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With all of the publicity and concern surrounding the swine flu, many people have taken solace in the fact that a treatment of limited benefit exists. This medicine is called Tamiflu, and although it can often speed up recovery for those suffering from H1N1, a recent report from England reveals that it can also cause Stevens Johnson syndrome, a potentially fatal reaction that affects one’s skin.

Samantha Millard, 18 years old and from Bicester in Oxfordshire, took the medicine after consulting a staff that had received no medical training. She quickly developed rashes all over her body, and is currently undergoing treatment at Chelsea and Westminster hospital. Possible results of the Stevens Johnson syndrome or SJS are blindness, loss of skin, and an inability to eat due to blisters in one’s mouth. SJS has also been commonly linked to Dilantin and it generic equivalent phenytoin.

Although the causes of Stevens Johnson syndrome vary by medication and the manner in which it is taken, medical officials in England and representatives from the Department of Health are looking into the incident and Tamiflu connection.

A Roche spokeswoman said the incident would be investigated and could not rule out the role of Tamiflu in triggering the syndrome.

She said: ‘While it is difficult to determine the role of Tamiflu in Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, the prescribing information for doctors carries information regarding single cases of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome that have been reported.

Most importantly, stay in close contact with your doctor if you develop flu-like symptoms, and keep him or her updated on any side effects that any prescribed medicine has caused. At the first sign of a rash or other intended effect, please ontact your doctor immediately to ensure the best course for you and your recovery.


  1. Gravatar for sarah

    what are earth are you talking about? the Cochrane Review just revealed that the so-called data used to prove tamiflu's effectiveness was non-existent and the summaries of the studies ghost-written by Roche employees. There is no evidence that it works, though the largest unpublished 'safety' study showed it caused heart-damage. Add that to kidney damage, and now SJS, and the fact that it can cause the flu virus to mutate - any doctor prescribing this garbage should lose his license.

  2. Gravatar for M. Brandon Smith
    M. Brandon Smith

    Thank you, Sarah, for sharing that additional information. I did not see the report initially but found a lot of useful information on their website:

    It still never ceases to amaze me the links some will go to promote and/or sell one's drugs in the interest of making a profit. Hopefully more information will come to light about this matter and appropriate action will be taking to prevent the same in the future.

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