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Drug Used to Treat Rashes Could Cause Weight Loss: Study – The Messenger

Oct 16th, 2023

A drug for psoriasis may have inadvertently helped obese patients lose weight in clinical trials, researchers report, opening the door for another use for the medication.

The PSORRO study looked at the efficacy of oral Roflumilast, a drug usually used for severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in reducing symptom severity of psoriasis, a painful condition where skin cells form rashes and become inflamed.

In the relatively small study, including just 46 people, the drug showed effectiveness at relieving the symptoms of people with the condition.

However, what researchers noticed in follow-up data, which they presented last week, at the annual meeting of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, is that one in three of the patients in the drug group had a drop in at least 5% of their baseline body weight. Around 17% of the patients in the drug group lost more than 10% of their baseline body weight. This effect was not recorded in the studys placebo group.

We saw that the higher baseline weight correlated with the proportion of weight loss, so that the more heavy patients at baseline also were the ones who experienced the greatest weight loss," said Alexander Egeberg, MD, PhD, one of the authors of the original study.

According to Dr. Egeberg, weight loss is a problem in patients with COPD, as they tend to be underweight due to the complications from their disease. However, weight loss may be a boon for some patients with psoriasis and an unhealthy body weight.

The findings tell a similar tale as to how Wegovy, one of the worlds most in-demand drugs, came into existence. Semaglutide, the drug behind Wegovy, was initially developed to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their condition. Sold under the name Ozempic, many users reported significant weight loss while using the weekly injection.

Novo Nordisk, the drugs manufacturers, later launched weight loss specific trials for semaglutide and eventually received approval for a rebranded version of the drug known today as Wegovy.

The drug is still in trials to determine its efficacy in treating psoriasis, and it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Drug Used to Treat Rashes Could Cause Weight Loss: Study - The Messenger

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