Background: Over the past 15 years, biologic medications have greatly advanced psoriasis therapy. However, these medications may lose their efficacy after long-term use, a concept known as biologic fatigue. We sought to review the available data on biologic fatigue in psoriasis and identify strategies to help clinicians optimally manage patients on biologic medications in order to minimize biologic fatigue.
Methods: We reviewed phase III clinical trials for the biologic medications used to treat psoriasis and performed a PubMed search for the literature that assessed the loss of response to biologic therapy.
Results: In phase III clinical trials of biologic therapies for the treatment of psoriasis, 20-32% of patients lost their PASI-75 response during 0.8-3.9 years of follow-up. A study using infliximab reported the highest percentage of patients who lost their response (32%) over the shortest time-period (0.8 years). Although not consistently reported across all studies, the presence of antidrug antibodies was associated with the loss of response to treatment with infliximab and adalimumab.
Conclusion: Biologic fatigue may be most frequent in those patients using infliximab. Further studies are needed to identify risk factors associated with biologic fatigue and to develop meaningful antidrug antibody assays.