Category Archives: Dermatology

Ustekinumab for plaque psoriasis approved by FDA

FDA approved ustekinumab (Stelara) for plaque psoriasis. Here, a quick overview:

In the last few years biologic therapy has shown promise in the treatment of psoriasis. Many TNF blockers (adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab) are now indicated in severe cases that do not respond to other therapies.

On September 25, 2009 the U.S. FDA approved ustekinumab (Stelara, manufactured by Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) for the treatment of plaque psoriasis.

Ustekinumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets IL-12 and IL-23,  and it is administered by subcutaneous route.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence issued a guidance that recommended ustekinumab use in the following clinical setting:

Severe psoriasis that has not responded to standard systemyc therapies including ciclosporin, methotrexate and PUVA(psoralen and long-wave ultraviolet radiation). Ustekinumab (Stelara), may also be considered in patients intolerant or have a contraindication to these treatments.

Ustekinumab (Stelara) mechanism of action in psoriasis




The figure shows how ustekinumab (CNTO) blocks interleukin 12 (IL-12) and interleukin 23 (IL-23), these cytokines are involved in T-cell activation and promote immune response.





Further reading

Efficacy and safety of ustekinumab in patients with psoriasis: PHOENIX 1 and PHOENIX 2 trials. National electronic Library for Medicines, NHS.

Review: Treatments for psoriasis and risk of malignancy. National electronic Library for Medicines, NHS.

Potential new indication of beta blockers: improve wound healing

A recent article in PLoS Medicine shows that epinephrine impairs wound healing and proposes beta blockers as a potential medication. Stress-Mediated Increases in Systemic and Local Epinephrine Impair Skin Wound Healing: Potential New Indication for Beta Blockers Raja K. Sivamani1, Christine E. Pullar1¤, Catherine G. Manabat-Hidalgo1, David M. Rocke2, Richard C. Carlsen3, David G. Greenhalgh4,5,…

Review of retapamulin (Altargo), a new topical antibiotic for skin infections

Information from Health Canada about retapaumulin (Altargo), a pleuromutilin antibiotic for the treatment of impetigo and skin infections. On March 19, 2008, Health Canada issued a Notice of Compliance to GlaxoSmithKline Inc. for the drug product AltargoTM. AltargoTM contains the medicinal ingredient retapamulin which is an antibiotic. AltargoTM is indicated for use in adult and…Continue Reading

Efalizumab (Raptiva) and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). New safety information

This is duplicated text of a letter from EMD Serono Canada Inc to health care professionals, available at Health Canada . Dear Health Care Professional, EMD Serono Canada Inc., in collaboration with Health Canada, would like to inform you of important new safety information regarding the risk of serious infections, including progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML),…Continue Reading

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