Fixed Drug Eruption


Fixed Drug Eruption, Morbilliform Drug Reaction, Exanthematous Drug Reaction

  • Pathophysiology
  1. Delayed Type IV Hypersensitivity Reaction
  2. Antibody-dependent, cell-mediated cytotoxic response
  • Epidemiology
  1. Of cutaneous drugs eruptions, Morbilliform rash accounts for 80% in adults and 35% in children
  • Causes
  • Antimicrobials
  • Risk Factors
  • Symptoms
  1. Lesion with pruritic or burning pain
  2. Lesion timing after initial exposure
    1. Onset 4 to 21 days after starting medication
  3. Lesion timing after subsequent exposure
    1. Onset within 0.5 to 8 hours (up to 16 hours) after medication ingestion
    2. Lesions recur at same site on reexposure to drug
  4. Systemic Symptoms are rare
    1. Fever, malaise and Nausea may be seen with Drug-Induced Bullous Disease
  • Signs
  1. Lesion onset on the trunk and spreads peripherally
  2. Lesion distribution
    1. Symmetric involvement on trunk and extremities (especially dependent, warm areas)
    2. Face or ears
    3. Genital region
    4. Sacral area
    5. Hands or feet
    6. Spares mucous membranes
  3. Lesion characteristics
    1. Coloration
      1. Pink to dark red
    2. Maculopapular Rash with Annular Lesions
      1. Round erythematous patch with sharp borders
    3. May also present as bullae or ulcers
    4. Hyperpigmentation may occur on healing after withdrawal of causative agent
  • Management
  1. Withdraw suspected medication
  2. Consider Corticosteroids (topical or systemic)
  3. Consider Antihistamine for Pruritus
  4. Observe open lesions for secondary infection
  • Course
  1. Resolves in 7-10 days after medication stopped