Skin reactions following the interaction of photoactive drugs and ultraviolet or visible radiation are usually rapidly reversible after drug cessation. Within the antibacterial group, photosensitivity to sulphonamides, nalidixic acid, fluoroquinolones and tetracycline members have all been reported.
In general such reactions are mild, although rarely some individuals have a severe response. Precise subcellular mechanisms are drug specific, appear complex, and as yet are ill understood. Measures such as drug dosage reduction, the wearing of photoprotective clothing and use of broad spectrum sunscreens can alleviate the problem.