Background: Evidence for the risk and incidence of anticonvulsant-induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) in Japan is scarce. Methods: We conducted a matched case–control study using a large-scale Japanese claims database. SJS/TEN cases were identified using a claims-based algorithm developed in a previous study (sensitivity 76.9%, specificity 99.0%). Conditional logistic regression with Firth's bias correction to address an issue of rare events was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for SJS/TEN for each anticonvulsant use (90 days before the index date) versus non-use. 90-day cumulative incidence of SJS/TEN per 100,000 new users was calculated for 33 anticonvulsants. Causality between anticonvulsant use and SJS/TEN in each exposed case was assessed using the algorithm of drug causality for epidermal necrolysis (ALDEN) score. Results: From 5,114,492 subjects, we selected 71 SJS/TEN cases and 284 controls. We observed significantly increased ORs for SJS/TEN among new users of carbamazepine (OR 68.00) and lamotrigine (OR 36.00) with ALDEN scores of “probable” or higher. Cumulative incidence of SJS/TEN was 93.83 for carbamazepine and 84.33 for lamotrigine. One case newly exposed to phenytoin which developed SJS/TEN was rated “unlikely” in ALDEN causality, resulting in cumulative incidence of 66.27. Cumulative incidence of SJS/TEN was 25.23 for levetiracetam, 7.52 for clonazepam, and 1.23 for diazepam, but their ALDEN scores were “very unlikely”. Conclusions: This study is the first to document the differential risk of SJS/TEN for anticonvulsants in a real-world setting in Japan. Exposure to carbamazepine and lamotrigine was associated with an increased risk of SJS/TEN.
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