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Dilantin 'Dangerous and Lethal Drug:' Lawsuit Says

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Washington, DCVarious pharmaceutical drugs can trigger Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Dilantin is among them. Thus, Dilantin SJS is an issue that should be of concern to any patient prescribed to take Dilantin, given the possibility of a life-changing or even life-threatening illness.

A Dilantin lawsuit, filed in 2010 by three plaintiffs directly affected by the Dilantin found in the medications they had been prescribed, also represented a deceased relative of one of the plaintiffs who died as the result of Stevens Johnson Syndrome, allegedly due to the ingestion of Dilantin. Of interest is the fact that while the injuries claimed by the defendants were incurred some ten years prior, the plaintiffs had only been made aware of the potential Dilantin side effects only recently—thus the statute of limitations should not apply.

"Defendants' Dilantin drug products are the most dangerous and lethal drugs that cause deaths from SJS/TENS," the suit states.

Stevens Johnson Syndrome has been described as a horrific disease characterized by a large rash and blisters on the outside of the body, as well as inside the mouth and throat, preventing the patient from eating or even swallowing. It can also affect the eyes, making them permanently hypersensitive to light. Some have likened the sloughing away of large swaths of skin to serious burns. To that end, most Dilantin TEN and Stevens Johnson Syndrome patients are treated in the burn unit at hospital.

It is thought to be an allergic reaction triggered by medications in some people. Hip-hop singer Ab-Soul was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome at the age of 10. While he recovered, the encounter with SJS left him with light-sensitive eyes and dark lips, which he has to this day. It is not known what medication may have served as the catalyst for his SJS.

However, Dilantin was alleged to have been the medication behind a fatal skin condition that took the life of Bertha Coney, an African-American woman prescribed Dilantin for the treatment of seizures. The specific skin condition was never identified. However, in Health Law Week this past February (2/10/12), Coney is described as developing a severe skin rash following her use of Dilantin, a drug known to be potentially fatal in African-American patients.

The 2010 lawsuit cited as St. Clair County Circuit Court case #10-L-668 and summarized in the Madison St. Clair Record (1/18/11) referenced the fact certain ethnic and racial groups are more prone to developing SJS/TEN because of a variation in their metabolic rates, but the defendants also failed to warn of the increased risks to these groups, according to the complaint.

Thus, it is possible that Bertha Coney died of Stevens Johnson Syndrome, or a form thereof.

Various reports identify Dilantin as having been around since 1939 and used to treat symptoms of epilepsy even then. However, the 2010 lawsuit claimed that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not formally approve Dilantin as a means to mitigate seizures until 1976. Even then, the lawsuit claims, Dilantin should never have been approved as a safe treatment. The Dilantin lawsuit also noted that the manufacturers knew of the potential for serious side effects, but kept those details largely under wraps.

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READER COMMENTS


Posted by

on
My husband was on dilantin for 25 years for epilepsy and switched to lamatragine 4 or 5 years ago. This last November he began getting pain in the backs of both legs. Now he has full blown peripheral neuropathy in his hands and feet. He was issued gabapentin. We don't like the dangerous warning signs of this drug either. We've done so many conventional and non conventional treatments to no avail. We are not going to give up on finding the reason behind this disease. While we pursue the underlying cause, we're wondering if the dilantin had anything to do with it. Thank You!

Posted by

on
i started taking Dilantin at the age of 5 and my skin pills and my teeth are like chalk and there is nothing can do about it and my hands will start shaking and it's nothing that i can do about it either so in 48 yrs it has made my bones brake easy and this medicine is the worst i have ever seen and i hope and pray that i can get help for all the damage that this has done to me and other's out there my teeth are all falling out of me mouth and i am always in pain and i don't have the money to get them pulled out and i have sore's all over my body and they well not go away no matter what i do

Posted by

on
I was taking Dilantin meds for many many years it started when I was a kid about 12yrs old I'm now 51the skin on my hands & fingers

Posted by

on
I was on dismantling for 11years I had sores that wouldn't go away drained all the time all my teeth started rotting away from the inside now I have three that's down to the gum and thay say my insurance don't cover dental and I stay in sever. Pain all the time what I thank is a good tooth will just crumble. Then one day I go to my Dr. That's when he told me that the dialantin was the cause of it. So please if you can help me You would be my hero!!

