The authors report an open prospective study in a group of 16 patients who presented systemic lupus erythematosus with cutaneous and articular symptoms, and who required treatment with a minimum dose of 15 mg per day of prednisone. Methotrexate was given at a dose of 7.5 mg IM per week. Efficacy was demonstrated at the third month with a statistical analysis of four evolution parameters. Improvement was observed in 13 patients out of 16 and permitted the reduction of the amount of prednisone required. Secondary relapse occurred in four cases in spite of an increase in the dose of methotrexate (10 mg per week). Minor side effects were observed in four cases, and methotrexate was discontinued in only two cases. This study suggests that treatment by low doses of methotrexate is beneficial to patients with articular and cutaneous manifestations of corticodependent systemic lupus erythematosus and this therapy could be corticosteroid-sparing.