Systemic Therapy

The aim of systemic treatments is to stop the progression of the disease (stabilization), so immune-modulating treatments should be considered at an early stage, particularly for vitiligo affecting the face.

 

What are Systemic Treatments?

Systemic treatments may be more effective than topical treatments. They also come with a higher risk of negative effects, and some of them can weaken one’s immunity. Despite the modest risk, these medicines may increase a person’s risk of infection or cancer in some situations.

What kinds of Systemic Treatments are used for treating Vitiligo?

 

Type of Therapy

Efficacy of Treatment Notes
Oral Steroids
  • High efficacy
  • Intended for vitiligo treatment
  • Works well to treat a variety ok skin conditions
  • Lots of potential for side effects
Methotrexate
  • Medium Efficacy
  • Not specifically intended for vitiligo treatment
  • Mixed results among patients
  • Can be taken as a pill or injected
  • Alcohol intake should be limited during treatment
  • Regular testing needed throughout treatment
Ciclosporin
  • High Efficacy
  • Intended for vitiligo treatment
  • With positive results, can later on be taken for maintenance therapy
  • Lots of potential side effects
Mycophenolate Mofetil
  • Mild Efficacy
  • Not specifically intended for vitiligo treatment
  • Mixed results among patients
  • Requires regular testing
  • Contraceptive required while taking
Tetracycline
  • Mild Efficacy 
  • Not specifically intended for vitiligo treatment
  • Has good results among patients with vitiligo
  • Prescription time is variable based on disorder and severity of it 
Subcutaneous Afamelanotide
  • High Efficacy
  • Intended for vitiligo treatment
  • Implanted under the skin 
  • Medicine is released through implant and works with UV exposure
Depigmentation Therapy
  • High Efficacy
  • Intended for vitiligo treatment
  • Uses lasers or creams as treatment
  • Lightens skin unlike the other forms of treatment
Cryotherapy
  • Medium Efficacy
  • Intended for vitiligo treatment
  • Different kinds of cryotherapy to choose from
  • Poses risks from the treatment itself and the results of the treatment

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