Severe oral lichen planus: treatment with an aromatic retinoid (etretinate)


Dr Hakan Mobacken, Department of Dermatology, Sahlgren's Hospital, 8–413 45 Göteborg, Sweden.


A double-blind study of twenty-eight patients with severe oral lichen planus treated with etretinate (75 mg daily) or a placebo for 2 months, showed that the oral retinoid had a marked beneficial effect. Nine non-responders who had received only placebo then entered an open cross-over study and they responded well to etretinate.

Etretinate thus provided effective symptomatic relief for severe oral lichen planus, but side-effects were common, and six patients stopped treatment because of them.