Incivek is a drug used in combination with two other medications to treat patients who have been diagnosed with the liver disease hepatitis C and who have some damage to their liver. Rashes are one the most common side effects of the drug. During pre-market testing of the drug, 56 percent of study participants developed a rash. These rashes were usually reported during the first four weeks of treatment. In most cases, the rashes were mild and the patient was able to finish treatment.
However, four percent of the patients taking Incivek combination therapy reported a severe rash known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Stevens-Johnson syndrome occurs when the skin and mucus membranes have a severe reaction to a drug. The disease begins with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and diarrhea. Within days, a painful red or purple rash develops on the face and trunk. The rash spreads and begins to blister. As the disease progresses, the skin cells die and the top layer of the skin begins to shed.
Patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome must be hospitalized. They are at risk of infection and sepsis. They are also risk of permanent damage to the skin, eyes, and internal organs that are affected with the disease. These complications can be fatal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration as reported at least two deaths associated with Stevens-Johnson syndrome from Incivek.
Recovering after Stevens-Johnson syndrome can take weeks to months. Patients must avoid the medication that caused their disease and any similar medications.
What does this mean for you? If your doctor has prescribed Incivek combination therapy, it is important that you know the signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome. If you experience any fever, diarrhea, blisters, or rash, call your doctor. If the rash worsens, stop taking Incivek immediately and seek medical treatment.
If you or a loved one develops Stevens-Johnson syndrome after taking Incivek, you may be eligible for compensation through an Iowa class action pharmaceutical lawsuit. To learn about Iowa Incivek injury claims, contact the Cedar Rapids drug injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham, P.C at 800-800-5678.