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TNF inhibitors associated with fewer side effects than methotrexate in children with psoriasis

Treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors was associated with fewer adverse events (AEs) than with methotrexate, in an international, retrospective study of children with psoriasis.

“Patients with pediatric psoriasis treated with methotrexate had a greater risk of having one or more AEs than those treated with TNF-I [tumor necrosis factor inhibitors], although fewer AEs occurred with methotrexate or TNF-I than with other drug classes,” Inge M.G.J. Bronckers, MD, of the department of dermatology at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and his coauthors reported.

Among those treated with methotrexate, administration of folic acid six to seven times a week was more protective against methotrexate-associated gastrointestinal AEs, than when administered only once a week. The study was published on Sept. 13 in JAMA Dermatology (2017. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.3029).

The study evaluated 390 children with moderate to severe psoriasis, treated with at least one systemic medication at 20 centers in Canada, Europe, and the United States, during December 1990-September 2014. They were diagnosed at a mean age of about 8 years, and started systemic therapy a mean of 3 years later. Of the 390 children treated for psoriasis, 270 were treated with methotrexate and 106 were treated with biologics, most often the TNF inhibitor etanercept. The remaining treatments were acitretin, cyclosporine, and fumaric acid esters; almost 19% were treated with more than one medication.

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Dr Kim developed (and is continuing to develop) dermatology research news as we way from dermatologists to stay on top of the latest advances in the field of dermatology.

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