April Armstrong, MD, MPH: IL-17 vs IL-23 Inhibitors for Psoriasis Treatment

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April Armstrong, MD, MPH, explains the effectiveness of interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-23 inhibitors in treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

In an interview with HCPLive, Armstrong, associate dean of Clinical Research at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and the chief of the division of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, discussed her lecture “IL-17 vs. IL-23 Inhibitors for Psoriasis: The Great Debate,” presented at the 2023 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference.1

Armstrong emphasized interleukin (IL)-17 inhibitors and IL-23 inhibitors are highly effective treatments for patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. As there are some subtle distinctions between these classes, it is crucial to consider variations exist even within the same class of inhibitors. IL-17 inhibitors are known for their robust skin clearance and rapid onset of action, making them attractive to patients seeking quick results. Additionally, these medications have demonstrated radiographic data indicating a reduction in psoriatic arthritis progression, which is especially beneficial for severe cases.

On the other hand, IL-23 inhibitors are characterized by their long-lasting effectiveness and infrequent dosing schedules, typically requiring injections every 2 or 3 months. This convenience is well-received by both patients and clinicians alike. Additionally, IL-23 inhibitors are often associated with a strong safety profile.

While both classes offer significant advantages, patient selection plays an important role in determining the most suitable treatment. She noted most IL-23 inhibitors are also approved for psoriatic arthritis treatment, although their ability to inhibit radiographic progression in such cases is still being studied, which offers potential benefits for the future.


  1. Armstrong A. IL-17 vs. IL-23 Inhibitors for Psoriasis: The Great Debate. Presented at: Fall Clinical Dermatology 2023 Conference. Las Vegas, NV. October 19 – 22, 2023.