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Case report
Sertraline-induced hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  1. Gursharan Virdee1,
  2. John Bleasdale2,
  3. Mohammed Ikramullah3 and
  4. Emma Graham-Clarke2
  1. 1 Pharmacy Department, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Critical Care Services, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3 Mental Health, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mrs Gursharan Virdee; gursharan.vryaparj{at}


Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), also known as extrinsic allergic alveolitis, is a granulomatous, non-IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reaction of the alveoli and distal bronchioles presenting as an acute, subacute or chronic condition. It is most commonly associated with exposure to extrinsic allergens (eg, avian dust, mould and tobacco) and medications including antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone), cytotoxics (eg, methotrexate) and antiepileptics (eg, carbamazepine). Individuals diagnosed with this condition can present with severe hypoxia and respiratory failure. The fundamental principle of management is to remove the causative allergen. Evidence implicating selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors as a causative agent is limited, and this case report describes a rare clinical presentation of HP associated with sertraline, how it was diagnosed and subsequently treated. It is anticipated that raising awareness of this interaction will assist multidisciplinary teams, managing patients diagnosed with HP, to be more cognisant of sertraline as being an aetiological factor for this condition.

  • interstitial lung disease
  • respiratory medicine
  • psychiatry (drugs and medicines)
  • adult intensive care
  • Unwanted effects / adverse reactions
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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. The value of white cell count in range column has been corrected from "4 November" to "4-11" in table 1. The value of PaO2 in range column has also been corrected from "15 December" to "12-15" in table 2.

  • Contributors GV: contribution to the design and conception of work as well as data collection and analysis and writing of report. Responsible for pharmaceutical care issues throughout admission. JB: responsible for critical care management throughout patient’s admission. Contributed to revising the draft documentation. Provided final approval of the version published. MI: contribution to documentation and psychiatric management of patient throughout admission. Provided final approval of the version published. EG-C: overseeing GV on case report. Contributed to revising the draft documentation and critical care management throughout admission. Provided final approval of the version published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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