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June 1988

Efficiency of Acitretin in the Treatment of Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(6):897-902. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670060043013

• Acitretin (etretin [Ro-10-1670]) is the major metabolite of etretinate with a much shorter elimination half-life. The drug was used in the treatment of 20 patients who had cutaneous lupus erythematosus. All patients responded to treatment, but in five, the result was unsatisfactory. In 15 patients, an excellent (total clearing) or good response (marked reduction of all lesions) was seen. In seven of them, acitretin was superior to previous therapy with antimalarials and/or systemic corticosteroids. In particular, five of six patients with subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus showed complete clearing of their lesions, usually within two to four weeks. Side effects were the same as with etretinate. It is concluded that acitretin is a highly effective and well-tolerated drug in the treatment of cutaneous lupus erythematosus.

(Arch Dermatol 1988;124:897-902)