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Etanercept in psoriasis: the evidence of its therapeutic impact

Authors Thomson A

Published 15 March 2007 Volume 2007:2(1)


Andrew Thomson

Core Medical Publishing, Knutsford, UK

Introduction: Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition for which there is no cure. Treatment options are designed to control the disease symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life, and physical and mental function. Established treatments can be effective but are also limited by tolerability, convenience, cosmetic, and economic issues. Etanercept, a fully human soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor protein, is a recently approved systemic treatment for chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

Aim: To evaluate the evidence for the therapeutic value of etanercept in psoriasis.

Evidence review: There is clear evidence that etanercept 25 mg or 50 mg twice per week reduces physician-assessed severity of psoriasis and can lead to clearing when compared with placebo. There is substantial evidence that etanercept improves patients’ quality of life as determined by both disease-specific and generic instruments. Emerging evidence includes improvements in symptoms associated with depression and fatigue. The tolerability of etanercept in patients with psoriasis appears to be similar to placebo. Initial indications from clinical trials suggest that there is no increased risk of infection or malignancy in etanercept-treated patients with psoriasis. The most common adverse events are reversible injection site reactions. Economic evidence is at present limited, although intermittent etanercept 25 mg is considered cost effective in patients with severe disease unsuitable for systemic treatment.

Clinical value: Etanercept is an effective and efficient treatment for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis that may be suitable for intermittent use.

Key words: etanercept, evidence, psoriasis, TNF inhibitor, treatment

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