Stay positive… new lucky discoveries do happen!

From Sunday Mail:

Lung drug proved to ease the pain of psoriasis

By Emma Nelson

A DRUG used to treat inflammation of the lungs could help banish severe cases of the skin condition psoriasis. 

The medicine, called roflumilast, reduces the patches of painful, flaky skin in three-quarters of patients, according to trial results. 

Originally tablets, it was redeveloped as a cream that is applied to problem areas to counter phosphodiesterase, an enzyme which can go into overdrive and tell the immune system to attack healthy tissue. 

Following successful study results, the treatment has now been approved for use in the US in patients aged nine and over by drug watchdog the FDA.

Experts say it could spare patients from having to use strong steroid creams, which can cause thinning of the skin, stretch marks and acne.

More than one million people in the UK have psoriasis, which can develop at any age but most often appears in the 20s and then again in the 50s.

It is caused by an over-production of skin cells. Normally they are replaced every three to four weeks, but psoriasis sufferers develop new cells every three to seven days.

Scientists don’t fully understand why this happens in some people, but it is thought to be related to an over-reactive immune system. Treatment consists of creams applied each day, usually containing Vitamin D or steroid ointments. 

In September 2021, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency issued a warning about withdrawal symptoms seen in patients who had used steroid creams for a long time. Intense itching, peeling of the skin, oozing and open sores were noted two weeks after they stopped using the medication. 

But roflumilast was shown not to cause these problems, according to the US studies involving 300 patients. 

After two months, three-quarters of the trial group saw a significant improvement in skin quality. Of those with less severe psoriasis, 40 per cent saw an improvement after 12 weeks.

Roflumilast is also the only treatment so far shown to improve a severe type of the disease called intertriginous psoriasis, where patients develop purple patches in folds of skin, such as the armpits. 

It is currently prescribed to NHS patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD - severe lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties.

US dermatologist Dr William Werschler said: ‘Roflumilast cream is exciting because it’s a new type of non-steroidal topical medication.

‘In clinical trials, the cream was found to work quickly to reduce itchiness and start to clear patches in a wide variety of psoriasis.’


My take…

Who would have thought …

a lung disease drug helping autoimmune patients…

a malaria drug helping autoimmune patients (HCQ)

a chemotherapy drug becoming the gold standard for helping autoimmune patients (MTX)

how was this discovered? Clever docs in labs?

No! Astute docs LISTENING to patients reporting unexpected beneficial side effects when being treated for one thing and finding another condition got better and not ignoring or burying that serendipitous event. Bad side effects like bad news races ahead, but good ones seldom do.

Well… except for the beneficial effects of certain heart medicines causing men to suddenly be less bald (among other things) and a surge in men demanding the same heart meds😄


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,021

    I know @Arthuritis

    So interesting how many meds can go on to help other conditions.

    So much of this is purely discovered by accident.

    I mean even antibiotics were when you think about it😉

    Hope you are doing ok?

    Toni x