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Danazol for the Treatment of Refractory Autoimmune Thrombocytopenia in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Presented in part 8 June 1986 at the annual meeting of the American Rheumatism Association, New Orleans, Louisiana.

The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Sterling G. West, M.D., LTC, MC, Rheumatology Service, Department of Medicine, Fitzsimons Army Medical Center; Aurora, CO 80045-6000.

Aurora, Colorado

Ann Intern Med. 1988;108(5):703-706. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-108-5-703
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Study Objective: To determine the efficacy of danazol therapy in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus with severe autoimmune thrombocytopenia refractory to other therapies.

Design: Noncontrolled clinical trial, with a minimum of 8 weeks of therapy, the maximum determined by clinical response.

Setting: Referral-based rheumatology clinic at an army medical center.

Patients: Sequential sample of six patients with systemic lupus erythematosus with severe autoimmune thrombocytopenia refractory to high-dose glucocorticoids. Four patients also failed splenectomy, or cytotoxic drugs, or both.

Interventions: Danazol, 200 mg four times per day, was added to the previous therapeutic regimen for at least 2 months.

Measurements and Main Results: All six patients had normal platelet counts within 6 weeks of starting danazol treatment. After resolution of thrombocytopenia for at least 1 month, immunosuppressive medications were tapered; one patient had a relapse. During an average follow-up of 12 months, the danazol dose was lowered in the five remaining patients but could not be discontinued without recurrence of thrombocytopenia. During danazol therapy, platelet-bound IgG antibodies and circulating immune complexes did not decrease significantly. Danazol was well tolerated.

Conclusions: Danazol appears to be a useful adjunctive treatment for refractory autoimmune thrombocytopenia associated with systemic lupus erythematosus.





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