Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is an oral medication that has been used for the treatment of psoriasis. It is primarily prescribed for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, although it may also be effective for other forms of the condition.
DMF is thought to work by modulating the immune system and reducing inflammation, which are key factors in the development of psoriasis. It is believed to activate a pathway called the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) pathway, which plays a role in cellular antioxidant defenses.
Clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of DMF in treating psoriasis. For example, in a phase 3 clinical trial called “DEFINE,” DMF was found to be effective in reducing psoriasis symptoms and improving patients’ quality of life. Another phase 3 trial called “CONFIRM” also showed positive results, with DMF significantly reducing the severity of psoriasis symptoms compared to a placebo.
However, it’s important to note that DMF is associated with certain side effects. Common side effects include flushing, gastrointestinal disturbances (such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain), and skin reactions. Some individuals may also experience a decrease in white blood cell count or liver enzyme abnormalities.