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20 year old woman loses sight after drug reaction

Miria Ntono in her current state.

Namutumba, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  A 20-year-old woman has developed a rare condition, resulting in blindness after swallowing over the counter tablets.  

Miria Ntono, a resident of Ituba Busone village in Namutumba district now has itchy and scaly wounds which appear like burns all over her body. Her body releases pus at different intervals and can only walk with support.  

Ntono says that the said tablets were administered to her from St. Camilla’s Missionary Clinic in Mpumudde division, Jinja district in November 2019.

According to a medical report obtained from Jinja Regional Referral Hospital where Ntono was admitted for the past eight weeks, she suffered a Steven Johnson syndrome, a serious disorder of the skin and mucous membranes, that usually occurs as a reaction to a medication or an infection.  

Drugs are most likely to cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome include antibacterial sulfa drugs, anti-epileptic drugs, including phenytoin, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and phenobarbital, medicines used to treat gout and kidney stones, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including piroxicam, nevirapine, and diclofenac as well as a wide range of antibiotics.  

Ntono says she took some white tablets which looked like Panadol, but cannot point to a particular brand. Today, she can neither sit nor sleep without pain, due to blisters all over her body.    

Nkono’s husband, Saul Lubaale says that their time in the hospital didn’t yield much as they lacked funds to purchase prescribed medicines.     

David Muwanguzi, a dermatologist says that skin defects resulting from drug reactions can be resolved with the right medication but hastens to add that the failure to seek timely medical attention can lead to permanent physical damage like blindness

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