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Caphalon Inc is a company that was the first to release Modafinil. Since then they have also listed that Steven Johnson Syndrome may be a possible side effect from taking this medication. This is because during one of the clinical trials about Modafinil one of the patients actually developed this syndrome.
Since then there has actually been positive news, and that’s the fact that there have been no reported incidents where anyone else has developed Steven Johnson syndrome after taking Modafinil. We’ve gathered all of the information that you need to know, so you will never develop this after taking Modafinil.
First of all, what’s Modafinil?
This is a type of medication that is actually prescribed. It is able to treat different conditions like narcolepsy, as well as various other sleeping disorders.
After you have taken Modafinil, it will actually tell your brain to stay awake. This is the reason why it’s so popular for students to take it because it will allow them to concentrate more while they’re studying. Not only this, but it will stop them from sleeping so they will be able to work a lot more.
Plus, another fact about this specific type of drug is that it will also boost the levels of dopamine in your brain. Therefore, people who have ADHD or ADD would benefit from this because they may struggle to focus and when you take Modafinil it will allow you to focus more by increasing the dopamine in your brain.
Where can you purchase Modafinil?
Modafinil is usually a prescription-based drug only, this means that you will have to go to a doctor and get them to prescribe it to you. However, there are some ways that you’re able to purchase it. For instance, you can actually purchase it online from sites like Afinil Express. You can easily purchase Modafinil on these sites without a prescription, and it tends to be cheaper.
What exactly is Steven Johnson Syndrome?
Now you know all of the basics about Modafinil lets discuss what Steven Johnson Syndrome is. It’s actually a type of allergic reaction to your skin, and it is known to be very severe. There are many different symptoms that you will get if you do happen to get the syndrome, for instance: a fever, sore throat, flu symptoms, burning eyes, and your body may ache too. If it isn’t treated, then the symptoms will actually get worse, and it can lead to much more serious things, like a very painful rash and skin ulcers.
If you do develop Steven Johnson Syndrome, then you will more than likely get ulcers on your tongue and mouth, which will lead to difficulty eating and drinking. Not only this, but it has been known for the genital area to also get ulcers.
What can cause Steven Johnson Syndrome?
This specific type of syndrome is actually an effect of immune system dysfunction. In other words, it’s a reaction to specific medications and infectious organisms.
It’s actually classed as an allergic reaction that is delayed. In fact, a reaction like this can take a couple of days to develop. The symptoms will usually appear between 4- 28 days after you have been into contact with the drug. Therefore, this can make it very difficult to find out what actually caused the syndrome to trigger. Steven Johnson Syndrome creates issues with cells in the body, and it’s able to release messages to these cells that will cause large destruction in the skin’s tissue.
There are around 100-200 medications that have been linked with the Steven Johnson Syndrome. Here are just some of them: Lamotrigine, Nevirapine, Modafinil, and Sulfonamide antibiotics. There are other ways that you can also develop this condition, for instance, if you have cytomegalovirus or mycoplasma pneumonia.
There are some people that do have a higher risk of developing the syndrome, for instance, if you have multiple sclerosis, HIV and even asthma you’re at a higher risk.
Is SJS dangerous?
It may not sound too life-threatening, but it can be, as the death rate that is associated with SJS is between 5-10%. This is because complications can develop like pneumonia and organ failure. However, in most circumstances, the skin will just regrow.
Is SJS common?
This is actually a very rare condition, and only 1 or 2 per million will develop it. There are some people that are at a higher risk, which includes: males, autoimmune sufferers, HIV patients, people with Thai origin and people of Han Chinese origin.
Certain countries in Asia are now screening people before they place them on any drugs that could give them a chance of developing SJS.
How is it treated?
If you do develop Steven Johnson Syndrome, then you will more than likely have to stay in a hospital. Once you get to the hospital you will then have to go to a specialized unit, and you will be given treatment for the pain, and while you’re there, the doctors will also prevent any secondary infections from forming.
You will be given quite a lot of medications, like antibiotics, antihistamines, immunoglobulin therapy, and other pain medications too. If you do figure out what may have caused the SJS to appear and you have removed the rashes from your skin before the blistering appears then you may not have to be hospitalized.
If you’re hospitalized, then it can actually take up to three months for the treatment to finish.
How can you prevent Steven Johnson Syndrome?
Even though it is rare that you will get this condition there are some things you should bear in mind to prevent yourself from getting a very serious version of SJS.
1. Risk assessment
This is something you should do if you do happen to have some type of illness that can actually make your risk a bit higher of developing Steven Johnson Syndrome. For instance, if you do have Multiple Sclerosis or HIV, then it’s definitely best to have a conversation with your Doctor before you ever try Modafinil. This also includes other medications or drugs that have links with Steven Johnson syndrome.
There have been some genetic tests where researchers have been able to identify markers that create the development of Steven Johnson Syndrome, which is the following:
“In East Asian Populations, the best method is to test for a genetic variant called HLA-B*15:02.”
“In Caucasians, a slightly different marker is investigated called HLA-B*57:01 or HLA-B*58:01.” These were published in Pharmacological Reports back in 2013.
These markers are able to give a very good indication of the exact level of risk an individual may have for developing the Steven Johnson Syndrome before it actually happens. Therefore, it can be life changing.
2. Take a small amount of Modafinil
This is a way to test to see if your body is developing Steven Johnson Syndrome after taking Modafinil. After you have taken a small amount of Modafinil and you notice you’re getting symptoms of burning eyes, a fever, itchy skin or even flu-like symptoms then this may be the start of SJS.
If you do develop this, then it’s important that you stop taking the medication, so it won’t develop anymore and seek medical advice. Because of the link, SJS has with Modafinil it’s advised that you always start by taking a smaller dose of the medication. One rule to follow is that you should start by taking 100mg of Modafinil for the very first couple of days. If you don’t get any symptoms after this then you can increase the dosage to 200mg or even 400mg per day, it all depends how well you cope with taking them.
Another thing that you should note is that it’s important that you don’t take Modafinil every single day of the week in the first week. This is because you don’t know how your body will cope or tolerate it and how it will affect you.
Therefore, it’s recommended that you only take Modafinil every two days or even less to allow your body to adjust to the drug.
Should you be worried about Steven Johnson Syndrome?
After reading this article, you may actually feel a little more worried about developing symptoms of Steven Johnson Syndrome after taking Modafinil. However, it’s important to remember that it only affects around 1 or 2 people out of a million. Not only this, but there has only ever been one recorded case that has linked Steven Johnson Syndrome and Modafinil together. Therefore, even though it is a very dangerous condition and it can have quite extreme consequences if it is left untreated, it is also very rare.
The only reason you will have a higher chance of developing the syndrome is if you already have an autoimmune disease, like Multiple Sclerosis or HIV. If you do have a disease like this, then it’s crucial that you do consult your doctor for advice before you consider taking Modafinil. There are other generic reasons that may actually make you a little concerned if you do develop Steven Johnson Syndrome. If this is a factor that you’re concerned about, then it’s best to talk to your doctor, as they can refer you to get a genetic test. That way you will know if you have a high chance of developing the syndrome and whether or not it’s a wise choice to take Modafinil or any other medications that have a link to SJS.
It’s always important to remember that Steven Johnson Syndrome can develop at a gradual rate so you may have to wait a few days to see if you have any risks of it.