Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Injectable Psoriasis Drugs May Not Hike Heart Risks: Study

Injectable Psoriasis Drugs May Not Hike Heart Risks: Study

08/23/11

TUESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- An extensive review of research investigating injectable drugs to treat psoriasis -- an autoimmune disorder triggering itchy, red skin patches -- indicates the medications are not linked to higher heart risks.

But, the study authors said a lack of complete information from drug makers impeded their ability to assess potential dangers noted in earlier research.

With the additional information, "it would have been a much more robust statistical analysis," said study author Dr. Caitriona Ryan, a dermatology resident at Baylor Research Institute in Dallas. "We could have adjusted for all the risk factors."

Researchers evaluated 22 randomized, controlled experiments involving more than 10,000 patients to determine if the rates of major adverse cardiovascular events -- including heart attack, stroke or cardiac death -- were affected by use of two types of so-called biologic psoriasis drugs. These drugs are injected systemically in some patients with moderate or advanced disease.

Some preliminary reports suggested an "excess" number of cardiovascular events linked to one drug type, IL-12/23 antibodies known by the brand names Stelara and Ozespa, and a small number of such events from the anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) drugs Humira, Enbrel and Remicade. However, this study found no such link.

Ryan said the jury is ultimately still out on the cardiac safety of the biologic medications because drug manufacturers, who sponsored prior research, wouldn't release patient-level data associated with the medications, including patient demographics and prior known cardiac risk factors.

The short length of most randomized trials also discouraged an analysis of long-term side effects or other problems stemming from the drugs, she said.

The study is published in the Aug. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

As many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, with the most common form, plaque psoriasis, appearing as raised, red patches covered with silvery scales. Lesions can occur on any area of the body, and about 10 percent of sufferers also cope with a related form of arthritis.

Some research over the past decade has linked autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis with chronic systemic inflammation and a subsequent increase in cardiovascular risks, the scientists said.

During studies of Stelara and Ozespa, 10 of the 3,179 patients treated with those therapies had a major cardiovascular event, compared with none of the 1,474 patients treated with a placebo. In studies of Humira, Enbrel and Remicade, one of the 3,858 patients receiving those medications had a major cardiovascular event, compared to one of the 1,812 treated with a placebo.

"More than anything, the big conclusion of our study was this data was not powered to tell the risks," Ryan said.

Dr. Jerry Bagel, a spokesman for the National Psoriasis Foundation, said he doesn't prescribe Stelara as a first-line treatment for patients who have existing cardiovascular risk factors.

"It's just logic here . . . there may be some risk here, so let's not take risk where risk doesn't need to be amplified," said Bagel, also director of the Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey and an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University in New York City.

More information

Learn more about psoriasis from the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital First in Region to Use New da Vinci Xi Surgical System
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >