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Drug-Induced Scleroderma

While scleeroderma is an auto immune disease the symptoms can also be caused by several different drugs. Scleroderma is a progressive disease that affects the skin and connective tissue (including cartilage, bone, fat, and the tissue that supports the nerves and blood vessels throughout the body).

There are two major forms of the disorder.

  • The type known as localized scleroderma mainly affects the skin.

  • Systemic scleroderma, which is also called systemic sclerosis, affects the smaller blood vessels and internal organs of the body.

There are several drugs that are known to cause drug-induced scleroderma. The most we known drug to cause scleroderma symptoms is L-tryptophan. This is an amino acid that was used commonly in the 1980's for the treatment of insomnia. It caused an out break of scleroderma type symptoms until it was pulled of the market.

Chemotherapy-induced Scleroderma

There are several chemo drugs known to cause drug-induced scleroderma.

  • Bleomycin

  • Doxorubicin

  • Cyclophosphamide

  • Gemcitabine

Other drugs that cause scleroderma

  • Interferon Alpha

  • Corticosteroids (steroids)

  • collagen injections

  • marijuana

  • cocaine

  • Paclitaxel (Taxanes)





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This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.

Arthritis can develop as a result of an infection. For example, bacteria that cause gonorrhea or Lyme disease can cause arthritis. Infectious arthritis can cause serious damage, but usually clears up completely with antibiotics. Scleroderma is a systemic disease that involves the skin, but may include problems with blood vessels, joints, and internal organs. Fibromyalgia syndrome is soft-tissue rheumatism that doesn't lead to joint deformity, but affects an estimated 5 million Americans, mostly women. The approximate number of cases in the United States of some common forms of arthritis. is an informational out reach of the Consumer Health Information Network. It is our goal to provide up to date information about arthritis and other inflammatory and bone conditions in a easy to understand format.

Where we get our information.

Most of the information in the site is compiled by editors from information provided by the National Institutes of Health. We are in the process of updating our pages. In the past we have not made reference to the source for information provide by our editors. In the next few weeks we hope to have all our pages marked as to the source.

We have included information from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Pages that uses information from this source are so acknowledged.

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Not all of our pages have a date as to the last update. We are in the processes of reviewing all our pages and as we do we include a reference as to when the page was updated. This web site was first published in January of 2003. All pages in the site were created at sometime during or after that time.