Methotrexate and psoriasis: 2009 National Psoriasis Foundation Consensus Conference

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 May;60(5):824-37. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.11.906.


Background: Methotrexate remains a valuable option for the treatment of psoriasis. This report will summarize studies regarding the use of methotrexate since the last guidelines were published in 1998.

Objective: A task force of the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board was convened to evaluate treatment options. Our aim was to achieve a consensus on new updated guidelines for the use of methotrexate in the treatment of psoriasis.

Methods: Reports in the literature were reviewed regarding methotrexate therapy.

Results: A consensus was achieved on use of methotrexate in psoriasis including specific recommendations on dosing and monitoring. The consensus received unanimous approval from members of the Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Limitations: There are few evidence-based studies on the treatment of psoriasis with methotrexate. Many of the reviewed reports are for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Conclusions: Methotrexate is a safe and effective drug for the treatment of psoriasis. Appropriate patient selection and monitoring will significantly decrease the risks of side effects. In patients without risk factors for hepatic fibrosis, liver biopsies may not be indicated or the frequency of liver biopsies may be markedly reduced.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Contraindications
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Fertility / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Selection
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Spermatogenesis / drug effects


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Methotrexate