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Ibuprofen, Heart Burn Medication Both Linked to Stevens Johnson Syndrome Cases

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United KingdomTwo common medications have been linked to situations in which young patients developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome, also known as SJS. Both patients wound up fighting for their lives after developing Stevens Johnson Syndrome symptoms shortly after taking the medication to treat fairly common ailments.

In one case, a 17-year-old girl, Leanne Howes, reportedly took Zantac - a heartburn medication - to treat irritable bowel syndrome. Shortly afterwards, she developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome, in which she developed an itchy rash that turned into large blisters. Ultimately, according to the Daily Mail (2/20/14), Howes’ skin began to fall off and she was given only a 10 percent chance of survival. She also reportedly developed blisters in her throat and on her tongue. Howes spent weeks in the hospital while on morphine and had to be fed through a tube.

In a different case, a 13-year-old boy, Max Brown, was given ibuprofen for a cold, but reportedly developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome that left him hospitalized for a month during which time he slipped in and out of consciousness. According to the Daily Mail (2/23/14), Max developed initial symptoms of Stevens Johnson Syndrome a day after he began taking ibuprofen.

Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a rare allergic reaction to medication. Initial symptoms can resemble a flu or rash, but quickly become deadly as the patient’s skin begins to come off. Not all patients survive their ordeal with Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Those that do, often suffer permanent effects, including scarring and vision problems.

Lawsuits have been filed against some drugmakers, alleging they failed to adequately warn about the dangers of developing SJS. In August 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about a possible risk of Stevens Johnson Syndrome and its more severe form, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), linked to use of acetaminophen. At the time, the FDA noted that other drugs, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, were also linked to an increased risk of Stevens Johnson Syndrome.

The agency also noted that the condition could develop even in cases where the medication had been previously tolerated by the patient. The FDA required the makers of acetaminophen drugs to include a warning on the label about the risk, and noted that such a warning is included on the ibuprofen and naproxen label.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I took some Ibprofen before bed one night and got terrible itching and burning on the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet which kept me awake and miserable for hours. I think it is the dye that they a putting in them. I have taken ibprofen before without that coloring in it and didn't have this problem. I am so thankful I didn't get the full blown Steven Johnsons from it. but I am sure what I was experiencing was from the Ibprofen since I didn't take anything else.

Posted by

on
I am taking Ibuprofen for a long time and I have been suffering for Heart Burns/Acid Reflux. It was prescribed by my Orthopaedist due to my lumbar surgery. I have some rashes on my chest and back for a long time, since 2007.
I had an endoscopy but they didn't find abnormal with esophagus. But I am taking 40 mg of Omeprazole everyday, but still my Acid Refux didn't go away. Sometimes, I go to emergency hospital due to hearth burns and always get a panic attack. Feeling that I have hearth attack and feeling that I am dying.

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