Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 371-377

Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of Methotrexate Versus PUVA in Severe Chronic Stable Plaque Psoriasis

1 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, NRS Medical College, Kolkata, India
2 Associate Professor and Head of the Department, Department of Dermatology, Malda Medical College and Hospital, Malda, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Suchibrata Das
82/7M Ballygunge Place, Ground Floor, Kolkata - 700 019, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.IJD_492_20

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Background: Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory, immune-mediated, debilitating skin disease affecting approximately 2%–3% of the global population. Various treatment modalities are available for extensive psoriasis which include methotrexate, cyclosporine, retinoids, oral PUVA therapy, and biologic agents. Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness and safety of methotrexate vs. PUVA in severe chronic plaque psoriasis with BSA >20%. Materials and Methods: A randomized open-label clinical study was performed. Sixty patients with extensive stable plaque psoriasis were recruited in the study. Thirty patients received methotrexate at a dose of 0.4 mg/kg up to a maximum of 15 mg/week and the rest 30 were treated by PUVA, 8-methoxy psoralen tablet (20 mg) followed by UVA started at the dose of 1 j/cm2 thrice weekly with an increment of 20% dose every third sitting until 2.5 j/cm2 is reached. Both forms of treatment were continued for 10 weeks or until PASI 90 achieved, which-ever was earlier. Clinical examination, blood investigation, PASI scoring, and photograph were repeated in serial intervals during the study. At the end of study, the data were compiled, tabulated, and analyzed. Results: In the PUVA group, 90% achieved PASI-50 and 63.33% achieved PASI-90, in the methotrexate group all patients achieved both PASI-50 and PASI-90. Methotrexate acted significantly faster than PUVA in disease clearance. In the methotrexate group decreased platelet count in 13.33% patients, decreased hemoglobin (<10 gm/dl), elevated liver enzyme, each of these developed in 10% of patients. In the PUVA group, no serious side effects were observed. Conclusions:Methotrexate is more efficacious with lesser incidence of subjective complications and more incidence of laboratory complications compared to PUVA in extensive plaque psoriasis.

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