Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) in Children

Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a rare and potentially fatal medical disorder involving the skin and mucous membranes. In medical terminology, SJS is called an immune-complex-mediated hypersensitivity condition, which basically means it occurs due to an allergic reaction. Typically, SJS is caused by an allergic reaction to over-the-counter or prescription drugs, but on occasion, SJS may be caused by other factors. Although anyone can develop SJS, children develop the disease at a much higher rate than adults.

Children’s Motrin & Advil Linked to SJS

The drugs most commonly associated with Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) in children are ibuprofen based medications, such as children’s Motrin and Advil. In fact, children’s Motrin recently made headlines after two children developed severe cases of SJS shortly after taking the medication.

According to lawsuits filed by attorneys on behalf of the children injured by Motrin, one child died twenty months after taking children’s Motrin and another child went blind just two months after taking children’s Motrin. The injured children’s lawsuits allege that Motrin’s makers knew that Motrin could cause the rare and sometimes deadly allergic reactions called Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (another form of SJS), and that they failed to warn consumers.

The families of the injured children are seeking monetary damages, but also want the drug maker to take children’s Motrin off the market until children’s Motrin carries a warning about SJS and its symptoms. Although SJS warnings are currently required on prescription-strength ibuprofen and other prescription drugs that can cause the same reactions, the FDA has not yet required the makers of ibuprofen drugs, such as Motrin, to include the life-threatening disease or its symptoms on non-prescription labels.

SJS Symptoms

Parents and doctors need to know that they should stop giving children Motrin at the first sign of a rash to prevent SJS from advancing to the more serious toxic epidermal necrolysis, which has about a 30 percent mortality rate. Other symptoms of SJS include:

  • blisters or red splotches on skin
  • persistent fever
  • blisters in mouth, eyes, ears, nose, genital area
  • swelling of eyelids, red eyes
  • conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • flu-like symptoms

If your child has developed SJS after taking children’s Motrin or another drug, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact us today so we can inform you of your legal rights and options.

Published November 17, 2011 by