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I suspect that Dr Sneddon is correct in his assumption that beta carotene is beneficial therapy for patients with erythropoietic porphyria. One of my patients (patient 2 of the study reported in the Archives, who is now 22 years old) was given beta carotene, 120 mg each day, during the past two summers. During this time his occupation as a "traveling salesman" required extensive periods of time away from home during which he would occasionally deplete his supply of beta carotene.Last summer, beta carotene therapy was started in April. He was free of blisters until May, when he discontinued his medication and three new blisters subsequently developed. Medication was resumed in mid-May, and the patient remained free of blisters for the remainder of the summer. Beta carotene treatment was discontinued in the fall, and in December, two new blisters formed on the hands of the patient.Beta
Stretcher GS. Beta Carotene in Congenital Porphyria-Reply. Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(8):1243. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640200090035