Which medications are associated with specific morphologic patterns in drug eruptions?

Updated: Oct 14, 2020
  • Author: Jonathan E Blume, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
  • Print

Drugs associated with specific morphologic patterns are described below. The following is a list of medications that have been reported to cause specific types of cutaneous reactions. However, not every possible type of drug eruption has been listed. In addition, exclusion of a drug from the following list does not imply that it is not the cause of a patient's eruption. A high index of suspicion must always be maintained when confronted with a new onset eruption in a patient on multiple medications. Note the following:

  • Acneiform - Amoxapine, corticosteroids (see the image below), halogens, haloperidol, hormones, isoniazid, lithium, phenytoin, and trazodone

    Steroid acne. Note pustules and absence of comedon Steroid acne. Note pustules and absence of comedones.
  • AGEP - Most commonly beta-lactam antibiotics, macrolides, and mercury; less commonly acetaminophen, allopurinol, bufexamac, buphenine, carbamazepine, carbutamide, celecoxib, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, co-trimoxazole, clobazam, cyclins (eg, tetracycline), cytarabine, diltiazem, famotidine, furosemide, ginkgo biloba, hydrochlorothiazide, hydroxychloroquine, ibuprofen, imatinib, imipenem, isoniazid, IV contrast dye, lopinavir-ritonavir, mexiletine, morphine, nadoxolol, nifedipine, nystatin, olanzapine, phenytoin, pipemidic acid, piperazine, pseudoephedrine, pyrimethamine, quinidine, ranitidine, rifampicin, salbutiamine, sertraline, simvastatin, streptomycin, terbinafine, thallium, vancomycin, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors (eg, captopril, ramipril), glyburide, and gemfibrozil. [14]

  • Alopecia - ACE inhibitors, allopurinol, anticoagulants, azathioprine, bromocriptine, beta-blockers, cyclophosphamide, didanosine, hormones, indinavir, NSAIDs, phenytoin, methotrexate (MTX), retinoids, and valproate

  • Bullous pemphigoid - Ampicillin, D-penicillamine, captopril, chloroquine, ciprofloxacin, enalapril, furosemide, neuroleptics, penicillins, phenacetin, psoralen plus UV-A, salicylazosulfapyridine, sulfasalazine, and terbinafine

  • Dermatomyositislike [15] - BCG vaccine, hydroxyurea (most common [16] ), lovastatin, omeprazole, penicillamine, simvastatin, and tegafur

  • DRESS syndrome - Most commonly, aromatic anticonvulsants (phenytoin, phenobarbital [phenobarbitone], carbamazepine), sulfonamides, minocycline, and doxycycline [17]

  • Erythema nodosum - Echinacea, halogens, oral contraceptives (most common), penicillin, sulfonamides, and tetracycline

  • Erythroderma - Allopurinol, anticonvulsants, aspirin, barbiturates, captopril, carbamazepine, cefoxitin, chloroquine, chlorpromazine, cimetidine, diltiazem, griseofulvin, lithium, nitrofurantoin, omeprazole, phenytoin, St. John's wort, sulfonamides, and thalidomide

  • Fixed drug eruptions - Acetaminophen, ampicillin, anticonvulsants, aspirin/NSAID, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, butalbital, cetirizine, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, dapsone, dextromethorphan, doxycycline, fluconazole, hydroxyzine, lamotrigine, loratadine, metronidazole, oral contraceptives, penicillins, phenacetin, phenolphthalein, phenytoin, piperacillin/tazobactam, [18] piroxicam, saquinavir, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, ticlopidine, tolmetin, vancomycin, and zolmitriptan

  • Hypersensitivity syndrome - Allopurinol, amitriptyline, carbamazepine, dapsone, lamotrigine, minocycline, NSAIDs, olanzapine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, saquinavir, spironolactone, sulfonamides, zalcitabine, and zidovudine

  • Lichenoid [19] - Amlodipine, antimalarials, beta-blockers, captopril, diflunisal, diltiazem, enalapril, furosemide, glimepiride, gold, leflunomide, levamisole, L-thyroxine, orlistat, penicillamine, phenothiazine, pravastatin, proton pump inhibitors, rofecoxib, salsalate, sildenafil, tetracycline, thiazides, and ursodeoxycholic acid

  • Linear IgA dermatosis [20] - Atorvastatin, captopril, carbamazepine, diclofenac, glibenclamide, lithium, phenytoin, and vancomycin

  • Lupus erythematosus [21] : Drug-induced SLE is most commonly associated with hydralazine, procainamide, and minocycline. Beta-blockers, chlorpromazine, cimetidine, clonidine, estrogens, isoniazid, lithium, lovastatin, methyldopa, oral contraceptives, quinidine, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)–alpha inhibitors have been reported. Drug-induced SCLE is most commonly associated with hydrochlorothiazide. Calcium channel blockers, cimetidine, griseofulvin, leflunomide, terbinafine, and TNF-alpha inhibitors have been reported.

  • Morbilliform (exanthematous) - ACE inhibitors, allopurinol, amoxicillin, ampicillin, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, carbamazepine, cetirizine, ginkgo biloba, hydroxyzine, isoniazid, nelfinavir, NSAIDs, phenothiazine, phenytoin, quinolones, sulfonamides, thalidomide, thiazides, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and zalcitabine

  • Pemphigus [22] : Thiols include captopril, D-penicillamine, gold sodium thiomalate, mercaptopropionylglycine, pyritinol, thiamazole, and thiopronine. Nonthiols include aminophenazone, aminopyrine, azapropazone, cephalosporins, heroin, hydantoin, imiquimod, indapamide, levodopa, lysine acetylsalicylate, montelukast, oxyphenbutazone, penicillins, phenobarbital, phenylbutazone, piroxicam, progesterone, propranolol, and rifampicin.

  • Photosensitivity - ACE inhibitors, amiodarone, amlodipine, celecoxib, chlorpromazine, diltiazem, furosemide, griseofulvin, lovastatin, nifedipine, phenothiazine, piroxicam, quinolones, sulfonamides, tetracycline, and thiazide

  • Pseudoporphyria - Amiodarone, bumetanide, chlorthalidone, cyclosporine, dapsone, etretinate, 5-fluorouracil, flutamide, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide/triamterene, isotretinoin, NSAIDs (including nalidixic acid and naproxen), oral contraceptive pills, and tetracycline

  • Psoriasis [23, 24, 25] - ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor antagonists, antimalarials, beta-blockers, bupropion, calcium channel blockers, carbamazepine, interferon (IFN) alfa, lithium, metformin, NSAIDs, terbinafine, tetracyclines, valproate sodium, and venlafaxine

  • Serum sickness [26] - Antithymocyte globulin for bone marrow failure, human rabies vaccine, penicillin, pneumococcal vaccine (in AIDS patients), and vaccines containing horse serum derivatives

  • Serum sickness–like - Beta-lactam antibiotics, [27] cefaclor (most common), minocycline, propranolol, streptokinase, sulfonamides, and NSAIDs

  • SJS [28, 29, 30] - Allopurinol, anticonvulsants, aspirin/NSAIDS, barbiturates, carbamazepine, cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, codeine, didanosine, diltiazem, erythromycin, furosemide, griseofulvin, hydantoin, indinavir, nitrogen mustard, penicillin, phenothiazine, phenylbutazone, phenytoin, ramipril, rifampicin, saquinavir, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole

  • Sweet syndrome - All-trans -retinoic acid, celecoxib, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, nitrofurantoin, oral contraceptives, tetracyclines, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole

  • TEN - Alfuzosin, allopurinol, anticonvulsants, aspirin/NSAIDs, sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine (Fansidar), isoniazid, lamotrigine, lansoprazole, letrozole, penicillins, phenytoin, prazosin, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, thalidomide, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and vancomycin

  • Urticaria - ACE inhibitors, alendronate, aspirin/NSAIDs, blood products, cephalosporins, cetirizine, clopidogrel, dextran, didanosine, infliximab, inhaled steroids, nelfinavir, opiates, penicillin, peptide hormones, polymyxin, proton pump inhibitors, radiologic contrast material, ranitidine, tetracycline, vaccines, and zidovudine

  • Vasculitis - Adalimumab, allopurinol, aspirin/NSAIDs, cimetidine, gold, hydralazine, indinavir, leflunomide, levofloxacin, minocycline, montelukast, penicillin, phenytoin, propylthiouracil, proton pump inhibitors, quinolones, ramipril, sulfonamide, tetracycline, thiazides, and thioridazine

  • Vesiculobullous (other) - ACE inhibitors, aspirin/NSAIDs, barbiturates, captopril, cephalosporins, entacapone, estrogen, furosemide, griseofulvin, influenza vaccine, penicillamine, penicillins, sertraline sulfonamides, and thiazides

  • Photosensitivity reaction - Long-term use of voriconazole causes significantly increased photosensitivity, resulting in some patients developing squamous cell carcinoma [31] and melanoma. [32] Recent studies have shown dose-dependent increased risk for squamous cell carcinoma: 5.6% with each 60-day exposure at a standard dose of 200 mg twice daily. At 5 years after transplantation, voriconazole conferred an absolute risk increase for squamous cell carcinoma of 28%.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!