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Stevens Johnson Syndrome Attorney Reviewing "Failure to Warn" and Generic Drug SJS Cases

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Wilmington, NC: Attorney Greg Jones (Greg Jones & Associates PA) is currently reviewing and working on Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) cases for "failure to warn." "For instance, we allege that Dilantin fails to warn," says Jones, "and many other drugs linked to SJS—including generic drugs—have inadequate warning."

Stevens Johnson Syndrome Attorney Reviewing "Failure to Warn" and Generic Drug SJS CasesAny product can be defective if adequate warnings are not provided to the consumer about its use. Lots of drugs, however, do provide adequate warning, including black-box warnings. "In these cases there is little we can do against the manufacturer, so we will see if there is a medical malpractice component to these cases," says Jones.

Typically, Jones is seeing claimants who have taken sulfa-based drugs such as Bactrim and Non-Steroidal Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), both prescription and over-the-counter (e.g., Ibuprofen) medications. As well, SJS has been linked to a host of other drugs, from Children's Motrin to Levaquin. Taken over the course of several weeks, any of these drugs can lead to SJS. "Most issues like SJS that are caused by pharmaceuticals are greatly underreported to the FDA," says Jones. "It's like a California forest fire."

SJS victims usually develop a severe rash, which is an allergic reaction to a drug, and some sufferers have problems with their eyes and mucous membranes. "If these symptoms aren't treated, you could wind up in a burn unit with significant organ damage, including your skin," says Jones.

Tragically, some doctors, especially in rural hospitals, don't recognize SJS symptoms because it is a rare allergic reaction—and left untreated, the victim could develop Toxic epidermal necrolysis, known as TEN. (SJS is considered a milder form of TEN, which is life-threatening.)

"Some doctors may never have seen SJS except one instance at medical school," says Jones. "A lot of my clients have told me that their doctors call in other doctors to look at their symptoms. I like it when doctors bring a photographer in (as long as my client agrees) because it is extremely useful evidence. So whenever possible, get these pictures, even if your doctor disagrees. Sometimes photographs go to the drug company and you might never see them again…"

And to make matters worse, some doctors will even delay diagnosis and treatment and that could mitigate the patient's circumstances. "For instance, I see Bactrim cases where the doctor keeps them on it and in that case, it can turn into a medical malpractice case," says Jones. "When you present with these conditions it can lead to worsening and irreversible injuries so there could be a medical malpractice claim against the doctor and a product liability claim against the manufacturer."

How can you go after the manufacturer with a generic drug case? Jones says that a lot of generic drug cases are currently before the Supreme Court and a decision will likely come down this summer. "The question is whether or not you can maintain a lawsuit against a generic drug such as Reglan," Jones explains. If generic drug companies have their way, anyone who has been injured from taking a generic drug would have no legal recourse. "Obviously I oppose that view and I continue to review and accept generic cases pending the court's decision."

In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled in Wyeth v Levine that makers of brand-name drugs may be sued under state law for failing to warn consumers about the risks. The decision came about mainly because drug companies can sometimes change the labels on their products without permission from the FDA. According to The New York Times (March 30, 2011), justices heard arguments regarding the giant generic drug manufacturer Actavis. The main question raised is whether makers of generic drugs—whose products must use the same warning labels as the corresponding brand-name drugs and who cannot alter those labels—can be held liable for "Failure to Warn" consumers of any potential risks and side effects from their products.

In January 2010, a federal appeals court said that patients could sue generic drug manufacturers under state law for "failing to warn," which extends the 2009 Supreme Court ruling (above).

In March 2011, appeals courts ruled against the generic Reglan makers in three consolidated cases brought by women who suffered severe stomach problems and a neurological disorder from the drug. According to the NYT, "the federal regulatory regime did not block claims under state law."

Meanwhile, lawsuits are underway against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Children's Motrin, for failure to warn of the risk of Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Sadly, many children have suffered, yet this drug, and many others linked to SJS, is still on the market.

Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) Legal Help

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Laura Lee Ramos
on
The end of November 2013 I was prescribed Sulfametox-Tmp DS 800-160 Tabs. I was given a one week supply of them for a Urinary tract infection. I had never had an allergic reaction in my life so when I started hallucinating I never put it together with the pills. I never put the lack of coordination and falling all over together with the pills either. After taking 13 pills I ended up in the hospital. I have no recollection of the day prior to going into the hospital or the four days that followed. I woke up on Friday the 13th of December wondering how I got into the hospital and what was going on. My skin was bright red from head to toe and it burned like crazy. It also itched more than I could stand, I continually asked the nurses for Benadryl to alleviate the itch. I was pretty much locked in the bed as it had an alarm on it because apparently since I had arrived on Monday I was completely out of it and could not stand. When I was finally allowed to go home on Monday the 16th my skin started peeling it was especially bad on my feet and hands. I was really aggravated with the hospital as no one had even tried to keep my hair in some sense of decency. My hair was a total disaster and it took me four days to try to get it brushed out. Hair aside, I was sent home with portable oxygen tanks and oxygen machine, I was also sent home with a walker since I was still very wobbly . As of today the 8th of February, though there is no rash visible my skin still burns all over, and I occasionally have trouble getting up. I also have bouts of disorientation where I have double vision and dizziness. I also have a few spots on my chest where the rash was bad enough that it left some small scars. The doctor that prescribed the medication to me is a very nice doctor, and I do not want to get him into trouble.
The only warnings on the bottle of pills 1: This medication should be taken with plenty of water. and 2: Prolonged or Excessive exposure to direct and/or artificial sunlight should be avoided while taking this medication.
1 is a no brainer you always take medication with a full glass of water, 2 is not likely to happen in Idaho in December. Sunlight is a rare commodity in December in Idaho. There was no warning that it could cause disorientation, falling, hallucinations, burning rash all over the body, and confusion. Not only on a short term basis but for months following the taking of the medication. Something needs to be done about these people and manufacturers that continue to sell this poison.

Posted by
ANTHONY SANDERS
on
I BELIEVE DOCTORS MISDIAGNOSE,FAIL TO DIAGNOSE,MEDICAL NEGLECT,MEDICAL Negligence,PAIN AND SUFFERING.THEY ARE NOT GOING TO COME CLEAN AND ADMIT FAULT DO TO DRUGS OR A IMPROPERLY SHOT GIVIN AT WORK,ON SITE.PDD TB SKIN TEST IS REQUIRED BY LAW IN ASSITED LIVING FACILITIES EVERY YEAR.A UNDER THE SKIN THREE BUBBLE PROCEEDURE THAT TURNS OUT TO BE INJECTED IN MY ARM.AND THEN SEIZURES STATED , LESIONS ,SWOLLEN EVERYTHING.BLISTERS ON LIPS , GUMS,MOUTH,FEVER,CHILLS , FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS .PAIN AND SUFFERING ALONE WAS HORRIFIC.I WAS MEDICALLY NEGLECTED FOR DIAGNOSE FOR SJS.

Posted by
Keith
on
My doctor told me that they would prescribe Lamictal first and then after being on the med they would inform me of the SJS side effects. Unfortunately for them, I had done my research already and decided it wasn't worth the risk.

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