Drug Safety

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 27–46 | Cite as

Drug-Induced Musculoskeletal Disorders

Review Article


Drug-induced musculoskeletal disorders represent a broad clinical spectrum, from asymptomatic biological abnormalities to severe and even life-threatening diseases. Since an increasing number of drugs have been implicated in inducing rheumatic symptoms and/or syndromes, this review is not meant to be exhaustive, bearing in mind that the development of any musculoskeletal disorder should be considered as possibly related to a medication.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the more frequent drug-induced musculoskeletal disorders. These include: (i) arthralgias and arthropathies, including chondropathies and inflammatory arthritis; (ii) connective tissue diseases, especially lupus-like syndromes; (iii) periarticular disorders, including tendinopathies, enthesopathies and frozen shoulder; (iii) bone diseases, such as osteoporosis, osteomalacia and osteonecrosis; and (iv) myopathies. Although virtually all drug classes may induce musculoskeletal disorders, a significant part of them are related to corticosteroids, vaccines, antibacterials and lipid-lowering agents.

Knowledge of drug-induced musculoskeletal disorders avoids carrying out unnecessary investigations, and allows optimal management of the patients, i.e. early discontinuation of the offending agent, adequate treatment monitoring and/or intervention with appropriate preventive actions.


Bone Mineral Density Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Myopathy Zoledronic Acid Osteonecrosis 



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review. The author has no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.


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© 2007 Adis Data Information BV 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Therapeutics, Victor Segalen University & Department of RheumatologyUniversity Hospital of BordeauxPellegrinFrance

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