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Arthritis drug succeeds vs. psoriasis

The drug infliximab, normally prescribed for arthritis, seems also to work against the chronic skin disease psoriasis. The benefits were akin to those induced by cyclosporin, a potent immune suppressant routinely prescribed for psoriasis.

Scientists gave 33 psoriasis patients three intravenous infusions over 6 weeks. A third of the participants received a low dose of infliximab, a third got a high dose, and the rest received a placebo. Four weeks after the last treatment, 19 of the 22 patients getting infliximab had far fewer skin lesions than at the start of the experiment, whereas only 2 of 11 in the placebo group had improved, the researchers report in the June 9 Lancet. Patients' responses to the low and high drug doses were approximately the same.

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