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Drug induced photosensitivity of the skin

List of the Drugs that increase the photosensitivity of the skin

Photosensitising drugs that are CONTRAINDICATIONS to laser therapy.

  • Drugs causing marked whole body sensitivity – wait 6 months
  • Drugs administered for systemic Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), e.g.
  • Photofrin, Foscan.
  • Drugs causing marked localised light sensitivity – wait 6 weeks
  • Drugs administered for localised PDT, e.g. ALA, Metvix.

SUBSTANCES THAT MAY CAUSE PHOTOSENSITIVTY

ANTIDEPRESSANTS
clomipramine (Anafranil)
isocarboxazid (Marplan)
maprotiline (Ludiomil)
mirtazapine (Remeron)
sertaline (Zoloft)
TRICYCLIC AGENTS, eg.,Elavil, Asendin, Norpramin, Sinequan, Tofranil, Aventyl, Vivactil, Surmontil, venlafixine (Effexor)

ANTIHISTAMINES
astemizole (Hismanal)
cetirizine (Zytec)
cyproheptadine (Periactin)
dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril)
loratadine (Claritin)
terfenadine (Seldane)

ANTIMICROBIALS
azithromycin (Zithromax)
griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grisactin)
*nalidixic acid (NegGram)
QUINOLONES, eg., Cipro, Penetrex,, Levaquin, Floxin, *Maxaquin, Noroxin, * Zagam sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
* SULFONAMIDES, eg., Gantrisin, Bactrim, Septra
TETRACYCLINES, eg., *Declomycin, Vibramycin, Minocin, Terramycin

ANTIPARASITICS
*bithionol (Bitin)
chloroquine (Aralen)
mefloquine (Lariam)
pyrvinium parnoate (Povan, Vanquin)
quinine
ANTIPSYCHOTICS
chlorprothixene (Taractan, Tarasan)
haloperiodol (Haldol)

* PHENOTHIAZINES, eg., Compazine, Mellaril, Stelazine, Phenergan, Thorazine
risperidone (Risperdal)
thiothixene (Navane)

CANCER CHEMOTHERAPY
*dacarbazine (DTIC)
fluororacil (5-FU)
methotrexate (Mexate)
procarbazine (Matulane, Natulan)
vinblastine (Velban, Belbe)

CARDIOVASCULARS (see also Diuretics)
ACE INHIBITORS, eg., Capoten, Vasotec, Monapril, Accupril, Altace, Univasc
*amiodarone (Cordarone)
diltiazem (Cardizem)
disopyramide (Norpace)
losartan (Hyzaar)
lovastatin (Mevacor)
nifedipine (Procardia)
pravastin (Pravachol)
quinidine (Quinaglute)
simvastatin (Zocor)
sotalol (Betapace)

DIURETICS (see also Cardiovasculars)
acetazolamide (Diamox)
amiloride (Midamor)
furosemide (Lasix)
metolazone (Diulo, Zaroxolyn)
*THIAZIDES, eg., HydroDiuril, Naturetin,

*HYPOGLYCEMIC
SULFONYLUREAS
acetohexamide (Dymelor)
chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
glimepiride (Amaryl)
glipzide (Glucotrol)
glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase)
tolazamide (Tolinase)
tolbutamide (Orinase)

NSAIDs
All nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, eg., ibuprofen (Motrin, Naproxen (Anaprox, Naproxyn), Orudis, Feldene, Voltaren, etc. The new NSAID agents include: etodolac (Lodine), nabumetone, (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro)

SUNSCREENS
*benzophenones (Arimis, Clinique)
cinnamates (Arimis, Estee Lauder)
dioxbenzone (Solbar Plus)
oxybenzone (Eclipse, Presun, Shade)
PABA (PreSun)
*PABA esters
(Block Out, Sea & Ski, Eclipse)

MISCELLANEOUS
benzocaine
benzoyl peroxide (Oxy 10)
carbamazepine (Tegretol)
chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
coal tar, eg., Tegrin, Zetar)
CONTRACEPTIVES, oral estazolam (ProSom)
*etretinate (Tegison)
felbamate (Felbatol)
gabapentin (Neurontin)
gold salts (Myochrysine, Ridaura, Solganal)
hexachlorophene (pHisoHex)
hypericum (St. John’s Wort)
interferon beta-1b (Betaseron)
*isetretinoln (Accutane)
masoprocol (Actinex)
olsalazine (Dipentun)
*PERFUME OILS, eg.,
bergamot, citron, lavender, sandalwood, cedar, musk
*PSORALENS
selegiline (deprenyl, Eldepryl)
*tretinoin (Retin-A, Vitamin A Acid)
zolpidem (Ambien)

Note: Items with an asterisk (*) are shown in bold because they are more likely to cause photosensitivity reactions. Overall, the drugs listed above cause reactions in less than 1% of patients. Tell clients that get an unusual “sunburn” or allergic or eczematous reaction in skin areas exposed to light to let their physician or pharmacist know about the problem and to discontinue exposure to UV radiation. Photosensitivity data from Pharmacist’s Letter.

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