[Skip to Navigation]
Article
July 1945

IS PENICILLIN A PHOTOSENSITIZING AGENT?

Author Affiliations

MEDICAL CORPS, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1945;52(1):17. doi:10.1001/archderm.1945.01510250022006
Abstract

It is a well known fact that penicillin therapy produces few reactions. Urticaria seems to be the most common cutaneous reaction. In this report the possibility is suggested that penicillin acts as a photosensitizing agent.

Photodermatitis of vegetable origin has already been well studied.1 It is due in most instances to external contact of the patient with the plant followed by his exposure to sunlight. The action of chlorophyll seems to be an important factor in the photosensitizing properties of certain plants. The mechanism of photosensitization by a fungus is undoubtedly different, since fungi lack chlorophyll.

REPORT OF A CASE

A 25 year old white pilot was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 29, 1944 for penicillin therapy. He had had gonorrhea for three weeks. He had received one course of treatment with sulfathiazole from January 6 to January 11 and another, with sulfadiazine, from January 14 to

×