Mycophenolate Mofetil Safe, Effective for Refractory Lupus

MMF, standard therapy tolerated for antimalarial-resistant cutaneous lupus erythematosus

TUESDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Use of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in conjunction with standard therapy is well tolerated and effective for the treatment of antimalarial-resistant cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE), according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Bryan Gammon, M.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues described their experience using MMF to treat 24 patients with CLE refractory to antimalarial therapy. Patient data collected from the records of all patients visiting a rheumatic skin disease clinic between 2001 and 2006 included ethnicity, smoking history, history of systemic lupus erythematosus, prior systemic therapies, phenotypic CLE subtype, age at diagnosis, age at treatment with MMF, initial and maximal dose of MMF, concurrent treatments, treatment response, and side effects.

The investigators found that MMF was well tolerated and highly effective in the treatment of antimalarial-resistant CLE in conjunction with other therapies. Adding MMF to existing therapy achieved full control of disease signs and symptoms in the majority of the patients. Some degree of improvement was observed in all patients.

"Our results indicate that MMF, used as an additional agent in conjunction with standard therapy, is both well tolerated and efficacious in the treatment of refractory CLE," the authors write. "This represents further evidence that MMF should be considered early in the treatment of patients refractory to antimalarial therapy".

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