Efficacy and tolerability of a cosmetically acceptable coal tar solution in the treatment of moderate plaque psoriasis: a controlled comparison with calcipotriene (calcipotriol) cream.Am J Clin Dermatol. 2010; 11(4):275-83.AJ
Topical coal tar is a well known and effective treatment for psoriasis, but the messiness, staining, odor, and inconvenience associated with its use make patient satisfaction and compliance a challenge.
To determine the efficacy, patient tolerability, and cosmetic acceptability of a new topical liquor carbonis distillate (LCD) 15% solution compared with calcipotriene (calcipotriol) cream in patients with moderate, chronic plaque psoriasis.
A randomized, single-blind, active-controlled, parallel-group, clinical trial consisting of a 12-week treatment phase and a 6-week post-treatment follow-up phase.
Outpatient dermatology research unit in an academic hospital.
Sixty adults with moderate, chronic plaque psoriasis (3-15% body surface area affected) not receiving other psoriasis therapies.
Patients were randomized to apply either an LCD 15% solution (Psorent) or a commercially available calcipotriene 0.005% cream (Dovonex) to their psoriasis areas (excluding the head) twice daily at home for 12 weeks.
A blinded investigator evaluated the patients' psoriasis using a modified Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) that excluded the head, and a Physician's Global Assessment (PGA) scale at weeks 0 (baseline), 2, 4, 8, and 12 (end of treatment), and 18 (6 weeks after treatment was withdrawn). Patients assessed their psoriasis symptoms and quality of life and completed a cosmetic acceptability survey about their medication.
The changes in the baseline PASI scores after 12 weeks of treatment were compared between LCD and calcipotriene groups. Additional comparisons were performed for success rates during treatment (PASI 75 and PASI 50), changes in PGA scores, patient-reported psoriasis symptom scores, patients' quality-of-life scores, and recurrence rates during post-treatment follow-up.
Both treatment groups showed improvement in psoriasis severity and quality of life. However, the LCD group had greater mean reductions in PASI scores: 58% vs 37% in the calcipotriene group (p < 0.05) at week 12. Additionally, the LCD group had more patients (14/27) with absent or minimal psoriasis on the PGA scale than the calcipotriene group (6/28) by the end of treatment (p < 0.05). LCD-treated patients also maintained their improvement better than calcipotriene-treated patients through week 18 after treatment was withdrawn for 6 weeks. Both treatments were well tolerated and cosmetically acceptable to patients.
The newly formulated LCD solution, applied twice daily at home for 12 weeks, was more effective and as well tolerated and cosmetically acceptable as the calcipotriene cream over 12 weeks of treatment and 6 weeks of follow-up. The LCD solution is a patient-accepted and effective corticosteroid-sparing treatment alternative for psoriasis patients.