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Nov 2011

Optimizing Antimalarial Therapy for Cutaneous Lupus ErythematosusComment on “Response to Antimalarial Agents in Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus ”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Dermatology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky.

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(11):1267-1268. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.336

Antimalarial therapy for cutaneous lupus erythematosus (LE) has existed since the 1950s, and use of these drugs is an on-label therapy for systemic LE. However, in my experience, they are often not used for a long enough time for cutaneous LE before being abandoned for other drugs, which although effective, may carry more risk and may not have the secondary benefits that antimalarial agents have. We have available in all pharmacies 2 antimalarial preparations, hydroxychloroquine hydrochloride and chloroquine phosphate. Until roughly a decade ago, quinacrine hydrochloride was also available. After its removal from the marketplace, it was available in only a few pharmacies that offered mail-order delivery to patients. However, now, many compounding pharmacies are able to provide this agent.

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