Drug-induced Stevens–Johnson syndrome: case series from tertiary care centre in Gujarat


Amit Dineshchandra Raval, Deparment of Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. E-mail: amitravalwaves@gmail.com



The aims of the present article were to study clinical features and to analyse them in different drug class associated with Stevens–Johnson syndrome (SJS) in a tertiary care hospital in Gujarat, India.

Materials and Methods

A prospective hospital-based study was carried out over a period of 3 years (June 2007 to September 2009) at Sheth Vadilal Hospital, Ahmedabad, India. The diagnosis of SJS was made mainly on the basis of the clinical findings, which included extensive erythema multiforme, purpuric lesions with bullae and detachment of skin involving at least two mucous membranes. Further, in each patient suspected with SJS, various laboratory tests such as complete blood count, liver function tests, metabolic panel, chest X-ray and other serological test were carried out. SJS was confirmed on the basis of most widely accepted Bastuji-Garin definition. Causality assessment was performed using the Naranjo scale. Only ‘probable’ and ‘definite’ reactions were included.


Antibacterials for systemic use, anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic products and antiepileptics were the drug classes most commonly associated (8 of 29 cases, each) with SJS. Individually, ibuprofen was involved in the highest number of cases (five cases, 17.2%), followed by carbamazepine (four cases, 13.8%) . The mean duration of developing SJS symptoms was 15.9 days (SD = 8.7 days) and improvement after treatment was 14.2 days (SD = 4.6 days). The duration of appearing SJS symptoms varied significantly between different classes of drugs (p < 0.001). The appearance of SJS symptom started within 10 days for anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compared with 24 days of antiepileptic agents. All the patients with antiepileptic agent–induced SJS had 7% to 9% of detached body surface area. In two patients, SJS progressed to toxic epidermal necrolysis and of which one led to death and the other developed long-term complication of conjunctival xerosis. A total of six patients developed long-term complications: four patients had conjunctival synechia, one patient had conjunctival xerosis and one patient had urethral stricture.


More than 80% of the SJS events were induced by antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiepileptic agents with same frequency. The duration of the appearance of SJS symptoms significantly varied between different drug classes and started within 10 days for anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compared with 24 days of antiepileptic agents. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.