Calcipotriene, Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream Shown to be Effective Psoriasis Treatment

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Recent phase 3 trial results suggest positive effects and faster onset using CAL/BDP cream for adult plaque psoriasis.

Calcipotriene (CAL) and betamethasone dipropionate (BDP) cream may be an effective and faster-acting psoriasis treatment compared to CAL/BDP Topical Suspension (TS).

The randomized, multicenter trial comparing the 2 treatments was led by George Han, PhD, at the Zucker School of Medicine’s Hofstra Department of Dermatology.

“Improved adherence to therapy is one of the greatest unmet needs associated with topical psoriasis medication,” Han and colleagues wrote. “Early onset of action and convenience are key adherence drivers. Scaling and itching are burdensome psoriasis symptoms, and rapidly effective treatment could improve adherence and quality of life.”


The study’s investigators implemented a parallel-group, investigator-blind trial, recruiting 796 adults dealing with mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis. These participants were told to apply the trial medication topically to their bodies’ affected areas once-per-day for up to 8 weeks.

The investigators then assessed the participants using several measures: the physician global assessment (PGA), the mPASI score, the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and the peak pruritus Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) score.


In comparing CAL/BDP cream to CAL/BDP TS, the investigators found that participants’ PGA improved by 1-grade at least following a single week of treatment for 34.7% with CAL/BDP cream. This contrasted with 26.2% PGA for the CAL/BDP TS group (P=0.0122) and 13.7% in the vehicle group (P<0.0001).

The research team also reported that mPASI scores decreased more in the CAL/BDP arm—with a 25.4% change from baseline—after a single week of treatment, in comparison with the CAL/BDP TS arm—with a 18.7% change (P=0.0013)— and the vehicle group change of 9.8% (P<0.0001).

Additionally, they found that 44.0% of participants treated with CAL/BDP reported a minimum of 4-points improvement in peak pruritus NRS score for the beginning week. This was in comparison with CAL/BDP TS—36.9% (P=0.0241)—and the vehicle at 20.4% (P<0.0001).

“In this head-to-head trial, CAL/BDP cream demonstrated a faster onset of action than CAL/BDP TS,” they wrote. “Rapid improvement of both clinical (PGA and mPASI) and patient reported outcomes (itch, DLQI, and psoriasis treatment convenience) may result in increased adherence to treatment and thereby better treatment outcomes for psoriasis patients.”