The observation of a patient with antihistamine photodermatitis due to diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and carbinoxamine, d-form (Twiston-RA) is of particular import due to the frequent use of antihistamines by physicians and their incorporation in proprietary "cold remedies."
Till now, reports of photosensitization to antihistamines have been limited to the phenothiazine derivatives, chlorpromazine1 and promethazine (Phenergan).2 This study, of a patient and her twin sister with antihistaminic photosensitivity, showed both phototoxic and photoallergic reactions to various antihistamines on photopatch testing. Structural formulas and ultraviolet light absorption peaks of the tested antihistamines were compared, and biopsies of the skin test sites were stained and studied in regard to mast cells.
The method of Curwen and Jillson3 was followed by us in photopatch testing. A Bausch and Lomb carbon arc (Therapeutic Sunshine C) lamp was used, which gave a constant output of light (2,500-7,000 A.), about 12 times the
SCHREIBER MM, NAYLOR LZ. Antihistamine Photosensitivity. Arch Dermatol. 1962;86(1):58–62. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590070064009
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