Dilantin Side Effects Can Cause SJS. Dilantin has been named in at least 100 lawsuits that claim the drug caused the serious and sometimes fatal skin reactions, Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. It is expected that hundreds more Dilantin lawsuits could be filed in the future. Defendants include Pfizer, which makes the brand-name drug Dilantin, as well as generic drug makers like Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Baxter Healthcare. In October 2010, a lawsuit filed by the family of a 9 year-old girl, Jesse Nichols Jacobson, who died after taking Dilantin for less than a month, settled against Pfizer for $3.78 million.
Among other things, the Dilantin lawsuits claim that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System, World Health Organization, and Health Canada Adverse Event Database all confirm reports of serious skin reactions in patients receiving ‘Dilantin’ drug products. Plaintiffs allege the drug makers were aware of the drug’s dangers but failed to inform patients of risks.
Injured by Dilantin
Dilantin (Generic: Phenytoin) is an antiepileptic drug prescribed to manage temporal lobe seizures and grand mal seizures. The FDA approved Dilantin, manufactured by Pfizer, on November 20, 2001. A major side effect of Dilantin is a severe skin reaction called Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a severe allergic reaction to a drug. SJS is a potentially life threatening skin disease that causes rashes, skin peeling, sores on the mucous membranes and death.
With Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a person often encounters blistering of mucous membranes, typically in the mouth, eyes, and genitals. Nearly all cases are caused by a reaction to a drug, most often sulfa antibiotics, barbiturates, and anticonvulsants such as Dilantin. Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) generally starts with a fever, headache, cough, and body aches, symptoms which may last from 1 to 14 days. Then a flat red rash breaks out on the face and trunk of the body, often spreading later to other parts of the body in an irregular pattern. The areas of rash enlarge and spread, often forming blisters. The skin of the blisters becomes very loose and easy to rub off. In addition, the damage to the lining of the mouth makes eating difficult. Closing of the mouth may be painful, so the person may drool. A person’s eyes may swell and become so filled with pus that they seal shut. The corneas can become scarred. The opening through which urine passes (urethra) may also be affected, making urination difficult and painful. Sometimes the mucous membranes of the digestive and respiratory tracts are involved, resulting in diarrhea and difficulty breathing.
Other side effects associated with Dilantin include: confusion, constipation, discolored urine (pink, red, or brown), fatigue, slurred speech, agitation, anemia, bone marrow depression, chest discomfort, difficulty learning (children), dizziness, fever and chills, frequent bone fractures or breaks, headache, joint pain, light gray stools, low thyroid function, malformed bones, numbness or tingling in extremities (long-term use), painful erection, restlessness, severe stomach pain, severe skin reaction, shallow or troubled breathing, uncontrolled jerking of limbs, uncontrolled facial movements, unusual bleeding or bruising, weight loss, and yellow eyes or skin.