Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Malpractice Lawsuit Results in $6M Verdict
A California jury has awarded $6 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by an 82-year old woman who suffered Steven-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) after her doctor prescribed Allopurinol for gout, which it turns out she did not have.
According to the Stevens-Johnson syndrome malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that an osteopathic physician put her on Allopurinol to treat gout, without a differential diagnosis and appropriate monitoring for an adverse reaction. The plaintiff claims that the diagnosis was not correct for the pain she described in her toe.
As a reaction to Allopurinol, the plaintiff developed the debilitating and painful skin condition Stevens-Johnson syndrome and its more severe form, called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. As a result of the injury, the plaintiff claimed that she is now dependent on others for her daily activities of living.
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Stevens-Johnson is a severe skin reaction that is caused as a side effect of several medications. It is highly debilitating and causes the skin to burn from the inside out, producing blisters, severe rashes and the skin may begin to fall the body.
When the skin reaction affects more than 30% of the body, the condition is referred to as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). Treatment in a hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Burn Unit is often required, and the conditions are be fatal in many cases.
Allopurinol currently has warnings about the potential risk of severe skin side effects, and prescribing physicians should be on the lookout for the possible development of SJS. A multinational study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in January 2008 indicated that Allopurinol was the most common cause of SJS and TEN in Europe and Israel, constituting about 18% of all cases.
Allopurinol is the generic name for Zyloprim, made by Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. There are several generic manufacturers.
According to a press release issued by the plaintiff’s Stevens-Johnson syndrome lawyer, Brian D. Witzer, claims against two other manufacturer-defendants were settled prior to trial, but the physician-defendant refused multiple offers to settle for a fraction of the jury’s award.
MelissaMarch 19, 2020 at 3:31 am
In January of 2019, I was diagnosed with Steven Johnson Syndrome due to takimg Allopurinol. I was given this drug because my nurse practitioner said my Uric Acid was slightly elevated. I took the med for about 2 weeks. On a Monday I was off work for a holiday , I worked outside in my flower bed . So, on Tuesday morning while at work I begin to have swollen red eyes. I went to the pharmacy and ask[Show More]In January of 2019, I was diagnosed with Steven Johnson Syndrome due to takimg Allopurinol. I was given this drug because my nurse practitioner said my Uric Acid was slightly elevated. I took the med for about 2 weeks. On a Monday I was off work for a holiday , I worked outside in my flower bed . So, on Tuesday morning while at work I begin to have swollen red eyes. I went to the pharmacy and ask about my symptoms and was advised of possible allergy since I had explained my yard work from the previous day. I use the eye drops the rest of the day. Next morning, l go to work and as the day progresses my eyes are swelling more , throat sore and my face begins to swell . I get up third day and I had a doctors appointment already scheduled so I go to the doctors office. I'm examined and told it must be allergies and I'm given medication and a shot. . I go home thinking I'll be on the mend by morning and during the night I break out in spots on my arms.. My face and eyes are swelling more so I head back to my doctors office as they work me back in . I'm told I have hand foot and mouth disease. oh my goodness ! I call my coworkers and have them sanitize everywhere I've been at work. I grab mask, and quarantine myself at home , scared to death I've infected my grand babies , family and others. In the meanwhile my face, and eyes are swelling even more , my throat is beginning to close up some, and the spots are beginning to cover my body . My husband comes home from work and now, my face is swelling so much that it's bulging out from behind my mask. We call the doctors office , scared to death because now my breathing is getting harder. We're advised to go to Urgent care or ER . We get to Urgent care and the on call doctor/ practitioner does some checking and ask what I had been diagnosed with and I told him HFM disease. After further test, he tells me he thinks it's an allergic reaction to some medicine and ask what new meds had I been prescribed of late andi told him allopurinol ! I'm given a prescription of antibiotics and given a discharge paper of his findings for possible cause in which my husband noticed that SJS was mentioned as an effect. Around 4 am I can't hardly breathe , my head is now swollen , my throat and eyes are swollen and I told my husband if he didn't get me to a hospital I was going to die . A couple hours later I'm admitted in the hospital, my mouth has blisters forming, my throats is swelling shut and I was told within 2 more centimeters I would have had a tracheotomy to breathe. Blisters are beginning to cover me all over my arms, legs, back , my mouth is sore and developing blisters inside and out , my head is enlarged, my body now has blisters every where. I can hardly breathe and when I get to a room they either gave me something to make me sleep because II'm scared too death or I pass out due to pain . I'm out of it for several days , my body is blistered all over, my mouth begins to literally burn off . They are having to suck bloody mucus from me to keep me from strangling on the bile. My family is told it's so critical I could not make it depending on which way this turned. To cut the story short, I was in the hospital almost two weeks and then at home for 3 months trying to recover and allow my body to heal and especially my mouth . This has been a devastating experience and traumatic emotionally. It's the most horrible thing I've ever had happen. This should have never happened to me and hopefully not anyone else. It has definitely changed my life and I still have residual effects from it. Don't take allopurinol!! It can kill you !! I hope this will help someone!
