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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-39

Fixed drug eruption due to linezolid

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Shri B M Patil Medical College Hospital and Research Center, BLDE University, Vijaypur, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication27-Jun-2017

Correspondence Address:
Arun C Inamadar
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Shri B M Patil Medical College Hospital and Research Center, BLDE University, Vijaypur - 586 103, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdd.ijdd_8_17

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How to cite this article:
Inamadar AC, Palit A. Fixed drug eruption due to linezolid. Indian J Drugs Dermatol 2017;3:38-9

How to cite this URL:
Inamadar AC, Palit A. Fixed drug eruption due to linezolid. Indian J Drugs Dermatol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Oct 1];3:38-9. Available from: https://www.ijdd.in/text.asp?2017/3/1/38/209045


Linezolid is the first synthetic antibiotic belonging to the class “oxazolidinones” approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.[1] It has a wide spectrum of antibacterial activity, especially in multidrug-resistant organisms. The ones of dermatological interest are skin and soft-tissue infections caused by (a) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and (b) vancomycin-resistant S. aureus/heterogeneous vancomycin intermediate S. aureus.[1],[2] In the wake of both hospital- and community-acquired MRSA, the use of linezolid is on the rise among various medical specialties. It is convenient to use as both oral (100% bioavailability) and parenteral preparations are available, good tissue penetration, and well tolerated by patients and relatively infrequent adverse effects with short-term usage.[2]

A 45-year-old nondiabetic male consulted a dermatologist for a minimally pruritic hyperpigmented lesion on the left thumb. He took treatment for perianal abscess caused by MRSA sensitive to linezolid. He was advised tablet linezolid (600 mg PO × bd) along with tablet diclofenac sodium (50 mg PO × bd) for 14 days. After 10 days of drug intake, he developed minimal pruritus on lateral aspect of the pulp of the left thumb followed by development of an oval, slate-colored patch (1 cm × 1 cm). A diagnosis of fixed drug eruption (FDE) was made, but the causative drug could not be pin-pointed. He was advised to stop both the drugs. Betamethasone dipropionate ointment was prescribed for topical application on the lesion and was asked to follow up.

The patient missed the follow-up visit but came after 1½ months with a new similar patch below the earlier one, with surrounding erythema [Figure 1]. At the same time, there was darkening of the earlier lesion and associated pruritus. The patient admitted that he was self-medicating with tablet linezolid for the past 7 days for a fresh abscess in the perineum. No other medication was taken this time. Linezolid was stopped and the patient was counseled regarding harms of self-medication and about chance of recurrence of the lesion with repeated insult.
Figure 1: Two discrete slate-colored macules with surrounding erythema on the left thumb.

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A diagnosis of recurrent FDE due to linezolid was made. The adverse reaction spectrum of linezolid is mostly systemic.[1] The common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, and headache.[2] The severe ones are myelosuppression causing pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia, optic and peripheral neuropathy, lactic acidosis, and anaphylactoid-like reactions.[1],[2] Rarely, elevation of serum transaminases and creatinine level may be seen.[1],[2] All the side effects of linezolid are usually encountered with prolonged use (more than 2 weeks) and are reversible on withdrawal of the drug.[3] A rare drug interaction is “serotonin syndrome,” if there is accidental co-prescription with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.[1]

Common cutaneous adverse effects related to linezolid known so far from published English literature are pruritus, macular exanthema, and maculopapular rash.[1],[2] Other anecdotal reports include angioedema,[3] drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms,[4] and leukocytoclastic vasculitis.[5] FDE caused by linezolid has not been reported so far. The list of drugs causing FDE is long and ever-increasing with the use of newer molecules. This case with FDE due to linezolid is a new addition to the list.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Kim S, Michaels BD, Kim GK, Del Rosso JQ. Systemic antibacterial agents. In: Wolverton SE, editor. Comprehensive Dermatologic Drug Therapy. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier, Saunders; 2013. p. 61-97.  Back to cited text no. 1
Diekema DJ, Jones RN. Oxazolidinone antibiotics. Lancet 2001;358:1975-82.  Back to cited text no. 2
Vardakas KZ, Ntziora F, Falagas ME. Linezolid: Effectiveness and safety for approved and off-label indications. Expert Opin Pharmacother 2007;8:2381-400.  Back to cited text no. 3
Savard S, Desmeules S, Riopel J, Agharazii M. Linezolid-associated acute interstitial nephritis and drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome. Am J Kidney Dis 2009;54:e17-20.  Back to cited text no. 4
Sathyanarayana V, Das U, Babu KG, Suresh TM, Suresh Babu, Lakshmaiah KC, et al. Linezolid induced vasculitis: An unusual case report with review of the literature. J Sci Soc 2015;42:27-30.  Back to cited text no. 5
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