What Drugs Cause Drug-Induced Lupus?

Medically Reviewed on 6/7/2022
What Drugs Cause Drug-Induced Lupus
Drugs most often involved in drug-induced lupus include procainamide, hydralazine, and quinidine

Drug-induced lupus erythematosus is a type of lupus that occurs as a reaction to exposure to certain medications. 

More than 40 drugs have been identified to cause drug-induced lupus, mainly those used to treat chronic conditions such as heart disease, thyroid disease, hypertension, neuropsychiatric disorders, inflammation, and epilepsy.

Medications that can cause drug-induced lupus

Drugs most often involved in drug-induced lupus include:

Classes of medications that have been connected to drug-induced lupus include:

Most people who take these drugs will not develop the disease. Drug-induced lupus erythematosus is a rare adverse reaction. It is more commonly found in men because they are administered these medications more often.

What are symptoms of drug-induced lupus?

Symptoms of drug-induced lupus erythematosus often overlap with those of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). These include:

Though the symptoms of drug-induced lupus and SLE are similar, rarely will any major organs be affected.

Who is at risk for developing drug-induced lupus?

Drug-induced lupus erythematosus mainly affects the following groups:

  • Older people between ages 50-70
  • Caucasians are more likely to get it than African Americans

Some predisposing genetic factors have been identified, including:

  • Slow acetylator status (where the breakdown of medication by the liver is slower than usual)
  • Certain tissue types, including HLA DR4, DR2, DR3, DR0301, DQB1, and B8
  • Complement C4 null allele (an abnormality of a complement protein)


Lupus is an infection. See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 6/7/2022
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Solhjoo M, Goyal A, Chauhan K. Drug-Induced Lupus Erythematosus. [Updated 2022 Apr 6]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441889/

Kauffman CL. Drug-Induced Lupus Erythematosus. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1065086-overview