clinical topic updates
Current Data on Interleukin-23 Inhibition in the Clinical Spectrum of Psoriasis
Interleukin 23 (IL-23) plays an important role in the development of psoriatic disease, and IL-23 inhibitors are effective and well tolerated for the treatment of patients with plaque psoriasis.
Clinical Professor and Medical Director
“IL-23 blockers have emerged as effective and well-tolerated options for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Their advantages are infrequent dosing, high efficacy, and high degree of safety.”
IL-23 blockers have emerged as effective and well-tolerated options for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Their advantages are infrequent dosing, high efficacy, and high degree of safety. Studies of IL-23 blockers in psoriatic arthritis have evaluated all of the domains of psoriatic arthritis, and they have shown positive results. Guselkumab is currently the only selective IL-23 blocker that is US Food and Drug Administration approved for psoriatic arthritis, and it is effective at controlling signs and symptoms and improving quality of life. The agent also has some positive data for use in patients with axial psoriatic arthritis. Studies assessing IL-23 blockers for the inhibition of radiographic progression in psoriatic arthritis are in progress.
It is important that clinicians who treat psoriasis determine whether the patient has psoriatic arthritis. It is not true that only patients with moderate to severe psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis; in fact, those with psoriasis with very little skin involvement can develop psoriatic arthritis. I recently saw a patient with lesions on his penis that went undiagnosed for 20 years, as well as tips on his nails. At his first visit, I asked him if he had symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, and he said “no.” But during his follow-up visit, he told me, “You’re right. I’ve had plantar fasciitis.” This patient had psoriatic arthritis with minimal skin disease. So, if you do not ask, you may not get the information that you need from the patient.
The safety profiles of IL-23 blockers are good. Most of the serious adverse events reported in clinical trials, including serious infection, major adverse cardiovascular events, malignancy, and death, are in line with the expected proportions observed in the general population of patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. It is rare to see a reduction in white blood cell counts or to have liver function test elevations when these agents are used as monotherapy in patients with psoriasis. The risk of these 2 adverse events might be higher in those with psoriatic arthritis.
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