurinol was the medication most often linked to the conditions, with 66 exposed patients (17.4%) and 28 exposed control subjects (1.9%).
Daily doses of allopurinol equal to or greater than 200 mg were associated with a higher risk (adjusted odds ratio = 36, 95% confidence interval: 17-76) than lower doses (adjusted odds ratio = 3.0, 95% confidence interval: 1.1-8.4).
The study's authors concluded that allopurinol is the drug most commonly associated with SJS or TEN. "The incidence of allopurinol-associated SJS or TEN has increased possibly because of increased use and dosages of this drug," the researchers said.
Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) [2.].
- Flu-like symptoms
- High temperature
- Sore throat
- Joint pain
- 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.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis: A Brief History
Stevens-Johnson syndrome was first identified in the medical literature in 1922 with the publication of a case report describing a pair of young boys. The researchers wrote that the patients had extensive cutaneous eruptions with severe mucosal and ocular involvement, and stated that their condition was “unlike anything previously observed.”
Other than these and a few other case reports, most of the current body of knowledge surrounding SJS comes from research conducted overseas, particularly in Europe.
In 1956, a dermatologist named Alan Lyell described a mucocutaneous condition similar to Stevens-Johnson syndrome but more severe, which he referred to as toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), or Lyell’s syndrome.
Study Links Aloprim to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / TEN
A 2019 study published in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences [1.] found a link between Allopurinol (the active ingredient in Aloprim) and an increased risk for Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis.
The researchers looked at the case of an 85-year-old Han-Chinese female who developed SJS after taking allopurinol 8 days before she was hospitalized. The patient also had a concomitant acute viral illness, which complicated the clinical scenario causing acute renal failure and hemodynamic compromise, the authors found.
Are SJS and TEN the Same Disease?
Both Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis are characterized by symptoms of epidermal detachment and erosive mucosal lesions. After years of debate, both SJS and TEN are considered to be the same condition, differing only in severity and cutaneous involvement. The percentage of epidermal detachment (skin peeling) is the primary differentiating factor between Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, with SJS presenting with <10% epidermal detachment and TEN presenting with >30%.
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Get a Free Aloprim Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
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 Aloprim 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 Aloprim, 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.