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Exanthematous drug eruption in Adult
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Exanthematous drug eruption in Adult

Contributors: Philip I. Song MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Exanthematous drug eruption (EDE; also known as morbilliform drug eruption) is the most common of all medication-induced drug rashes. It consists of red macules and papules that often arise on the trunk and spread symmetrically to involve the proximal extremities. In severe cases, lesions coalesce and may lead to erythroderma. Palms, soles, and mucous membranes may also be involved. Pruritus is a common complaint. While most patients are afebrile, a low-grade fever may occur in more severe reactions. Onset is usually between 4 and 14 days after initiating a medication. The time to eruption may be shorter if the patient had previously been sensitized to the triggering medication. The eruption may occur even if the offending medication has already been discontinued.

EDE is most commonly seen with the use of antibiotics (penicillins and sulfas), allopurinol, phenytoin, barbiturates, chlorpromazine, carbamazepine, gold, d-penicillamine, captopril, naproxen, and piroxicam, but many other drug culprits have been reported, including chemotherapeutic, biologic, and immunotherapeutic (checkpoint inhibitor) agents.


L27.0 – Generalized skin eruption due to drugs and medicaments taken internally

238814003 – Maculopapular drug eruption

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Last Reviewed:04/09/2017
Last Updated:11/01/2022
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Exanthematous drug eruption in Adult
A medical illustration showing key findings of Exanthematous drug eruption : Rash, Reaction 0 to 5 days after drug, Reaction 6 to 30 days after drug, Widespread distribution, Pruritus
Clinical image of Exanthematous drug eruption - imageId=2811647. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Widespread erythematous papules and plaques on the abdomen.'
Widespread erythematous papules and plaques on the abdomen.
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