Oral Immunosuppressants for Lichen planopilaris: should I increase my dose?

Dosing oral immunosuppressants for Lichen planopilaris (LPP)

There are many different immunosuppressants and immune modulators that can be used for treating lichen planopilaris. Examples include doxycycline, hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate, mycophenolate, cyclosporine.  I'm often asked what dose a patient should be using? 


What dose should a patient be using? 

When it comes to immunosuppressant medications, I always try to keep patients on the lowest possible dose that controls their disease. Generally I start at fairly standard doses of immunosuppressants and observe what happens to the patient's hair loss. For example, this might be 200 or 400 mg of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) daily, 15-20 mg of methotrexate weekly, 150-300 mg of cyclosporine, 500-1000 mg of mycophenolate mofetil, 100 mg of doxycycline. If the disease is vastly improved after a few months, we may consider going down on the dose or staying at the same dose for a few more months. If the disease is getting worse, we might consider going up on the dose is their is room to go up or changing the immunosuppressant altogether. 


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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