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Dilantin SJS Is a Life-Threatening Side Effect

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Minneapolis, MNPatients who take Dilantin are probably aware that they could be at risk of developing Dilantin side effects from the medication. But many may not be aware of the risk of Stevens Johnson Syndrome that is reportedly linked to the use of Dilantin. Stevens Johnson Syndrome, also called SJS, is a rare but life-threatening allergic reaction to medication, and some cases of SJS have reportedly been linked to the use of Dilantin.

Patients who experience Stevens Johnson Syndrome suffer burns over all or part of their body. They are often treated in burn units because many lose their skin, hair and/or nails. Although the condition is rare, it is life-threatening, and those who survive their SJS ordeal often suffer permanent injury. This permanent injury can include scarring, problems with eyesight and photosensitivity.

Stevens Johnson Syndrome is difficult to diagnose and is often treated as a minor allergic reaction to medication when it is in fact a severe allergic reaction. Because it is misdiagnosed as minor, patients may be given secondary doses of the same medication that caused the reaction in the first place, compounding the danger. It is not until severe burn injuries occur that many patients are accurately diagnosed with SJS or with its more severe form, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN).

Making it even more difficult to diagnose is that patients who develop the allergic reaction may have taken the medication that caused the allergic reaction repeatedly with no previous history of sensitivity to the medication. And, because it can be caused by a number of drugs, doctors may not be able to determine exactly which drug caused the severe reaction.

Lawsuits have been filed against the makers of Dilantin, alleging the medication causes Stevens Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis but that patients were not adequately warned about those risks. One such lawsuit was filed by the parents of a young girl who allegedly died from TEN after being prescribed Dilantin. In October, 2010, the family of the young girl settled for more than $3.7 million. The young victim had reportedly been taking Dilantin for less than a month when she became ill.

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