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Lawyers and Settlements
By Heidi Turner
According to Mail Online (6/8/16), Mpho Boadia was prescribed the antidepressants in January 2013. Within a few weeks, she developed a rash over her skin and was diagnosed with chicken pox. After the rash grew worse, Boadia was admitted to the hospital with Stevens Johnson Syndrome – a potentially fatal condition in which medication triggers a severe allergic reaction. Boadia’s family, which includes twin boys, was told she might not survive her ordeal.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome is often triggered by medications such as antibiotics, sometimes medications that were previously tolerated. Initial symptoms, including fever, sore throat and headache, often mimic chicken pox or flu, which in some cases can lead doctors to prescribe the very medication that caused the reaction. This can result not only in a delay in the patient receiving effective treatment but also a worsening of the condition.
SJS and its more severe form, toxic epidermal necrolysis, can be fatal. Patients who survive often develop life-long complications, including blindness, organ damage and permanent scarring.
READ MORE STEVENS JOHNSON SYNDROME (SJS) LEGAL NEWS
Lawsuits have been filed in the United States against drugmakers accused of not adequately warning patients about the risk of SJS linked to their medications. Plaintiffs claim that although some drugs carry labels warning about an allergic reaction, those labels do not highlight how dangerous SJS can be or what symptoms to watch for. Some lawsuits have resulted in awards of millions of dollars for patients who suffered permanent injuries after developing Stevens Johnson Syndrome.
Because patients may develop a reaction after using a previously tolerated medication, some may continue taking the medicine without realizing it caused the allergic reaction. Among drugs reportedly linked to SJS – which is a rare complication – are Motrin and Children’s Motrin.
Nigeria recently faced concern over an SJS outbreak after one person died and another was hospitalized with what officials believed was SJS. Professor Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health in Nigeria, urged citizens to remain calm.