Onfi Produces Serious Side Effects In Patients Taking The Medication
A benzodiazepine derivative, Onfi produces serious side effects in many people who take the medication. In fact, on December 3, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning, stating that the medication can cause severe, possibly fatal skin conditions. Such conditions include the extremely dangerous and disfiguring Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS). The FDA used case studies to determine the increased risk of these conditions, all of which have required hospitalization. One case resulted in permanent blindness and another caused the death of a patient.
Onfi‘s primary ingredient is clobazam. Clobazam is a member of the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which are normally prescribed to reduce anxiety in patients. Clobazam is also prescribed to patients suffering from seizures and has shown to be an effective agonist on some gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA receptors are responsible for regulating the level of neural activity in the nervous system, and too little GABA activity can result in convulsions. Clobazam treats this by activating GABA receptors and improving neural activity. Unfortunately, the medication’s benefits can come at a high price for some patients.
The FDA found a higher incidence rate of SJS and another serious skin condition, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), through its adverse event reporting system. Through this system, and after reviewing the available literature, the FDA found that skin conditions associated with Onfi side effects were serious enough to warrant an updated label from the manufacturer, Lundbeck. These adverse complications are somewhat surprising because no other benzodiazepines have been linked to skin conditions during use. The FDA recommends that anyone taking clobazam should seek immediate medical treatment if they develop blisters, a rash, or peeling skin, particularly around the mouth. The complications are more likely to show up during the first eight weeks of treatment.
SJS and TEN are similar conditions, and both involve the mass death of cells in the skin. Both conditions are typically accompanied by a high fever, fatigue and a sore throat. Lesions often form on mucus membranes, which can be excruciatingly painful. The most visible symptom is the extensive rash of discoloring lesions that form on the face, extremities and torso. If a patient recovers from the condition, these lesions can cause permanent disfiguring scars. The massive amount of skin damage also makes secondary infections a major concern.
Anyone who has taken Onfi and suffered from side effects such as SJS and TEN should consider consulting with a drug injury lawyer. With the help of a legal expert, a victim may be able to attain compensation for medical bills or to replace lost wages from work.