Safety concerns with current treatments for psoriasis in the elderly

Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2020 Apr;19(4):523-531. doi: 10.1080/14740338.2020.1728253. Epub 2020 Feb 14.


Introduction: The approach to manage psoriasis in the elderly (ages ≥65 years) patients can be challenging. They often suffer from multiple comorbidities and polypharmacy with possible adverse effects and undergo a progressive functional impairment of the immune system that increases susceptibility to infections as well as to auto-reactivity. Despite the increasing aging of the general population and although several therapies are currently available for psoriasis treatment, data regarding their use and tolerability in the elderly are quite limited.Areas covered: This review focuses on topical and systemic therapies that have been investigated in elderly patients in order to provide their safety profile in this population.Expert opinion: Conventional systemic therapies in elderly patients should be carefully dispensed and the correct dosage individually determined, taking into account the metabolism changes, organ impairment, comorbidities, concomitant medications, and contraindications. Apremilast, due to its satisfactory safety profile and low risk of drug interactions, results as an appropriate treatment option for elderly patients. Biologics (TNF-α, IL-12/23, IL-17, and IL-23 inhibitors) come out as safe and long-term options for the management of these patients resulting not associated with a higher risk of adverse events.

Keywords: Biologics; elderly; non-biological systemic therapies; psoriasis; safety profile.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biological Products / administration & dosage
  • Biological Products / adverse effects*
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Humans
  • Polypharmacy
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / pathology


  • Biological Products
  • Dermatologic Agents