Treatment of severe drug reactions by hemodialysis

Rokea A. el-Azhary, Michael Z. Wang, Ashley B. Wentworth, LaTonya Hickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: Extracorporeal treatments such as hemodialysis and plasma exchange are lifesaving measures in the treatment of drug poisoning. This treatment method generally is not used for severe cutaneous and systemic drug reactions. Methods: Here, we describe three cases wherein hemodialysis therapy was instrumental in reversing the adverse drug reaction. Results: In the cases of severe cutaneous drug reactions reviewed, patients presented with linear immunoglobulin A bullous dermatosis, acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Salvage treatment with hemodialysis therapy drastically influenced the course of disease, resulting in remission. Conclusions: This novel and highly effective treatment option is not considered in current algorithms for adverse drug reactions. Hence, in addition to the rarity of these reactions, the main limitation of the study is the small number of patients. Hemodialysis can substantially alter the prognosis and, in some cases, be a lifesaving treatment for patients with severe adverse cutaneous drug reaction associated with systemic toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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