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November 20, 1967

Types of Cutaneous Reactions to Drugs: Importance in Recognition of Adverse Reactions

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York.

JAMA. 1967;202(8):710-713. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130210084014

It has long been known that clinically recognizable adverse reactions to drugs are seen more often in the skin than in any other organ or system. This observation is substantiated by data, accumulated by the American Medical Association Registry on Adverse Reactions, which show that cutaneous manifestations have been by far the most frequently reported form of adverse reaction. One apparent reason is that skin lesions are so readily observed that both patients and physicians are quickly alerted to their possible association with a drug reaction. Because of their frequency and because their visible characteristics alone serve to separate them into a variety of specific types, cutaneous reactions play a particularly important role in the early recognition of untoward effects produced by drugs.

Clinical experience has revealed propensities that certain medicaments have for causing skin reactions of a particular morphological pattern. Known associations of this nature are an important element