Drug-Induced Autoimmunity

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Abstract

Drug-induced autoimmunity encompasses a wide range of serological and clinical manifestations that develop after exposure to a drug. The classical and most studied example is drug-induced lupus (DIL). Although autoimmunity secondary to drugs has been recognized for more than 50 years, the introduction of new drugs has extended the spectrum and severity of clinical manifestations. Several drugs are associated with the induction of antinuclear and anti-DNA antibodies, but clinical lupus is rare, and a number of drugs are associated with antineutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-positive vasculitis. The diagnosis of these conditions is not simple and requires careful elimination of other possible conditions. Although rare cases of life-threatening autoimmune conditions have been described, the majority of cases are mild and resolve after the offending drug is discontinued.