Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare and unpredictable reaction. Your doctor may not be able to identify its exact cause, but usually the condition is triggered by a medication or an infection.

Medication and therapy causes

Drugs that can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome include:

  • Anti-gout medications, such as allopurinol
  • Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • Medications to fight infection, such as penicillin
  • Medications to treat seizures or mental illness (anticonvulsants and antipsychotics)
  • Radiation therapy

Infectious causes

Infections that can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome include:

  • Herpes (herpes simplex or herpes zoster)
  • Pneumonia
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis
Apr. 22, 2014

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