Psoriasis Drugs Not Linked to Cardiovascular Problems

Medication agent Anti IL 12/23 for psoriasis are not linked to major adverse cardiovascular events

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Early reports indicating drugs treating psoriasis were linked to major cardiovascular events seem to lack evidence.

After several studies, researchers see no compelling evidence that psoriasis medications in any way cause or effect heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems.

"Psoriasis medications appear to be safe for the heart."

Many people with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin and causes scaly patches of inflammation, take prescription medications for treatment. Studies done over the last decade have linked such autoimmune disease with systemic inflammation, which carries a cardiovascular risk.

Patients who had been treated with anti-IL-12/23 agents, common remedies for psoriasis also known as Stelara (ustekinumab), and anti-TNFa agents such as Humira  (adalimumab), Enbrel (etanercept), and Remicade (infliximab) had been associated with major cardiovascular events. But researchers from the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas analyzed 22 trials that involved over 10,000 patients comparing such therapies to placebos, to test the link between them and heart problems.

Caitriona Ryan, lead author, and her team found that there was not an increased risk of a major cardiovascular event for patients taking such psoriasis medications. The report added, however, that the small number of such events that occurred in the studies reduced the ability to detect changes in risk. Larger studies should be conducted.

The findings were published in the August 2011 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Review Date: 
August 31, 2011
Last Updated:
September 3, 2011