Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Georgia/Florida: Dilantin and Stevens Johnson Sydrome

Dilantin (generic name: phenytoin) is a widely-prescribed antiepileptic drug issued for treatment of partial and generalized tonic clonic seizures associated with epilepsy. The drug, developed in 1938 and currently marketed by Pfizer, has been linked to Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS).

Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a severe, life-threatening condition which affects the skin and the mucous membranes. SJS typically begins with a flu-like period of fever, sore throat and headache. Victims then develop circular lesions that cover a majority of the skin. The lesions can develop into blisters and occasionally complete skin detachment.

Many experts agree that a reaction to Dilantin can cause the onset of this horrible disease. While Dilantin has been recalled numerous times since its introduction, it is still prescribed today.

Most common side-effects:

• Nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea
• Mild dizziness or drowsiness
• Tender or swollen glands
• Swollen or painful gums
• Headache
• Muscle twitches
• Increased facial hair
• Swelling of breasts
• Insomnia

More severe side-effects are:

• An allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
• Hallucinations
• Slurred speech or staggering walk
• A rash
• Changes in vision
• Agitation
• Low blood pressure
• Slow or irregular heartbeats
• Abdominal pain, dark urine, light colored stools, or jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
• Easy bruising or bleeding
• Swollen or tender gums

If you believe your Dilantin use has put you or a loved one in danger call or email us right away.