Author(s): Thong BY
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Abstract Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCAR) to drugs which are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. High risk drugs in Asia are similar to those reported worldwide. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-related risk alleles for carbamazepine and allopurinol SCAR are unique to Asians. Although prognostic scoring systems like the SCORTEN have been used for more than a decade, pitfalls and caveats need to be recognized, in particular in patients with multiple medical co-morbidities and systemic features in SJS/TEN. In centres without a tertiary Burns Centre, SJS/TEN patients can still be managed successfully in general and dermatology wards with well-executed supportive/nursing care. Controversy remains regarding the effectiveness of immunomodulation in reducing SJS/TEN morbidity, mortality and hastening re-epithelialization. Despite paucity of robust evidence, intravenous immunoglobulins and ciclosporin remain the most commonly used modalities worldwide. Acute and long-term ocular effects are an important source of morbidity for which emerging ophthalmic therapies appear promising. Quality of life issues have now become an important outcome in patients with SJS/TEN as they often impact survivors' future attitudes towards pharmacotherapy. Even though pharmacogenetic testing for high-risk drugs appears to be the panacea for preventing carbamazepine- and allopurinol-induced SJS/TEN in ethnic Asians, many issues remain before health regulators in our region can conclusively determine whether testing should be made mandatory or highly recommended as standard of care.
This article was published in Asia Pac Allergy
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy