Evening primrose oil in the treatment of atopic eczema: effect on clinical status, plasma phospholipid fatty acids and circulating blood prostaglandins

Br J Dermatol. 1987 Jul;117(1):11-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1987.tb04085.x.


In a double-blind trial patients with atopic eczema received either oral evening primrose oil (EPO) (n = 14) or placebo (n = 11) for 12 weeks. In the EPO group a statistically significant improvement was observed in the overall severity and grade of inflammation and in the percentage of the body surface involved by eczema as well as in dryness and itch. Patients in the placebo group showed a significant reduction in inflammation. The patients receiving EPO showed a significantly greater reduction in inflammation than those receiving placebo. Evening primrose oil caused a significant rise in the amount of dihomogammalinolenic acid in the plasma phospholipid fatty acids. Plasma levels of TXB2, 6-keto-PGF1 alpha and PGE1, and the amount of TXB2 released into serum during clotting were not altered by evening primrose oil.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 6-Ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha / blood
  • Adult
  • Alprostadil / blood
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / blood
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Male
  • Oenothera biennis
  • Phospholipids / blood
  • Plant Oils
  • Random Allocation
  • Skin / pathology
  • Thromboxane B2 / blood
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Essential
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Phospholipids
  • Plant Oils
  • evening primrose oil
  • Thromboxane B2
  • 6-Ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid
  • Alprostadil