Imiquimod 2.5% and 3.75% for the treatment of actinic keratoses: Results of two placebo-controlled studies of daily application to the face and balding scalp for two 2-week cycles

Neil Swanson, William Abramovits, Brian Berman, James Kulp, Darrell S. Rigel, Sharon Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The approved imiquimod 5% cream regimen for treating actinic keratoses requires a long treatment time and is limited to a small area of skin. Objective: We sought to evaluate imiquimod 2.5% and 3.75% for short-course treatment of the full face or balding scalp. Methods: In two identical studies, adults with 5 to 20 lesions were randomized to placebo, imiquimod 2.5%, or imiquimod 3.75% (1:1:1). Up to two packets (250 mg each) were applied per dose once daily for two 2-week treatment cycles, with a 2-week, no-treatment interval between cycles. Efficacy was assessed at 8 weeks posttreatment. Results: A total of 479 patients were randomized to placebo, or imiquimod 2.5% or 3.75%. Complete and partial clearance (≥75% lesion reduction) rates were 6.3% and 22.6% for placebo, 30.6% and 48.1% for imiquimod 2.5%, and 35.6% and 59.4% for imiquimod 3.75%, respectively (P < .001 vs placebo, each; P = .047, 3.75% vs 2.5% for partial clearance). Median reductions from baseline in lesion counts were 25.0% for placebo, 71.8% for imiquimod 2.5%, and 81.8% for imiquimod 3.75% (P < .001, each active vs placebo; P = .048 3.75% vs 2.5%). There were few treatment-related discontinuations. Patient rest period rates were 0% for placebo, 6.9% for imiquimod 2.5%, and 10.6% for imiquimod 3.75%. Limitations: Local pharmacologic effects of imiquimod, including erythema, may have limited concealment of treatment assignment in some patients. Conclusions: Both imiquimod 2.5% and 3.75% creams were more effective than placebo and were well tolerated when administered daily as a 2-week on/off/on regimen to treat actinic keratoses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)582-590
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

Keywords

  • actinic keratosis
  • clinical trial
  • dose optimization
  • imiquimod

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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