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June 1989

Photosensitizing Potential of Certain Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Dr Kaidbey) and the Beecham Laboratories, Bristol, Tenn (Dr Mitchell).

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(6):783-786. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670180055005

• The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been repeatedly associated with photosensitivity reactions. The underlying mechanism however is not known, and the clinical features are not always consistent with either a phototoxic or a photoallergic mechanism. In this study, four NSAIDs were investigated for their phototoxicity potential in human volunteers using an oral dosing protocol. Phototoxicity, consisting of whealand-flare reactions following exposure to ultraviolet radiation, was demonstrated following the administration of naproxen and nabumetone, but was not seen in volunteers who received piroxicam, a drug reported to cause photosensitivity. Thus, although certain NSAIDs are potentially capable of producing phototoxicity reactions, others can presumably provoke clinical photosensitivity through other mechanisms.

(Arch Dermatol 1989;125:783-786)

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