Dilantin Stevens Johnson Syndrome Lawsuits

Dangerous drugs

Dilantin (phenytoin) is an anticonvulsant medication primarily prescribed to prevent grand mal and temporal lobe seizures, and sometimes prescribed off-label to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. It has been link to a very serious, and sometimes fatal, allergic reaction called Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). Survivors of SJS can suffer permanent harm including organ damage, scarring, skin discoloration, and sensitivity to light. More than 100 lawsuits have been filed against Dilantin maker Pfizer for failure to warn patients about the risk of developing SJS when taking the drug.

In October 2010, Pfizer agreed to pay the family of Jesse Nichols Jacobson $3.78 million in a wrongful death settlement. The nine-year-old girl died from drug-induced Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), the most severe form of SJS, after taking Dilantin and Flagyl.

Stevens Johnson Syndrome

See also: $21M Stevens Johnson Syndrome Lawsuit Settlement Appealed

SJS is a severe allergic reaction that affects the skin, mucus membranes, and sometimes the eyes and internal organs. It typically begins with flu-like symptoms and progresses to a severe skin rash and blistering of the mucous membranes. The skin can be so severely affected that blistering turns to peeling and sloughing off of large areas. SJS should be treated in a burn center or unit.

SJS can affect 10% to 30% of the body. When it progresses to more than 30% of the body it is classified as toxic epidermal necrolysis or TEN.

SJS and TEN patients often end up being treated in the burn unit of hospitals given the severity of the blistering affecting much of their body. Treatment is often similar to that of thermal burn patients and continued care is supportive and symptomatic—there is no specific cure for SJS or TEN and the conditions are treated until they resolve on their own. 

If you have been injured by Dilantin you can learn more about your rights and how you can recover damages for your losses by searching our directory to find a lawyer near you.

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