CONCORD, N.H. – A federal jury has awarded $21 million to a woman who was blinded and scarred by a prescription drug she took for shoulder pain.

Karen Bartlett, 51, of Plaistow suffered extreme burns to her skin, mucus membranes and eyes after taking the anti-inflammatory drug Sulindac. After three days of deliberations, the jury found Wednesday that Philadelphia-based Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. was liable for her injuries and should have known the drug was unreasonably dangerous to consumers.

Bartlett’s attorneys said it was the largest award in a New Hampshire product liability case. The largest previous award was $13 million, in a 1993 case involving a construction site accident.

Pierre Chabot, one of Mutual Pharmaceutical’s attorneys, declined to comment on the verdict.

Bartlett said her goal in filing the lawsuit was to educate others about the dangers of prescription drugs. “Before this happened to me, I never knew something like this could happen just from taking medication,” she said.

Bartlett wept as she hugged her lead attorney, Keith Jensen. She said the verdict was a source of consolation, and the road to reach it has been “very nerve-racking, very emotional and very long.”

Bartlett began taking Sulindac in January 2005 to treat shoulder pain. Two weeks later, she noticed red spots on her face and irritation around her eyes. She was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 2, 2005, complaining of feeling like there were “pebbles” under her eyelids and in her throat, and suffering from a worsening rash.

She was diagnosed as having Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis — potentially fatal skin diseases that inflame the mucus membranes and eyes and are marked by a skin rash that burns off the outer layer of skin.

She spent 112 days in five hospitals, including the Massachusetts General Hospital Burn Unit. The disease also seared her throat, stomach and lungs, causing permanent disabilities.

“It literally burned her alive,” Bartlett’s lawyer, Keith Jensen, told jurors during closing arguments last week. “It burned 65 percent of the skin off her body It burned her inside and out.”

Bartlett has had 12 eye operations and is legally blind.

Bartlett sought $4.5 million for past and future medical bills and lost earning capacity. Jensen asked jurors to award her an additional $20 million to $30 million to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Jensen said Sulindac has the highest reported incidence of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis of any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug on the market.

Joseph Thomas, arguing for Mutual, attacked the credibility of Bartlett’s experts and said the drug has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for 32 years.