What is DRESS Syndrome?

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Recently, the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) has issued a drug safety alert for doctors and patients about the use of painkiller mefenamic acid can lead to Drug Reactions with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) Syndrome.

About DRESS Syndrome

  • It is a type of drug allergy that can occur as a reaction to a large variety of medications.
  • It is sometimes referred to as DIHS (Drug Induced Hypersensitivity Syndrome).
  • This syndrome causes a diverse array of clinical symptoms, anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks after initiating the offending drug. 
  • Symptoms:
    • Patients typically present with a rash, fever, and eosinophilia but can have a variety of symptoms including liver, lung, or kidney involvement.
    • Also have a visceral involvement (hepatitis, pneumonitis, myocarditis, pericarditis, nephritis, and colitis) which is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in this syndrome.
  • Treatment:
    • The most important step to treat DRESS Syndrome is to stop the medication involved in the reaction, and sometimes, no further treatment is needed.
    • It is largely supportive and symptomatic; corticosteroids are often used and sometimes immunosuppressants like cyclosporine.

Key facts about Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission

  • It is an autonomous Institution of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India.
  • It is created to set standards of drugs in the country.
  • Functions:
    • Its basic function is to update regularly the standards of drugs commonly required for treatment of diseases prevailing in this region.
    • It publishes official documents for improving Quality of Medicines by way of adding new and updating existing monographs in the form of Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP).
    • It further promotes rational use of generic medicines by publishing National Formulary of India.
    • It prescribes standards for identity, purity and strength of drugs essentially required from the health care perspective of human beings and animals.
    • It also provides IP Reference Substances (IPRS) which act as a fingerprint for identification of an article under test and its purity as prescribed in IP.

Q1) What is Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP)?

These standards are authoritative in nature. They are enforced by the Regulatory authorities for quality control of medicines in India.During Quality Assurance and at the time of dispute in the court of law the IP standards are legally acceptable.

Source: Commonly used painkiller Meftal can lead to DRESS Syndrome; Govt issues alert