Efficacy and safety of sulphasalazine in treatment of alopecia areata

Sumara Rashid, Uzma Ahsan, Wajieha Saeed


Objective To evaluate the safety and efficacy of sulphasalazine in treatment of severe alopecia areata.

Methods It was a non-randomized open therapeutic trial. 41 subjects were included in the study. Patients were enrolled from department of dermatology Unit-II of Mayo Hospital Lahore. Subjects were stared on 500mg/day of sulphasalazine to a maximum of 3gram/day. The dose for children was 10mg/kg/day. Patients were followed fortnightly. Responsive patients were followed for another 3 months. All the relevant data was recorded and analyzed.

Results Four out of 50 patients (4%) responded to the treatment. Two of them demonstrated partial response and two had total response. There was no significant sex difference for the treatment response. Major side effect observed was hepatotoxicity seen in 3 patients resulting in discontinuation of drug.

Conclusion It is concluded that sulphasalazine is relatively safe but not effective in treatment of severe AA.


Alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, alopecia universalis, sulphasalazine

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