American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Optimal Use of Antimalarials in Treating Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

Therapy In Practice


Antimalarials have been used to treat cutaneous and systemic lupus erythematosus (LE) for decades. Although controlled studies comparing the efficacy of antimalarials versus placebo and other treatments are generally lacking, many case reports and series support the therapeutic efficacy of these agents in treating both LE-specific and -nonspecific skin lesions. Currently, the two most frequently used antimalarial agents are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. There may be a delay of weeks to months in the onset of therapeutic effects of antimalarials when treating LE. Smoking appears to inhibit the therapeutic efficacy of antimalarials when treating cutaneous LE. Antimalarials have been associated with a number of potentially serious adverse effects, including irreversible loss of vision. The aim of this review is to discuss the many facets of antimalarials that will help clinicians optimally utilize these agents when treating cutaneous LE.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Chloroquine Hydroxychloroquine Quinacrine Antimalarial Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.


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© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyMedical University of LodzKrzemienieckaPoland
  2. 2.Rutland Skin CenterRutlandUSA

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