Dense, granular immunoglobulin deposits have been identified at the epidermo-dermal junction in 4 out of 10 patients who developed toxic reactions to D-penicillamine therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. Three of 4 patients developing a lupus-like syndrome while on penicillamine had similar findings on skin biopsy. Serum immunoglobulin and complement levels decreased significantly in patients treated with penicillamine. It is suggested that, in addition to penicillamine nephropathy, other side effects of this drug may be related to widespread deposition of immune complexes.
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