The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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1284
In Brief: Genetic Test for Carbamazepine-Induced Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
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Genetic Test for Carbamazepine-Induced Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Equetro, and others), which is now used to treat not only epilepsy but also trigeminal neuralgia and manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder,1 is a known cause of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS). The incidence of carbamazepine-induced SJS in countries with mainly white populations is 1 to 6 per 10,000 new users of the drug, but Asian patients have a 10-fold higher incidence of this reaction. An association has been found between the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B*1502 allele and carbamazepine-induced SJS in a Chinese population.2 This allele occurs almost exclusively in Asians.3,4 The FDA is now recommending that Asian patients be tested for genetic susceptibility to carbamazepine-induced SJS before starting the drug. The genetic test should be available in most ... more      

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