Drug-induced photosensitivity of the skin is drawing increasing attention. In past few decades, photosensitivity has been reported
with an array of drugs, and is now recognized as a noteworthy medical problem by clinicians, regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical
industry. The photosensitivity is of two types i.e., phototoxicity and photoallergy. Phototoxic disorders have a high incidence,
whereas photoallergic reactions are much less frequent in human population. Several hundred substances, chemicals, or drugs may invoke
phototoxic and photoallergic reactions. In order to avoid photosensitive reactions, it is essential to understand the mechanism behind
the photosensitizing properties of such substances before these drugs are introduced in clinical settings. Photosensitization is inter-related
to photochemical reaction, through the knowledge of which the photosensitivity of a drug can be anticipated. This review highlights the
current research status on photosensitizing drugs and its correlation to phototoxicity. Different mechanisms of photodegradation of photolabile
drugs have also been discussed.
Keywords: Drug, photoallergy, photodegradation, photosensitization, phototoxicity.
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