Postgrad Med J 76:361-363 doi:10.1136/pmj.76.896.361
  • Adverse drug reaction of the month

Hypersensitivity syndrome caused by amitriptyline administration

  1. Haralampos J Milionis,
  2. Antigone Skopelitou,
  3. Moses S Elisaf
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of Ioannina, GR 451 10 Ioannina, Greece
  1. Dr Elisaf (e-mail: melisaf{at}
  • Received 14 June 1999
  • Accepted 8 October 1999


Adverse cutaneous manifestations are among the most common side effects associated with psychotropic drugs. Skin reactions due to amitriptyline (a tricyclic antidepressant agent) include rashes and hypersensitivity reactions (for example, urticaria and photosensitivity) as well as hyperpigmentation. Hypersensitivity syndrome is a specific severe idiosyncratic reaction causing skin, liver, joint, and haematological abnormalities, which usually resolve after the discontinuation of the implicated drug. A case of a 24 year old woman who experienced hypersensitivity syndrome three weeks after the initiation of amitriptyline is reported.