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Enbrel Improves Psoriasis Area, Severity Over Long Term

Twice-weekly dose effective

MONDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Twice-weekly etanercept (Enbrel) improves psoriasis area and severity in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis over the long term, according to a report in the June issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Stephen Tyring, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues randomized 618 adult patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis to either placebo or 50 mg etanercept twice a week for 12 weeks, after which all patients received etanercept.

The researchers found that within two weeks, etanercept significantly improved psoriasis area and severity as well as Dermatology Life Quality Index. Adverse events were similar in the placebo and etanercept groups. Similar clinical benefits were observed in the original placebo group after 12 weeks of etanercept treatment. Improvements in psoriasis area and severity peaked at week 48. At week 96, about half of patients in both groups had at least 75 percent improvement in psoriasis area and severity.

"In conclusion, this study represents, to our knowledge, the longest continuous exposure of patients with psoriasis to 50 mg of etanercept biweekly and provides further insights into the safety and efficacy of high-dose etanercept therapy for the management of moderate to severe psoriasis," Tyring and colleagues write.

The study was supported by Immunex Corporation.

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