Genital psoriasis is known to cause emotional distress and sexual health problems, but limited data are available on how newer treatments affect patients with genital psoriasis. A study in the June 2020 issue of The Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology examined the use of ixekizumab for genital psoriasis.1
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This study was a post hoc analysis of patients presenting with and without erosions, fissures and/or ulcers in genital lesions. Data originated from a 12-week, phase 3b, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (IXORA-Q; NCT02718898). Adults (N=149) with moderate to severe genital psoriasis were treated with 80 mg of subcutaneous ixekizumab (n=75) or placebo (n=74) every two weeks. Patient outcomes included disease severity, patient-reported genital pain and itch, and sexual health.
At baseline, 57 patients (38%) presented with genital erosions, fissures and/or ulcers independent of overall body surface area psoriasis involvement. Patients were 43.7 years of age, and approximately 75% of patients were men. The time since psoriasis onset was 17 years.
For ixekizumab-treated patients, 62% had complete resolution of genital erosions, fissures and/or ulcers at week 1. At week 12, 83% of ixekizumab-treated patients had complete resolution of genital erosions, compared with 25% of placebo-treated patients at week 1 and 21% at week 12. Ixekizumab-treated patients also reported significantly greater improvements in itch, pain, disease severity and sexual health than placebo-treated patients.
This analysis shows ixekizumab may lead to rapid and sustained resolution of erosions, fissures and/or ulcers and improvements in adults with moderate to severe genital psoriasis.
Michele B. Kaufman, PharmD, BCGP, is a freelance medical writer based in New York City and a pharmacist at New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.
- Merola JF, Ghislain PD, Dauendorffer JN, et al. Ixekizumab improves secondary lesional signs, pain and sexual health in patients with moderate to severe genital psoriasis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2020 Jun;34(6):1257–1262.