Zithromax (known generically as azithromycin) is an antibiotic made by Pfizer. According to reports, in 2012 a lawsuit was filed against Pfizer alleging a child who took azithromycin immediately developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a life-threatening allergic reaction to medication.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome (also known in its more severe form as toxic epidermal necrolysis [TEN]) is an allergic reaction to medication that can develop in a patient at any age and at any time, even in cases where medication has previously been tolerated. Patients often develop severe blistering of their skin and inflammation of their mucous membranes. Many people who develop SJS or TEN are treated in their hospital’s burn unit because the symptoms are similar to severe burns.
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Azithromycin is not the only medication reportedly linked to SJS. In the UK, reports of SJS have been linked to heartburn tablets and ibuprofen. In 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration, FDA, issued a warning that Onfi (clobazam), an anti-seizure drug, had been linked to an increased risk of SJS.
Lawsuits have been filed against the makers of certain medications, including Zithromax, alleging that they knew or should have known about the risks associated with the medications but failed to warn patients or the medical community.