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  • Writer's pictureDeanna Lorianni

BBC Reports About DRESS Syndrome in Iranian Actress Taraneh Alidoosti

Updated: May 7

DRESS Syndrome affects people around the world, and recent news has emerged about Iranian Actress Taraneh Alidoosti being diagnosed with this condition. Taraneh gained attention worldwide for her role in the Oscar-winning film, The Salesman.

The BBC recently profiled this story. In the below clip from Instagram, Nazanin Motamedi, BBC Senior Producer of the 37-degree program (BBC Persian's health program) talked with Dermatologist Dr. Kathy Taghipour about what DRESS Syndrome is.

We're thankful for the media attention that is helping to spread awareness about this horrific condition. We wish Taraneh a safe recovery as she overcomes DRESS Syndrome!

Below you'll find an English translation of the video caption and their conversation.

Translation of Instagram caption:

In the recent days, there is more news about Taraneh Alidoosti’s condition and sickness that we did not know before and that was unknown to lots of doctors' communities.

What do we know about the complication of Alidoosti? How common is this complication? What drugs can cause such reactions in the body? How is it treated?

Nazanin Motamedi, the senior producer of the 37-degree program, BBC Persian's health program, asked Dr. Kathy Taghipour, a dermatologist, these questions.

Translation of their conversation:

Dr. Taghipour: DRESS Syndrome is a severe reaction to certain medications and it can start from the skin, facial, hands, and as well as kidney, liver and heart. It is actually an emergency kind of disease that has to be dealt with immediately.

Nazanin Motamedi (BBC): How common is the disease?

Dr. Taghipour: It’s not very common. The research shows that from 100,000 people, between 2 to 10 people can be affected by this.

This also can be caused by the medication that you are taking. Some research shows that somewhere between 40 – 50 medications can cause this severe reaction. Medication for cancer, heart disease, and even too some really regular meds like anti-inflammatory, anti-epilepsy and even pain relievers. And also has been reported that a lot of antibiotics can cause that.

BBC: Is that something that’s a precondition? Do you have to have a certain disease to get this?

Dr. Taghipour: No, not necessarily. Research shows that mainly it’s genetic and it can be caused by some medications or overtaking those medications that have been used prior to showing the disease. The first sign is fever and then rashes on hands and face, and swelling in affected areas.

In some countries, the researchers started to do genetic tests before they prescribe any medications. In England as of now, at least in a lot of Western countries, those tests are not very common. Simply because you can literally get DRESS Syndrome from simply taking antibiotics or anti-inflammatories.

BBC: What is the first step to face this disease?

Dr. Taghipour: Well first, the patient has to, because of the internal organs being affected, the patient has to be submitted to special care at hospital. And the number one step is to figure out which medication is causing the body to over-react.

As of now, tackling this problem is, as soon as the patient is diagnosed with DRESS Syndrome, the first step is the patient receives high doses of cortisone steroids to lower the inflammation and stop the inflammation. And as the patient feels better and symptoms start fading, the cortisone can be reduced.

BBC: How do you detect as a patient that you do have DRESS Syndrome?

Dr. Taghipour: As I’ve mentioned, the fever and the rashes on the skin are the first indications this is an immune system disease. As soon as the patient comes to the hospital, the first step would be, of course, a blood test, because in this case, in case of DRESS, research shows that the white cells increase, a huge amount of white cells that is unnatural and that has to be [addressed].

That’s called "eosinophilia," when a high amount of blood cells are detected. And these patients have to be under severe care at ICU and such, because this disease can attack the inner organs. The patient has to be under 24 hours watch to make sure that none of the body organs fail.

Source for image: Fars Media Corporation, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


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