Tumor necrosis factor-alpha antagonist therapy-induced psoriasis in Turkey: analysis of 514 patients

Ediz Dalkilic, Emel Bulbul Baskan, Nihan Alkis, Mustafa Gullulu, Mahmut Yavuz, Kamil Dilek, Alpaslan Ersoy, Mustafa Yurtkuran
Modern Rheumatology 2012, 22 (5): 738-42

OBJECTIVES: New adverse events are being reported with the increased use of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α therapy. We studied cases of anti-TNFα-induced psoriasis observed in our pool of 514 patients receiving anti-TNFα treatment in Turkey.

METHODS: Three rheumatoid arthritis patients and 3 ankylosing spondylitis patients with anti-TNFα-induced psoriasis were included in the study. All patients were examined by a dermatologist, and 3 patients underwent skin biopsy.

RESULTS: None of the 6 patients had preexisting psoriasis or a familial history of psoriasis. The earliest and latest occurrences of psoriatic lesions were at the 6th week and 44th month of anti-TNFα therapy, respectively. Psoriasis was severe and refractory in two patients (requiring systemic treatment), while it presented as mild in four patients. Anti-TNFα therapy was totally withdrawn in case 1. In case 2, the treatment was halted for 3 months then switched to another TNFα blocker, and case 3 was switched to another anti-TNFα treatment. The treatment was sustained in the other 3 patients (cases 4, 5, and 6).

CONCLUSIONS: TNFα blockers are very effective agents in the treatment of psoriasis, but it is interesting that the same molecules can, paradoxically, induce psoriasis. The occurrence of anti-TNFα-induced psoriasis in six out of 514 patients suggests that the incidence of this adverse reaction is, in fact, as not low as presumed in the literature. In some cases, a severe course of psoriasis may limit the use of these agents.

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