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January 2005

Ro/SSA-Positive Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Induced by Carbamazepine

Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(1):103-104. doi:10.1001/archderm.141.1.103

An essentially cutaneous form of drug-induced lupus erythematosus (LE), defined as drug-induced Ro/SSA-positive cutaneous LE (CLE), has recently been reported. This LE variant is characterized by (1) photodistributed erythema or scaly annular plaques similar to those of subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, (2) serum anti-Ro/SSA antibodies, and (3) absence of systemic symptoms.1 A diagnosis of drug-induced Ro/SSA-positive CLE may be suspected when symptoms arise within 6 months of the intiation of therapy with the drug thought to be responsible. The causative role of the drug use is confirmed by complete symptom resolution within 3 months of its discontinuation and by the reduction or normalization of antibody titers in the subsequent months.1 The medications most frequently associated with this entity are antibiotics (eg, rifampicin and penicillamines),2 antimycotics (eg, griseofulvine and terbinafine),3 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, naproxen),4 antihypertensive agents (eg, diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and calcium antagonists), interferons (alfa and beta), and statins (eg, simvastatin and pravastatin sodium).1

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