A 26-year-old Atlanta woman has filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturer Glaxo Smith Kline for not having fully disclosed all the risks associated with taking the drug Lamictal. She asserts that the lack of proper labeling of the drug prescribed by her doctor ultimately resulted in unsightly and painful sensitive skin patches all about her body.
The woman’s dilemma began three years ago when she visited her doctor complaining of symptoms of depression. Her doctor at the time prescribed her Lamictal, an anti-seizure medication that is also used to treat some cases of bipolar disorder.
Within two weeks of having started the drug, the woman’s skin became blistered, a condition that soon gave way to her skin starting to slowly peel off. Her skin was left sensitive and highly inflamed as a result. She was later diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a rare skin condition that can result in certain patients reacting adversely to their medications.
As the woman’s condition deteriorated, her doctors admitted her to the hospital with what could be described as severe burns all over her body. She remained in the hospital for three weeks in a medically-induced coma as doctors closely monitored her.
In addition to the woman’s superficial scars, her sweat glands have also ceased to function. She’s lost most of her fingernails and is going blind as well. The woman says that her doctors have advised her to steer clear of any medications as they could trigger the condition to return even stronger than before. At this point, the woman’s medical bills have reached as high as $3.45 million and are growing.
This woman’s lawsuit is not the first of its kind to be filed against the drug giant. In fact, there have been a number of lawsuits filed against the company for promoting the drug without patients being properly warned of the inherent risks associated with taking it. In one such case in 2012, the company was held criminally liable for patient negligence. To date, Glaxo Smith Kline has paid as much as $3 billion in damages for various claims.
While the patients in these cases have not been killed, medical errors have effectively ruined their lives as they knew them. Whether a patient suffers harm because of either pharmaceutical or doctor error, a Chicago medical malpractice attorney can provide the guidance necessary to determine if filing a lawsuit is warranted.
Source: Fox 32 Chicago, “Woman says her skin burned from inside out after dosage error,” May 10, 2017