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
Infections that can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome include:
April 22, 2014
- Herpes (herpes simplex or herpes zoster)
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- FDA drug safety communication: FDA warns of rare but serious skin reactions with the pain reliever/fever reducer acetaminophen. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm363041.htm. Accessed Nov. 25, 2013.
- Yip VL, et al. HLA genotype and carbamazepine-induced cutaneous adverse drug reactions: A systematic review. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2012;92:757.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed Nov. 25, 2013.
- Gerull R, et al. Toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome: A review. Critical Care Medicine. 2011;39:1521.
- Ferrandiz-Pulido C, et al. A review of causes of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis in children. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2013;98:998.
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