News story

Intermittent Remicade for psoriasis is not recommended, study says

Continuous use of Remicade (infliximab) is safer and more effective than intermittent treatment in people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Patients receiving intermittent therapy were more likely to experience serious side effects related to the infusion of the medicine, according to the study.

The objective of the study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of intermittent Remicade use. Patients who had achieved Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) 75 through continuous use of Remicade – defined as 5 mg of Remicade every eight weeks—were divided into two groups: One group continued to receive Remicade continuously, but the second group only received the drug after their PASI score worsened by 50 percent. PASI is a measure of the extent and severity of a person's psoriasis.

The study was suspended after eight of the 219 patients in the intermittent therapy study group developed serious infusion-related reactions.

Because the study stopped, researchers performed no analysis of the results regarding effectiveness. However, 80 percent of the people receiving Remicade continuously maintained a PASI 75, while only 47 percent of those in the intermittent use group maintained that score.

May 21, 2013