Patient-reported Health-related Quality of Life with apremilast for psoriatic arthritis: a phase II, randomized, controlled study

J Rheumatol. 2013 Jul;40(7):1158-65. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.121200. Epub 2013 Apr 15.


Objective: Apremilast, a specific inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4, modulates proinflammatory and antiinflammatory cytokine production. A phase IIb randomized, controlled trial (RCT) evaluated the effect of apremilast on patient-reported outcomes (PRO) in psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

Methods: In this 12-week RCT, patients with active disease (duration > 6 mo, ≥ 3 swollen and ≥ 3 tender joints) received apremilast (20 mg BID or 40 mg QD) or placebo. PRO included pain and global assessment of disease activity [visual analog scale (VAS)], Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F), and Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) assessing health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Percentages of patients reporting improvements ≥ minimum clinically important differences (MCID) and correlations between SF-36 domains and pain VAS, HAQ-DI, and FACIT-F were determined.

Results: Among the 204 randomized patients (52.5% men; mean age 50.6 yrs), baseline SF-36 scores reflected large impairments in HRQOL. Apremilast 20 mg BID resulted in statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in physical and mental component summary scores and 7 and 6 SF-36 domains, respectively, compared with no change/deterioration in placebo group. Patients receiving apremilast 20 mg BID and 40 mg QD reported significant improvements ≥ MCID in global VAS scores and FACIT-F versus placebo, and significant improvements in pain VAS scores. Moderate-high, significant correlations were evident between SF-36 domains and other PRO.

Conclusion: Apremilast resulted in statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in HRQOL, pain and global VAS, and FACIT-F scores.


Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / psychology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Fatigue
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thalidomide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Thalidomide
  • apremilast