Methotrexate versus hydroxycarbamide (hydroxyurea) as a weekly dose to treat moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis: a comparative study.J Dermatolog Treat. 2007; 18(5):295-300.JD
Literature is replete with reports on the therapeutic efficacy and toxicity of methotrexate or hydroxycarbamide for treating chronic plaque psoriasis but no comparative study on their efficacy/safety has been carried out. While methotrexate has long been used in weekly doses in the treatment of psoriasis, the efficacy of hydroxycarbamide as a weekly therapy remains universally unexplored.
Two groups of 15 patients each having moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis were given weekly doses of methotrexate (15-20 mg/week) or hydroxycarbamide (3-4.5 g/week). The clinical response was assessed by the percentage reduction in the baseline PASI scores for the next 12 weeks.
At the end of 12 weeks, the mean percentage reduction in the PASI score was 77.28+/-18.80 in the methotrexate group and 48.47+/-26.53 in the hydroxycarbamide group. Ten (66.66%) patients in the methotrexate group achieved >75% reduction in the PASI score, while in the hydroxycarbamide group only two (13.33%) patients showed similar results, signifying that methotrexate leads to a faster clearance of the disease. The methotrexate-related side effects, however, were also higher.
Weekly doses of hydroxycarbamide can be used as an alternative to methotrexate in patients who either experience intolerable methotrexate side effects or have achieved its recommended cumulative dose.