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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Occurring During Anticonvulsive Drug Therapy

John W. Benton, M.D.; Bayard Tynes, M.D.; Harry B. Register Jr.; Charles Alford, M.D.; Howard L. Holley, M.D.
JAMA. 1962;180(2):115-118. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050150021004.
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In two patients who had been receiving prolonged anticonvulsant drug therapy for epilepsy there appeared a syndrome indistinguishable from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). One, an 8-year-old boy who had been treated since the age of 3, died as a result of severe hemorrhagic manifestations. The other, a woman 19 years of age, had a similar history, and tests with LE cell preparations performed with peripheral blood were positive on 3 consecutive daily examinations; the test became negative and her musculoskeletal complaints disappeared when the treatment with trimethadione was discontinued. The authors suggest that some drugs may have the effect of unmasking a latent form of SLE.


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