Moderate-to-severe psoriasis is known to affect millions of people around the globe. This chronic disease substantially impacts patients by impairing their quality of life. The biologics are the newest and most effective therapeutic weapon in the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
A review of corticosteroids, including use, adverse effects, vehicle, generic vs brand name drugs. Physicians and pharmacists alike should be aware of the importance and the difference of various vehicles when prescribing topical corticosteroids.
Biologics are one of the more effective and relatively safe options for long-term control of psoriasis. They have reduced the time needed to clear the signs of chronic disease, and are effective in maintaining a disease-free state for longer durations. Biologics can safely be used with other treatment modalities (i.e., methotrexate, cyclosporine, acitretin and hydroxyurea).
Etanercept has recently been approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis at a dose of 50mg twice per week for 12 weeks followed by a maintenance dose of 50mg once weekly thereafter. Clinical studies have shown excellent efficacy and a good safety profile in patients with psoriasis.
Topical agents for the treatment of psoriasis are indicated for patients whose affected area is < 10% of their skin. However, for long-term use, their effectiveness can be limited. Topical sequential therapy involves the application of a class I corticosteroid and calcipotriene in three different phases.
Etanercept is a tumor necrosis factor antagonist with anti-inflammatory effects. It is currently approved in the US for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical trials have shown this agent to have an excellent safety profile and to be well tolerated by both adult and pediatric patients.
Once Daily Application of a Combination of Calcipotriol and Betamethasone Dipropionate (Dovobet®, Daivobet®) for the Treatment of Psoriasis
This new compound product containing 50µg/gm calcipotriol and 0.5mg/gm betamethasone dipropionate was recently introduced in Canada for the treatment of psoriasis. Clinical trials demonstrated that this compound was more active than either agent used alone.
Alefacept (AMEVIVE™ or LFA3TIP, Biogen) is the newest systemic therapy for chronic plaque psoriasis and was approved by the US FDA in January 2003. Clinical studies have shown that alefacept, given via weekly IM or IV injections for 12 weeks, was well tolerated, with no reported serious adverse events.
Acitretin (SORIATANE®, Roche Pharmaceuticals) is an aromatic retinoid, effective in the treatment of severe psoriasis. This study highlights data from two existing clinical trials to capture PASI 50 and PASI 75 responder rates which represent a common metric used in current psoriasis clinical trials.
Etanercept (Enbrel®, Amgen and Wyeth), a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist, was approved in January 2002, for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Etanercept was evaluated for the treatment of PsA and psoriasis in a preliminary study of 60 patients and in a confirmatory phase III study of 205 patients.
Calcipotriol and Betamethasone Dipropionate (Dovobet®, Daivobet®): A New Formulation for the Treatment of Psoriasis
A new compound product containing calcipotriol 50μg/gm and betamethasone dipropionate 0.5mg/gm (Dovobet*, LEO Pharma) in an ointment base was recently introduced in Canada for the treatment of psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a common dermatosis, affecting children in North America. Many papers have stressed the treatments available for adult psoriasis, but few have dealt with this disorder in children. Topical treatment modalities continue to be the first line therapy for childhood psoriasis.
Psoriasis, acne vulgaris and photoaging are common conditions. Tazarotene is a pro-drug of tazarotenic acid, a receptor-selective retinoid, which has shown efficacy in the treatment of these disorders. In the treatment of acne vulgaris, it has greater comedolytic activity than the currently available topical retinoids.
Chronic palmoplantar pustular psoriasis is a disabling condition characterized by recurrent crops of sterile pustules on a background of erythema, fissuring and scaling. Genetic and environmental factors have been implicated in its etiology.
With growing public reluctance to use systemic medications we can expect topical treatments for psoriasis and other skin conditions to become increasingly important in the future. These drugs are useful not only to control this disease, but also to limit the irritation caused by medications such as tazarotene and anthralin.
If methotrexate were introduced as a new drug today, it would be hailed as a major advance in the management of psoriasis, as well as for a number of other conditions. When patients are properly screened and educated about the correct use of this drug, and appropriately monitored during treatment, MTX is often very safe, simple to use, inexpensive, and well-tolerated.
A review of this list of agents that are presently undergoing clinical trial. Although only a few of the drugs on this list will gain regulatory approval, what is exciting is the likelihood that some new agents will be approved and will radically alter the way we treat psoriasis.
This review concentrates on those drugs which have been clearly shown, or are widely reputed, to make psoriasis worse. There is insufficient clinical evidence to justify the inclusion of many drugs which have been included in published lists of drugs said to exacerbate psoriasis.
Approximately 50% of patients with psoriasis have nail psoriasis but the life time chance of nail changes must be much higher. Nail changes in psoriasis include pitting, thickening, onycholysis, discoloration, oily spots, splinter hemorrhages and paronychia. Treatment of choice depends on the form the psoriasis takes.
Although PDT remains an investigational treatment modality in dermatology, several important areas of development may ultimately lead to official and practical acceptance of PDT for the skin. Various uses of PDT are evaluated.
Scalp conditions such as itchy scalp, dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and scalp psoriasis are common. The emotional effect these complaints cause are often ignored or trivialized, but as dermatologists we should appreciate the relief that appropriate advice and treatment will bring to our patients.