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Fluphenazine Decanoate for Psoriasis

This study has been terminated.
(Enrollment criteria met)
Immune Control
Information provided by:
Tufts Medical Center Identifier:
First received: July 24, 2006
Last updated: December 20, 2010
Last verified: December 2010
We are doing this research study to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of fluphenazine decanoate when injected with a needle into psoriasis lesions in adults. Fluphenazine decanoate is FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved for use in people who have schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms. Fluphenazine decanoate is not approved by the FDA for use in psoriasis. Fluphenazine decanoate slows T cell growth in cells in laboratory test tubes. Its usefulness and safety in people with psoriasis will be investigated in this study.

Condition Intervention Phase
Drug: Fluphenazine Decanoate
Drug: Placebo
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Ascending-Dose, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Bilateral Study of Intralesional Fluphenazine Decanoate in Psoriasis

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Tufts Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Change in Target Lesion Score at Week 4 Compared to Baseline [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 4 ]
    Change in score from 0-14 of target lesion disease activity based on scaling, erythema, and induration as determined by a physician assessor at week 4 compared to baseline (with 0 being no disease activity and 14 being maximum disease activity).

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Change in Target Lesion Pruritus Visual Analog Scale (VAS) at Week 4 Compared to Baseline. [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 4 ]
    Target lesion pruritus as measured by the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) from 0 to 100 mm at week 4 compared to baseline (with 0 being no pruritis and 100 being maximum pruritis).

Enrollment: 10
Study Start Date: July 2006
Study Completion Date: September 2008
Primary Completion Date: December 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Fluphenazine treated
Treated with fluphenazine
Drug: Fluphenazine Decanoate
Fluphenazine decanoate marketed by APP Pharmaceuticals (25 mg/mL, 5 mL vial) was used in this study. This was an ascending dose study with the first cohort of 5 subjects dosed at 10 µg/mL, followed by 5 subject dosed in the second cohort at 100 µg/mL. Note: "APP Pharmaceuticals" is the name of the pharmaceutical company; APP is not an acronym.
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Treated with Placebo
Drug: Placebo
The sterile placebo (sesame oil with 1.2% (w/v) benzyl alcohol) was prepared at the University of Iowa, Division of Pharmaceutical Services, a FDA registered pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.

Detailed Description:

Psoriasis is a hyperproliferative, inflammatory, immune-mediated skin disease that affects approximately 2% of the United States and European populations (Tutrone 2001, Kipnis 2005). This disease manifests as red, scaly plaques that are itchy and/or painful. Patients with psoriasis may be socially stigmatized because of their appearance. Currently, there is no cure for this condition. Often, repeated medical treatments are necessary and can become expensive. Treatment with topical corticosteroids is the mainstay therapy for mild to moderate psoriasis. In more severe cases, systemic therapies (e.g., cyclosporine) and phototherapy (e.g., ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation) are used. These treatments, however, are associated with toxicities or inconvenience. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that antipsychotic drugs have a beneficial effect on psoriasis (Gupta 2001, 2003).

Fluphenazine is a phenothiazine antipsychotic drug. In vitro, fluphenazine kills activated human T cells under conditions that do not affect resting T cells (Immune Control Inc. data not shown). To determine the size of a therapeutic window for human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC)s, Immune Control Inc. performed the following experiments. First, phytohemagglutinin- (PHA)-activated cells were exposed to 2, 10, or 20 µM fluphenazine for 0, 18, 24, 36, 48, or 72 hours. Second, resting cells were exposed to identical fluphenazine concentrations for identical time periods, after which the drug was washed out of the cells, and the cells activated with PHA. In all cases, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis was measured by exposing the cells to tritiated thymidine, and measuring the incorporated nucleotide by scintillation counting. The data show that exposure of activated cells to 10 µM fluphenazine for 72 hours, or 20 µM fluphenazine for 36 hours, caused the death of virtually all of the activated cells. The ability of the resting cells to initiate DNA synthesis after activation, by contrast, was largely unaffected by these fluphenazine exposures. Although we cannot precisely control intralesional fluphenazine concentrations, we expect that injections of up to 1 mg fluphenazine decanoate will yield local concentrations that exceed 10 µM without significant systemic fluphenazine concentrations.

