Adverse drug reactions and organ damage: The skin

Published: 7 December 2015
Author(s): Angelo V. Marzano, Alessandro Borghi, Massimo Cugno

Cutaneous adverse drug reactions are frequent, affecting 2–3% of hospitalized patients and in one twentieth of them are potentially life-threatening. Almost any pharmacologic agent can induce skin reactions, and certain drug classes, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and antiepileptics, have drug eruption rates ranging from 1% to 5%. Cutaneous drug reactions recognize several different pathomechanisms: some skin manifestations are immune-mediated like allergic reactions while others are the result of non immunological causes such as cumulative toxicity, photosensitivity, interaction with other drugs or different metabolic pathways.