Optimizing the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Psoriasis in Older Adults

Abstract

Psoriasis is a lifelong disease and its prevalence in older adults continues to increase as the population ages. Therefore, it is important for physicians to understand the management of the disease in this population. While the management of psoriasis in older adults is similar to the management of patients below the age of 65 years, there are special considerations when treating older patients. Older patients may have more comorbidities, more immunosuppression, and are often taking additional medications that can interact with those being used to treat psoriasis. Safer and more effective treatment options for psoriasis have been introduced in recent years, particularly injectable biological agents. Unfortunately, older patients with psoriasis are oftentimes underrepresented in the clinical trials for these new medications. Subsequent studies have focused on the safety and efficacy of these medications in older adults. The results of these studies demonstrate that biologic agents are well tolerated in older patients and are more effective in treating psoriasis than conventional systemic therapies. In addition, new small-molecule agents such as apremilast also offer an effective and safe treatment option for older patients with psoriasis. The results of these studies can help guide physicians with incorporating these newer medications into the treatment regimen of older psoriasis patients. Despite the proven safety and efficacy of biologic agents, their frequency of use in elderly patients is still almost half of that in non-elderly patients.

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Shary, N., Kalb, R.E. Optimizing the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Psoriasis in Older Adults. Drugs Aging 37, 715–723 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40266-020-00790-x

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