American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 31–37 | Cite as

Drug-Induced Nail Abnormalities

  • Bianca Maria Piraccini
  • Matilde Iorizzo
  • Antonella Tosti
Practical Dermatology


This article reviews the different nail symptoms produced by drugs. Drug-induced nail abnormalities may result from toxicity to the matrix, the nail bed or the periungual tissues. The most common symptoms include Beau’s lines/onychomadesis, melanonychia, onycholysis, and periungual pyogenic granulomas. Nail changes usually affect several nails and in most cases are asymptomatic. Drugs that most frequently produce nail abnormalities include retinoids, indinavir, and cancer chemotherapeutic agents. In this article, we also include nail adverse effects as a result of radiotherapy since they are commonly observed in clinical practice.


Retinoid Indinavir Nail Plate Pyogenic Granuloma Paronychia 
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No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bianca Maria Piraccini
    • 1
  • Matilde Iorizzo
    • 1
  • Antonella Tosti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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