Published: 2017-03-25

A study to compare the efficacy of methotrexate alone vs. methotrexate plus pioglitazone in the management of plaque-type psoriasis

Shabeer D., Basavaraj Bhandare, Satyanarayana V., Pavithra Krishnan


Background: Psoriasis is a common skin condition affecting a huge segment of global population. So far, the treatment has been confined to drugs like methotrexate, cyclosporine and oral retinoids which are highly toxic for long term usage and requires a novel drug that is safer.

Methods: Cases of plaque type psoriasis are divided into two arms and treated with methotrexate monotherapy in group A and methotrexate plus pioglitazone combination therapy in group B. The outcome of the study is analyzed using PASI score and DLQI scoring systems.

Results: Group A and Group B showed significant reduction in the PASI and DLQI scores. Group B was better in terms of efficacy (p<0.05) when compared to Group A. There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of DLQI scoring. Both groups had similar side effect profile.

Conclusions: Pioglitazone which acts by sensitizing the cells to insulin poses no risk of hypoglycemia. It is more specific for the treatment of psoriasis as it targets the keratinocytes. Present study suggests a possible role as an adjuvant in the treatment of psoriasis, and could pave way for low dose methotrexate and thereby reducing the potential side effects.


DLQI, Methotrexate, PASI, Pioglitazone, Plaque-type psoriasis

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