A Multi-center, Open-label Study to Evaluatethe Safety and Efficacy of a Sequential TreatmentRegimen of Clobetasol Propionate 0.05% SprayFollowed by Calcitriol 3 mg/g Ointment in theManagement of Plaque Psoriasis

February 2011 | Volume 10 | Issue 2 | Original Article | 158 | Copyright © February 2011

Robert T. Brodell MD, Suzanne Bruce MD, Charles P. Hudson MD, Jonathan S. Weiss MD,Luz E. Colon MS, Lori A. Johnson PhD, Ronald W. Gottschalk MD FRCPC

Background: Psoriasis is a hyperproliferative and inflammatory skin disorder that affects roughly 2 percent of the worldwide population. Clobetasol propionate is the most common corticosteroid used to treat moderate-to-severe psoriasis but the potential for side effects limits its long-term use. Topical vitamin D, which is used to treat mild-to-moderate psoriasis, has been shown to be safe when used daily for up to 52 weeks. To date, very few studies exist evaluating the use of clobetasol propionate in a regimen with calcitriol to manage moderate-to-severe disease over time. Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and assess safety of a regimen of sequential topical treatments with clobetasol propionate 0.05% spray for up to four weeks followed by calcitriol 3 μg/g ointment for eight weeks in the management of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Methods: This was a multi-center, open-label study in subjects aged 18–80 years with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis at baseline. Subjects applied clobetasol propionate 0.05% spray twice daily for up to four weeks. At the end of four weeks, if the subject’s overall disease severity (ODS) was assessed as clear, almost clear, mild or moderate, subjects started treatment with calcitriol 3 μg/g ointment twice daily. Twice-daily treatment with calcitriol 3 μg/g ointment continued for eight weeks (until week 12) or unless the subject’s ODS was assessed as severe or returned to the baseline score, at which time it was discontinued. Subjects were evaluated at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, 8 and 12. Results: Of the 305 subjects enrolled, 170 subjects completed the full 12-week study with no major protocol deviations and comprised the per-protocol (PP) study population. Treatment success, defined as at least one grade improvement in ODS at week 12 compared to baseline, was achieved in 84.1 percent of subjects. The percent body surface area affected (% BSA) decreased from 7.1 percent at baseline to 3.9 percent at week 12 (P<0.001). The sequential treatment regimen was well tolerated with no unexpected adverse events. Most reported adverse events and cutaneous irritations were mild in severity. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the 12-week regimen of clobetasol propionate 0.05% spray treatment for four weeks immediately followed by an eight-week treatment phase with calcitriol 3 μg/g ointment is efficacious and safe for the management of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. J Drugs Dermatol. 2011;10(2):158-164.