Acitretin Prescribing Patterns in Women of Childbearing Potential
July 2013 | Volume 12 | Issue 7 | Original Article | 799 | Copyright © July 2013
Scott A. Davis MA,a Brad A. Yentzer MD,a and Steven R. Feldman MD PhDa,b,c
aCenter for Dermatology Research, Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
bCenter for Dermatology Research, Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
cPublic Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
PURPOSE: To determine the demographics of acitretin prescribing patterns as an assessment of acitretin use in women of child-bearing potential.
METHODS: We examined National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) data from the years 1990-2009 to determine demographic data on patients who were prescribed etretinate or acitretin. We used age under 50 as a proxy for childbearing potential.
RESULTS: From 1996-2009, there were an estimated 29 million office visits for psoriasis. Females accounted for 14.3 million of these visits, and 6.5 million (45.6%) of them were under the age of 50. The NAMCS contained only one record of a female patient under the age of 50 being prescribed acitretin from 1996-2009, the years during which acitretin had been available in the United States. This corresponds to an estimated 2.3% of all psoriasis patients prescribed acitretin during this time (20,000 out of 890,000).
LIMITATIONS: The NAMCS estimates national trends based on a large nationwide database. While the use of acitretin in women under 50 is low, the precision of the estimate is limited by the small sample size provided by this database.
CONCLUSIONS: There are now many alternative treatments besides acitretin for women of childbearing potential with moderate to severe psoriasis. Acitretin is used at most infrequently in this population. In females of reproductive potential, acitretin should be reserved for non-pregnant patients who are unresponsive to other therapies or whose clinical condition contraindicates the use of other treatments.
J Drugs Dermatol. 2013;12(7):799-802.