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Treatment of Hailey-Hailey Disease With Low-Dose Naltrexone

Treatment of Hailey-Hailey Disease With Low-Dose Naltrexone
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Type
Reported as
Case Report/Series/Restrospective Study
August 02, 2017
Lauren N. Albers; Jack L. Arbiser; Ron J. Feldman
Emory University School of Medicine

IMPORTANCE Hailey-Hailey disease is a severe genetic blistering disease of intertriginous skin locations that can lead to poor quality of life and increased morbidities. Multiple therapies are available with inconsistent outcomes and potentially severe adverse effects.

OBJECTIVE To determine whether low-dose naltrexone is an effective treatment for Hailey-Hailey disease.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTCIPANTS This study was a case series performed at a dermatology outpatient clinic of 3 patients with severe Hailey-Hailey disease recalcitrant to at least 4 therapies.

INTERVENTIONS Low-dose naltrexone, 3 mg nightly, titrated to 4.5 mg nightly in 2 patients.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Reduction in size of lesions as well as subjective improvement of symptoms.

RESULTS All 3 patients noted significant healing of erosions and plaques starting from the peripheral aspect within 1 to 2 weeks of treatment, and clinical resolution of lesions within 2 months. Discontinuation of low-dose naltrexone resulted in flaring of symptoms, which cleared within 2 to 3 days on rechallenge with low-dose naltrexone.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE We present herein 3 cases of patients with severe Hailey-Hailey disease treated with low-dose naltrexone who achieved clinical resolution of symptoms. The success of these cases suggests low-dose naltrexone as a novel therapy for Hailey-Hailey disease. The possible mechanism may involve low-dose naltrexone influencing opioid or toll-like receptor signaling to improve calcium mobilization and improve keratinocyte differentiation and wound healing. Future studies are needed to clarify the mechanism and to define the role of low-dose naltrexone for treatment of Hailey-Hailey disease.

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