Dilantin Damages

If you or a loved one have suffered from Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis after taking Dilantin for seizure control, a Dilantin attorney can review the facts of your situation with you and help you decide whether you have grounds for legal action.

In 2008, the Federal Drug Administration began investigating Dilantin’s role in causing serious skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN).

That same year, Pfizer added warnings about the increased risks of SJS and TEN to its product labeling. This warning came too late for millions of patients who had already put themselves at risk by taking the medication.

Potentially Fatal Diseases Linked to Dilantin

Dilantin has been on the market for over 70 years, yet a number of documented cases show serious possible side effects, including severe burns and death.

Currently, Dilantin is administered to patients suffering from grand mal seizures, and prescribed off label to patients suffering from headaches, depression, panic attacks and anxiety. However, despite the drug’s popularity, it has been known to lead to a more serious disease called SJS/TEN.

SJS, (Stevens Johnson Syndrome) and TEN, (Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis) are progressively worsening diseases that cause severe skin burning. In addition to massive whole body burns, the disease can cause blindness, organ failure, and even death.

The disease starts as SJS and progresses to TEN when the skin of the victim dies and begins to slough off. This type of internal burning can be worse than external third degree burns and gives the victim the appearance of having been engulfed by flames. Some have claimed that the disease is like being “cooked from the inside out.”

If you or a loved one is suffering from SJN or TEN as a result of taking Dilantin, legal action may provide possible recourse.

What Kind of Damages Can I Claim?

As a plaintiff, you may be entitled to damages if your diagnosis of SJS/TEN can be linked to the use of Dilantin. One recent case involved a nine-year-old New York girl who developed TEN and died in 2004, after taking Dilantin. In 2010, Pfizer settled with the girl’s family for $3.78 million.

The drug has been prescribed for other reasons besides seizures, so if you have suffered as a result of using Dilantin to treat anxiety or depression you may be entitled to damages.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning for the drug in 2008, yet despite the warnings and the clearly suspect history of the drug, pharmaceutical companies continue to manufacture the dangerous drug and doctors and hospitals continue to prescribe it, making it one of the most widely prescribed anti-seizures medications in the country.

It is also documented that minorities are more susceptible to SJS/TEN, yet drug companies in the United States do not issue warnings directly to minority patients even though this simple precautionary measure is widely practiced in countries around the world.

Since drug companies like Pfizer know about the risks of this drug as evidenced by the strong warnings issued in other countries, victims in the US may have strong legal grounds for damages. The more victims in the United States who pursue civil justice through damages, the more likely that such action will lead to a permanent solution to the problem, which benefits all potential consumers in this country.

Consult an experienced Dilantin attorney to find out whether you or your family member have a viable case. Talking to an attorney insures that claims are valid, filed correctly, and filed in a timely manner, all of which increases your chances for receiving fair compensation.

The legal system is fraught with complex rules and regulations that can make it difficult for unsuspecting claimants to pursue civil action.