Adalimumab treatment for severe recalcitrant chronic plaque psoriasis


  • Conflict of interest: Professor Rogers has acted as a consultant and advisor for Wyeth, Schering Plough and Abbott pharmaceuticals. Dr Kirby has acted as a consultant and advisor for Wyeth, Merck-Serono Ltd and Abbott pharmaceuticals.

Dr Caitriona Ryan, Department of Dermatology, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland.


Aim.  To assess the efficacy and safety profile of adalimumab in patients with severe, recalcitrant chronic plaque psoriasis, and to assess short-term overlapping of other systemic treatment with adalimumab to prevent flaring of disease.

Methods.  This was a retrospective study comprising 39 patients with chronic plaque psoriasis treated with adalimumab between October 2005 and January 2008. All had failed treatment with other systemic agents, including biological therapies in 59% of patients. Patients were started on adalimumab 40 mg weekly or fortnightly, as clinically indicated. Severity of psoriasis was assessed by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI). Therapeutic response was assessed by 75% improvement on PASI (PASI 75). All adverse events were recorded.

Results.  Results were analysed separately for those treated with adalimumab only and those on combination treatment. PASI 75 was achieved in 38% (8 of 21 patients at week 16), 62% (13 of 21 patients) at week 24, 69% (9 of 13 patients) at week 48% and 71% (5 of 7 patients) at week 72 in the adalimumab-only group, compared with 56% (5 of 9 patients) at week 16, 50% (4 of 8 patients) at week 24, 80% (4 of 5 patients) at week 48% and 67% (2 of 3 patients) at week 72 in the combined group. Of the 39 patients, 15 (38%) achieved a PASI of 0 at some point in their treatment. Adalimumab was well tolerated; 38% of patients experienced side-effects, which were generally mild.

Conclusion.  Adalimumab was effective in a group of patients with psoriasis refractory to other systemic therapies, including biological treatments, and was well tolerated.