Humira, Remicade, Similar Drugs May Increase Risk of New Onset Psoriasis: Study
Patients with inflammatory conditions or autoimmune disorders face an increased risk of developing psoriasis if they take drugs like Humira and Remicade, according to the findings of new research.
Humira and similar drugs are often used to treat patients with existing conditions of psoriasis, but a study recently published in the medical journal JAMA Dermatology suggests that side effects may cause some patients to develop new instances of the disease.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen conducted a cohort study involving nearly 128,000 patients, using Danish national registries from 1995 to 2018. Patients had immune-mediated inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel disease and/or rheumatoid arthritis who were treated with conventional therapy or a tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor (TNFi) treatment, like Humira and Remicade.
Overall, 108,000 people received conventional therapy and nearly 21,000 received TNFi treatment. Some patients were not diagnosed with psoriasis before treatment. They were followed for five years.
Humira and Remicade Psoriasis Risks
The findings indicate patients had a higher risk of having new-onset psoriasis if they underwent TNFi treatment. The incidence rates for any type of psoriasis were three per 1,000 patient-years for conventional therapy, compared with 7.8 for drugs like Humira and Remicade.
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Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease which results in scaly, itchy areas in patches. It is very common, with more than 3 million people are diagnosed with it every year. Treatments can help manage the condition, but there is no known cure.
Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases include any group of diseases that do not have a definitive cause, but are characterized by inflammation and can be triggered by immune disregulation. These conditions include autoimmune diseases, psoriasis, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
TNFi treatments include a blockbuster class of drugs that work by inhibiting the tumor necrosis factor, a protein involved in inflammation. It is the protein that plays a key role in immune responses, leading to inflammation and other inflammatory conditions. TNFi treatments are used for conditions like psoriasis, arthritis, IBD and other inflammatory conditions.
New onset psoriasis caused by TNFi treatment is a rare side effect of taking TNFi drugs, like Humira and Remicade, which are used to treat many other conditions. This study highlighted the likelihood of taking Humira for one condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease, but developing another condition, in this case, psoriasis.
Most patients developed nonpustular types of psoriasis, but the postural type had the highest relative risk.
Patients who received TNFi treatments like Remicade had more than double the risk of new-onset psoriasis. Despite the increased risk, the overall absolute risk remained low. Researchers said the evidence does not indicate the need to approach treatment of patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases differently. They still can be treated with TNFi despite the increased risk.
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