Background: This paper reports the proceedings of the European Advisory Panel Meeting for tazarotene (Zorac™), which took place in Cologne on May 7, 1998. Aim: The aim of this meeting was to discuss recommendations for the use of tazarotene based on the clinical data available and on the clinical experience of the Advisory Panel members, and to identify future research needs. Recommendations: Based on currently available data, tazarotene can be used for the treatment of chronic, stable, plaque-type psoriasis, on the trunk or limbs covering up to 20% of the body surface area. In clinical trials, patients generally experienced a clinical response within 4 weeks of starting tazarotene treatment, and improvement was maintained for up to 12 weeks after stopping therapy. Results from published and not yet published clinical trials show that the efficacy and tolerability of tazarotene can be enhanced by the addition of topical corticosteroids to the treatment regimen and that, when used in combination with broad-band UVB phototherapy, tazarotene reduces the amount of UV light required to treat plaques. Tazarotene gel is available in two concentrations, 0.05 and 0.1%. The Advisory Panel recommends that the choice of concentration should be based on factors such as the irritability of the patient’s skin and the thickness of plaques. Irritation can be managed by reducing the concentration or frequency of application, or by adding a topical corticosteroid to therapy. Tazarotene shows promise as a treatment for psoriasis in special localisations, such as the scalp, face and skin folds, although clinical studies are required.

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