Although the use of methotrexate (MTX) is gaining acceptance in the treatment of several connective tissue diseases, there is little evidence of its therapeutic value in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We examined the response to MTX in patients with steroid-resistant SLE in an open, unblinded study. Of 10 SLE patients treated with MTX (7.5 mg/weekly), 7 showed improvement. The other 3 stopped therapy because of lack of response or because of side effects. Improvements were noted within 3 months in responding patients. These promising observations suggest that controlled studies of MTX for the treatment of SLE are justified.