THE ADMINISTRATION of large doses of paraaminobenzoic acid (PABA) has been shown to benefit a variety of clinical disorders. These include the rickettsioses,1 lymphoblastoma cutis,2 lupus erythematosus,3 dermatomyositis4 and scleroderma.4 The purpose of this report is to describe the results of paraaminobenzoic acid treatment in still another condition, namely, dermatitis herpetiformis. The reason for undertaking a trial of paraaminobenzoic acid therapy in dermatitis herpetiformis had its origin in the study of the effect of paraaminobenzoic acid in lupus erythematosus.3b,c It will be recalled that lupus erythematosus is often associated with hypersensitivity to sunlight. Similarly, patients receiving sulfonamide drugs not infrequently manifest sunlight sensitivity. Since paraaminobenzoic acid and sulfonamides are metabolite antagonists, it was reasoned that paraaminobenzoic acid might have an opposite and beneficial effect in lupus erythematosus. This hypothesis was tested clinically, and, in view of the results observed in certain patients with this
ZARAFONETIS CJD, JOHNWICK EB, KIRKMAN LW, CURTIS AC. PARAAMINOBENZOIC ACID IN DERMATITIS HERPETIFORMIS. AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1951;63(1):115–132. doi:10.1001/archderm.1951.01570010118010
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