ORLANDO (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – A topical corticosteroid spray quickly and effectively reduced scaling in patients with plaque psoriasis, according to pooled phase III study results.

After 1 week of twice daily application of 0.25% Topicort spray (TaroPharma, Hawthorne, N.Y.), scaling was clear or almost clear in 29% of 120 treated patients, and was mild in an additional 40% of patients. At 4 weeks, scaling was clear or almost clear in 61% of patients, and mild in an additional 23%, Dr. Brian Keegan of East Windsor, N.J., reported in a poster at the Orlando Dermatology Aesthetic and Clinical Conference.

Additionally, 70% of patients experienced global improvement in psoriasis after 4 weeks of treatment; psoriasis was clear or almost clear in 42% of patients, and mild in 28%, Dr. Keegan said.

Study participants were adults with 10%-86% of body area affected by plaque psoriasis. Most of the patients (58%) were aged 41-to-64 years with a mean affected body surface area of 17%. Most had moderate scaling, but about a third of patients had severe or very severe scaling.

They applied Topicort 0.25% spray twice daily for 4 weeks.

The only adverse events that occurred in more than 1% of patients were dryness, irritation, and pruritus at the application site, which each occurred in 2%-3% of patients.

Treatment with Topicort – a class 1 super-potent corticosteroid indicated for up to 4 weeks of treatment of plaque psoriasis – quickly and safely relieved scaling in the majority of patients treated, Dr. Keegan concluded, noting that the findings are important given that scaling is very common among patients with plaque psoriasis, many of whom find it to be bothersome.

In fact, 94% of more than 17,000 participants in a National Psoriasis Foundation survey reported being bothered by scaling, he noted.

This study was sponsored by TaroPharma.