Pellagra secondary to 5-fluorouracil

Br J Dermatol. 1993 May;128(5):578-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1993.tb00240.x.


The development of pellagra in a patient treated with 5-fluorouracil for malignant disease is reported. The aetiology of pellagra in this patient is discussed, and the reasons for possible under-diagnosis of pellagra in association with malignant disease considered. We report a patient who presented with the typical skin changes of pellagra. The rash, and an associated acute deterioration in cerebral function, were exacerbated by treatment with 5-fluorouracil. The importance of considering nicotinic-acid deficiency in patients with malignant disease has not been emphasized in the literature.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Fluorouracil / adverse effects*
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Nicotinic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Pellagra / chemically induced*
  • Pellagra / drug therapy
  • Pellagra / pathology
  • Skin / pathology


  • Nicotinic Acids
  • Fluorouracil