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Medication provides effective treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis

Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis who were administered the medication efalizumab experienced significant improvements, with a reduction in the frequency and severity of symptoms, according to an article in the December 17 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

According to background information in the article, psoriasis, a disease affecting millions of persons worldwide, is a chronic inflammatory disease that has a profound adverse effect on patients' physical, social, and mental well-being. The physical symptoms of psoriasis adversely affect daily functioning, with the most frequently reported symptoms including scaling, itching, and burning. With inadequate control of these symptoms, physical, social, and mental functioning and overall health-related quality of life (HRQL) are compromised. For example, the physical appearance of lesions can cause patients to experience stress and embarrassment and have adverse effects on emotional aspects and normal functioning.

Limitations of currently available psoriasis therapies highlight the need for effective and safe treatment options. Traditional systemic therapies are associated with cumulative toxic effects, potentially increasing the risk of end-organ damage or malignancy.

Kenneth B. Gordon, M.D., of Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Ill., and colleagues studied the effect of efalizumab on dermatology-related HRQL in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (the most common type of psoriasis), using a broad set of outcome measures including physicians' assessments and patients' perceptions.

This phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved 556 adult patients with stable, moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and was conducted at 30 study centers in the United States and Canada between January and July 2002. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 12 weekly doses of subcutaneous (by injection) efalizuma
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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
617-667-7306
JAMA and Archives Journals
16-Dec-2003


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