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November 1959

Visual Disturbances with Antimalarial Drugs, with Particular Reference to Chloroquine Keratopathy

Author Affiliations

London, England

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(5):557-563. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560230043008

The use of quinacrine (Atabrine) for chronic discoid lupus erythematosus was discovered by Page ( 1951 ).1 It had been used independently for the same purpose in Russia and some Eastern European countries since the publication of Prokoptchouk's work (1940).2 Atabrine was soon found to be the most effective known treatment for discoid lupus erythematosus and a great deal safer than gold therapy. However, it has certain disadvantages in addition to the yellow staining of the skin, and other antimalarial drugs were assayed for their activity in controlling this condition. Chloroquine was shown to be equally effective (Goldman et al., 1953)3—in some cases more so—and had the additional merits of not staining the skin and of showing less tendency to produce troublesome drug rashes, such as the lichenoid dermatosis from quinacrine (mepacrine). Both drugs will cause gastrointestinal upset and a number of

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