The use of methotrexate in steroid-resistant systemic lupus erythematosus

Arthritis Rheum. 1988 May;31(5):612-5. doi: 10.1002/art.1780310505.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Resistance
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases / chemically induced
  • Steroids / therapeutic use*
  • Ulcer / chemically induced


  • Steroids
  • Methotrexate