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Severe skin reaction after leflunomide and etanercept in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis
  1. F Soliotis1,
  2. M Glover2,
  3. A S M Jawad1
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, The Royal London Hospital, Bancroft Road, London E1 4DG, UK
  2. 2Department of Dermatology, St Andrews Hospital, Devons Road, London E3 3NT, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr A S M Jawad, Department of Rheumatology, The Royal London Hospital, 275 Bancroft Road, Mile End, London E1 4DG, UK;

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A 32 year old Pakistani woman developed a symmetrical polyarthritis, with a high erythrocyte sedimentation rate, in 1991. Within a few months, erosions developed and her rheumatoid factor became positive. The antinuclear antibodies were negative. Between 1991 and 1999 she was treated with sulfasalazine, sodium aurothiomalate, azathioprine, methotrexate, d-penicillamine, and hydroxychloroquine sequentially, but each drug had to be stopped either because of intolerance or leucopenia.

Her disease remained active and deformities developed. Her condition was maintained with 7.5 mg oral prednisolone and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In April 2000 leflunomide was added. Three daily doses of 100 mg leflunomide were followed by 20 mg a day maintenance dose. Ten days later, she developed a vesicular rash over the trunk and the proximal parts of the arms and legs (fig 1). Leflunomide was discontinued and cholestyramine was introduced for wash out. A skin biopsy showed focal epidermal necrosis with partial lichenoid changes. …

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