Drug survival and safety profile of acitretin monotherapy in patients with psoriasis: A multicenter retrospective study

Kara Polat A., Oguz Topal I., Aslan Kayıran M., Koku Aksu A. E., Aytekin S., TOPALOĞLU DEMİR F., ...More

Dermatologic Therapy, vol.34, no.2, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/dth.14834
  • Journal Name: Dermatologic Therapy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: acitretin, adverse effect, drug survival, psoriasis
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Acitretin is a nonimmunosuppresive systemic agent used in the treatment of psoriasis. Despite its frequent use, research on drug survival and adverse effects is limited. This study aims to evaluate drug survival, factors associated with survival, and adverse effects. Database of the six tertiary referral center for psoriasis patients treated with acitretin between November 2014 and April 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. Demographics of patients, adverse effects, and also drug survival were analyzed. Of 412 patients, 61.2% were male, and 38.8% were female. Common clinical adverse effects were cheilitis (71.4%), dry skin (62.5%), and palmoplantar skin peeling (37.2%). High triglyceride and high total cholesterol levels were observed in 50.0% and 49.5% of patients, respectively. Median survival time (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 18 (13.6-22.4) months. Statistically significant risk factors affecting drug discontinuation were having psoriatic arthritis, age under 65, and receiving previous systemic treatment. Drug survival rates were 56.6%, 25.9%, and 19.8% at 1, 5, and 8 years, respectively. Although mucocutaneous adverse effects of the acitretin were quite frequent, severe, life-treatining ones were infrequent. This old, relatively inexpensive and safe treatment remains a good alternative for the treatment of psoriasis.