Possible Correlation Between Provigil and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Millions of people suffer from two all-too-common sleep disorders known as obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy. While these conditions are not similar in terms of their causes and symptoms, they are in regards to the effects they have on those who suffer from either one of them. That effect is chronic fatigue and the tendency to suffer from random sleeping spells that can occur at dangerous times during the day. In response to the growing need for help with these conditions, Cephalon, Inc. formulated and obtained approval from the FDA to market a drug known as Provigil.

Provigil was seen as an early success, as it provides a boost of awareness for those who use it, thereby minimizing the chance that unexpected sleeping spells will befall the user. Provigil was seen as so useful that it began to be used off-label by those in such professions as fighter pilot and truck driver for that same awareness boost. Unfortunately, reports of problems in those who used Provigil eventually began to surface, and Provigil side effects lawyers began to receive inquiries from patients who needed legal help. Below is a look at the most devastating alleged Provigil side effect reported to date.


The most serious Provigil side effect reported is an otherwise rare skin condition known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or SJS. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome attacks the skin tissue, and medical science has yet to decipher the cause of such a condition. Unfortunately, SJS is also a progressive condition, in that it continues to get worse if it goes untreated. What’s most dangerous about Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is that its initial symptoms are easily confused with other minor problems or they are dismissed as negligible by the patient.

These symptoms include redness of an area of the skin, perhaps swelling, itching and/or a rash. However, these initial symptoms continue to progress until they completely destroy the skin tissue and the underlying mucous membranes. Not only is this extremely painful, but it leaves the patient in a position of great danger. The skin is an organ, and its primary role is to protect a person from viruses and infections. When skin tissue peels off as it eventually does with SJS, the patient is extremely vulnerable to these infections and can ultimately die as a result.

In response to these reports of Provigil side effects, the manufacturer was required to place a warning on all labels of Provigil that clearly warn patients of the problems associated with this medication. If you or someone you love has contracted Stevens-Johnson Syndrome as a result of using Provigil, contact the Provigil side effects lawyers at Atkins & Markoff today to schedule a free initial consultation.