A comparative study of weekly pulse dose versus daily dose of azathioprine in the treatment of parthenium dermatitis


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Ranjani D, Kaviarasan PK, Prasad PVS, Kannambal K and Poorana B

Background: Parthenium dermatitis is the commonest cause of airborne contact dermatitis (ABCD) in India causing great distress to the patients. Off late, Azathioprine (AZA) in different dosing schedules seems to be effective and safe, but there are only few reports in the literature comparing the weekly and daily dosage of Azathioprine in parthenium dermatitis.
Aims: To study the therapeutic efficacy of Azathioprine weekly pulse (AZA-W) and daily Azathioprine (AZA-D) in the treatment of parthenium dermatitis. Methods: Twenty-two patch test confirmed patients of ABCD to parthenium were randomly allocated to treatment with 300mg weekly pulse (group A) or daily azathioprine 50 mg (group B) for 3 months. Patients were followed up at the end of each month to evaluate the response by assessing clinical severity score and side effects to treatment.
Results: Out of 22, there were 12 patients in group A and 10 patients in group B. The mean baseline clinical severity score decreased from44.65 ± 12.22 to 13.83 ± 4.84 in group A, and from 42.69 ± 11.56 to 23.34 ± 8.37 in group B, which was statistically significant. Patients on WAP had a higher incidence of side effects and relapse rate was higher in group B.
Conclusion: In this open study, Azathioprine in weekly pulse doses has found to be superior to daily regimen without any serious adverse effects in the treatment of parthenium dermatitis.

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