A review of cutaneous drug eruptions

Clin Geriatr Med. 2013 May;29(2):527-45. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2013.01.008.


Cutaneous drug eruptions can range from an asymptomatic rash to a life-threatening emergency. Because of the high frequency, morbidity, and potential mortality associated with drug eruptions, patients with possible drug reactions should promptly be recognized, worked up, and treated. Drug reactions are common in the elderly population due to age-related alterations in metabolism, excretion of medications, and polypharmacy. This review discusses the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of drug eruptions that providers commonly encounter in the care of the geriatric population. An algorithm for an approach to patients with a suspected drug eruption is presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Drug Eruptions / diagnosis*
  • Drug Eruptions / epidemiology
  • Drug Eruptions / etiology*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged