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July 1995

Duration of Remission During Maintenance Cyclosporine Therapy for Psoriasis: Relationship to Maintenance Dose and Degree of Improvement During Initial Therapy

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(7):791-795. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690190043008

Background:  Cyclosporine therapy is highly effective in the treatment of psoriasis. To minimize side effects, the lowest effective dosage for maintenance therapy should be sought.

Methods:  We selected 61 patients who had achieved clearing or near-clearing of psoriasis during an induction phase of cyclosporine therapy. We then randomly assigned them in a double-blind fashion to receive one of two dosages of cyclosporine (1.5 or 3 mg/kg per day) or placebo for maintenance treatment. For each patient, the time to relapse was the time from the start of maintenance therapy until the patient showed a two-point worsening of psoriasis on a seven-point scale, up to a maximum of 4 months, when the study ended.

Results:  Sixty patients completed the maintenance study. The mean time to relapse was significantly longer in the 3-mg/kg group (12± 1 weeks) than in the 1.5-mg/kg group (9±1 weeks; P=.04) and the placebo group (7± 1

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