Efalizumab for Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis

Title: Efalizumab for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
Author: Jordan, JK
Publication: Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Sep;39(9):1476-82. Epub 2005 Jul 5.

The author wanted to evaluate the pharmacology, efficacy, and safety of efalizumab in the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. To do this, he conducted a computer search from 1966 to May 2005 and reviewed the data in various articles.

Efalizumab acts by inhibiting the binding of CD11a (a part of the leukocyte function-associated antigen type 1) to the intracellular adhesion molecule 1. This results in decreased T-cell activation and migration, two key steps in the development of psoriasis.

Results of clinical trials have demonstrated efalizumab is safe and effective for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. It was well tolerated in trials, with the majority of side effects arising after the first dose (administered by injection) and decreasing with subsequent doses. However, the high cost of this treatment and lack of comparison trial with other psoriasis drugs will likely limit the use of efalizumab for patients who had tried other drugs or phototherapy without good results.

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