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Curr Pharm Des. 2017;23(24):3550-3566. doi: 10.2174/1381612823666170601105439.

Methotrexate in the Treatment of Psoriasis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Mechanistic Insights, Current Issues and Novel Delivery Approaches.

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Amrita School of Pharmacy, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amrita University, Kochi-682041. India.
Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amrita University, Kochi- 682041. India.


Our review is focused on the use of methotrexate in drug therapy of two autoimmune diseases, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The article describes the pathogenesis of psoriasis and RA, the role of methotrexate in the treatment of these diseases with more focused review on the mechanism behind the clinical benefits of methotrexate therapy. Methotrexate due to its cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and immune modulatory activities provides clinical benefits in the therapy of the selected diseases. This review also gives a panorama of the problems associated with the use of methotrexate in the selected diseases and the guidelines provided by FDA for its safe use. The novel colloidal drug delivery systems of methotrexate, with particular emphasis on advantages offered by liposomal formulation, niosomal gel, hydrogel, albumin conjugates, nanoparticles and nano structured lipid carriers in psoriasis and RA are also reviewed. It seemed that the use of newer colloidal carriers with improved skin permeability by minimizing its systemic availability will be a useful strategy to reduce the toxic effects of the drug in psoriatic patients. In rheumatoid arthritis patients, the development of newer therapeutic strategies using appropriate targeting ligands that specifically deliver the drug to the inflamed joint space will help to overcome its toxic effects by minimizing the systemic exposure.


Methotrexate; colloidal carriers; hydrogel; immune modulatory activities; niosomal gel; psoriasis; rheumatoid arthritis

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