Drug-induced uveitis. Incidence, prevention and treatment

Frederick W. Fraunfelder, James T. Rosenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Drug-induced uveitis is a relatively rare occurrence. For example, the patient database at the tertiary referral Uveitis Clinic at the Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University records an incidence of less than 0.5%. Despite this, the frequency of uveitis secondary to rifabutin therapy in AIDS patients has brought greater recognition to the potential role of medications as a cause of intraocular inflammation. A brief review of uveitis including its classification, causes, symptoms and signs is presented along with a review of systemic medications associated with uveitis. These medications include cidofovir, cobalt, diethylcarbamazepine, pamidronic acid (disodium pamidronate), interleukin-3 and interleukin-6, oral contraceptives, quinidine, rifabutin, streptokinase and sulfonamides. Other systemic medications may cause uveitis. Topical ocular medications such as β-blockers and corticosteroids as well as other topical ocular medications have been associated with uveitis. Cidofovir, pamidronic acid, sulfonamides, rifabutin and topical metipranolol can 'probably' cause uveitis. The remainder of the medications discussed have a 'possible' cause-and-effect relationship with uveitis. Treatment begins with recognition of a drug-related event and usually subsequent avoidance of the drug. Therapy depends on the severity and likelihood of the reaction. Drug-induced uveitis is almost always reversible within weeks of discontinuation of the drug and treatment of the inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-207
Number of pages11
JournalDrug Safety
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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