Drug Safety

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 339–349

Photosensitivity to Ketoprofen

Mechanisms and Pharmacoepidemiological Data
  • Haleh Bagheri
  • Virginie Lhiaubet
  • Jean Louis Montastruc
  • Nadia Chouini-Lalanne
Review Article

DOI: 10.2165/00002018-200022050-00002

Cite this article as:
Bagheri, H., Lhiaubet, V., Montastruc, J.L. et al. Drug-Safety (2000) 22: 339. doi:10.2165/00002018-200022050-00002

Abstract

The topical use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), widely used for moderate acute and chronic painful conditions, is one of several strategies used to improve the tolerability profile of NSAIDs, particularly with regard to gastric and renal adverse effects. However, topical NSAIDs can induce photosensitivity. Among the different NSAIDs used topically, ketoprofen has often been implicated in photosensitivity reactions. Photosensitivity includes both phototoxic and photoallergic reactions.

Phototoxicity can be studied in the cell system and on biological targets such as cellular membranes or DNA. In hepatocyte cultures, data suggest that radical intermediates play a role in ketoprofen-photosensitised damage by cell membrane lysis. Photosensitised lysis of red blood cells has been employed as an indicator of membrane damage. Ketoprofen irradiation promotes the photolysis of erythrocyte suspensions. The drug is able to induce photoperoxidation of linoleic acid in the photo-induced lipid peroxidation process. The results obtained from the addition of radical scavengers suggest the involvement of free radicals in these processes.

Ketoprofen may induce DNA damage in vitro upon irradiation. DNA, in the presence of ketoprofen, undergoes single strand breaks involving hydroxyl radicals as evidenced by the use of scavengers. Simultaneously with single strand breaks, pyrimidine dimers are formed by an energy transfer mechanism. The oxygen-dependence of both processes suggest competition between a radical process leading to DNA cleavage and a poorly efficient energy transfer between ketoprofen and pyrimidines at the origin of the dimerisation process.

Photoallergy is due to a cell-mediated hypersensitivity response involving immunological reactions. Therefore, it only occurs in previously sensitised individuals and requires a latency period of sensitisation. Among NSAIDs, ketoprofen is the main drug involved in this photoallergic contact dermatitis. Cross-sensitivity reactions with other arylpropionic acid derivatives, such tiaprofenic acid, fenofibrate or oxybenzone-harbouring benzoyl ketone or benzophenone may also occur.

Finally, the higher frequency of such adverse reactions with ketoprofen could be accounted for by its chemical structure and the variety of chemical reactions that give rise to phototoxic effects. The widespread and repeated use of these agents may lead to sensitisation, incurring a greater risk of systemic allergic reactions with oral NSAIDs or other drugs recognised to induce cross-reactions. Physicians and pharmacists should advise patients and inform them of the risks of topical NSAIDs which are often dispensed as over the counter drugs.

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haleh Bagheri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Virginie Lhiaubet
    • 3
  • Jean Louis Montastruc
    • 2
  • Nadia Chouini-Lalanne
    • 3
  1. 1.Service de Pharmacie Galénique et CliniqueFaculté des Sciences PharmaceutiquesToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Service de Pharmacologie Clinique, Centre Midi-Pyrénées de Pharmacovigilance, de Pharmacoépidémiologie et d’Informations sur le MédicamentFaculté de MédecineToulouse CedexFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire des I.M.R.C.P., UMR 5623Université Paul SabatierToulouseFrance

Personalised recommendations