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Efficacy and safety of oral simvastatin in the treatment of patients with vitiligo
  1. Shiyu Zhang1,
  2. Tanja Prunk Zdravković2,
  3. Tao Wang1,
  4. Yuehua Liu1,
  5. Hongzhong Jin1
  1. 1 Department of Dermatology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China
  2. 2 Dermatovenerology Department, Celje General and Teaching Hospital, Celje, Slovenia-EU, Institute of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tao Wang, Department of Dermatology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China; wangtaopumch{at}


Vitiligo, an autoimmune disease, is a depigmentation skin disorder characterized by hypopigmentation spots and patches that are difficult to treat. The purpose of this study is to analyze the clinical efficacy of simvastatin in the treatment of vitiligo. From December 2016 to October 2019, five vitiligo patients from Peking Union Medical College Hospital were treated with simvastatin and tacrolimus. For simvastatin, the first three patients (patient 1, patient 2, and patient 3) began to take 40 mg/day, and the latter two patients began to take 20 mg/day. From week 5, patients 1 and 2 received 20 mg simvastatin once a day. And the 0.1% tacrolimus ointment was used topically. The response was measured using the Vitiligo European Task Force (VETF) scoring system at baseline and at the fourth and eighth weeks of treatment. The results of the VETF score showed that three of the patients achieved significant clinical efficacy. There was no significant improvement in the other two cases. No serious acute or chronic side effects were observed. In conclusion, our results suggest that conventional oral simvastatin is safe, although it may not be effective in the treatment of vitiligo.

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  • Contributors SZ and TW contributed to the conception and design of the study. All authors participated in the clinical practice, including diagnosis, treatment, consultation, and follow-up of patients. YL and HJ contributed to the acquisition of data. HJ and TW contributed to the analysis of data. SZ wrote the manuscript. TPZ revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by grants from the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (3332018025), National Scientific Data Sharing Platform for Population and Health Clinical Center (NCMI-ABD02-201709), and Beijing Dongcheng District Excellent Talent Support Training project (2019JGM-5).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The institutional review board of Peking Union Medical College Hospital approved this study. Informed consents for participation were obtained from the patients.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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