Ethosuximide-induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome: Beneficial effect of early intervention with high-dose corticosteroid therapy

Kota Tachibana, Toshihisa Hamada, Hiroki Tsuchiya, Takashi Shibata, Kazuyasu Fujii, Katsuhiro Kobayashi, Keiji Iwatsuki

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2 Citations (Scopus)


We report two rare cases of childhood epilepsy patients who developed ethosuximide-induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS). Unlike typical SJS, the initial eruption of both patients presented well-demarcated, infiltrating firm papules mainly on the cheeks and the extensor aspects of the arms (case 1), and multiple vesicles on the soles and oral aphthosis (case 2), which closely mimicked viral exanthema. We diagnosed both patients with ethosuximide-induced SJS, based on the dosing period and the positive results of drug-induced lymphocyte stimulation test. Systemic corticosteroids are usually selected as a standard therapy for SJS, despite controversial results regarding their effectiveness. In case 1, an i.v. pulse therapy of methylprednisolone (30 mg/kg, 3 days consecutively) was initiated on day 7 from the onset of illness, and an i.v. immunoglobulin (400 mg/kg, 5 days consecutively) was added the following day. In case 2, an i.v. prednisone treatment (1 mg/kg, for 1 week) was initiated on day 4 from the onset. Eventually, the early therapeutic interventions resulted in good outcomes in both patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dermatology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Anticonvulsant
  • Corticosteroid
  • Ethosuximide
  • I.v. immunoglobulin
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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