A teenager’s face MELTED when she suffered an extreme reaction to a heartburn pill.
Leanne Howes, 17, has survived despite doctors saying there was a low likelihood that she would pull through.
She took over-the-counter Zantac tablets but within days she had a one-in-a-million allergic reaction and her skin started to fall off her entire body.
The trainee hairdresser from Hoveton, Norwich, was in hospital for several weeks after what started out as an itchy rash in September 2013 quickly developed into blisters the size of tennis balls.
She said: “I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t move and my face was so swollen that my eyes had fused shut.
“Everywhere was itching and my skin was weeping a thick yellow pus.”
She bought the tablets from a local chemist after feeling unwell at work, but felt tired and nauseous when she got up the next day.
She went with boyfriend Jake Round, 25, to her mother’s house where things got significantly worse.
That night blisters formed in her mouth and throat, causing difficulties with breathing.
She was rushed to Norfolk University Hospital when her mother Amanda Corley, 38, found her lying on the bathroom floor where she had crawled because of the blisters on her feet.
When doctors applied cream, her skin fell off in their hands and in just a few days she lost most of the skin on her face.
She was suffering from Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a condition that affects two people per million with 40 per cent of those affected dying.
Miss Howes had to be fed through a tube and was allowed home in October 2013 where she is now recovering.
A spokesman for GSK Pharmaceuticals which produces Zantac said: ‘We deeply sympathise with anyone suffering from SJS.
‘We are committed to the highest standards of patient safety, and as such take reports of side effects very seriously. We have a robust and ongoing safety monitoring system for all of our medicines.
‘If a patient has concerns or experiences side effects relating to any medicines, they should talk to their doctor, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.’