BACKGROUND: Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is the most common autoimmune blistering disease in older people, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Oral corticosteroids are usually effective but the side-effects are thought to contribute to the high morbidity and mortality rate. Treatment with oral tetracyclines may be effective but high-quality, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are needed to confirm this.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the effectiveness and safety of two strategies for treating BP.
METHODS: This is a two-arm, parallel group, 52-week RCT comparing doxycycline with prednisolone for initial treatment of BP. Dose is fixed for the initial 6 weeks of treatment (doxycycline 200 mg daily; prednisolone 0.5 mg kg(-1) daily), after which it can be adjusted according to need. A total of 256 patients with BP will be recruited in the U.K. and Germany.
RESULTS: The primary outcomes are: (i) effectiveness (assessor-blinded blister count at 6 weeks) and (ii) safety [proportion of patients experiencing ≥ grade 3 adverse events (i.e. severe, life: threatening or fatal) related to trial medication during the year of follow-up]. Primary effectiveness analysis will be an assessment of whether doxycycline can be considered noninferior to prednisolone after 6 weeks of treatment. Primary safety analysis is a superiority analysis at 12 months. Secondary outcomes include longer-term assessment of effectiveness, relapse rates, the proportion of patients experiencing any grade of adverse events related to treatment, quality of life and cost-effectiveness.
CONCLUSIONS: The trial will provide good evidence for whether the strategy of starting BP treatment with doxycycline is a useful alternative to prednisolone.
- Dermatologic Agents
- Drug Administration Schedule
- Bullous Pemphigoid
- Treatment Outcome
- Comparative Study
- Multicenter Study
- Randomized Controlled Trial