Pharmaceutical

Drug reactions bring awareness to Stevens Johnson Syndrome

New reports from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and cancer patients have put Revlimid, an oral medicine given to patients with multiple myeloma, on a list of medications that could possibly cause Stevens Johnson Syndrome when used by itself or mixed with other drugs. Stevens Johnson syndrome is a serious, potentially life-threatening skin disease that can start with flu-like symptoms and eventually cause a rash that spreads and blisters.

According to mediafact.com, other medications have been linked to Stevens Johnson syndrome including Bextra, Celebrex and Daypro, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers such as Motion, Ibuprofen, Children’s Motrin and Advil.

One of the main issues with Stevens Johnson syndrome is the lack of awareness from the patients that are at risk and the doctors that prescribe the medication. In a 2007 press release from SmartBrief.com, Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., of Colorado, along with the Stevens Johnson Syndrome Foundation, recognized August 2007 as the designated SJS Awareness month. Joining Colorado in recognizing this month were Arizona, Alabama, Connecticut and Tennessee.

According to the article, Stevens Johnson Syndrome affects more than two million Americans each year and has resulted in more than 140,000 deaths.

When prescribed a new medication, or even taking over-the-counter medication, educate yourself on Stevens Johnson Syndrome so you can identify the symptoms at the earliest possible stage.