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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2011 August;146(4):273-81

language: English

Adverse reactions during biological drug therapy in psoriasis: clinical series and a review of the literature

Montesu M. A., Addis G. M., Satta R., Cottoni F.

Department of Dermatology, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy


AIM.Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder, histologically characterized by epidermal hyperplasia, anomalous keratinocyte differentiation, angiogenesis, and by inflammatory cell infiltrate. Psoriasis has a significant impact on quality of life and is often associated with serious psychological effects. The use of biological agents is expanding worldwide as alternative treatment for chronic inflammatory diseases including psoriasis. The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) approved the use of Efalizumab, Etanercept, Infliximab and Adalimumab in the treatment of psoriasis on the basis of the positive findings obtained from well-designed clinical trials. The ongoing monitoring of tolerability and possible side-effects of these drugs has, however, recently lead to the EMEA suspending Efalizumab on the grounds that the possible risks of its use outweighed the benefits.
METHODS: Fifty-four patients treated with the two classes of biological drug (Efalizumab and anti-TNF-α) were studied. The choice of biological drug therapy was conditioned by the extent and seriousness of the disease and by the presence of concomitant pathologies.
RESULTS: Nineteen patients presented adverse reactions, of which 9 necessitated interruption in treatment (6 Efalizumab and 3 anti-TNF-α).
CONCLUSION: This work reports the adverse reactions to these biological therapies found in our patients along with a review of the literature concerning adverse reactions in psoriasis treatment. From our experience and basing ourselves on the literature reporting studies conducted in large centres, we feel that it is indispensable to continue monitoring any reactions during biological drug treatment. In this way, there is more likelihood of preventing, where possible, or better managing any reactions linked to the use of these drugs.

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