How is Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) treated?

Updated: Jan 17, 2019
  • Author: C Stephen Foster, MD, FACS, FACR, FAAO, FARVO; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Most patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome are treated symptomatically. In principle, the symptomatic treatment of patients with this disorder does not differ from the therapy applied to patients with extensive thermal or chemical burns.

Patients should be treated with special attention to airway and hemodynamic stability, fluid status, wound/burn care, and pain control. Therapy for Stevens-Johnson syndrome proceeds as follows:

  • Withdrawal of any agent suspected of causing the condition is critically important

  • Oral lesions are managed with mouthwashes; topical anesthetics are useful in reducing pain and allowing the patient to take in fluids

  • Areas of denuded skin must be covered with compresses of saline or Burow solution (an aqueous solution of aluminium triacetate)

  • Tetanus prophylaxis must be addressed

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