J Korean Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg.  2017 Feb;43(1):57-60. 10.5125/jkaoms.2017.43.1.57.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome and abuse of anabolic steroids

  • 1Department of ENT, General Hospital of Siena, University of Siena, Siena, Italy. mailarticoli@libero.it
  • 2Department of Dentistry, General Hospital of Siena, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.


Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is characterized by mucocutaneous tenderness and typical hemorrhagic erosions, erythema and epidermal detachment presenting as blisters and areas of denuded skin. SJS is often observed after drug use as well as after bacterial or viral infections. Several drugs are at high risk of inducing SJS, but there are no cases in the English literature regarding anabolic steroid use triggering SJS. In our paper, we describe a case in which use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) was associated with SJS. The patient participated in competitive body-building and regularly took variable doses of AAS. Initial symptoms (headache, weakness, pharyngodynia, and fever) were ignored. After a week he presented to the Emergency Department with a burning sensation on the mouth, lips, and eyes. Painful, erythematous, maculopapular, and vesicular lesions appeared all over the body, including on the genitals. During hospitalization, he also developed a cardiac complication. The patient had not taken any drugs except AAS.


Stevens-Johnson syndrome; Anabolic agents; Bodybuilding; Oral manifestation; Stomatitis

MeSH Terms

Anabolic Agents
Emergency Service, Hospital
Oral Manifestations
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome*
Anabolic Agents


  • Fig. 1 Labial lesions in patient with Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Diffuse erosions of lip: limit oral intake because extremely painful.

  • Fig. 2 Lesions of oral mucosa. Painful, erythematous, ulcerative lesions of the oral mucosa with crusts and pseudomembranes are typical lesions of Stevens-Johnson syndrome.


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