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Current practice of methotrexate use for psoriasis: results of a worldwide survey among dermatologists

Authors


  • Conflicts of interest

    • None declared.
  • Funding source

    • None declared.

Abstract

Background

Methotrexate is one the most commonly used systemic therapies for psoriasis. Despite its widespread use in psoriasis therapy, dermatologists' practice regarding the use of methotrexate has not been investigated on global scale.

Objective

To evaluate the real life use of methotrexate for psoriasis treatment in the dermatological community worldwide.

Methods

A questionnaire consisting of 41 questions was designed by the Psoriasis International Network (PIN). Questions focused on safety, dosing, administration, folic acid supplementation and combination therapy aspects of methotrexate use. The anonymous web-based survey was distributed to dermatologists by the national coordinators of PIN.

Results

Between 2 April and 7 August 2012, 481 dermatologists from 63 countries completed the questionnaire. Most respondents were from European and South American countries, whereas the response rate from Central America and the Near East was lowest. The majority of responders were experienced dermatologists (86% had more than 5 years of experience in psoriasis treatment). Starting and maintenance doses of 10 mg of methotrexate or lower were reported by 67% and 42% of respondents respectively. Thirty-eight per cent of respondents stop treatment at a cumulative dose of 2 g, whereas 36% did not consider cumulative dose important in this respect. The primary mode of administration was oral, and the majority of respondents administer folic acid supplementation. Almost all respondents monitored full blood count, liver and renal function tests, whereas procollagen 3 amino terminal peptide measurement and transient elastography is used by only a minority of dermatologists. There were significant differences concerning the doses, routes of administration and safety monitoring among the clinical practices in different geographical locations.

Conclusion

Current clinical practice of methotrexate use in psoriasis is not uniform, depends on geographical location, and is not in full agreement with clinical guidelines.

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