MMRV vaccine linked to serious skin reaction known as SJS
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a warning about the childhood MMRV vaccine for measles-mumps-rubella-chickenpox, saying it may cause the painful and life-threatening allergic reaction known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) as well as other serious reactions.
ProQuad is the trade name for the MMRV vaccine produced by Merck Pharmaceuticals. It is typically given to children between 1 and 2 years of age. Children in this age group are usually given the MMRV or the three-in-one MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) plus the chickenpox vaccine. The MMRV vaccine made headlines recently because it has been associated with a higher incidence of fever seizures in children 7-10 days after the shot was given. Studies also show the drug carries a risk of SJS. However, since the vaccine combines four different vaccinations, researchers say it is hard to pinpoint which drug is the offending one.
SJS has been associated with more than 2,000 medications, most often antibiotics and ibuprofen. Those who suffer from the condition develop painful rashes on the skin that blister over and cause the top layer of the skin to peel away. This exposes the body to life threatening infections. Blisters also can form in the eyes and mucous membranes, leading to ocular complications, dehydration and other serious problems.
Any skin reactions with any medication should be immediately brought to the attention of a health care provider and the offending medication stopped. Adverse events with this or any other drug should be reported to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program at www.FDA.gov/MedWatch.