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The present status of anti-inflammatory agents in dermatology

, : The present status of anti-inflammatory agents in dermatology. Drugs 36 Suppl 5: 43-8, Discussion 49-50

Many classes of drugs exert anti-inflammatory activity through mechanisms which affect all or part of the inflammatory process. Some of these agents are beneficial in the practice of dermatology, while others, such as penicillamine, mast cell blockers and serotonin antagonists, find little or no application. Corticosteroids, for example, are nonspecific in their anti-inflammatory effects and remain a mainstay of therapy, despite their side effect profile. Other drugs, such as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents or gold, can be used in the treatment of diseases associated with rheumatic or autoimmune states. Moreover, antihistamines play an important role in the control of itching, but are mainly indicated in controlling non-dermatological allergic sequelae. Interestingly, chloroquine and dapsone, which were originally developed for use in malaria prophylaxis and leprosy, respectively, have value in treating a wide range of dermatological conditions via mechanisms which include the inhibition of P-450 isoenzymes. In diseases characterised by disturbed cornification (e.g. psoriasis pustulosa), retinoids are of particular value. These drugs are thought to act by inhibition of collagenases, proteases and granulocyte migration. Undoubtedly, further investigation of drug classes such as oxygen radical controllers and immunomodulators will clarify their mechanisms and establish their therapeutic usefulness among the anti-inflammatory agents now available for dermatological use.


PMID: 3076131

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