Traditional immune-modulating drugs

Stephen Wolverton, Mouhammad Aouthmany

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The subject of traditional immune modulating drugs is potentially vast. However, only a small number of these drugs are commonly used by dermatologists. This chapter addresses the key mechanisms of how the majority of inflammatory skin diseases are treated, and discusses six systemic drugs from four drugs groups: (1) calcineurin inhibitors: cyclosporine; (2) antimetabolites/purine analogues: azathioprine and mycophenolate mofetil; (3) antimetabolites/folate antagonists: methotrexate and dapsone; (4) alkylating agents: cyclophosphamide; and (5) lysosomotropic agents: hydroxychloroquine. This classification scheme is a reasonable way to categorize the drugs, although it should be noted that several of these drugs have additional mechanisms of action that differ from the above categories. Furthermore, it is not realistic to discuss all available immune-modulating drugs; several notable drug groups not covered in this chapter include retinoids and interferons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClinical and Basic Immunodermatology
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319297859
ISBN (Print)9783319297835
StatePublished - Apr 24 2017


  • Alkylating agent
  • Alkylating agents
  • Antimetabolites
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Azathioprine Mechanisms
  • Calcineurin inhibitors
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Cyclosporine
  • Immune-Modulating Drugs
  • Methotrexate
  • Psoriasis
  • Systemic calcineurin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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  • Cite this

    Wolverton, S., & Aouthmany, M. (2017). Traditional immune-modulating drugs. In Clinical and Basic Immunodermatology: Second Edition (pp. 803-814). Springer International Publishing.