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American journal of clinical dermatology


BACKGROUND: Itch is the most bothersome symptom reported by patients with psoriasis. Safe and effective treatments for psoriasis that also address itch are needed.

OBJECTIVES: To report effects of roflumilast cream on itch-related outcomes from a Phase 2b trial.

METHODS: Adults with chronic plaque psoriasis were randomized to roflumilast 0.3%, roflumilast 0.15%, or vehicle once-daily for 12 weeks. Psoriasis severity was assessed via the Investigator Global Assessment (IGA; a 5-point scale assessing plaque thickening, scaling, and erythema ranging from 0 [clear] to 4 [severe]) and ≥ 2 on a modified Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI-HD, which combines severity of lesions and area affected, ranging from 0 [no disease] to 72 [maximal disease], with the actual percentage of the anatomical area involved in those patients with < 10% of anatomical area involved [e.g., 0.1 for 1% to 0.9 for 9%]). Itch was evaluated via Worst Itch Numeric Rating Scale (WI-NRS), Psoriasis Symptom Diary (PSD) Items 1 (severity of itch) and 2 (bother of itch), and itch-related sleep loss NRS scores. Post hoc correlation analyses between WI-NRS and PASI, WI-NRS and itch-related sleep loss, and WI-NRS and DLQI were also performed.

RESULTS: Roflumilast-treated patients had significantly greater improvements than vehicle-treated patients in WI-NRS and PSD Items 1 and 2 beginning at Week 2 and in itch-related sleep loss Weeks 6 through 12. Among patients with baseline WI-NRS ≥ 6, significantly more patients achieved ≥ 4-point improvement with roflumilast than with vehicle as early as Week 2. Itch severity had low correlation with PASI while WI-NRS and IGA were not always aligned.

LIMITATIONS: The first assessment was at 2 weeks, limiting the ability to assess early onset of itch response.

CONCLUSION: Roflumilast cream improved itch and itch-related sleep loss associated with chronic plaque psoriasis.


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ePub ahead of print



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