Minimal Patient Concerns Reported With Azelaic Acid Foam Use in Rosacea

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Researchers examined patient-reported data to determine characteristics, concerns, adverse effects, treatment satisfaction, and quality of life of patients with rosacea being treated with monotherapy azelaic acid foam.

Individuals with rosacea who are treated with an azelaic acid foam formulation and current or prior topical rosacea therapies report minimal concerns with their treatment. Concerns associated with azelaic acid tend to be primarily related to cost; however, this issue does not seem to affect patient-reported quality of life (QoL) and treatment satisfaction, according to study results published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology.

Patients who received some form of care through the Rosacea Concierge Program were enrolled in the observational study (n=54). The inclusion criteria consisted of having a medically confirmed rosacea diagnosis and current monotherapy treatment with an azelaic acid foam. The researchers evaluated patient demographics, rosacea history, and current and prior use of topical rosacea therapies.

Self-reported concerns and adverse effects, as well as the effect of these on patients’ current azelaic and topical rosacea treatments comprised the primary end point. In addition, the researchers assessed participants’ self-reported treatment satisfaction and QoL as reported on the Rosacea Treatment Preference Questionnaire, Treatment Satisfaction with Medicines Questionnaire (SATMED-Q), and Dermatology Life Quality Index.

The majority of patients in the cohort were women (90.7%), and the age ranged from 26 to 63. Common rosacea subtypes included erythematotelangiectatic (74.1%) and papulopustular (74.1%). Mild symptoms of rosacea were reported in approximately 60% of participants 4 weeks before enrollment, with 24.1% of patients reporting moderate symptoms during this period. Up to 74.1% of patients reported no concerns associated with their treatment. In the patients who did report concerns with treatment, the most common concern was cost (11.1%).

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There were no adverse effects associated with treatment in the majority of patients (77.8%). Adverse effects that were reported included dryness (13%), stinging (7.4%), itching (5.6%), and burning (3.7%). The SATMED-Q mean score and treatment effectiveness mean score were both relatively high (79 and 70.8, respectively). The impact of rosacea on QoL was minimal in the overall cohort (mean Dermatology Life Quality Index score, 2.35). Increasing dryness was associated with worsening outcomes in the SATMED-Q (P =.0404) in a multivariable regression analysis.

Study limitations include its observational and non-interventional nature, as well as its reliance on self-reported patient data.

“Patients included in the study were identified from the Rosacea Concierge Program,” the researchers added. “These patients may be more educated and self-motivated in regard to their rosacea treatment and, thus, may be more likely than the general population to be using azelaic acid foam.”

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Williamson T, Cameron J, McLeod K, et al. Concerns and treatment satisfaction in patients being treated with azelaic acid foam for rosacea. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(4):381-386.