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Zithromax Lawsuit Alleges Lack of Zithromax SJS Warning

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Sacramento, CAIt was in 2009 that Aleigh Alexander was given the oft-prescribed antibiotic Zithromax (azithromycin). Little did the Alexanders know that their daughter would soon land in the hospital with grievous symptoms related to Zithromax Stevens Johnson Syndrome. The resulting allergic reaction resulted in months of painful treatment.

In August 2012, her family filed a Zithromax lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a rare, but debilitating reaction that appears to be triggered from ingesting medication. It can happen without warning - and, or so it is alleged, without being apprised that such a reaction was even possible.

Regardless, Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) can leave a victim with serious health issues following the development of a Zithromax rash that can soon progress to widespread blistering. Entire sections of the outer dermis (skin) can slough away, with blistering also affecting the mouth, sinus cavities and eyes akin to severe burns. Many patients are left with moderate-to-severe light sensitivity. Some have been left blind.

And others do not survive at all. Just this month, a pretty 44-year-old restaurant server and mother of two from California died from Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Melissa A. Sawyer’s obituary in The Union (3/14/14) noted that the native of Stockholm, Sweden, passed away March 4 at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

No one knows for sure why various drugs trigger allergic reactions such as Zithromax SJS in some patients and not in others. Plaintiffs, however, fault manufacturers for playing fast and loose with Stevens Johnson Syndrome warnings. The Alexander lawsuit alleges that defendants Pfizer Inc. and it subsidiary, Greenstone LLC, should have known about the possibility of such Zithromax reactions, and should have done a better job of warning consumers.

“As a result of defendants’ respective and collective failure to warn about the serious potentially life-threatening effects, plaintiff sustained permanent injuries and damages, past and future,” the suit said.

The plaintiffs alleged in their Zithromax lawsuit that azithromycin may not have been properly vetted during clinical trials. The plaintiffs also claim that had they or their doctor known about the potential for grievous Zithromax side effects such as Stevens Johnson Syndrome, they would have chosen a different medication for their daughter.

Some manufacturers bury references to SJS deep in the fine print of product labeling. In one case, it was alleged that the prescription version of a popular children’s medication carried warnings with regard to Stevens Johnson Syndrome, but the over-the-counter (OTC) version of the same drug did not.

The plaintiffs assert that they could have spared their daughter the pain and suffering had they been aware of the possibility for Stevens Johnson Syndrome or even the Zithromax skin rash that serves as a warning flag for what may be ahead.

“The product lacked sufficient warnings of the hazards and dangers to users of said product and failed to provide safeguards to prevent the injuries sustained by the plaintiff,” the suit said. “Defendants, respectively and collectively, failed to properly test defendants’ product, Azithromycin, prior to its sale, and as a result, subjected users to an unreasonable risk of injury when that product was used as directed and recommended.”

The Zithromax skin lawsuit is Aleigh Alexander et al. v. Pfizer Inc. et al., Case No. 155812/2012, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.


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