Drug-Induced Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Case Report

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Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, debilitating inflammatory disorder of the hair follicles that localizes to the intertriginous and anogenital regions of the body. Lesions are characterized by inflammatory nodules, subcutaneous abscesses, fibrosis, and sinus tracts. Crohn's disease (CD) is an idiopathic chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Multiple treatment options exist for CD, including monoclonal anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) antibodies like adalimumab (Humira). Adalimumab is an anti-TNF agent that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HS. A 35-year-old African American male with a history of fistulizing CD presented to the hospital for evaluation of severe pain and purulent drainage from open sores in his bilateral axillary regions, groin, buttocks, and face for four days. He was on adalimumab for two years, during which time he noted the development of Hurley stage III HS. The physical exam was remarkable for a cachectic, painful-appearing male, with multiple abscesses on his lower jaw extending to his upper neck draining thick serosanguinous fluid, with similar findings in his bilateral axillary regions, bilateral groin, and perianal regions. He was treated with intravenous antibiotics consisting of a fourth-generation cephalosporin and vancomycin. While the etiology of HS in this patient is inconclusive, the timing of its development closely aligns with the initiation of Humira and is not a manifestation of CD. Paradoxical adverse effects describe a phenomenon in which a medication can induce a condition that it classically can be used to treat. In this patient's case, it was HS.

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