Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Drugs causing lymphadenopathy

Q: 58 year old female with a past medical history of hypertension, seizure, and chronic diabetic foot, on chronic antibiotics, is admitted to ICU with a status epilepticus after she runs out of her prescriptions. On physical exam, you noticed generalized lymphadenopathy.  Which of the following commonly used drugs may cause lymphadenopathy? 

A) Atenolol 
B) Captopril 
C) Cephalosporins 
D) Phenytoin
E) All of the above

Answer:  E

The objective of the above question is to highlight a less well-known fact that drugs itself can be a source of otherwise unexplained lymphadenopathy. The list of those drugs is long. The major pathogenesis of lymphadenopathy by drugs is due to underlying serum sickness. This lymphadenopathy may be associated with fever, arthralgias, and rash.



Pangalis GA, Vassilakopoulos TP, Boussiotis VA, Fessas P. Clinical approach to lymphadenopathy. Semin Oncol 1993; 20:570.

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