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25 Percent of Dilantin TEN Patients Die, Study Finds

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Philadelphia, PADrugs are supposed to help, not hurt - at least that's what we are led to believe and have come to know. Little wonder that Americans continue to be blindsided by the tragic consequences that stem from adverse effects, such as that which is evidenced with Dilantin SJS.

Dilantin is an anti-seizure medication and one of the most common pharmaceuticals on the market indicated to treat seizures. Currently marketed by Pfizer, it's been around since 1936.

Most current and prospective patients would easily trust a medication that's been around for that long. Any concern for Dilantin Side Effects would seem almost misguided in view of a medication having such tenure.

And yet a 9-year-old girl died from Dilantin SJS after taking Dilantin for just one month. The family of Jesse Nichols Jacobson launched a Dilantin lawsuit in the fall of 2010 and settled with Pfizer for $3.78 million.

Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a rare, but debilitating disease characterized by horrible blisters. Almost overnight, skin will begin to reflect the characteristics of serious burns. In some patients, their epidermis sloughs away in sheets. Most patients, if they survive at all, endure a horrific medical journey. Most will also have lasting repercussions, including light sensitivity to the eyes.

SJS and its more serious cousin, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), is often triggered by over-the-counter (OTC) and other common medications. It can also be triggered by Dilantin. Patients with Dilantin TEN - similar to Dilantin SJS - can never know until they reach the other side of their ordeal if they will survive or not.

It's been just over a year since litigation involving Dilantin Side Effects, and specifically Dilantin SJS, developed into a smaller-scale mass tort. As of February of last year, the estimated cases of Dilantin SJS were thought to be about 100, with an expectation for 300 in total nationwide. According to Lawyers Weekly USA (2/07/11), there were no plans to consolidate cases, and thus plaintiffs would proceed individually.

While Dilantin is used to treat epileptic seizures, it is also used in hospital emergency rooms to prevent seizures following head injury. The drug works by slowing brain impulses. And while the legal community last year viewed the number of Dilantin SJS cases to be relatively small, the fact remains that a study involving 15 US burn centers revealed that more than 20 percent of TEN cases were thought to have been caused by Dilantin.

Of those cases, patients died from their Dilantin Side Effects 25 percent of the time. As more people become aware of the Stevens Johnson Syndrome risk associated with Dilantin, it's not outside the realm of possibility that the number of Dilantin lawsuits may increase.


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