A randomized controlled trial of R-salbutamol for topical treatment of discoid lupus erythematosus

G. B.E. Jemec, S. Ullman, M. Goodfield, A. Bygum, A. B. Olesen, J. Berth-Jones, F. Nyberg, M. Cramers, J. Faergemann, P. Andersen, A. Kuhn, T. Ruzicka

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Background In a recent open pilot trial, R-salbutamol sulphate, a well-known molecule with anti-inflammatory effects, was tested successfully on patients with therapy-resistant discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). Objectives To compare the efficacy and safety of R-salbutamol cream 0·5% vs. placebo on DLE lesions in a multicentre, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled phase II trial. Methods Thirty-seven patients with at least one newly developed DLE lesion were randomized - 19 to the R-salbutamol cream 0·5% and 18 to placebo - and treated twice daily for 8 weeks. Efficacy was evaluated through scores of erythema, scaling/hypertrophy and induration as well as pain and itching; general improvement scored by the investigator and global improvement scored by patients' assessment were also evaluated. Results The mean area under the curve of improvement for scaling/hypertrophy, pain, itching and global patient assessment was significantly better for the actively treated patients as compared with placebo (scaling/hypertrophy, P = 0·0262; pain, P = 0·0238; itching, P = 0·0135; global patient assessment, P = 0·045). Moreover, the percentage of patients without induration was significantly higher in the active group compared with the placebo group (P = 0·013), and a statistically significantly greater decrease in the size of the lesional area was also seen in the overall analysis of the R-salbutamol-treated patients (P = 0·0197). No serious adverse events were reported. Conclusions Application of R-salbutamol cream 0·5% was safe and well tolerated. Statistically significant effects were seen on scaling/hypertrophy, induration, pain and itching as well as patient global assessment, suggesting that R-salbutamol could be a promising new topical therapy alternative for DLE.

Sider (fra-til)1365-1370
Antal sider6
TidsskriftBritish Journal of Dermatology
Udgave nummer6
StatusUdgivet - 1 dec. 2009


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