Stevens Johnson Syndrome Symptoms
SJS Symptoms Severe and Mild
The early stage symptoms for Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) are similar to some infectious diseases and respiratory infections. These include headache, malaise and cough with purulent sputum (secretions of lungs, bronchi or trachea). As the disorder progresses, rashes and lesions develop throughout large areas of the body. SJS also affects the mucous membranes and can therefore spread to many mucous areas inside the body, including the lungs, digestive system, eyes and mouth.
SJS Physical Symptoms
Physical SJS symptoms include a rash that begins as macules on the skin, then develops into papules, bullae or confluent erythema (Erythema is redness of the skin caused by increased blood flow to the skin capillaries). As the disorder worsens, the rash can be confined to one area of the body (typically the chest or back) or it can spread to other areas. Skin lesions often develop. Typical lesions have the appearance of a bull's eye target. These lesions may become bullous (bulge) and rupture, leaving the flesh under the skin bare (known medically as denuded skin). The skin can also become susceptible to infection. Although the lesions can occur anywhere on the body, the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and the skin areas around large extending muscles are the most common locations.
In some of the most advanced cases, Stevens Johnson Syndrome symptoms can cause blindness, due to lesions and scarring on the cornea. Laser eye surgery can be used to treat corneal scarring in some patients. It is important not to confuse treatment using lasers with implants, such as the Visian Lens or the Verisyse Lens. Patients can also have an inability to eat or drink resulting from lesions in the mouth and digestive system. Scarring can occur in the lungs, causing breathing difficulties.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome Background
Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a serious disorder that affects the skin and mucous membranes. It is known medically as an immune-complex-mediated hypersensitivity (allergic reaction), that is a severe form of a lesser type of hypersensitivity called erythema multiforme. There is a more severe type of hypersensitivity called toxic epidermal necrolysis. SJS is typically caused by an underlying infection or malignancy, or by an allergic reaction to a drug. The drugs most often capable of causing this problem include anticonvulsants, antibiotics, Bextra, a prescription pain reliever of the COX-2 inhibitor family, and other over-the-counter pain relievers such as Motrin and Children's Motrin. Research suggests that Stevens Johnson Syndrome causes cannot be identified for as many as 25 to 50% of all documented cases of SJS. Currently, there are no SJS treatment methods in place capable of stopping the progression of the disease.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome Legal Remedies
If you or a loved one has been afflicted with Stevens Johnson Syndrome, it is possible that the condition was caused by an allergic reaction to a drug. Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to notify physicians and patients of any potential harmful side effects of drugs, including diseases such as Stevens Johnson Syndrome. If they fail to fully disclose all known risks associated with their pharmaceutical products, they might be held financially liable for the physical, psychological and financial distress patients experience as a result. If you suspect that you or your loved one's symptoms might be caused by an allergic reaction to a certain drug, please contact a skilled personal injury lawyer. He or she will carefully discuss your case to determine if compensation might be available. In addition, in complex legal situations requiring help of several legal professionals, injury lawyers can recommend other lawyers who practice as family attorneys, divorce specialists, auto accident lawyers and DWI attorneys.
Last Revision: June 12, 2013