Laropiprant (MK-0524) fails as a treatment for a red face

Written by on September 23, 2014 in New Rosacea Treatments, Red Face of Rosacea with 0 Comments


We don’t often get to see research results published that show a proposed new treatment doesn’t work. It make sense that researchers and pharmaceutical companies would rather see their research and development efforts succeed and lead only to new products.

A clinical trial for MK-0524, Merck’s designation for their product known as Laropiprant, has confirmed that it is no better at treating the redness of rosacea than the placebo.

After 4 weeks of treatment of 100mg once a day, the clinicians measure of facial redness was shown to be no better than the placebo. This means that the trial was unable to prove that Laropiprant could successfully treat rosacea redness.

In 2011 when the trials for Laropiprant were announced it was hoped that it might form another option, along with Mirvaso and Oxymetazoline, to treat the much hated red face that can be associated with rosacea.

Why Laropiprant?

When taken in combination with Niacin, Laropiprant is used to treat high cholesterol. Niacin on its own would be generally considered unsuitable for rosacea sufferers because of the unwanted side effect of inducing facial flushing.

Laropiprant itself has no cholesterol lowering effect, but it reduces facial flushes induced by niacin. The trial specifically excludes anyone who is currently taking more than 500mg a day of Niacin.

Does it work anyway?

Have you taken Laropiprant and seen a benefit perhaps?

Article Abstract

Non-obligatory role of prostaglandin D2 receptor subtype 1 in rosacea: Laropiprant in Comparison to a placebo did not alleviate the symptoms of erythematoelangiectaic rosacea.

J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Aug 20.

Krishna R, Guo Y, Schulz V, Cord-Cruz E, Smith S, Hair S, Nahm WK, Draelos ZD.

Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea shares facial flushing features with those seen after niacin.

This study was performed to test the hypothesis whether prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) receptor subtype 1 antagonist (laropiprant) will improve the symptoms of rosacea.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of laropiprant 100 mg administered once daily for 4 weeks on the signs and symptoms of erythematotelangiectatic rosacea.

Subjects received laropiprant 100 mg once-daily (n = 30) or placebo (n = 30) for 4 weeks.

The primary pharmacodynamics endpoint was change in Clinician’s Erythema Assessment (CEA) score from baseline to week 4. The patient self-assessment (PSA) was a secondary endpoint.

Laropiprant was generally well tolerated in this study for the primary endpoint of change in CEA score from Baseline to Week 4, the least-squares mean of change from baseline to visit 4/week 4 was -3.7 and -3.4 for placebo and laropiprant (100 mg), respectively. The least-squares mean difference (placebo minus laropiprant) with 90% confidence interval of change in CEA score from baseline to visit 4/week 4 was estimated as -0.3 (-1.6, 1.0). For the secondary endpoint, the least-squares mean difference (placebo minus laropiprant) with 90% confidence interval of change from baseline to visit 4/week 4 was estimated as -0.7 (-7.7, 6.4) for PSA total score, -4.5 (-14.2, 5.3) for PSA emotion score, -1.3 (-7.8, 5.3) for PSA symptoms score, and 3.6 (-4.3, 11.4) for PSA functioning score.

Laropiprant administered once daily for 4 weeks was generally well tolerated in this population of subjects with rosacea. However, there were no clinically meaningful changes in the primary endpoint of CEA given that the response to laropiprant could not be differentiated from that to placebo.

There was also no clinically meaningful change in the secondary endpoint, PSA.

A DP1 antagonist is not likely to be effective in rosacea.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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