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With prompt diagnosis and proper treatment most patients will recover from their initial episode of DRESS. In severe cases, multi-organ failure may occur. Fulminant liver failure is the most common cause of death, but heart, lung, and kidney failure may also be seen. Myocarditis (heart inflammation) is of particular concern as it is often overlooked, can present weeks to months after initial symptoms, and can be highly fatal if severe (acute necrotizing eosinophilic myocarditis (ANEM).

DRESS has a 10% mortality rate.


Some patients will go on to experience long-term complications like autoimmune disorders. These conditions can develop months to even a few years after a patient's initial illness with DRESS.  Long-term complications are reported to occur in up to 16% of DRESS cases. These conditions include but are limited to:

  • Alopecia areata

  • Fulminant + Type 1 diabetes

  • Hemolytic anemia

  • Myocarditis: hypersensitivity, acute necrotizing eosinophilic myocarditis (ANEM)

  • Psychiatric Conditions: anxiety, depression, PTSD

  • Recurring skin eruptions

  • Thyroiditis

  • Sensitivity to other drugs 

  • Systemic lupus erythematous

  • Viral reactivations

*Patients should be followed and monitored by their medical providers for these conditions for at least 2 years after recovery from their acute episode of DRESS.

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