From the Journals

Consensus statement issued on retinoids for ichthyosis, disorders of cornification



Retinoid effects on organs

The impact of retinoids on the body varies by organ system, type of therapy and dosage. Dose and duration of therapy, for example, help determine the toxic effects of retinoids on bone. “Long-term use of systemic retinoids in ichthyosis/DOC is associated with skeletal concerns,” noted the authors, adding that clinicians should still consider this therapeutic approach if there is a strong clinical case for using it in a patient.

Children on long-term systemic therapy should undergo a series of tests and evaluations for bone monitoring, including an annual growth assessment. The group also recommended a baseline skeletal radiographic survey when children are on long-term systemic retinoid therapy, repeated after 3-5 years or when symptoms are present. Clinicians should also inquire about diet and discuss with patients factors that impact susceptibility to retinoid bone toxicity, such as genetic risk, diet and physical activity.

They also recommended monitoring patients taking systemic retinoids for psychiatric symptoms.

Adolescents of childbearing potential using systemic retinoids, who are sexually active, should receive counseling about contraceptive options, and should use two forms of contraception, including one highly effective method, the statement advises.

In the United States, all patients and prescribers of isotretinoin must comply with iPLEDGE guidelines; the statement addresses the issue that iPLEDGE was not designed for long-term use of isotretinoin in patients with ichthyosis, and “imposes a significant burden” in this group.

Other practice gaps and unmet needs in this area of study were discussed, calling for a closer examination of optimal timing of therapy initiation, and the adverse effects of long-term retinoid treatment. “The work, as a whole, is a starting point for these important management issues,” said Dr. Levy.

Unrestricted educational grants from Sun Pharmaceuticals and FIRST funded this effort. Dr. Levy’s disclosed serving on the advisory board and as a consultant for Cassiopea, Regeneron, and UCB, and an investigator for Fibrocell, Galderma, Janssen, and Pfizer. The other authors disclosed serving as investigators, advisers, consultants, and/or other relationships with various pharmaceutical companies.


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