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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 71  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 325--328

Carbamazepine - The commonest cause of toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome: A study of 7 years

1 Department of Skin and VD., Medical College, Kottayam, India
2 Department of Skin and VD, Medical College, Thrissur, India
3 Department of Skin and VD, Medical college, Thiruvananthapuram, India

Correspondence Address:
K Devi
Department of Skin and VD., Medical College, Kottayam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.16782

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Background : Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) are a group of severe life threatening drug reactions. The drugs commonly implicated as the cause of these drug reactions vary depending on host factors and the prescription pattern of drugs in that particular area. Aim : The aim of the study was to find the drugs implicated as the cause of SJS/TEN in the patients admitted in the dermatology ward at the Medical College, Thrissur and to find the clinical outcome. Methods : It was a retrospective study of 7 years from 1997 to 2004. The case records of all patients with a clinical diagnosis of TEN or SJS were studied in detail regarding the drugs implicated as the cause, the management and the clinical outcome. Results : During the study period, 41 patients in the age group ranging from 12 to 72 years were treated as inpatients, of which 20 were males and 21 were females. The commonest drug implicated as the cause of SJS/TEN was carbamazepine (44%). The indication for carbamazepine was control of pain in more than 50% of the cases. Presence of a major systemic disease before the onset of SJS/TEN was associated with a bad prognosis. Conclusion : The increased use of carbamazepine, especially for control of pain, may be the reason for the increased incidence of SJS/TEN due to the same drug. Awareness about the drugs implicated in life threatening drug reactions will help physicians in preventing them by judicious use of the drugs.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow