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Synthetic antimalarial drugs and the triggering of psoriasis – do we need disease-specific guidelines for the management of patients with psoriasis at risk of malaria?

Authors

  • Agoritsa Gravani MD,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece
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  • Georgios Gaitanis MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece
    2. Department of Skin and Venereal Diseases, University of Ioannina Medical School, Ioannina, Greece
    • Correspondence

      Georgios Gaitanis, md

      Department of Skin and Venereal Diseases University of Ioannina Medical School “S. Niarchou” Av, University Campus 45110 Ioannina, Greece

      E-mail: ggaitan@cc.uoi.gr

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  • Aikaterini Zioga MD,

    1. Department of Pathology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece
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  • Ioannis D. Bassukas MD

    1. Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece
    2. Department of Skin and Venereal Diseases, University of Ioannina Medical School, Ioannina, Greece
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  • Conflict of Interest: None.

Abstract

Background

Α distinct side effect of the synthetic quinolinic antimalarial drugs, still widely used for the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria, is the induction of psoriasis in predisposed or susceptible individuals.

Objective

To describe two patients that had induction and exacerbation of psoriasis due to the administration of hydroxychloroquine, to adapt pertinent literature on the pathophysiology of this side effect, to review psoriasis-triggered cases by newer, non-quinolinic antimalarials, and to propose malaria treatment and prophylaxis guidelines for psoriatic patients.

Patients and methods

Two patients, a 40-year-old female with unknown history of psoriasis and a 37-year-old primigravida with an established history of psoriasis, were treated with hydroxychloroquine for a newly diagnosed lichen planopilaris and for an exacerbation of psoriatic arthritis, respectively. PubMed was searched (last accessed 20 October 2012) employing as search strategy the keywords (psoriasis) AND (drug), where “drug” is the name of each of the newer, non-quinolinic antimalarials.

Results

Psoriasis was controlled in both patients. The primigravida gave birth to a healthy child at 39 weeks of gestation. The literature review returned no articles that linked the newer antimalarials with psoriasis.

Conclusion

Despite the increased awareness, antimalarials-triggered psoriasis is still diagnosed. Fortunately, the current artemisinin-based antimalarial treatment can be safely offered to susceptible individuals. Additionally, prophylaxis with doxycycline or the combination atovaquone–proguanil could be a safe suggestion for malaria prophylaxis in psoriatic patients.

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