ChadApril 6, 2016 at 5:07 pm
I took allopurinol for a few weeks last June for gout. My doctor prescribed it because he said "no one has any problems with it." He had only heard of one case with an issue, and only because he has happened to be at a medical conference in England and ran into another doctor that was giving a lecture on it. Then I stared to get a bad rash. I live in the foothills where poison oak is very common,[Show More]I took allopurinol for a few weeks last June for gout. My doctor prescribed it because he said "no one has any problems with it." He had only heard of one case with an issue, and only because he has happened to be at a medical conference in England and ran into another doctor that was giving a lecture on it. Then I stared to get a bad rash. I live in the foothills where poison oak is very common, and I get it very badly, and in fact had just had it a couple months prior. This rash came most heavily in the same area (left arm and left leg) that I had just had poison oak, so I wasn't too worried because I thought I knew the process. When I started to get a fever and feel horrible I went to Urgent Care, and they sent me to the ER, thinking it was a severe case of measles. The ER said no, I was just allergic to the particular strain of the flu that was going around at the time, and gave me a round of antibiotics and steroids. I took the meds and the symptoms lessened, but because allopurinol was not identified as the cause, I kept taking it and as soon as the steroids were done, the symptoms started coming back even worse. My second day on a new job I had to find the Director of HR and tell her that I knew it was only my second day, but something was wrong and I needed to go to the doctor. She took one look at me and asked if I needed an ambulance. I said no, I just needed to go to the doctor, and she said go right now. My doctor saw me and immediately said I needed to go to the ER right then, and he offered to have one of his staff drive me. I declined, still not realizing how bad this was, and he said to just go now, and he would call ahead, he had worked there and knew the staff, and he told them I was on the way and to get me in right away. I went to the same ER I had been to a week before, but this time when I gave my name someone came in full mask and gown and took me to a quarantine room. I was able to give them the details of what medication I was taking, and after calling my wife to let her know where I was I passed out. I was in a quarantine room in the hospital for three days before they figured out it was DRESS syndrome. My doctor at the ER had never heard of it, and had to research my spoons on the internet to figure out it was DRESS. I had a rash over 75% of my body, and most of my left side and my face had swollen to nearly double size. I spent another three in the hospital before they let me out because they were concerned for my liver and lungs from the DRESS. It has now been almost nine months since my ordeal, I won't touch allopurinol with a 10-foot pole, but some of the rash is starting to come back on my left arm, which is where it was worst the first time. Is this common, to have the symptoms return? I was told DRESS would go away within 3-4 months of stopping the allopurinol, but like I said that was almost 9 months ago, and while everything else has gone the rash has never fully left, and is now getting worse.
Aospitalngus D. DoctorApril 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm
I was prescribed allopurinol by a V.A. Doctor in 02/2013.I took the medicine from 02/28/13 until 03/12/13 because I developed a rash.I visited the local E.R. on 03/15/13 in which they gave me medicine for itching.I later visited the E.R. at the V.A. in which I was admitted for about 4 days.On March 29 2013 I was admitted again at the V.A. hospital I was released around June 9, 2013 upon my release[Show More]I was prescribed allopurinol by a V.A. Doctor in 02/2013.I took the medicine from 02/28/13 until 03/12/13 because I developed a rash.I visited the local E.R. on 03/15/13 in which they gave me medicine for itching.I later visited the E.R. at the V.A. in which I was admitted for about 4 days.On March 29 2013 I was admitted again at the V.A. hospital I was released around June 9, 2013 upon my release I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure,kidney failure and liver disease.During my stay I was on life support for 2 weeks.Can I sue the manufacturer but not the V.A?
TommyMarch 29, 2014 at 7:18 am
allopurinol also causes nuropathies similar to diabetics nerve pain in people who took the drug for gout and were between the ages of 55 - 62 and took the medication for 1 1/2 yrs +, but no investigation has gone forward to legal resolve
JoanNovember 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm
My husband was prescribed and took Allopurinol after a routine annual medical check up in October 2009. He subsequently had to be evacated from Africa, and spent 3 weeks in the burns unti in intensive care i North London Hopital. He has had cornea transplant and several operations for sight related secondary effects of the SJS he was eventually dignosed off. He will use artifical tears for the r[Show More]My husband was prescribed and took Allopurinol after a routine annual medical check up in October 2009. He subsequently had to be evacated from Africa, and spent 3 weeks in the burns unti in intensive care i North London Hopital. He has had cornea transplant and several operations for sight related secondary effects of the SJS he was eventually dignosed off. He will use artifical tears for the rest of his life, we are told, he lost his job as a result and has suffered untold emotional and psychological distress as a result.
melissaMay 5, 2010 at 2:32 am
I had pharyingitis a viral disease I was given a strep test it was negative . the doctor who treated me with several antibiotics. My doctor and the specialist determined that it was the antibiotics that caused me to have stevens johnson.
MARYDecember 27, 2009 at 12:29 am
MY 90 YR OLD DAD WAS GVN DILANTIN FOR ALMOST 1 MO IN ERROR HE WAS TO HVE MEDICATION FOR A FEW DAY DUE TO HIM FALLING AND HITTING BACK OF HIS HEAD.AS OF SEPT 09 HE IS ABT TO FEEL BETTER DUE TO THE RASH HE EXPERIENCED. MY DAD SURVIED DUE TO ALL OUR PRAYS GOD SAVED OUR DAD. BUT HE WENT THRU HELL WNT FRM ABR 170 POUNDS TO 125 POUNDS.
cindySeptember 4, 2009 at 6:16 am
My sister had brain cancer. and then she started taking leaquion as a result she looked like she had been burn from head to toe. She was blister everywhere. soon after she passed away.
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