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04 August 2017

Skilarence (Dimethyl Fumarate) - Fumaric Acid Treatment Approved for Psoriasis

NICE recommends Skilarence (Dimethyl Fumarate) for the treatment of plaque psoriasis in England and Wales.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today published its decision to recommend the fumaric acid medication Skilarence (also known by its generic name, Dimethyl Fumarate) as a treatment option for adults with severe plaque psoriasis in England and Wales.

Skilarence is recommended as an option for treating plaque psoriasis where:

  • The person's psoriasis is severe, as defined by a total Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) of 10 or more and a Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) of more than 10, and;
  • The person's psoriasis has not responded to other conventional systemic treatments (including ciclosporin, methotrexate and PUVA), or they cannot tolerate these treatments.

Some people with psoriasis may be aware of a similar treatment, known as Fumaderm or Fumaric Acid Esters. This is a German treatment that is not licensed in the UK, but has sometimes been prescribed on a case-by-case basis. Skilarence is licensed in the UK, and uses the main active ingredient from Fumaderm.

Today’s NICE recommendation, should make fumaric acid ester treatment more accessible to people with psoriasis in the UK.

How does Skilarence work?

It is not known exactly how Skilarence works in psoriasis. In psoriasis, certain processes in the immune system are overactive – either by working more quickly than in someone without psoriasis, or by producing more inflammatory chemicals. Fumaric acid esters (FAEs) such as Skilarence interrupt these processes, reducing the amount of inflammation in the body and, ultimately, improving psoriasis.

How is Skilarence used?

Skilarence is taken by mouth in tablet form. The dosing regimen is as follows:

  • Week One: One 30mg tablet, once a day
  • Week Two: One 30mg tablet, twice a day
  • Week Three: One 30mg tablet, three times a day
  • Week Four: One 120mg tablet, once a day.

This may then be increased over the next five weeks, until a maximum dose of 240mg three times a day is reached. Not everyone will need to be on the highest possible dose if lower doses are effective.

People who are offered Skilarence will have blood and urine tests before they start the treatment. They will also have blood and urine tests regularly whilst taking Skilarence, to check for any blood, liver or kidney complications.

For more information about Skilarence, have a read of our information sheet.