August is Stevens – Johnson Syndrome Awareness Month

Awareness (12)

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) Awareness Month is observed in August.  It is a rare yet severe reaction to a medication. SJS can be caused by almost any prescription, including over-the-counter medications. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, over 2 million Americans feel unwell and are hospitalized each year as a result of taking these recommended drugs, and many are admitted to the hospital for adverse effects.

What causes Stevens-Johnson syndrome?

Many cases of SJS are caused by an adversely sensitive response to a prescription (whereas almost all cases of toxic epidermal necrosis or TEN contain medications.) Infections (such as mycoplasma pneumonia) can also induce SJS, as can vaccines and graft-versus-host disease. In certain cases, the illness is said to be idiopathic (since no cause is known).If the skin problem is caused by a medicine, adverse symptoms will usually appear one to three weeks after the individual begins taking the medication.

What drugs have been linked to Stevens-Johnson syndrome?

  • Sulfa antibacterial medicines
  • Allopurinol (used to treat gout and kidney stones) Anti-epileptic drugs such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and phenobarbital
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as piroxicam, nevirapine, and diclofenac Antibiotics 

Symptoms may include: 

  • -Painful blistering of the skin 
  • Flu-like symptoms and a high fever.
  • Severe conjunctivitis, iritis, palpebral edema, conjunctival and corneal blisters and erosions, and corneal perforation 

What is the treatment for Stevens-Johnson syndrome?

  • Intravenous (IV) liquids are used to replace electrolytes.
  • Making use of non-cement treatments
  • Using fatty meals, possibly by tube-taking care of, to promote healing
  • Using anti-infection agents when contamination is expected
  • Providing prescriptions for pain alleviation
  • Treatment in a medical clinic’s intensified care 
  • Using dermatology and ophthalmology master groups (if the eyes are affected)
  • In a few cases, IV immunoglobulin or amniotic film units (for eyes) are used.


Foundation, S.-J. S. (2002). SJS Awareness Month. StevensJohnson Syndrome Foundation. https://sjsupport.org/?page_id=449



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