Efficacy and safety of azathioprine in psoriasis

Ambresh S. Badad, Shruti A. Badad


Background: Psoriasis is a common, chronic, disfiguring, inflammatory and proliferative condition of the skin, in which both genetic and environmental influences have a critical role. In certain patients systemic therapy is required. Very little data about efficacy and safety of azathioprine in psoriasis is available in the Indian subpopulation.

Methods: In this study, a total of fifty consecutive patients of chronic plaque psoriasis comprising inpatients and outpatients of a tertiary care hospital in Kalaburagi, Karnataka, South India during the period of 01 January 2017 to 31 June 2018 were included to study the efficacy and safety profile of azathioprine in psoriasis. The response to therapy was evaluated in terms of improvement in the PASI score at 12 weeks and 24 weeks.

Results: Out of 50 patients being treated with azathioprine, 10 (20%) patients had to be dropped from the study group due to development of side effects. Of the remaining 40 patients, 11 (27.5%) showed good response, and 26 (65%) showed fair response. 3 patients (7.5%) showed poor response even after three months of therapy. The overall improvement in PASI was 65.94%.

Conclusions: Azathioprine is an effective drug in treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis in selected patients in whom standard drugs like methotrexate cannot be administered either due to development of side effects or in cases where other drugs are contraindicated.


Azathioprine, Psoriasis, PASI

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