Effects of apremilast on pruritus and skin discomfort/pain correlate with improvements in quality of life in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

Jeffrey M. Sobell, Peter Foley, Darryl Toth, Ulrich Mrowietz, Giampiero Girolomoni, Joana Goncalves, Robert M. Day, Rongdean Chen, Gil Yosipovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Pruritus and skin discomfort/pain negatively impact health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The effects of apremilast, an oral phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, on pruritus, skin discomfort/pain, and patient global assessment of psoriasis disease activity (PgAPDA) were assessed in patients with moderate/severe chronic plaque psoriasis in the phase 3 ESTEEM trials. Significant improvements in pruritus and skin discomfort/pain observed at Week 2 with apremilast versus placebo (both studies, p < 0.0001) were sustained through Week 32. Among apremilast-treated patients, improvements in pruritus visual analog scale (VAS) scores correlated with Dermatology Life Quality Index scores (rs = 0.55 [Week 16]; rs≥ 0.51 [Week 32]; both studies, p < 0.001). PgAPDA correlated with improvements in pruritus (rs≥ 0.56 [Week 16]; rs≥ 0.53 [Week 32]; both studies, p < 0.001) and skin discomfort/pain (rs ≥ 0.54 [Week 16]; rs≥ 0.53 [Week 32]; both studies, p < 0.001) VAS scores. Apremilast provided rapid and sustained improvement in pruritus and skin discomfort/pain, symptoms not typically captured in psoriasis assessments (e.g., PASI) that contribute significantly to patients’ disease severity and HRQoL perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-520
Number of pages7
JournalActa Dermato-Venereologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Apremilast
  • Chronic plaque psoriasis
  • Pain
  • Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor
  • Pruritus
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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