Determinants for Drug Survival of Methotrexate in Patients with Psoriasis: 10-Years Retrospective Analysis of DERMA.PT Registry

Keywords: Methotrexate/therapeutic use, Portugal, Psoriasis/therapy, Registries


Introduction: Methotrexate has been used in the systemic treatment of psoriasis since 1950 and remains a first-line drug. It is important to assess the factors that influence its discontinuation. The aim of the authors was to identify determinants of drug survival of metho- trexate in patients with psoriasis.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed concerning patients who started psoriasis treatment with methotrexate between January 2010 and January 2020 and were included in the national registry DERMA.PT by the Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João.

Results: A total of 146 patients with psoriasis treated with methotrexate alone or in combination with phototherapy were identified. Most were male (55%), with a mean age of 51±13 years and 65% had psoriasis for more than 10 years. Psoriasis vulgaris (49%) and psoriatic arthritis (47%) were the most common forms of psoriasis, with a mean initial PASI of 10.7±5.6. The majority of patients were methotrexate-naïve. In total, 66 (45%) patients discontinued treatment, with a mean survival time of 18.0±15.5 months. The most common reasons for discontinuation were ineffectiveness (32%), poor compliance (18%) and gastrointestinal intolerance (11%). Previous treatment with cyclosporine and the presence of psoriatic arthritis had both statistically significant associations with the discontinuation of methotrexate. In most cases, a switch to anti-TNFα monoclonal antibody was performed.

Discussion: In recent years, retrospective studies have been published focusing on the drug survival of methotrexate in psoriasis, ranging from 12 to 21 months. The main reasons for discontinuation were ineffectiveness and adverse effects, namely gastrointestinal. Our study is in line with what has been described but stands out for the high percentage of patients who maintained treatment. The tremendous evolution in the treatment of psoriasis over the 10-year period of the study greatly influenced the results. The main limitation of this analysis results from its re- trospective nature.

Conclusion: The results are in agreement with the published survival characteristics of methotrexate and reinforce its importance and role of this drug in the treatment of this disease.


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How to Cite
Gomes, N., Dias, C., Azevedo, F., & Magina, S. (2021). Determinants for Drug Survival of Methotrexate in Patients with Psoriasis: 10-Years Retrospective Analysis of DERMA.PT Registry. Journal of the Portuguese Society of Dermatology and Venereology, 79(4), 329-337.
Original Articles