Antibiotics tied to rare, serious drug-related skin reactions: Study

Antibiotic use has been linked to two rare but painful and sometimes deadly skin reactions: Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, a new study reports.

Twenty-eight percent of reactions were associated with antibiotics, particularly the sulfonamide class of drugs, researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and the University of Toronto in Canada found. 

Nearly 3,000 patient cases from 38 studies were analyzed and examined for risk factors of the severe skin reactions. Sulfonamide and penicillins were the two leading classes of antibiotics implicated in most cases. 

"These findings highlight the importance of antibiotic stewardship, clinician education and awareness, and weighing the risk-benefit assessment of antibiotic choice and duration," researchers wrote.

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