GSK Sued After Wrong Lamictal Dosage Caused Woman's Skin to Burn Off

Defective Drugs
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

By Lynn Shapiro, Staff Writer

When 26-year old Khaliah Shaw started taking the drug, lamotrigine in 2014, marketed in the US as Lamictal-- a drug that’s known to be effective for treatment of her bipolar disorder, as well as for epilepsy-- she should have been told to stop using the drug immediately should she develop a rash.

Instead, when she was rushed to the hospital after developing flu-like symptoms, a rash on her face, blisters, and an excruciating burning that made her feel she was on fire, she was told she had the flu, instead of the deadly Stevens - Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a potentially lethal side effect of Lamictal.

Shaw is alleging she received the wrong dose of the drug but isn’t suing her pharmacy.

She’s suing UK pharmaceutical powerhouse, GlaxoSmithKline, for $3.45 million in current medical costs and expects to face extensive medical costs in the future.

Lost 90 Percent of Her Skin and is Going Blind          

Shaw lost all of her hair and 90 percent of her skin had fallen off, when she awoke from a medically-induced five-week coma, intended by doctors to alleviate her excruciating pain.

Worse, the condition left her once-flawless brown skin permanently scarred and if that weren’t bad enough, she’s losing her vision.

“I felt like I was on fire,” Shaw told NBC-affiliated TV station in Atlanta, 

She was literally burning from the inside out.

She had to suspend her studies at Georgia College and State University. Now, that her hair is growing back, Shaw is finally suing the drug’s manufacturer.

Stevens - Johnson Syndrome

At first Shaw was told she had the flu, as SJS manifests itself in flu-like symptoms. But when her condition deteriorated, she was rushed to The Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, where a dermatologist diagnosed her with SJS.

The flu-like symptoms are followed by a painful red or purplish rash that spreads and blisters. Then the top layer of the skin dies and sheds.

Although Shaw was, as she describes it, “essentially almost blind”, her vision gradually returned, and she saw herself for the first time, according to the Daily Mail, that reported, “to her horror she was bald, with pink and white patchy skin instead of brown.”

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