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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 81  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 251--256

Weekly azathioprine pulse versus daily azathioprine in the treatment of Parthenium dermatitis: A non-inferiority randomized controlled study


1 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029, India
2 Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kaushal K Verma
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: This study was supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.154788

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Background: Azathioprine in daily doses has been shown to be effective and safe in the treatment of Parthenium dermatitis. Weekly pulses of azathioprine (WAP) are also effective, but there are no reports comparing the effectiveness and safety of these two regimens in this condition. Aims: To study the efficacy and safety of WAP and daily azathioprine in Parthenium dermatitis. Methods: Sixty patients with Parthenium dermatitis were randomly assigned to treatment with azathioprine 300 mg weekly pulse or azathioprine 100 mg daily for 6 months. Patients were evaluated every month to assess the response to treatment and side effects. Results: The study included 32 patients in the weekly azathioprine group and 28 in the daily azathioprine group, of whom 25 and 22 patients respectively completed the study. Twenty-three (92%) patients on WAP and 21 (96%) on daily azathioprine had a good or excellent response. The mean pretreatment clinical severity score decreased from 26.4 ± 14.5 to 4.7 ± 5.1 in the WAP group, and from 36.1 ± 18.1 to 5.7 ± 6.0 in the daily azathioprine group, which was statistically significant and comparable (P = 0.366). Patients on WAP had a higher incidence of adverse effects (P = 0.02). Limitations: The study had a small sample size and the amount of clobetasol propionate used in each patient was not determined, though it may not have affected the study outcome due to its comparable use in both groups. Conclusions: Azathioprine 300 mg weekly pulse and 100 mg daily dose are equally effective and safe in the treatment of Parthenium dermatitis.






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