Light sensitive drugs / medicines: List

Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by The Health Master

Light sensitive drugs / medicines: List

Many medications and supplements contain ingredients that may cause photosensitivity, which is defined as a chemically induced change in the skin that makes an individual unusually sensitive to light. 

An individual who has been photosensitized may develop a rash, a sunburn, or another adverse effect from exposure to light of intensity or duration that would normally not affect that individual.

We have provided a list of drugs / medicines which are sensitive to light.

Classes of Drugs / Medicines sensitive to light

  1. Antihistamines
  2. Contraceptives, Oral and Estrogens
  3. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
  4. Phenothiazines
  5. Psoralens
  6. Sulfonamides
  7. Sulfonylureas
  8. Thiazide Diuretics
  9. Tetracyclines
  10. Tricyclic Antidepressants

Here are some examples

1. Antihistamines

AstemizoleAzatadineBrompheniramine
BuclizineCarbinoxamineChlorpheniramine
ClemastineCyclizineCyproheptadine
DexchlorpheniramineDimenhydrinateDiphenhydramine
DiphenylpyralineDoxylamineHydroxyzine
MeclizineMethapyrileneMethdilazine
OrphenadrinePheniraminePromethazine
PyrilamineTerfenadineTrimeprazine
TripelennamineTripolidine 

2. Contraceptives, Estrogens & Progestogens

Estrogens  
ChlorotrianiseneDiethylstilbestrolEstradiol
Estrogens, conjugatedEstrogens, esterifiedEstopipate
Progestogens  
Ethinyl estradiolMedroxyprogesteroneMegestrol
NorethindroneNorgestrelQuinestrol

3. NSAID: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

DiclofenacDiflunisalFenoprofen
FlurbiprofenIbuprofenKetoprofen
MeclofenamateNaproxenPhenylbutazone
PiroxicamSulindacSuprofen
Tolmetin  

4. Phenothiazines (major tranquilizers, anti-emetics)

AcetophenazineButaperazineCarphenazine
ChlorpromazineEthoproprazineFluphenazine
MesoridazineMethdilazineMethotrimeprazine
PerphenazinePiperacetazineProchlororperazine
PromazinePromethazinePropiomazine
ThiethylperazineThioridazineTrifluoperazine
TriflupromazineTrimeprazine 

5. Psoralens

MethozsalenTriozsalen 

6. Sulfonamides (“sulfa” drugs, antimicrobials, anti-infectives)

AcetazolamideSulfacytineSulfadiazine
SulfadoxineSulfamethizoleSulfamethoxazole
SulfasalazineSulfapyrazoneSulfisoxazole

7. Sulfonylureas (oral anti-diabetics, hypoglycemics)

AcetohexamideChlorpropamideGlipizide
GlyburideTolazamideTolbutamide

8. Thiazide Diuretics (“water-pills”)

BendroflumethiazideBenzthiazideChlorothiazide
ChlorothalidoneCyclothiazideHydrochlorothiazide
HydroflumethiazideMethyclothiazidePloythiazide
Trichlormethiazide  

9. Tetracyclines (antibiotics, anti-infectives)

ChlortetracyclineDemeclocyclineDoxycycline
MethacyclineMinocyclineOxytetracycline
Tetracycline  

10. Tricyclic Antidepressants

AmitriptylineAmoxapineDesipramine
DoxepinImipramineNortriptyline
ProtyiptylineTrimipramine 

 Alphabetical list of light-sensitive drugs / medicines by generic name

A

Generic NameTherapeutic use
AcetazolamideAnticonvulsant
Antiglaucoma Diuretic
Amiloride + HydrochlorothizideAntiphyertensive
Thiazide diuretic
AmiodaroneAntiarrhythmic
AmitriptylineAntidepressant (tricyclic)
AmitriptylineAntidepressant (tricyclic)
AmoxapineAntidepressant (tricyclic)
AstemizoleAntihistamine
Atenolol + ChlorthalidoneBeta-adrenergic blocker
Thiazide diuretic
AuranofinAntiarthritic
Gold Compound
AzatadineAntihistamine
Azatidine + PseudoephedrineAntihistamine
Decongestant

B

BendroflumethiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
BenzthiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
BromodiphenhydramineAntihistamine
BrompheniramineAntihistamine

C

CaptoprilAntihypertensive
Captopril + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
CarbamazepineAnalgesic
Anticonvulsant
Chlorodiazepoxide + AmitriptylineAntidepressant (tricyclic)
Tranquilizer
ChlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
ChlorpheniramineAntihistamine
Chlorpheniramine + D-PseudoephedrineAntihistamine
Decongestant
Chlorpheniramine + PhenylpropanolamineAntihistamine
Decongestant
ChlorpromazineAntiemetic
Tranquilizer

ChlorpropamideAntidiabetic (oral)
Sulfonylurea
ChlorprothixeneAntiemetic
Tranquilizer
ChlorthalidoneAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
ChlorthalidoneAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Chlorthalidone + ReserpineAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Chlorthalidone + ReserpineAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
CiprofloxacinAnti-infective
ClemastineAntihistamine
ClofazimeAntibacterial
Clonidine + ChlorthalidoneAntihypertensive
Thiazide Diuretic
Coal tarAntipsoriatic
Eczema
Coal tarAntipsoriatic
Eczema
Contraceptive, oralBirth control pill
Female Sex hormone
CromolynAntiasthmatic
CyclobenzaprineAntihistamine
Antiserotonergic

D

DacarbazineAnti-Hodgkin’s disease
Antimetabolite
DanazolGonadotropin inhibitor
DemeclocyclineAntibiotic
DesipramineAntidepressant (trycyclic)
DesipramineAntidepressant (trycyclic)
DexchlorpheniramineAntihistamine
DiclofenacNSAID, antiarthritic
DiflunisalNSAID, antiarthritic
DiltiazemAntianginal
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
DiphenhydramineAntihistamine
DiphenylpyralineAntihistamine
DoxepinAntidepressant (trycyclic)
DoxycyclineAntibiotic
Doxycycline HyclateAntibiotic

E

EnalaprilAntihypertensive
Enalapril + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Erythromycin  Ethylsuccinate + SulfisoxazoleAntibiotic
EstrogensFemale sex hormone
EstrogensFemale sex hormone
EthionamideAnti-infective
Antituberculosis
EtretinateAntipsoriatic

F

FloxuridineAntimetabolite
Antineoplastic
FlucytosineAntifungal
FluorouracilAntineoplastic
FluorouracilAntineoplastic
FluorouracilAntineoplastic
FluphenzineAntipsychotic
Tranquilizer
FluphenzineAntipsychotic
Tranquilizer
FlurbiprofenNSAID, antiarthritic
FlutamideAntimetastic (prostatic carcinoma)
FurosemideAntihypertensive
Diuretic

G

GentamicinAntibiotic
GlipizideAntidiabetic (oral)
Sulfonylurea
GlyburideAntidiabetic (oral)
Sulfonylurea
GlyburideAntidiabetic (oral)
Sulfonylurea
Gold Salts (Compounds)Antiarthritic
Gold Compound
Gold Sodium ThiomalateAntiarthritic
Gold Compound
GriseofulvinAntibiotic
Antifungal
GriseofulvinAntibiotic
Antifungal
Guanethidine + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic

H

HaloperidolAntipsychotic
Tranquilizer
HexachloropheneAntibacterial
Hydralazine + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Hydralazine + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Hydrochlorothiazide + DeserpidineAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Hydrochlorothiazide + TriamtereneAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Hydrochlorothiazide + TriamtereneAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
HydroflumethiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
HydroflumethiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Hydroflumethiazide + ReserpineAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic

I

IbuprofenNSAID, antiarthritic
IbuprofenNSAID, antiarthritic
ImipramineAntidepressant (tricyclic)
IndapamideAntihypertensive
Diuretic
Interferon ALFA-2BAntiviral agent
IsocarboxazidAntidepressant
MAO inhibitor
IsotretinoinAntiacne

K

KetoprofenNSAID, antiarthritic

L

LabetalolAntihypertensive
Beta- and alpha-adrenergic blocker
Labetalol + HydrochlorothiazideBeta- and alpha-adrenergic blocker
Thiazide diuretic
Labetalol + HydrochlorothiazideBeta- and alpha-adrenergic blocker
Thiazide diuretic
Lisinopril + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Lisinopril + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
LovastatinAnticholesterol

M

MaprotilineAntidepressant
Meperidine + PromethiazineNarcotic analgesic
MesoridazineAntipsychotic
Tranquilizer
MethacyclineAntibiotic
MethazolamideAntiglaucoma
MethdilazineAntihistamine
Antipruritic
MethotrexateAntimetabolite
Antipsoriatic
MethotrexateAntimetabolite
Antipsoriatic
MethotrexateAntimetabolite
Antipsoriatic
MethyclothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
MethyclothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Methyclothiazide + DeserpidineAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Methyclothiazide + ReserpineAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Methyldopa + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Methyldopa + ChlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
MetolazoneAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
MetolazoneAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
MetolazoneAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Metoprolol + HyrdochlorothiazideBeta-adrenergic blocker
Thiazide diuretic
MinocyclineAntibiotic
MinoxidolHair growth stimulator

