14-Year-Old Boy's Death Blamed on Acne Medication

Published February 26, 2009

| London Times

A healthy teen, who played rugby, died 12 hours after taking an acne medication, an inquest into the teen's death was told Wednesday.

Shaun Jones, 14, of Rhydyfelin, near Pontypridd in South Wales, was given a prescription for acne after visiting his doctor, Cardiff Coroner’s Court heard.

But when he went to the pharmacy with his mother, he was told that the drug was out of stock and was given an alternative drug that contained the same active ingredient, minocycline hydrochloride — an antibiotic approved for acne treatment in the U.S., as well as in the U.K.

An hour after taking the medication on Oct. 20 of last year, Jones complained to his parents of shortness of breath and tightness in his chest.

His condition deteriorated and he was taken to the hospital, where he died the next morning. His parents claim the prescription did not contain a leaflet explaining the common types of adverse reactions to the drug and, if it had, they would have taken him to the hospital sooner.

Doctors said that he may have died of an “idiosyncratic reaction” to the acne medication.

The coroner is expected to rule on the case this week.

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