Cannabinoids, loratadine and allopurinol as novel additions to the antipsoriatic ammunition

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2005 May;19(3):319-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2004.01184.x.


As the current antipsoriatic medications are commonly associated with deleterious side-effects, a determined search for safer agents, which could be used alone or in combination with current antipsoriatic drugs, would be very imperative. Psoriasis is believed to be characterized by a type 1 cytokine pattern; interferon-gamma, interleukin (IL)-2 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha are predominantly expressed in this disorder. Nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species, histamine, leukotriene B4, and decreased [corrected] keratinocyte cyclic adenosine monophosphate/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cAMP/cGMP) ratio are supposed to play roles in the pathogenesis of this disorder. Based on the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis, this paper introduces three novel, potential treatments for this clinical conundrum: (i) cannabinoids, which exert inhibitory effects on antigen processing and macrophage/T-cell interaction and also on the release of IL-2, TNF-alpha and nitric oxide from immune cells; (ii) loratadine, which is an antihistamine capable of increasing [corrected] the cAMP/cGMP ratio and the production of leukotriene B4; and (iii) allopurinol, which scavenges free radicals, inhibits the production of TNF-alpha, and downregulates the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and P2X7 receptors on monocytes/macrophages, which are involved in antigen presentation and production of the inflammatory response, respectively. Importantly, allopurinol, especially in combination with cyclosporin, has been shown to be effective against experimental autoimmune uveitis, which, like psoriasis, is a cell-mediated autoimmune disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allopurinol / therapeutic use*
  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use*
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Loratadine / therapeutic use*
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*


  • Cannabinoids
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating
  • Allopurinol
  • Loratadine