Use of Apremilast in Combination With Other Therapies for Treatment of Chronic Plaque Psoriasis: A Retrospective Study

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Abstract

Background:

Apremilast is an oral phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor that has been approved as monotherapy for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis. No data exist on the safety or efficacy of apremilast as a component of combination therapy with either phototherapy or conventional systemic or biological therapies.

Objective:

To evaluate the short term-efficacy and safety of apremilast in combination with at least one form of photo-, systemic, or biologic therapy in the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis.

Methods:

A retrospective chart review was conducted for patients who received apremilast in addition to systemic, biologic, or phototherapy. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients achieving at least 75% improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score (PASI-75).

Results:

A total of 81 patients with plaque psoriasis were treated with apremilast in combination with at least 1 other therapy (NB-UVB, methotrexate, acitretin, cyclosporin, etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, or ustekinumab). Fourteen patients (17%) discontinued treatment before completion of 12 weeks of apremilast therapy. Sixty-seven patients continued on drug past 12 weeks. Of these patients, 81% achieved PASI-75 at week 12 after apremilast was added to an existing therapy. Nausea and/or diarrhea were reported in 25% of these patients, and weight loss was observed in 15%.

Conclusion:

Apremilast can be safely and effectively combined with phototherapy, systemic, and/or biological agents in patients with plaque psoriasis not responding adequately to these agents alone. Gastrointestinal side effects were manageable in the majority of patients.

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