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Is Paroxetine Efficacious, Safe for Erythema of Rosacea?

Significantly greater proportion of patients achieved Clinical Erythema Assessment success with paroxetine versus placebo

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | March 08, 2023

Paroxetine is efficacious and safe for treating moderate-to-severe erythema of rosacea, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Ben Wang, M.D., from Central South University in Changsha, China, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving 97 patients with refractory erythema of rosacea who were randomly assigned to paroxetine 25 mg daily or placebo over 12 weeks (49 and 48 patients, respectively).

The researchers found that the proportion of patients achieving Clinical Erythema Assessment (CEA) success (defined as CEA score of 0, 1, or ≥2 grade improvement from baseline) at week 12 was significantly greater in the paroxetine group versus the placebo group (42.9 versus 20.8 percent). Some secondary end points were met, including flushing success with point reductions ≥2 and improvement in overall flushing, burning sensation, and depression. Dizziness, lethargy, nausea, dyspepsia, and muscle tremors were the most reported adverse events associated with paroxetine.

"To our knowledge, this is the first clinical study evaluating this psychotropic drug to treat rosacea," the authors write. "Based on the results of this PRRERCT [Prospective Rosacea Refractory Erythema Randomized Clinical Trial] study, paroxetine appears to be an efficacious and well tolerated treatment for refractory erythema in rosacea."

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