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Br J Dermatol. 2003 Aug;149(2):363-9.

Long-term safety aspects of systemic therapy with fumaric acid esters in severe psoriasis.

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Department of Dermatology, B1-Q, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.



Therapy with fumaric acid esters (FAE) has been shown to be safe and effective in patients with severe psoriasis in several clinical studies with limited follow-up periods. In view of the chronic character of psoriasis, long-term safety aspects are of major importance in determining the suitability of a drug during prolonged periods of treatment.


To investigate adverse events of therapy with systemic FAE with follow-up periods of up to 14 years, in order to determine safety aspects of their long-term use in patients with severe psoriasis.


Current and/or past therapeutic use of FAE was reviewed in 66 patients with severe psoriasis.


Forty-one of 66 patients had received FAE for at least 1 year, and 12 of these 41 patients had received FAE for between 10 and 14 years. Adverse events were reported in 73% of the patients. These were usually mild and mainly consisting of flushing (55%), diarrhoea (42%), nausea (14%), tiredness (14%) and stomach complaints (12%). A relative lymphocytopenia was observed in 76% of patients during therapy with FAE, resulting in a permanent discontinuation of therapy with FAE in four patients. A transient eosinophilia and moderate liver enzyme elevations were observed in 14% and 25% of patients, respectively.


The present study indicates that FAE can be considered as a safe long-term treatment in patients with severe psoriasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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