High-dose curcuminoids are efficacious in the reduction in symptoms and signs of oral lichen planus

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 May;66(5):752-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.04.022. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Abstract

Background: Curcuminoids are components of turmeric (Curcuma longa) that possess anti-inflammatory properties.

Objective: We sought to study the efficacy of curcuminoids in controlling the signs and symptoms of oral lichen planus, at doses of 6000 mg/d (3 divided doses), and their safety at this dose.

Methods: Twenty consecutive, eligible patients who consented were enrolled into this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in 2007 through 2008. Measurement of symptoms and signs of oral lichen planus using the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and the Modified Oral Mucositis Index (MOMI), respectively; complete blood counts; liver enzymes; C-reactive protein; and interleukin-6 levels was done at baseline and day 14. Two-sided P values are reported.

Results: In the placebo group, the percentage changes from baseline in NRS (median [interquartile range] = 0.00 [-29 to 16.7], P > .99), erythema (0.00 [-10 to 16.7], P = .98), ulceration (0.00 [0.00 to 26.7], P = .63), and total MOMI scores (-3.2 [-13 to 9.09], P = .95) were not statistically significant, whereas they were statistically significant in the curcuminoids group: NRS (-22 [-33 to -14], P = .0078); erythema (-17 [-29 to -8.3], P = .0078), ulceration (-14 [-60 to 0.00], P = .063), MOMI (-24 [-38 to -11], P = .0039). The curcuminoids group showed a greater reduction in clinical signs and symptoms as compared with the placebo group, measured by percentage change in erythema (P = .05) and total MOMI score (P = .03), and proportion showing improvement in NRS (0.8 vs 0.3, P = .02) and total MOMI score (0.9 vs 0.5, P = .05). Adverse effects were uncommon in both groups.

Limitations: The small sample size resulted in limited power, particularly for multivariate analyses.

Conclusions: Curcuminoids at doses of 6000 mg/d in 3 divided doses are well tolerated and may prove efficacious in controlling signs and symptoms of oral lichen planus.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • C-Reactive Protein / drug effects
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lichen Planus, Oral / diagnosis
  • Lichen Planus, Oral / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Extracts
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Curcumin