Apremilast is an oral phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor used for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. Long-term data on the effectiveness and drug survival of patients treated with apremilast are limited.
The aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics, effectiveness, and drug survival of patients treated with apremilast in a real-world setting.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with psoriasis who received at least 1 dose of apremilast between 2015 and 2018. We documented sex; age; type, duration, and severity (using Psoriasis Area Severity Index [PASI] and Dermatology Life Quality Index [DLQI]) of psoriasis; comorbidities; previous treatment modalities; adverse events; and reasons for therapy discontinuation. For drug survival, estimates and efficacy analysis with Kaplan-Meier statistics were used.
The drug survival rate of the 93 reviewed patients was 69.5% at 6 months, 34.7% at 12 months, and 25.8% at 24 months after initiating therapy. The median survival duration was 8.0 months. Therapy was discontinued in 66.6 and 27.8% due to loss of efficacy and adverse events, respectively. At 24 months, 35.9% had achieved PASI75 response and 23.7% had achieved PASI90 response. Most observed adverse events were gastrointestinal issues, weight loss, and headache.
Apremilast is an effective and well-tolerated therapy for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, especially for patients with difficult-to-treat locations and/or contraindications to other biologics. Furthermore, apremilast was used for patients with a history of nonresponse to biologics and was favored for patients with relatively low PASI (<10) and a high DLQI.

© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.