Drugs That Can Trigger Psoriasis Flares

Some medications you take for other health conditions can make your psoriasis worse. If that happens, your doctor may suggest other treatments that don’t cause flare-ups to manage your health problems.

Check your medicine cabinet to see if you take any of the meds discussed below.

Blood Pressure Meds

NSAIDs

These are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They're painkillers that ease joint pain and swelling from psoriatic arthritis. But they also can trigger psoriasis flare-ups. Naproxen (Aleve) and indomethacin (Tivorbex) are NSAIDs that have been linked to the skin condition. Others also might cause problems.

If you have trouble with NSAIDs, ask your doctor if you can try a different kind of pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Mental Health Medicines

Some drugs that treat mental health issues like depression or bipolar disorder can make your psoriasis worse. They include fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and lithium.

A few medications that treat anxiety, panic disorders, and sleep problems may affect your skin condition, too:

  • Alprazolam (Niravam, Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Diazepam (Valium)

Your doctor may lower the dose of these medicines to see if that helps. You might, though, need to switch to something else.

Heart Drugs

If you have heart disease or a heart rhythm problem, you might take a medicine that's been linked to psoriasis flares. These drugs include:

  • Amiodarone
  • Digoxin (Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin)
  • Gemfibrozil (Lopid)
  • Quinidine

Talk with your doctor if you take one of these meds.

Antimalarial Drugs

If your plans include travel to southern Africa or another part of the world where malaria is common, you might need medicine to protect yourself against the mosquito-borne disease. But be aware. If you have psoriasis, chloroquine (Aralen) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) can cause problems.

Other Medicines That Might Trigger a Flare

A few other drugs to discuss with your doctor include:

  • Antibiotics like tetracycline. They’re often used to treat infections like pneumonia.
  • Drugs called interferons. They help your body fight off viruses like hepatitis C.
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil, Terbinex). This medicine treats infections caused by a fungus such as toenail fungus.

 

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on October 12, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Medications for Arrhythmia," "Types of Blood Pressure Medications."

CDC: "Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria."

Kim, Grace K. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2010.

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Psoriasis Causes and Known Triggers."

NIMH: "Bipolar Disorder in Adults."

UptoDate: "Psoriatic Arthritis (Beyond the Basics)."

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