Tacalcitol for Psoriasis Treatment

Title: Tacalcitol in the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris: the Spanish experience.
Authors: Lecha M, et al.
Publication: J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2005 Jul;19(4):414-7.

The authors wanted to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of tacalcitol (vitamin D derivative) ointment in moderate psoriasis. To do this, they conducted a 2 month multi-center, open-label study in patients treated with tacalcitol (4 microg/g) in ointment formula once daily. A two month follow-up was performed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of the drug.

Psoriatic lesion was selected in each patient to assess the following clinical symptoms:

  • erythema or redness
  • desquamation or shedding
  • thickness of the skin

These symptoms were evaluated by means of a five-point scale with 4 being maximal severity. The percentages of area affected, adverse side effects, as well as physician’s and patient’s global assessment of efficacy were evaluated after 15 to 30 days (first visit) and 2 months (second visit) of treatment.

A total of 556 patients were included, with the average psoriasis duration of 10.1 years. Follow up data were available for 493 patients during the first follow-up visit and 449 in the second or final visit.

The authors found the following results:

  Before treatment First visit Second Visit
Average reduction in lesion surface area
195.8 cm2 per lesion
11.1 cm2
Erythema or redness
2.2 +/- 0.8
1.1 +/- 0.8 (with 19% of patients with no redness at all)
Desquamation or shedding
2.4 +/- 0.8
0.6 +/- 0.7 (with 55% of patients with no shedding)
2.2 +/- 0.9
0.8 +/- 0.6 (with 51% of patients with less thickness)
Change in total body area affected Mean percentage of total body involvement was 14% (7.5% in front of the body and 6.9% in the back)   3.2% decrease in the front of the body
3.0% decrease in the back of the body
Good or very good physician's assessement of efficacy  
Good or very good physician's assessment of tolerability  
Satisfactory or very satisfactory patient's assessment of the treatment  
Side effects  

The authors noted that the patients’ compliance in using the prescribed dosages was:

Prescribed Dosage Patients
More than 80% 88%
50% to 80% 9.3%
Less than 50% 2.3%

The authors concluded that tacalcitol was highly effective in treatment of moderate psoriasis and that compliance with the prescribed dosages was very high, probably due to the ease and convenience of application. The physicians’ global assessment of the efficacy and tolerability of tacalcitol was also very high. The drug also has low rates of side effects. The author’s result in an everyday clinical setting showed that tacalcitol was a useful treatment in patients with moderate psoriasis.

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