Background: Calcipotriol is an established topical therapy for psoriasis vulgaris. Objective: This study aimed to investigate whether the addition of calcipotriol to fumaric acid ester (FAE) monotherapy had an additive efficacy and an FAE-sparing effect in patients with severe plaque psoriasis. Methods: This multicentre, randomised, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study included 143 patients for up to 13 weeks treatment. Group A received FAE tablets (Fumaderm®) with an increasing daily dosage from 105 to 1,075 mg + ointment vehicle. Group B received FAE tablets + calcipotriol ointment (50 µg/g). Ointments were applied twice daily. Clinical response was assessed using percentage changes in the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI), from baseline to treatment end. Results: The mean percentage change in the PASI was –76.1% in group B and –51.9% in group A, the difference between treatments was –24.2% (95% CI from –34.2 to –14.2%; p < 0.001). Group B responded more rapidly to treatment. Investigators’ and patients’ overall efficacy assessments were significantly more favourable for group B (p ≤ 0.001). Group B was prescribed less FAE than group A. This difference was greatest at the last visit (mean daily dose 529 and 685 mg, respectively; p = 0.006). Overall adverse events in the two groups were similar. Conclusion: This study shows that the combination of calcipotriol and FAEs is significantly more effective and faster acting than FAE monotherapy in the treatment of severe plaque psoriasis. The combination has a slight FEA-sparing effect and therefore a superior benefit/risk ratio.

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