As summer is now here, it is important for healthcare providers to educate our clients regarding summer-related issues, such as sunburn prevention, poisonous plants, drug-induced photosensitivity, and the risks of the Zika virus.
• Drug-induced photosensitivity refers to the development of a skin reaction due to exposure to a chemical agent and sunlight. This agent may be a topical
or systemic medication.
• Drug-induced photosensitivity is common, representing almost 8% of dermatological adverse events due to drugs.
• Some of the most common photosensitizers include antibiotics, NSAIDs, amiodarone, and psoralens, which are used to treat skin conditions such as vitiligo, eczema, and psoriasis.
• More than 300 drugs have been reported as photosensitizers; however, the relationship between sun exposure and the medication is not always clear. This results in underreported reactions. Therefore, although some therapeutic drug classes are not usually associated with photosensitive reactions, it is important for healthcare providers to consider that almost any medication may produce a photosensitive reaction.
• The following table lists some common examples of photosensitive medications. Please refer to the individual medication’s prescribing information for further details.