Background: Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a chronic inflammatory disorder mediated by Th1 cells. Apremilast is a novel oral PDE4 enzyme inhibitor capable of blocking leukocyte production of IL-12, IL-23, TNF-a, INF- with subsequent suppression of Th1 and Th17-mediated immune responses, and proven clinical efficacy for psoriasis as well as rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.
Observations: Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus Disease Area and Severity Index (CLASI) showed a significant (P<0.05) decrease after 85 days of treatment with apremilast 20 mg twice daily in 8 patients with active discoid lupus. The adverse events related to the drug were mild and transient.
Conclusions: This is the first open label study to use apremilast as a treatment modality for discoid lupus. Our observations indicate that apremilast may constitute a safe and effective therapeutic option for DLE.