Drug Reaction! How to Take Care of Your Fixed Drug Eruption

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  • Drug Reaction! How to Take Care of Your Fixed Drug Eruption
  • Date: Jul 21 2023

A Fixed Drug Eruption is a reaction to usually an oral medicine and sometimes to other agents an individual is exposed to. It is commonly referred to with its acronym ‘FDE’ by the dermatologists. This is a specific form of an immunological reaction to the compound ingested.

A dermatologist may recognise other presentations of FDE.

Fixed Drug Eruption over both thighs

Should you visit your dermatologist if you suffer a FDE?

Certainly! To confirm the diagnosis your dermatologist must examine you. The reasons for this confirmation is its present management but also the future implications. Medicines you take in the future may cause similar reactions. Once an individual has a FDE to a particular drug they shall suffer the same reaction, whenever they next ingest either the same medicine or another of the same chemical group. 

Is it just allopathic drugs which can cause FDE? 

No, any oral drug can cause it, allopathic, or any from other systems of medicine. 

Any common rugs which can cause FDE?

Commonly reported groups of medicines which precipitate FDE are

  • Analgesics
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Sedatives
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antibiotics

How is it treated? 

Your dermatologist may prescribe just topical medications to apply for a few days in a mild reaction, or oral medications if the reaction is severe. The pigmentation (dark patch) left behind is treated with creams or even lasers. 

Few points to remember

  • FDE can occur to any oral drug
  • They appear after a brief period of itch/ burning sensation
  • They shall reappear at the same site whenever the same drug is ingested again
  • In a week’s time the reaction subsides provided the drug is stopped and the dark patch shall begin to fade over a few months
  • You can even have blisters over a red skin patch
  • Although any area of the body can be involved, usually the extremities, genitalia and peri-oral region is involved.
  • Subsequent reactions can increase the number of patches. It is rare to have a whole body involved with multiple patches of FDE.
  • Do consult your dermatologist if you suspect you are suffering from a Fixed Drug Reaction.



Contact us at Mehektagul Dermaclinic for an expert dermatological consult or treatment of residual pigmentation of an FDE.

Pigmentation after FDE treated with laser. Image source: 10.4103/idoj.idoj_264_22


K-105, Basement, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi -110016

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