(HealthDay News) – For patients with moderate-to-severe hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), a chronic skin disease characterized by painful abscesses, nodules, and draining fistulas in the axilla and groin, treatment with once-weekly adalimumab is associated with improvements in pain and inflammation, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Alexa B. Kimball, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a parallel, randomized trial involving 154 adult patients with moderate-to-severe HS who did not respond to or who were intolerant of oral antibiotics. Patients were allocated to receive placebo or 40mg adalimumab every week or every other week (EOW) for 16 weeks. All patients were switched to EOW at the start of an open-label 36 week phase, while those who had a suboptimal response could switch to weekly dosing at that point.

After 16 weeks of treatment, the researchers found that a clinical response was achieved in 9.6% of those who received EOW adalimumab, 17.6% of those who received weekly adalimumab, and 3.9% of placebo-treated patients. Serious adverse events were reported in 5.8% of EOW, 7.8% of weekly, and 3.9% of placebo-treated patients. Compared with the placebo group, patients who received weekly adalimumab reported significantly higher improvements in outcomes and pain. Patients who switched from weekly to EOW adalimumab treatment showed a reduction in clinical response.

“This Phase 2 dose-ranging study showed evidence of efficacy and tolerability of adalimumab in HS,” the authors write. “Inflammation and pain were reduced, and impairment of health-related quality of life and work productivity increased.”

The study was funded by Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of adalimumab; several authors disclosed financial ties to Abbott.

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