Twenty-three cases of lupus erythematosus, including 15 cases of SLE and 8 cases of DLE treated with Tripterygium wilfordii (TW, three tablets thrice a day, each tablet contains 5 gm of crude TW) were reported. As controls, 19 cases of SLE were treated with prednisone alone at the same time. 9/15 cases in the former group and 6/19 in the latter got improvement after treatment. There was no significant difference between the two groups (P greater than 0.10). However, TW had beneficial effects to remission of arthralgia (7/10 in the former group and 7/15 in the latter group) and erythematosus rash (6/8 in the former group and 5/12 in the latter). Clinically, four out of eight cases of DLE improved after treatment with TW. TW had some toxic effects, such as decrease of peripheral blood leukocyte and kidney damage. Since the toxic dose and effective dose could be quite close, special attention should be paid when the drug was being used, especially on those patients with nephropathy. So the authors suggested that the indication of TW could include the patients of DLE and SLE without nephropathy.