Short-term use of JAK inhibitors for a dermatologic indication appears to not be associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and venous thromboembolic events (VTE), results from a systematic literature review, and meta-analysis showed.
“There remains a knowledge gap regarding the risk of JAK inhibitor use and VTE and/or MACE in the dermatologic population,” researchers led by Michael S. Garshick, MD, a cardiologist at New York University Langone Health, wrote in their study, which was published online in JAMA Dermatology . “Pooled safety studies suggest that the risk of MACE and VTE may be lower in patients treated with JAK inhibitors for a dermatologic indication than the risk observed in the ORAL Surveillance study, which may be related to the younger age and better health status of those enrolled in trials for dermatologic indications.” The results of that study, which included patients with rheumatoid arthritis only, resulted in the addition of a boxed warning in the labels for topical and oral JAK inhibitors regarding the increased risk of MACE, VTE, serious infections, malignancies, and death .
For the review – thought to be the first to specifically evaluate these risks for dermatologic indications – the researchers searched PubMed and ClinicalTrials.gov from inception through April 1, 2023, for phase 3 dermatology randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to evaluate the risk of MACE, VTE, and all-cause mortality with JAK inhibitors, compared with placebo or an active comparator in the treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory skin diseases. They followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and used a random-effects model and the DerSimonian-Laird method to calculate adverse events with odds ratios.
The database search yielded 35 RCTs with a total of 20,651 patients. Their mean age was 38.5 years, 54% were male, and the mean follow-up time was 4.9 months. Of the 35 trials, most (21) involved patients with atopic dermatitis, followed by psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis (9 trials), alopecia areata (3 trials) and vitiligo (2 trials).
The researchers found no significant difference between JAK inhibitors and placebo/active comparator in composite MACE and all-cause mortality (odds ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.44-1.57) or in VTE (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.26-1.04).
In a secondary analysis, which included additional psoriatic arthritis RCTs, no significant differences between the treatment and placebo/active comparator groups were observed. Similarly, subgroup analyses of oral versus topical JAK inhibitors and a sensitivity analysis that excluded pediatric trials showed no significant differences between patients exposed to JAK inhibitors and those not exposed.
The researchers acknowledged certain limitations of the review, including the lack of access to patient-level data, the fact that most trials only included short-term follow-up, and that the findings have limited generalizability to an older patient population. “It remains unclear if the cardiovascular risks of JAK inhibitors are primarily due to patient level cardiovascular risk factors or are drug mediated,” they concluded. “Dermatologists should carefully select patients and assess baseline cardiovascular risk factors when considering JAK therapy. Cardiovascular risk assessment should continue for the duration of treatment.”
Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology and director of the center for eczema and itch at Northwestern University, Chicago, who was asked to comment on the study results, characterized the findings as reassuring to dermatologists who may be reluctant to initiate therapy with JAK inhibitors based on concerns about safety signals for MACE, VTE, and all-cause mortality.
“These data systematically show that across medications and across conditions, there doesn’t appear to be an increased signal for these events during the short-term, placebo-controlled period which generally spans a few months in most studies,” he told this news organization. The findings, he added, “align well with our clinical experience to date for JAK inhibitor use in inflammatory skin disease. Short-term safety, particularly in relation to boxed warning events such MACE, VTE, and all-cause mortality, have generally been favorable with real-world use. It’s good to have a rigorous statistical analysis to refer to when setting patient expectations.”
However, he noted that these data only examined short-term safety during the placebo or active comparator-controlled periods. “Considering that events like MACE or VTE may take many months or years to manifest, continued long-term data generation is needed to fully answer the question of risk,” he said.
Dr. Garshick disclosed that he received grants from Pfizer and personal fees from Bristol Myers Squibb during the conduct of the study and personal fees from Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals outside the submitted work. Several other coauthors reported having advisory board roles and/or having received funding or support from several pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Chovatiya disclosed that he is a consultant to, a speaker for, investigator, and/or a member of the advisory board for several pharmaceutical companies, including those that develop JAK inhibitors.
This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.
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Publish date : 2023-11-01 18:29:44
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