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Biologic Treatments for Elderly Patients with Psoriasis

How safe and effective are biologic treatments for elderly patients with psoriasis? The number of elderly psoriasis patients is steadily increasing. However, biologic treatment is generally considered to be challenging in older patients due to their increased risk of complications compared with younger patients.

A retrospective study in Japan aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of biologics in psoriasis patients aged over 75 years.

The study – published in The Journal of Dermatology – involved a cohort of 27 patients aged 75 to 88 years who were being treated with biologics over a period of more than one year. Five patients were administered adalimumab and 22 patients were treated with ustekinumab.

Eight patients discontinued treatment. Of these, two developed cancer, one was transferred to hospital, one experienced a bone fracture, one had interstitial pneumonia, one died of cerebral haemorrhage, one suffered decrepitude, and another developed hepatopathy following prophylactic tuberculosis treatment.

The efficacy of the biologic treatments was evaluated as percentage of patients achieving a 75 percent reduction of Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score. At week 16, efficacy was noted as 77 percent. At week 24, efficacy was 88 percent. And at week 52, efficacy was 90.5 percent.

Biologic treatments therefore show clear efficacy in elderly patients with psoriasis. However, the researchers noted that increased frequency of adverse events required rigorous patient observation.

Read more recent research on psoriasis.


Momose, M., Asahina, A., Hayashi, M., Yanaba, K., Umezawa, Y. and Nakagawa, H. (2017), Biologic treatments for elderly patients with psoriasis. The Journal of Dermatology, 44: 1020–1023. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.13853

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