N

NabiloneAntiemetic
Antinausea
Nadolol + BendroflumethiazideAntihypertensive
Beta-adrenergic blocker
Nalidixic AcidAntimicrobial
NaprosynNSAID, Antiarthritic
NaprosynNSAID, Antiarthritic
NifedipineAntianginal
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
NifedipineAntianginal
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
NorfloxacinAntibacterial
NortriptylineAntidepressant (tricyclic)

O

OxytetracyclineAntibiotic

P

PerphenazineAntipsychotic
Tranquilizer
Perphenazine + AmitriptylineAntidepressant (tricyclic)
Tranquilizer
Perphenazine + AmitriptylineAntidepressant (tricyclic)
Tranquilizer
PhenylbutazoneNSAID, Antiarthritic
Phenylpropanolamine + ChlorpheniramineAntihistamine
Decongestant
Phenylpropanolamine + Pheniramine + PyrilamineAntihistamine
Decongestant
PhenytoinAnticonvulsant
PiroxicamNSAID, Antiarthritic
PolythiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
Prazosin + PolythiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide diuretic
ProchlorperazineAntinausea
Anti-vomiting
PromethazineAntihistamine
Propranolol + HydrochlorothiazideBeta-adrenergic blocker
Thiazide diuretic
ProtriptylineAntidepressant (Trycyclic)
PyrazinamideAnti-infective
Antituberculosis

Q

QuinethazoneAntihypertensive
Diuretic
Quinidine GluconateAntiarrhythmic
Quinidine SulfateAntiarrhythmic
Quinidine SulfateAntiarrhythmic
QuinineAntiprotozoal

R

Rauwolfia serpentina + BendroflumethizideAntihypertensive
Thiazide Diuretic
Reserpine + ChlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide Diuretic
Reserpine + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide Diuretic
Reserpine + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide Diuretic
Reserpine + Hydralazine + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide Diuretic

S

SelegilineAnti-Parkinsonism
MAO inhibitor
Spironolactone + HydrochlorothiazideAntihypertensive
Thiazide Diuretic
SulfacytineAntibiotic
Sulfadoxine + PyrimethamineAntimalarial
Antiprotozoal
Sulfamethizole + PhenazopyridineUrinary analgesic
Antibiotic
SulfamethoxazoleAntibiotic
Sulfamethoxazole + PhenazopyridineAntibiotic
Urinary analgesic
SulfapyridineDermatitis herpetiformis suppresant
SulfasalazineBowel anti-inflammatory
SulfinpyrazoneAntigout agent
Antihypertensive
SulfasoxazoleAntibiotic
Sulfasoxazole + PhenazopyridineAntibiotic
Urinary analgesic
SulfoneAntileprosy
Antimalarial
SulindacNSAID, antiarthritic

T

TerfenadineAntihistamine
TetracyclineAntibiotic
TetracyclineAntibiotic
ThioridazineAntipsychotic
Tranquilizer
ThiothixeneAntipsychotic
Tranquilizer
Timolol + HydrochlorothiazideBeta-adrenergic blocker
Thiazide diuretic
TolazamideAntidiabetic (oral)
Sulfonylurea
TolbutamideAntidiabetic (oral)
Sulfonylurea
TretinoinAntiacne (topical)
TriamtereneAntihypertensive
Diuretic
TrifluoperazineAntipsychotic
Tranquilizer
TriflupromazineAntiemetic
Antipsychotic
TrimeprazineAntipsychotic
Tranquilizer
TrimethoprimAntibiotic
Trimethoprim + SulfamethoxazoleAntibiotic
Trimethoprim + SulfamethoxazoleAntibiotic
TrimipramineAntidepressant (trycyclic)
TripelennamineAntihistamine
TriprolidineAntihistamine
Triprolidine + PseudoephedrineAntihistamine
Decongestant

V

VinblastineAntieoplastic

Source: Website of Wiscosin Department of Health Services

Source of data: Medications that Increase Sensitivity to Light: A 1990 Listing, prepared by Jerome I. Levine, M.S., R.Ph., 12/90, US Dept of Health and Human Services, FDA 91-8280.

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