Comparative study of calcipotriol (0.005%) ointment and tazarotene (0.05% and 0.1%) gel in the treatment of stable plaque psoriasis

Inderjeet Kaur, Sunil Dogra, Rajesh Jain, Bhushan Kumar
Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology 2008, 74 (5): 471-4

BACKGROUND: Topical therapies are the first line of treatment for patients with stable plaque psoriasis affecting a limited body surface area. Though in use for more than a decade, we could not find any reports of studies directly comparing calcipotriol and tazarotene.

AIM: To evaluate the comparative efficacy and tolerability of calcipotriol and tazarotene in the treatment of stable plaque psoriasis.

METHODS: This was a prospective, right-left side intra-individual parallel 8-week study using calcipotriol 0.005% ointment applied twice daily (right side) versus tazarotene (left side) randomized to either 0.05% (group I) or 0.1% gel (group II) once daily in two groups, each of 10 patients. Efficacy was determined by the assessment of target psoriatic lesions under evaluation by using the severity scale (0-3) of erythema, scaling, and infiltration (ESI score). Evaluation was done at baseline (0 week), 4 weeks, and 8 weeks of treatment. At the end of 8 weeks, patients with more than 75% reduction in ESI score were considered to have marked improvement; 51% to 75%, moderate improvement; 26% to 50%, minimal improvement; and less than 25%, non-responders.

RESULTS: Seventeen patients (9 in group I, 8 in group II) completed the study. In group I, reduction in ESI score was significantly more at both 4 and 8 weeks on sides treated with calcipotriol, producing moderate-to-marked improvement (P<0.05). In group II, improvement was comparable in lesions treated with either calcipotriol or tazarotene (0.1%) at the end of 4 and 8 weeks. Adverse effects noted were mild--in the form of burning, pruritus, and irritation--and were observed more often in the lesions treated with tazarotene as compared to those in the lesions treated with calcipotriol, but the difference was not statistically significant. However, none of the patients discontinued the therapy because of adverse events.

CONCLUSION: Topical calcipotriol 0.005% ointment is more effective than tazarotene 0.05% gel; however, its efficacy is comparable to tazarotene 0.1% gel in the treatment of stable plaque psoriasis.

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