Effectiveness of a low dose of cyclosporine in the management of patients with oral erosive lichen planus. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study investigated the effectiveness of a low-dose cyclosporine rinse used in the treatment of oral erosive lichen planus. Fourteen patients with oral erosive lichen planus provided seven experimental sites treated with cyclosporine and seven control sites treated with a placebo. Participants rinsed with 5 ml (500 mg) of cyclosporine or 5 ml of a placebo for 5 minutes each day over a period of 4 weeks. Cyclosporine blood levels as well as complete blood cell counts with differential and serial multiple analysis were monitored throughout the study. Weekly quantitative measurements of lesion size and character (ulceration, erythema, and reticulation) were recorded with the use of an intraoral grid. Healing was defined as the transition from ulceration to erythema to reticulation or to complete resolution. Pain assessment with the use of a visual analogue scale and a questionnaire pertaining to any side effects of treatment were completed each week. At 4 weeks, a statistically significant difference was observed in lesion healing between the cyclosporine and placebo groups. All experimental sites demonstrated progressive healing with evidence of reduced erythema and ulceration, increased reticulation, and decreased pain scores. In contrast, control sites exhibited minimal change in lesion size or character, and patients reported unchanged or increased pain scores. No significant side effects were reported. Within the parameters of this investigation, topical cyclosporine proved to an effective alternative therapy to currently available medications used in the treatment of oral lichen planus.

published proceedings

  • Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod

author list (cited authors)

  • Harpenau, L. A., Plemons, J. M., & Rees, T. D

citation count

  • 60

complete list of authors

  • Harpenau, LA||Plemons, JM||Rees, TD

publication date

  • August 1995