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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

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Successful long-term thalidomide therapy for discoid lupus erythematosus-lichen planus overlap syndrome


Although thalidomide is a U.S. Food and Drug Admistration (FDA) approved medication for erythema nodosum leprosum and multiple myeloma, it has many off-label uses, including for discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), Behçet’s disease, apththous ulcers in HIV patients, and prurigo nodularis. Herein, we present a patient with an overlap of discoid lupus erythematosus and lichen planus who was successfully treated with thalidomide for over 19 years without significant side effects. We propose that some of the most common side effects, including peripheral neuropathy, numbness, parasthesias, sedation, and constipation, can be avoided at lower doses, typically less than 100mg/day.

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