Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 566–568 | Cite as

The three week sulphasalazine syndrome

  • H. Brooks
  • H. G. Taylor
  • F. E. Nichol
Case Report


We report a 53-year-old man with sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis who developed a fever, rash and hepatitis 3 weeks after starting sulphasalzine therapy. This was associated with a T cell lymphocytosis, eosinophilia and evidence of classical complement pathway activation. He responded to high dose corticosteroids. This is a rare but characteristic reaction which is likely to be encountered by rheumatologists more frequently with the increasing use of sulphasalazine. It should be recognized promptly as it may be fatal and can be confused with other systemic diseases.

Key words

Sulphasalazine Serum Sickness Hypersensitivity Rheumatoid Arthritis Hepatitis Adverse Drug Reaction 


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Copyright information

© Acta Medica Belgica 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Brooks
    • 1
  • H. G. Taylor
    • 1
  • F. E. Nichol
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RheumatologyLeicester Royal InfirmaryLeicesterUK

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