Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 360-363

Prolonged remission of psoriasis with azathioprine pulse therapy

Department of Dermatology, Indraprastha Apollo hospital, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ramji Gupta
47-C Pocket B Siddhartha Extension, New Delhi - 110 014
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.160480

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Background: Although various therapies used for the treatment of psoriasis are able to produce remission, yet relapses, a common problem, remains frequent. It was observed that treatment with intermittent high dose (IHD) and continuous low dose (CLD) azathioprine can produce prolonged and durable remission in psoriasis. Aims : To see the long term effect of azathioprine pulse therapy (APT) in psoriasis. Methods: Ten patients with psoriasis who has completed more than 5 years in remission with azathioprine pulse therapy are being taken in the study. They were given IHD azathioprine (500 mg on 3 consecutive days which is repeated every month) with CLD azathioprine (100 mg orally) daily in between IHD. The entire treatment schedule was divided into four phases. During phase I, treatment with IHD and CLD azathioprine was started and continued till complete clearance of lesions after which, patients proceeded to Phase II. In phase II, they continued to get treatment with IHD and CLD. After continued remission for a period of nine months, they entered into phase III, when the treatment with IHD was stopped, but CLD continued. If there was no recurrence after nine months of phase III treatment, CLD was also withdrawn, and patients were followed-up without any treatment (Phase IV). Results: All 10 patients completed treatment and are in remission for more than five years without any treatment. Conclusions: Out of 60 patients in phase IV, 10 patients were in continuous remission for more than five years, after all treatment had been stopped. Thus, azathioprine pulse therapy regimen produces prolonged remission in psoriasis.

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