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Efficacy and safety of long-term mycophenolate sodium therapy in pemphigus vulgaris.

BACKGROUND: Pemphigus is a chronic immunobullous disease, characterized by formation of blisters and erosions in skin and/or mucous membranes. This severe disease requires systemic immunosuppressive therapy. However, some patients are refractory, and long-term use of immunosuppressive agents can cause serious side-effects. Mycophenolic acid is increasingly being used as a corticosteroid-sparing agent or as monotherapy in immunosuppressive regimens.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of mycophenolate sodium, a sodium salt of mycophenolic acid, in the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris.

METHODS: Six patients who were diagnosed as pemphigus vulgaris with active, refractory disease were treated with mycophenolate sodium. Three patients received mycophenolate sodium monotherapy; three patients received mycophenolate in combination with steroid. All patients were monitored regularly.

RESULTS: Mycophenolate sodium was well tolerated with a similar efficacy of mycophenolate mofetil, and no side-effects have been observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Mycophenolate sodium appears to be an effective and safe alternative in the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris.

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