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October 1975

Chlorpromazine Photosensitivity

Author Affiliations

Dundee, Scotland

Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(10):1364-1365. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630220128018

To the Editor.—  It is generally accepted that photodermatoses may be the result of phototoxic or photoallergic mechanisms.1 The clinical and photopatch test criteria do not always enable one to distinguish the two varieties. If photoallergy is caused by a delayed-type hypersensitivity (type IV) mechanism, as in chemical contact dermatitis, in vitro tests of delayed hypersensitivity might be expected to distinguish between the two.We have studied a group of 15 longstay psychiatric patients, mostly schizophrenic, all on chlorpromazine hydrochloride therapy in doses varying from 150 to 400 mg/day either alone or in combination with other drugs, who have shown clinical reactions of a phototoxic nature. We have also studied six nursing staff members who have had clinical photoallergic hand dermatitis at various times as a result of contact with chlorpromazine in the course of their duties.Photosensitivity in the first group was confirmed by photopatch testing using

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