Drug Insight: autoimmune effects of medications-what's new?

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SUMMARYAutoantibodies and lupus-like syndromes can develop following the use of certain medications; however, although many patients develop autoantibodies, only a minority develop clinical features. Although these autoantibodies primarily consist of antinuclear and antihistone antibodies, additional types of antibody, such as antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies and anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies, have been reported in association with minocycline and tumor necrosis factor inhibitor therapy. Clinical features of drug-related lupus usually consist of constitutional symptoms, arthralgias, arthritis, myalgias and serositis, although cutaneous manifestations have been reported in association with the use of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors. Typically, clinical features resolve with discontinuation of the medication, although antibodies can persist for months or years. Arthralgias and inflammatory arthritis have also been reported in association with the use of aromatase inhibitors and other biologic agents such as interleukins and interferons.

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