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Diazepam-Induced Coma With Bullae and Eccrine Sweat Gland Necrosis

Ajay J. Varma, MD; Benjamin K. Fisher, MD; Michael K. Sarin, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(9):1207-1210. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630210079024.
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Bullous skin lesions that indicate sweat gland necrosis have been known to occur in drug-induced coma resulting from barbiturates and in carbon monoxide poisoning. To our knowledge, this is the first case in which diazepam is implicated in causing bullous lesions over pressure points, and the first case showing on biopsy specimen eccrine sweat gland and sweat duct necrosis. Penile and oral lesions are being described here for the first time to our knowledge. The following mechanisms could be responsible for the skin lesions: hypoxia, local pressure, hyperthermia with excessive sweating, and a specific toxic effect on the eccrine gland. With the increasing use of the benzodiazepines, such lesions could be seen more frequently in the future.

(Arch Intern Med 137:1207-1210, 1977)


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