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Terbinafine-induced subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus.

BACKGROUND: Nearly 10% of lupus erythematosus (LE) are drug induced. More than 60 different drugs are involved in iatrogenic LE. We report herein 3 cases of terbinafine-induced LE.

OBSERVATIONS: Three patients receiving terbinafine for a suspected dermatophytic infection developed a subacute cutaneous LE, within 7 weeks following terbinafine introduction. The patients' medical history included sicca syndrome, lung carcinoma and Kikuchi disease, respectively. Clinical remission occurred within 15 weeks following terbinafine withdrawal.

DISCUSSION: Sixteen cases of terbinafine-induced LE have been previously reported, including 13 women. The median age was 54 years. Prior autoimmunity was reported in 10 cases, including 5 pre-existing LE. The median delay between terbinafine introduction and LE onset was 5 weeks. The median time until clinical recovery following terbinafine withdrawal was 8 weeks.

CONCLUSION: Terbinafine should be prescribed only in patients with proven dermatophytosis. We recommend cautious monitoring in patients with pre-existing autoimmunity. The diagnosis of terbinafine-induced LE should lead to the immediate and definitive withdrawal of the drug.

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