Toxic epidermal necrolysis after paroxetine treatment

N Z Med J. 2008 May 23;121(1274):86-9.


Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a rare complication of paroxetine treatment and can be life-threatening. We report a case of paroxetine-induced TEN in an 80-year-old Maori female. She was started on paroxetine 10 mg once daily 6 days prior to hospital admission. The patient then developed extensive vesiculobullous skin eruptions. She was treated with intravenous fluid, corticosteroid, and local dressings and concurrently her paroxetine was stopped. A series of laboratory investigations were carried out and a final diagnosis of TEN was made from skin biopsy. The patient was discharged home after 2 weeks of treatment. Her skin lesions improved gradually.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / adverse effects*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Paroxetine / adverse effects*
  • Paroxetine / therapeutic use
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Skin / pathology
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / etiology*
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / pathology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Paroxetine
  • Prednisone