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Patch Testing for Drugs

Aquino, Marcella Rita MD*†; Sher, Janelle MD; Fonacier, Luz MD*†

doi: 10.1097/DER.0b013e3182a0d38a

Adverse drug reactions occur commonly and primarily manifest in a myriad of cutaneous eruptions. The use of drug patch testing in the diagnosis of specific drug eruptions is increasing; however, a standardized approach to this methodology is currently lacking. A review of current literature was performed on the available evidence of patch testing for drugs. This review addresses the use of patch testing for specific cutaneous adverse drug reactions and for specific classes of drugs including antimicrobials, anticonvulsants, antiretrovirals, glucocorticoids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, the approach to performing patch testing to drugs in the clinical arena as well as current contraindications for drug patch testing is reviewed.

Author Information

From the *State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook; and †Winthrop Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, Mineola, NY.

Address reprint requests to Marcella Rita Aquino, MD, Winthrop Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, 120 Mineola Blvd, Suite 410 Mineola, NY 11501. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.

© 2013 American Contact Dermatitis Society

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