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Dermatology. 2002;204(3):228-31.

Long-term efficacy of dexamethasone-cyclophosphamide pulse therapy in pemphigus.

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1
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India. goraya@glide.net.in

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Corticosteroids are used as a daily oral therapy or in a pulse form with or without various adjuvant drugs for the treatment of pemphigus. Our long-term experience with the use of dexamethasone-cyclophosphamide pulse therapy as a first-line treatment modality for pemphigus is presented.

METHODS:

A retrospective analysis of records of pemphigus patients treated by dexamethasone-cyclophosphamide therapy was carried out. The treatment regimen consisted of the monthly administration of intravenous dexamethasone (136 mg) for 3 consecutive days with addition of intravenous cyclophosphamide (500 mg) on the second day. Oral cyclophosphamide (50 mg) daily and oral corticosteroids (low tapering doses) were given in the intervals between the pulses, till partial remission was achieved. Pulse therapy was then continued for another 6 months followed by daily oral cyclophosphamide (50 mg) for 1 year, which produced a complete remission.

RESULTS:

A total of 36 patients, 32 with pemphigus vulgaris and 4 with pemphigus foliaceus, were treated with this regimen. Two to 8 pulses were required to achieve a partial remission, while the total number of pulses given for complete remission ranged from 8 to 32. The duration of pulse therapy correlated with both the disease severity and the time to achieve remission. All patients are now in complete remission with a follow-up of 0.5-12 years. Four patterns of remission were observed, related to the severity of disease. The response to pulse therapy was faster in the milder form of disease. The severe form of disease required more pulses as well as higher doses of intervening oral corticosteroids.

CONCLUSIONS:

Dexamethasone-cyclophosphamide pulse therapy is an effective form of treatment in pemphigus and results in long-lasting remissions.

PMID:
12037452
DOI:
57886
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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