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Photosensitivity

There are over 400 drugs that can make the skin super sensitive to sunlight. These drug-induced photosensitivity reactions (sensitivity to UVA rays of the sun or tanning devices) may result in an exaggerated sunburn or, more rarely, an allergic reaction with itching and blister like eruptions on the skin.

Here's an alphabetized list of the most common drugs known for photosensitizing skin (generic name followed by brand name). Some implicated drugs are more likely to cause a reaction than others.

Anti-anxiety/sleeping agents

  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  • zaleplon (Sonata)
  • zolpidem (Ambien)

Antibiotic/antifungal/antiviral agents

  • acyclovir (Zovirax)
  • amantadine (Symmetrel)
  • azithromycin (Zithromax)
  • capreomycin (Capastat)
  • cefazolin (Ancef)
  • ceftazidime (Fortaz)
  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • cycloserine (Seromycin)
  • dapsone demeclocycline (Declomycin)
  • doxycycline (Vibramycin)
  • ethionamide (Trecator-SC)
  • flucytosine (Ancobon)
  • gemifloxacin (Factive)
  • griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Gris-PEG)
  • isoniazid (Nydrazid)
  • levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • lomefloxacin (Maxaquin)
  • metronidazole (Flagyl)
  • minocycline (Minocin)
  • moxifloxacin (Avelox)
  • nalidixic acid (NegGram)
  • norfloxacin (Noroxin)
  • ofloxacin (Floxin)
  • oxytetracycline (Terramycin)
  • pyrazinamide ritonavir (Norvir)
  • saquinavir (Fortovase
  • Invirase)
  • sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim)
  • sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
  • sulfisoxazole (Gantrisin)
  • terconazole (Terazol)
  • tetracycline (Achromycin)
  • voriconazole (VFEND)
  • zalcitabine (Hivid)

Anticancer agents

  • bexarotene (Targretin)
  • capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • dacarbazine (DTIC)
  • epirubicin (Ellence)
  • fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • interferon alfa (Intron A, Alferon-N)
  • methotrexate (Mexate)
  • pentostatin (Nipent)
  • procarbazine (Matulane)
  • tretinoin oral (Vesanoid)
  • vinblastine (Velban
  • Velbe).

Anticonvulsants

  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • felbamate (Felbatol)
  • gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
  • topiramate (Topamax)
  • valproic acid (Depakene).

Antidepressants

  • amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • amoxapine (Asendin)
  • bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • citalopram (Celexa)
  • clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • desipramine (Norpramin)
  • doxepin (Sinequan)
  • escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
  • fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • imipramine (Tofranil)
  • maprotiline (Ludiomil)
  • mirtazapine (Remeron)
  • nefazodone (Serzone)
  • nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • paroxetine (Paxil)
  • protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • sertraline (Zoloft)
  • trazodone (Desyrel)
  • trimipramine (Surmontil)
  • venlafaxine (Effexor)

Antidiabetic agents

  • Acetohexamide (Dymelor)
  • chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
  • glimepiride (Amaryl)
  • glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • glyburide (DiaBeta, Micronase)
  • tolazamide (Tolinase)
  • tolbutamide (Orinase)

Antihistamines

  • cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • cyproheptadine (Periactin)
  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • loratadine (Claritin)

Anti-malaria agents

  • chloroquine (Aralen)
  • hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
  • pyrimethamine (Daraprim)
  • pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine (Fansidar)
  • quinine

Antipsychotics

  • chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
  • clozapine (Clozaril)
  • fluphenazine (Prolixin)
  • haloperidol (Haldol)
  • loxapine (Loxitane)
  • olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • perphenazine (Trilafon)
  • prochlorperazine (Compazine)
  • quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • risperidone (Risperdal)
  • thioridazine (Mellaril)
  • thiothixene (Navane)
  • trifluoperazine (Stelazine)
  • ziprasidone (Geodon)

Diuretics

  • bendroflumethiazide (Corzide)
  • chlorthalidone (Thalitone)
  • furosemide (Lasix)
  • hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
  • hydroflumethiazide (Diucardin)
  • indapamide (Lozol)
  • methyclothiazide (Enduron)
  • metolazone (Zaroxolyn)
  • polythiazide (Renese)
  • triamterene (Dyrenium)

High blood pressure agents

  • captopril (Capoten)
  • diltiazem (Cardizem
  • Tiazac)
  • enalapril (Vasotec)
  • nifedipine (Procardia)

Hormones

Lipid-regulating agents

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • fenofibrate (Tricor)
  • fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • gemfibrozil (Lopid)
  • lovastatin (Mevacor)
  • pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • simvastatin (Zocor)

Pain relievers

  • celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
  • dantrolene (Dantrium)
  • diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren)
  • diflunisal (Dolobid)
  • etodolac (Lodine)
  • ibuprofen (Motrin)
  • ketoprofen (Orudis)
  • mefenamic acid (Ponstel)
  • meloxicam (Mobic)
  • nabumetone (Relafen)
  • naproxen (Anaprox)
  • oxaprozin (Daypro)
  • piroxicam (Feldene)
  • rofecoxib (Vioxx)
  • sulindac (Clinoril)
  • sumatriptan (Imitrex)
  • valdecoxib (Bextra).

Topical agents (applied to the skin)

  • benzocaine (Americaine)
  • benzyphenones cinnamates
  • coal tar hexachlorophene (PHisoHex)
  • minoxidil (Rogaine)
  • PABA
  • tacrolimus (Prograf, Protopic)
  • tazarotene (Tazorac)
  • tretinoin (Renova, Retin-A)

Dietary supplements

Miscellaneous

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
  • chlorhexidine (Peridex, Hibiclens)
  • clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • gold salts
  • isotretinoin (Accutane)
  • methoxsalen (Uvadex, Oxsoralen)
  • promethazine (Phenergan)
  • quinidine
  • selegiline (Eldepryl)
  • sotalol (Betapace)
  • thalidomide (Thalomid)
Your best defense against photosensitivity is to wear protective clothing and apply a sunscreen with as high a SPF as possible. Make sure it protects you against both the UVB and UVA rays of the sun.


 

This website is protected by copyright 2002-2007 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Photosensitivity and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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