A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of acitretin for the treatment of psoriasis.
Acitretin, the active metabolite of etretinate, has the clinical advantage of a much shorter terminal elimination half-life. We report the results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of acitretin (Soriatane) in 15 patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. Patients received 25 mg or 50 mg daily of acitretin or placebo in a double-blind fashion for 8 weeks and then were given 25 to 75 mg acitretin daily during an open study. Only two placebo patients completed the double-blind phase; one patient's psoriasis worsened, and one showed no significant change. All 15 patients then completed at least 8 weeks with 25 to 75 mg acitretin daily, with a moderate change in erythema, scaling, and induration (mean 28% to 37% improvement) but with minimal change in the percentage of body surface area involved. Prolonged treatment (greater than or equal to 20 weeks) with acitretin resulted in further significant improvement and a 44% reduction of involved surface area from baseline.
Olsen, EA; Weed, WW; Meyer, CJ; Cobo, LM
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