Drug reactions affecting the nail unit: diagnosis and management

Dermatol Clin. 2007 Apr;25(2):215-21, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2007.01.006.


Several drugs may be responsible for the development of nail abnormalities, but only a few classes are consistently associated with nail symptoms. Drug-induced nail abnormalities result from toxicity to the matrix, the nail bed, the periungual tissues, or the digit blood vessels. Pharmacologic agents that most frequently produce nail abnormalities include retinoids, indinavir, and cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Nail Diseases* / chemically induced
  • Nail Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Nail Diseases* / therapy
  • Nails / drug effects*
  • Retinoids / adverse effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Retinoids