Friday, August 8, 2008

Adherence to acitretin and home narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy in patients with psoriasis

Today's medical adherence focused abstract brought to you from The Journal of the American Academy of Dematology:

In the treatment of psoriasis, patient adherence to oral medications is poor and even worse for topical therapy. However, few data exist about adherence rates to home phototherapy, adding to concerns about the appropriateness of home phototherapy as a psoriasis treatment option.

We sought to assess adherence to both oral acitretin and home ultraviolet B phototherapy for the treatment of psoriasis.

In all, 27 patients with moderate to severe psoriasis were treated with 10 to 25 mg of acitretin daily, combined with narrowband ultraviolet B, 3 times weekly at home, for 12 weeks. Adherence to acitretin was monitored by an electronic monitoring medication bottle cap, and to phototherapy by a light-sensing data logger.

Adherence data were collected on 22 patients for acitretin and 16 patients for adherence to ultraviolet B. Mean adherence to acitretin decreased steadily during the 12-week trial (slope −0.24), whereas mean adherence to home phototherapy remained steady at 2 to 3 d/wk. Adherence was similar between patients who reported side effects and those who did not.

Small sample size and lack of follow-up on some patients were limitations of this study.

Adherence rates to home phototherapy were very good and higher than adherence rates for the oral medication. Side effects of treatment were well tolerated in this small group and did not affect use of the treatment. Home phototherapy with acitretin may be an appropriate option for some patients with extensive psoriasis.

Very surprised that the phototherapy treatment had a higher adherence rate. Possibly the side effects of the oral medication were so bad that the time spent on the PTT was worth it? I am not familiar with the PTT but it sounds very interesting, and a more adherent treatment than oral medication for psoriasis. Another question: what is the cost for this treatment? It is a one time cost or rental for the equipment, then recurring costs? Cheaper than oral medications?

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