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The objectives of this study were to compare the adverse outcome of methotrexate and mini pulse betamethasone therapy in the treatment of lichen planus. It was a clinical trial conducted in the department of Dermatology and Venereology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, from January 2009 to December 2010. Forty four patients of lichen planus were included in the study. Patients in Group-A, (n = 23) were treated with methotrexate (10 mg) single morning dose and group-B (n = 21) were treated with mini pulse betamethasone (5 mg) single morning dose on 2 consecutive days during the period of 12 weeks. Adverse outcomes were measured by clinical examination and laboratory investigations during follow up visits. Anemia 3 (14.2%) and edema 12 (57.1%) developed in group-B but none in group-A. In group-B, dyspepsia 15 (71.4%), acne 10 (47.6%), mooning face 8 (38.1%), striae 8 (38.1%) and hypertrichosis 4 (19.0%) developed but none in group-A. Intermittent diarrhoea, headache, nausea and fatigue complained in both groups of patients but the percentage of complaints was higher among group-B compared to group-A. Menstrual abnormality developed in group-B 5(71.4%) but none in group-A. Laboratory investigations showed abnormality in platelet count and SGPT in group-A but none in group-B. The adverse effects of methotrexate on haematological parameter and liver functions were mild and could be prevented by reducing the dose but the adverse effects of betamethasone were unavoidable. The overall adverse effects were less in group-A than group-B. Therefore, methotrexate can be used as an alternative safer option for the treatment of lichen planus.


S C Hazra, A M Choudhury, A T M Asaduzzaman, H K Paul. Adverse outcome of methotrexate and mini pulse betamethasone in the treatment of lichen planus. Bangladesh Medical Research Council bulletin. 2013 Apr;39(1):22-7

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PMID: 23923408

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