Is There a Cure for Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens Johnson Syndrome can be a treatable condition, particularly if therapy is begun early.? While the basic system-wide disease may be cured, there can be serious lasting effects. Some patients will die from the condition or the resulting scarring of tissue.
The syndrome is an illness that is a system-wide disease, but is most noticeable by the peeling and loss of skin in its more advanced stages. It is important for the patient to be hospitalized preferably in a burn unit. The best predictor of how well a patient responds to treatment depends upon how much of the surface of the body loses skin.
- If 10 percent or less of the skin peels off, the rate of death is between one and five percent.
- If 30 percent or more of the skin is lost, the death rate is between 25 and 35 percent
During the course of the disease and treatment, the following may occur:
- Rash and blisters can continue for two to three weeks
- Scarring of the mucous membranes can result in loss of function of the organ system affected
- Scarring of the esophagus can lead to its narrowing, interfering with eating and drinking
- If the mucous membranes of the bronchial airways are involved, respiratory failure could result
- In the eyes, blindness can result from infection or scarring of the cornea
What is the Cause of Stevens Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens Johnson Syndrome is caused by a severe adverse reaction, in most cases, to certain drugs.? These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including Advil and Motrin; Bextra, an anti-inflammatory preparation used to treat pain; antibacterial medicine containing penicillin or sulfa; and Dilantin, a drug to treat epilepsy.
Other causes may include:
- Typhoid infection
- Herpes simplex or herpes zoster
Patients with AIDS are more susceptible to getting Stevens Johnson Syndrome, as are people who have had radiation treatments or been exposed to ultraviolet light.
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