Combination therapy with halobetasol propionate 0.01%/tazarotene 0.045% (HP/TAZ) lotion in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis provides a sustained treatment effect after 8 weeks of therapy and a 4-week posttreatment period, according to the results of a phase 2, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

A total of 212 participants were enrolled in the study. Patients were randomly assigned in a 2:2:2:1 ratio to 1 of 4 treatments: HP/TAZ lotion, HP lotion, TAZ lotion, or vehicle. All treatments were administered once daily for 8 weeks, with a 4-week posttreatment follow-up.

Efficacy assessments included treatment success (ie, ≥2-grade improvement from baseline in Investigator Global Assessment [IGA] score and ratings of “clear” or “almost clear”), along with effect on the individual signs of psoriasis (ie, erythema, plaque elevation, and scaling) at the target lesion.


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By week 8, HP/TAZ lotion demonstrated statistically significant superiority in terms of treatment success (ie, IGA) over HP alone (P =.033), TAZ alone (P <.001), or vehicle (P <.001). At the conclusion of the 4-week posttreatment period, 38.2% of HP/TAZ-treated patients were considered treatment successes compared with 21.0%, 12.8%, and 6.9% of those who had received treatment with HP (P =.042), TAZ (P =.004), or vehicle (P =.002), respectively.

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The levels of improvement from baseline mean IGA observed with HP/TAZ lotion at week 8 (47.0%) were maintained 4 weeks posttreatment. Moreover, the level of improvement in mean IGA from baseline to week 12 (40.9%) was higher than that attained with either individual active ingredient (28.5% with HP vs 21.3% with TAZ). Mean IGA score with HP/TAZ lotion at week 12 was 1.8 compared with 2.2, 2.4, and 2.6 with HP, TAZ, and vehicle, respectively.

In addition, HP/TAZ was also superior to the other therapies in the maintenance of reduction in psoriasis-associated signs of erythema, plaque elevation, and scaling at the target lesion.

The investigators concluded that a fixed combination of a mid- to high-potency corticosteroid (ie, halobetasol propionate 0.01%) and low-dose tazarotene (0.045%) is associated with synergistic and sustained efficacy in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis 4 weeks’ posttreatment.

Reference

Pariser DM, Green LJ, Stein Gold L, Sugarman JL, Lin T, Pillai R. Halobetasol 0.01%/tazarotene 0.045% lotion in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis: maintenance of therapeutic effect after cessation of therapy. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018;17(7):723-726.