Certain medicines can cause temporary symptoms and signs
lupus. The symptoms go away when you stop taking the
medicine, typically within a few weeks. Symptoms are usually milder than in
typical lupus, and the kidneys and central nervous system are rarely
Some children who take medicines to prevent seizures
develop a condition similar to drug-induced lupus seen in adults.
Symptoms go away when the child stops taking the medicine.
Medicines that may play a role in inducing lupus include:
Antibodies to tumor necrosis factor-a.
anticonvulsants called hydantoins, such as phenytoin and
These and other medicines may induce symptoms of lupus in some
individuals. But the symptoms are not permanent. They will eventually disappear after
you stop taking the medicine.
Even if you have lupus, your doctor may prescribe these medicines to treat other conditions. There is no evidence that drugs that cause drug-induced lupus cause lupus flares.
If you suspect that a medicine is triggering
lupus symptom flares, talk with your health doctor about changing your
Crow MK (2013). Etiology and pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. In GS Firestein et al., eds., Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 9th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1269-1282. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Hahn BH (2012). Systemic lupus erythematosus. In DL Longo et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2724-2735. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology