Ciprofloxacin induced erythema multiforme: a case report


  • K. M. Narasimhamurthy Department of Pharmacology, Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Science, B.G. Nagar, Mandya, Karnataka, India
  • B. N. Nagashree Department of Pharmacology, Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Science, B.G. Nagar, Mandya, Karnataka, India
  • M. Ravishankar Department of Pharmacology, Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Science, B.G. Nagar, Mandya, Karnataka, India



Erythema multiforme, Erythema multiforme minor, Erythema multiforme major, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Toxic epidermal necrolysis, Ciprofloxacin, Metronidazole, Pantoprazole, Hypersensitivity, Target lesions, Casualty assessment, Naranjo scale, Probable cau


Erythema multiforme (EM) is an acute, self-limited, and sometimes recurring skin condition that is considered to be a type IV hypersensitivity reaction associated with certain infections, medications, and other various triggers like flavorings and preservatives, such as benzoic acid and cinnamon, immunologic disorders, such as transient selective C4 deficiency of infancy, collagen diseases, vasculitides, sarcoidosis, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, myeloid metaplasia, and polycythemia, physical or mechanical factors, such as tattooing, radiotherapy, cold, and sunlight, foods, including salmon berries and margarine, malignancy, and hormonal. EM may be present within a wide spectrum of severity. EM minor represents a localized eruption of the skin with minimal or no mucosal involvement. According to a consensus definition, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) was separated from the EM spectrum and added to toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN).

The two spectra are now divided into the following: (1) EM consisting of erythema minor and major and (2) SJS/TEN. Ciprofloxacin is a second generation fluoroquinolone. Fluoroquinolones are rapidly bactericidal in vitro and are considerably potent against Escherichia coli and various species of Salmonella, Shigella, Enterobacter, Campylobacter, and Neisseria. Mainly used in urinary tract infections, prostatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, gastrointestinal and abdominal infections, respiratory tract infections, bone-joint and soft tissue infections. Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole antimicrobial medication used particularly for anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. It is on the World Health Organizations list of essential medicines, a list of the most important medications needed in a basic health system. Here we report the case of a 39-year-old male patient who presented with EM to the dermatology outpatient department, Adichunchanagiri Hospital and Research Centre. The patient gave a history of taking antimicrobials ciprofloxacin and metronidazole for the treatment of a non-healing wound on the right leg which he sustained in a road traffic accident. The review of the literature has revealed very rare associations of metronidazole and pantoprazole with EM, but cases of ciprofloxacin-induced EM have been reported. Hence, the reported adverse drug reaction has been attributed to ciprofloxacin. In this event, casualty assessment using Naranjo’s scale revealed that ciprofloxacin was a probable cause for the adverse drug reaction.


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How to Cite

Narasimhamurthy, K. M., Nagashree, B. N., & Ravishankar, M. (2017). Ciprofloxacin induced erythema multiforme: a case report. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 4(3), 590–592.



Case Reports