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Acta Derm Venereol. 2014 May;94(3):293-7. doi: 10.2340/00015555-1719.

Efficacy and safety of systemic treatments for psoriasis in elderly patients.

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Dermatology Unit, University of Padua Via Cesare Battisti 206, IT-35128 Padua, Italy.


Management of psoriasis in elderly patients can be challenging, because of the impairment of immune system efficiency and the presence of comorbidities that contra-indicate systemic therapies. We studied the safety and efficacy of systemic traditional and biological treatments in 187 consecutive psoriatic patients aged > 65 years. At week 12 of therapy, Psoriasis Area and Severity Index 75 was achieved by 49%, 27%, 46% and 31% of patients who received methotrexate, acitretin, cyclosporine or PUVA, and 64.1%, 64.7%, 93.3%, 57.1% and 100% of patients who received etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, efalizumab and ustekinumab. The rate of adverse events was 0.12, 0.32, 1.4 and 0.5 per patient-year in the methotrexate, acitretin, cyclosporine and PUVA groups and 0.11, 0.35, 0.19, 0.3 and 0.26 in the etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, efalizumab and ustekinumab groups. Traditional drugs were less effective than biologics in our elderly population. Etanercept was associated with a lower rate of adverse events compared with other treatments.

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