Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of oral zinc sulphate in treatment of psoriasis alone or in combination with methotrexate.
Materials and methods: A Total of 60 patients with psoriasis vulgaris were recruited for the study during the period October 2006 to October 2007. The patients were divided in to three groups according to their systemic treatments, as follows: Patients in Group1 (20 patients) were treated with oral zinc sulphate, Group 2 (20 patients) were treated with zinc sulphate plus oral methotrexate and patients in Group 3 (20 patients) were treated with oral methotrexate alone.
Results: There were 34 (56.7%) men and 26 (43.3%) women, with a male: female ratio 1.3:1.Their age ranged from 15-70 years with a mean of 32±11 years. Oral zinc sulphate produced a good response in about 60% of the cases; with a relapse rate amounts to 58% noticed 4 weeks after cessation of treatment. Combination of oral zinc sulphate and methotrexate induced a good response in 85% of the patients, with a relapse rate of 59 % that was noticed 4 weeks after treatment cessation. Methotrexate alone induced a good response in 70% of the patients with a relapse rate of 64%. Mild adverse effects were reported in 30% of the cases on zinc sulphate treatment.
Conclusion: Zinc sulphate is an effective treatment of psoriasis but the combination of zinc sulphate plus methotrexate could be more effective than zinc sulphate or methotrexate alone.