We propose that fluphenazine will suppress proliferating T-lymphocytes in psoriatic plaques in vivo and thus result in healing of plaques. The objective of this study is to assess the safety and biologic activity of intralesional injection of fluphenazine decanoate in adult subjects with psoriasis.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adults 18 to 65 years of age with psoriasis, in general good health
  • Must have symmetric target lesions approximately 2-4 cm in diameter on each side of the body (e.g., thighs) with baseline target lesion score of 6 or higher (scale of 0-12) for each target
  • Women of childbearing potential must agree to use two forms of contraception for the duration of the study

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Infliximab (Remicade) or alefacept (Amevive) within the past 6 months (24 weeks)
  • Etanercept (Enbrel), efalizumab (Raptiva), adalimumab (Humira), or other tumor necrosis factor- (TNF)-alpha inhibitor within the past 3 months (12 weeks)
  • Other systemic psoriasis therapies (e.g., methotrexate, cyclosporine, acitretin) or PUVA (psoralen plus ultraviolet A) within the past 4 weeks
  • Ultraviolet B (UVB) or topical therapy (other than over the counter (OTC) moisturizers and shampoos) within the past 2 weeks (including topical corticosteroids, vitamin A and D analogues)
  • Receipt of an investigational agent within the past 4 weeks
  • Systemic corticosteroid therapy
  • Inability to understand consent or comply with protocol
  • Pregnancy, lactation, or unwillingness to use adequate birth control during the study
  • Impaired hepatic function
  • Known Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis B/C
  • Blood dyscrasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Tardive dyskinesia
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Current use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), tricyclic, or norephinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressants or use within 6 weeks of beginning the study
  • Concurrent use of anti-seizure drugs, with the exception of gabapentin for treatment of neuropathy
  • Use of phenothiazine antipsychotics or anticholinergics
  • Known allergy to fluphenazine decanoate or other phenothiazines
  • Known allergy to parabens/para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), benzyl alcohol, sesame oil or sesame seeds
  • Clinically significant mitral valve disease
  • Clinically significant and uncontrolled cardiovascular disease
  • QTc >450 msec, or evidence of a clinically significant dysrhythmia on electrocardiography (ECG)
  • Operator of heavy machinery
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • History of breast cancer
  • History of seizure disorder
  • Occupational exposure to organophosphate insecticides
  • Parkinson's disease and other related movement disorders
  • Lab abnormalities including:
  • Alanine aminotranferease (ALT)/aspartate aminotransferase (AST) ≥ 2X upper limit of reference range
  • Creatinine ≥ 1.5X upper limit of reference range
  • Bilirubin ≥ 2X upper limit of reference range
  • Absolute total lymphocyte or polymorphonuclear leucocyte count ≤ 1000/uL or ≥ 3X upper limit of ref range
  • Platelets ≤ 80,000/uL
  • Hemoglobin ≤ 8.0 g/dL
  • Glucose ≥ 200 mg/dL
  • Fasting blood sugar ≥ 126 mg/dL
  • Concurrent use of drugs listed in Appendix F
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00356200

United States, Massachusetts
Tufts-New England Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02111
Sponsors and Collaborators
Tufts Medical Center
Immune Control
Principal Investigator: Alice B Gottlieb, MD, PhD Tufts Medical Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: Alice B Gottlieb, MD, PhD, Tufts Medical Center Identifier: NCT00356200     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: FP-CL1
Study First Received: July 24, 2006
Results First Received: November 15, 2010
Last Updated: December 20, 2010

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Skin Diseases, Papulosquamous
Skin Diseases
Fluphenazine depot
Fluphenazine enanthate
Decanoic acid
Antipsychotic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Psychotropic Drugs
Dopamine Antagonists
Dopamine Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antifungal Agents
Anti-Infective Agents processed this record on April 25, 2017