According to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a gene has been discovered that may help epilepsy patients know if they are more likely to contract Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) from treatment.

A team of scientists at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) as well as the University of Liverpool has found a gene that can provide a warning for epilepsy patients that tells them if starting certain drug treatments can cause them to suffer from common side effects like SJS or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, which can be fatal.

The drug that the scientists are looking at is called carbamazepine, and it is one of the most commonly-prescribed treatments for patients that have epilepsy. The drug also is used to treat depression and trigeminal neuralgia. Carbamazepine has been around since the 1970s and works for most patients. However, some patients develop SJS, which causes the patient to basically burn from the inside out. It can cause such symptoms as rash, blisters all over the body and skin to peel off in patches.

This research offers hope of a genetic test which may be used to predict which patients are likely to experience that particular side effect ahead of time. Knowing this will make it easier for doctors to prescribe the right medications that can ensure patients get the best treatment with the least amount of side effects possible.

The researchers at RCSI found their information by examining some DNA from various epilepsy patients in Ireland, the UK, Belgium and the U.S. The purpose was to screen more than a million different variants across the human genome so that they could find any genetic differences that make more patients likely suffer from drug side effects. The research worked because they found that some Caucasian patients have the HLA-A*3101 gene.

The researchers combined what they found with data that was gathered by the University of Liverpool who were working on similar drug reaction studies. It was with this collaboration that they were able to discover that patients’ chances of having various adverse reactions like SJS to carbamazepine increased 5 to 26 percent for patients that possessed the gene.

If you suffer from SJS as a result of taking carbamazepine, contact Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I will work hard to help you receive money for your injuries.