Posted by

on
I took Dilantin for 20 years,1978-1998. In 2000 I developed sores on both big toes that never healed. In fact, doctors never discovered what caused these sores but later discovered they were both infected from strep group b bacteria and both toes were amputated. Prior to amputation both toes looked completely black as if they had been burned and eventually the skin disloged from the bone. Subsequently, all toes were amputated on the right foot and the first joints on three toes were amputated on the left. The sores went from toe to toe over a period of 10 years. In addition I am constantly itching (especially my back) and my back constantly aches especially on the right side from my shoulder to my lower back. I have mood swings and my cognitive skills are not as sharp as they once were. Couriously, I am allergic to all sulfur meds and have severe swelling and lowered blood pressure reactions. I have also been depressed for many years and because of lack of focus I find it hard to hold a job and have been fired from most jobs I have held eventhough I have a Master's degree.. Could it be that Dilantin is the culprit /cause in all of this???

Posted by

on
I been taking Dilantin now for 8 years. At first I was fine not having no problems,however, about year and half ago I started having severe back pains, muscle spasms, I am physically exhausted around the clock, depression worsen I mean majorly worsen, my neck is sore and hurts 24 hrs 7 says a week as does my whole body now as of a few months ago. I use to be energetic full of life now I am moody I can flip at a drop of a pin, my head always feel funny and also I about died at my JOB when my Dilantin level dropped low as hell I forgot if he said 0.3 or 3.0 all I know hospital had me drugged up these headaches are so bad I have one 24/7 but anyways I stopped breathing and my lips turned blue at work I don't remember that whole day at all until I woke up looking at my boss and two EMT's....I guess I was cooking, doing fryers, and I don't remember nothing even how I got to work apparently I drove!!!! Like RIGHT NOW I AM SO TIRED, MY BACK IS SPASMING REALLY BAD FROM NEXT TO BUTTOCKS, MY BODY ACHES JOINTS MAINLY, MY HEAD FEELS FUNNY LIKE NOT THERE BUT HURTS, MY MUSCLE ACHES I HAVE KNOTS ALL OVER MY SPINE WHEN U GO OVER THEM THEY NUMB THEN SHARP PAIN JOTS ME, I WALK HUNCHED OVER BECAUSE OF ALL THE PAIN IN MY BACK, IT IS HARD TO SLEEP I STAY UP FOR DAYS, I JUST WANT TO GIVE BUT CANT I HAVE ALOT TO LIVE FOR, I HATE FOOD, I FEEL NAUSEOUS ALL TIME....HERE TODAY MY VISION HAS BEEN CROSSING! I LOSE MY VOICE ALOT I AM ALWAYS THIRSTY....

Posted by

on
My son took dilantin for 10 years , and it has ruined his life with dilantin skin rashes it causes all sort of health problems, but every lawyer that I i contact you must have steven johnson syndrom . My son was only taking. Dilantin whe n he developed these rashes', sensit. I've to light,
Blistering. Shedding skin , I think he has been misdiagnose. As haveing psorsis.I need to talk to a lawyer, ihave been trying to get help he is scarred for life from dilantin . the drug co. Pfeifer should be liable for anyone who took dilantin and is disabled from dilantin use. Thank you!

Posted by

on
I took Dilantin for 30 years. I suffered with gums hanging over my teeth causing me to have them burned off. I now have Fybromyalgia and would like to know if the Dilantin may have caused that? I also have huge lumps inside my skin on my upper legs. My neck is sore 24 hours a day. Don't know if any of these symptoms would relate to Dilantin. Please let me know, thank you.

Posted by

on
Dilantin is the epilepsy drug of choice for many prisons due to its low cost.

Most prisons do not conduct neurological workups, despite breakthrough seizures.

Although the state of Florida is now aware that the validity of blood level testing of dilantin has been called into question, they continue to use that as the sole means of monitoring efficacy, to my knowledge.

Gary Bennett is an incarcerated innocent with volatile epilepsy. His innocence is unquestionable, as his guilt was established on the testimony of dog handler John Preston, who had been discredited in an Ohio federal court in Dale Sutton's case the year before. Related exonerations from the same judicial circuit, Brevard/Seminole FL, include Juan Ramos, Wilton Dedge and William Dillon, who appeared on Fox News last week to promote his singing careeer and having sung the national anthem for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, knowingly throwing Gary and others under the bus.

Medical negligence deaths are common in prison, including seizure deaths.

Please do not neglect prisoners dilantin deaths or ongoing misery. Many are incarcerated for non-violent offenses, and as an advocate with 8 years of research weighing me down, I know that many are innocent - perhaps as much as 20%.

Some of my correspondence to the Florida Department of Corrections regarding Gary Bennett's epilepsy can be found at my blog, link below. Thank you.

wobblywarrior.wordpress.com

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