The Combination of Etanercept and Methotrexate Increases the Effectiveness of Treatment in Active Psoriasis Despite Inadequate Effect of Methotrexate Therapy
Claus Zachariae, Nils-Jørgen Mørk, Timo Reunala, Henrik Lorentzen, Edvard Falk, Seija-Liisa Karvonen, Anders Johannesson, Birgitta Claréus, Lone Skov, Gro Mørk, Siân Walker and Susanne Qvitzau
Many patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis do not respond adequately to methotrexate monotherapy. This pilot study, with a small patient population, was performed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of etanercept and methotrexate combination in patients with plaque psoriasis and inadequate response to methotrexate. Outpatients with plaque psoriasis (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index ≥ 8 and/or body surface area > 10%), despite methotrexate treatment (≥ 3 months; ≥ 7.5 mg/week) were randomized to either etanercept with metho¬trexate tapered and discontinued (n = 28) or etanercept with continuous methotrexate (n = 31). Significantly more patients had a Physicians' Global Assessment of “clear"/"almost clear" in the combination group compared with etanercept/methotrexate taper (66.7 vs. 37.0%, respectively; p = 0.025). Adverse events were similar for both groups, with no cases of tuberculosis, malignancies or opportunistic infections reported. Addition of etanercept to methotrexate achieved significant improvement in psoriasis after 24 weeks.