Secukinumab and acitretin as a combination therapy for three clinical forms of severe psoriasis in multi-drug refractory patients: A case series of high efficacy and safety profile.

Polat Ekinci A., Boluk K. N., Babuna Kobaner G.

Dermatologic therapy, vol.34, no.1, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/dth.14704
  • Journal Name: Dermatologic therapy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Secukinumab, the first monoclonal antibody that inhibits interleukin-17A, has been shown to have rapid and long-lasting efficacy in the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis. However, there are still difficult-to-treat cases in which even dose-escalation fails to provide a clinical response. In such cases, combining secukinumab with a conventional systemic agent may be a rational approach. Although methotrexate is most commonly preferred, acitretin may also be considered a good alternative, with its lower hepatotoxic potential. Data are limited regarding the use of combination therapy of secukinumab and acitretin for psoriasis. We herein present three patients with chronic plaque, generalized pustular and erythrodermic psoriasis, respectively, accompanied by multiple comorbidities, in whom skin clearance could not be achieved with several conventional and biologic therapies (including escalated dose regimens of secukinumab in two patients). Alternatively, we used a combination of secukinumab with low-dose acitretin, which resulted in a complete or almost complete skin clearance in all patients, with no adverse events or increased toxicity. Based on our real-life clinical experience with those patients, acitretin seems an effective and safe option to be used in combination with secukinumab. Even in patients who are refractory to multiple drugs including escalated doses of secukinumab, the addition of low-dose acitretin may be helpful in achieving treatment goals, decreasing the need for switching to another biologic therapy.