Photosensitization reactions of fluoroquinolones and their biological consequences

Photochem Photobiol. 2011 Nov-Dec;87(6):1214-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2011.00978.x. Epub 2011 Aug 25.


This review focuses on damage photosensitized by the fluoroquinolone (FQ) antibacterial drugs. Different models are employed to study biosubstrate photodamage mediated by FQs (organisms, cells, isolated biomolecules and super molecules). Being that the effect of environment (polarity of the medium, ions, pH, binding with bio-molecules, etc.) is crucial in FQ photochemistry, photobiological reactions can be consequently dramatically influenced. Thus, the photosensitization processes induced by FQs are here discussed taking into account that such extensive and cross-targeted pathological implications request an excursus covering photosensitization in systems of increasing molecular complexity. In vivo and in vitro evidences for photoallergy, phototoxicity, photomutagenesis and photocarcinogenesis mediated by FQs are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fluoroquinolones / pharmacology*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / pharmacology*


  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Photosensitizing Agents