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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2013 Jul;27(7):861-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2012.04596.x. Epub 2012 Jun 2.

Methotrexate vs. fumaric acid esters in moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis: data registry report on the efficacy under daily life conditions.

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Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.



To compare the clinical efficacy of methotrexate (MTX) vs. fumaric acid esters (FAE) in psoriasis treated under daily life conditions.


Data were extracted from a registry ( of 272 adult patients with moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis treated primarily with MTX (n = 72) or FAE (n = 200) between 2004 and 2011. Data from all patients, including those who did not complete at least 3 months of monotherapy, were included in an intention-to-treat (ITT) worst-case analysis.


Thirty of 72 (41.7%) patients treated with MTX and 85 of 200 (42.5%) patients treated with FAE discontinued early, mainly due to side-effects or lack of response. Among patients who completed at least 3 months of treatment, the response to primary treatment with MTX vs. FAE did not differ significantly at any time point. In the ITT worst-case analysis at month 3, complete remission rate, PASI90, PASI75 and PASI50 rates were 6%, 7%, 24% and 39% in MTX-treated patients vs. 1%, 5%, 27% and 44% in FAE-treated patients. Overall mean PASI reduction score improved significantly in response to primary MTX and FAE treatment (by 10.6% and 12.6%, respectively) between 3 and 6 months (P = 0.0005; exact Wilcoxon test), but not between 6 and 12 months (P = 0.16). A subset of 32 patients who did not respond satisfactorily to primary treatment with FAE responded better to subsequent MTX therapy (P < 0.0001; paired Wilcoxon test).


As shown by retrospective analysis, the primary efficacy of FAE was similar to that of MTX under daily life conditions.

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