Should Biologics for Psoriasis be interrupted during COVID-19 pandemic?

We have many emails and phone calls from patients and general practitioners asking whether biologic therapies should be ceased during the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.

Several professional and patient organizations include the Australasian College of Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation in the United States have individually issued statements that biologic therapies are not discontinued except in patients with active infections.

The current data on COVID 19 viral infection does not suggest patients who are on biologics are more susceptible to infections. Dermatologists worldwide do not consider biologics as immunosuppressive drugs and our view has not changed since the start of theCOVID-19 pandemic.

It is reassuring to know that in pivotal trials there was no marked increase in infections (viral or upper respiratory tract) in patients on biologics for psoriasis or atopic eczema.

In summary, the overall risk of respiratory infections in patients on  biologics were comparable with the rates in patients on placebo in most published studies. The benefits of continuing on a biologic are likely to outweigh the risk of loss of response when treatments are recommenced after a period of cessation of the biologic.

If you are on a biologic medication for psoriasis and you wish to know more please contact our surgery.