Complete Resolution of Lichen Planus after Treatment with Thalidomide

January 2005 | Volume 4 | Issue 1 | Case Reports | 86 | Copyright © January 2005

Jennifer L. Maender MD, Ravi S. Krishnan MD, Tiffany A. Angel MD, Sylvia Hsu MD

Thalidomide has gained an infamous history due to severe birth defects observed in patients who had taken the drug to control nausea during pregnancy.1 The medication was withdrawn from the market because of its teratogenicity, but was approved by the FDA in 1998 for the treatment of erythema nodosum leprosum. However, thalidomide has been employed with success by dermatologists for a host of off-label uses including the treatment of lichen planus.2 Currently, no clinical trials or studies exist to evaluate the efficacy of using thalidomide to treat lichen planus, but case reports have been published in the medical literature supporting its therapeutic benefits.3-6 TNF-? is among the many cytokines that have been implicated in the pathogenicity of lichen planus. It is thought that thalidomide acts