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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 Feb;60(2):183-99; quiz 200-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.08.049.

Mycophenolate mofetil in dermatology.

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University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA.


Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is the prodrug of mycophenolic acid (MPA), a medication used to treat psoriasis in the 1970s until side effects and the concern of carcinogenesis led to its discontinuation. The prodrug, MMF, emerged decades later in the transplant field. Dermatologists have since used MMF off-label to treat various inflammatory skin conditions, with most research concentrating on its use in psoriasis, autoimmune blistering disorders, dermatitides, and connective tissue disorders. The appeal of MMF is predicated upon its lymphocyte specificity and consequent decreased toxicity profile. These attributes may make it a preferable treatment option. Its use in the field of dermatology is currently limited by a lack of randomized controlled trials, potential unknown side effects, and cost of treatment. In reviewing both current literature and our own clinic records, MMF appears to be a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of cutaneous inflammatory diseases.


After completing this learning activity, participants should be able to summarize the history and pharmacology of mycophenolate mofetil as an immunosuppressant; recognize its potential role in the treatment of dermatologic conditions, including general dosing guidelines, use in pregnancy and pediatrics, and potential adverse effects; and identify future considerations and developing areas of research regarding the use of mycophenolate mofetil in dermatology.

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