L-phenylalanine and UVA irradiation in the treatment of vitiligo

Dermatology. 1994;188(3):215-8. doi: 10.1159/000247142.


In order to evaluate the efficacy of L-phenylalanine (L-Phe) in combination with UVA therapy for vitiligo an open trial (149 patients, 18 months) and a small double-blind trial (32 patients, 6 months) were conducted. Oral L-Phe loading resulted in peak plasma levels of L-Phe after 30-60 min and a slight increase in the plasma tyrosine level. Response to L-Phe plus UVA irradiation was positive, and various grades of repigmentation not exceeding 77% in the open and 60% in the blind trial were observed. An increased L-Phe dose resulted in increased L-Phe plasma levels but not in improved clinical results. The optimal L-Phe dose appears to be lower than 50 mg/kg/day. Although it is difficult to draw firm conclusions from the present investigation, we think that L-Phe may have a place in the treatment of vitiligo and its role merits further investigation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenylalanine / therapeutic use*
  • Tyrosine / blood
  • Ultraviolet Therapy*
  • Vitiligo / blood
  • Vitiligo / therapy*


  • Tyrosine
  • Phenylalanine