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April 1994

Zidovudine Improves Psoriasis in Human Immunodeficiency Virus—Positive Males

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Duvic and Mahoney) and Internal Medicine (Drs Duvic and Reveille) and the Division of Rheumatology (Dr Reveille), University of Texas Medical School, Houston; the Division of Medicine, Section of Dermatology, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Tex (Dr Duvic); Epidemiology Discipline, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (Dr Crane); the Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco (Dr Conant); and the Department of Infectious Diseases, Burroughs Wellcome Co, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr Nusinoff Lehrman). Dr Crane is now with the Division of Medical Education and Research, Greenville (SC) Hospital System.

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(4):447-451. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690040051006

Background and Design:  Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection can develop severe psoriasis, which is difficult to treat using conventional therapy. Anecdotal case reports have suggested that administration of zidovudine can improve psoriasis in the HIV-infected patient. An open-label study was conducted to determine the safety and effectiveness of zidovudine therapy in 24 patients with HIV-associated psoriasis and to correlate response with laboratory and clinical variables.

Results:  Of 19 evaluable patients, 90% had either par- tial (58%) or complete (32%) improvement of their HIVassociated psoriasis during zidovudine therapy. Greater than 75% reduction in the body surface area involved was positively associated with antigenemia and an age younger than 30 years.

Conclusions:  Zidovudine therapy, at a dosage of 1200 mg/d, appears to be beneficial in the treatment of HIV-associated psoriasis, although long-term relapses occurred and the associated arthritis did not improve.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:447-451)

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