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Year : 1991  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53

Failure of popranolol in lchen panus

Correspondence Address:
Inderjeet Kaur

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How to cite this article:
Kaur I, Kumar B. Failure of popranolol in lchen panus. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1991;57:53

How to cite this URL:
Kaur I, Kumar B. Failure of popranolol in lchen panus. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1991 [cited 2020 Jul 10];57:53. Available from:

To the Editor,

Lichen planus is a common chronic disorder of unknown etiology. Whatever the etiology, numerous remedies suggested include heavy metals through tranquillizers to benzathine penicillin. Pavithran[1] in 1986 reported the ef­ficacy of Propranolol in patients of lichen planus. It was suggested that propranolol exerts its effect by antagonizing the effects of Cat­echolamines and sympathetic nerve stimulation on heart. Being a safe, cheap and new mode of treatment, we tried this drug in patients of lichen planus to asses its efficacy.

Twenty five patients (18M, 7F) of all types of lichen planus (excluding drug induced lichenoid eruptions) were included in this study. The age range was from 16 to 68 years and duration of disease varied from 3 months to 10 years. Eighteen patients had chronic lichen planus, mucosal involvement alone was present in two and acute generalised type was diag­nosed in 5 patients. Associated mucosal lesions were present in 7 patients along with cutane­ous lesions. Propranolol was given in a dose of 20 mg thrice daily orally. Patients were followed up every two weeks. If there was no clinical response, the treatment was stopped after 4 weeks. Otherwise the treatment was continued to a maximum of 12 weeks. No other topical or systemic treatment except emollients was per­mitted.

No improvement in the cutaneous lesions or itching was observed in twenty patients at 4 weeks of therapy. Pruritus became less in 3 patients after 3-4 weeks. In one patient, oral lesions healed completely but flare up of cu­taneous lesions occurred while on continued therapy with propranolol. Incidentally there were 3 hypertensive patients being treated with propranolol for varying periods (1-3 years) who developed lichen planes while on propranolol. No side effects were observed in any patient during therapy.

Despite the published report about the usefulness of propranolol in patients of lichen planus, it has also been incriminated in caus­ing lesions of lichen planus. Propranolol was not at all found useful in the present study in contrast to previous study where an early subsidence of lichen planus was reported in more than 90% patients after 12 weeks.

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1.Pavithran K. Treatment of lichen planus with Propranolol, Ind J Dermatol Venereol Leprol, 1986; 52 : 71-73.  Back to cited text no. 1    


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