Merck Trialling Laropiprant for the Redness of Rosacea


A product from Merck designated as MK-0524, also known as Laropiprant, is to be trialled as a treatment for the redness of rosacea.

This is great news for rosacea sufferers as MK-0524/Laropiprant will now join Sansrosa and Oxymetazoline which are already in development for this mostly ignored group of rosacea symptoms.

Trialists will take either Lapropiprant or placebo once daily for 4 weeks and be assessed on any reduction in the erythema, or redness associated with rosacea.

Laropiprant is a selective prostaglandin-2 receptor inhibitor, and is believed to specifically target the cascade of events causing flushing.

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.

To date Merck have not had a product that could be called a rosacea treatment.

Clinical Trial NCT01451619

A Study of Laropiprant (MK-0524) in Participants With Moderate to Severe Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (MK-0524-155)

This study will assess the effect of MK-0524 relative to placebo, on signs and symptoms of rosacea and to determine the safety and tolerability profile of MK-0524 in participants with rosacea

A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Multi-center, Parallel Group Study to Assess the Pharmacodynamics of MK-0524 in Subjects With Moderate to Severe Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea. (Protocol No. 155)

Trial participants are expected to use effective forms of contraception during the trial and may not have more than 5 papules/pustules. The full list of exclusions further suggests that this drug can have significant side effects.

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

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4 Reader Comments

  1. j says:

    I wonder… if we can acquire the pure drug already somewhere? Or perhaps get it prescribed off label (sans niacin in the combo version of course.)

  2. I don’t know how it might be possible to source Laropiprant on its own – so it will be interesting to see well it trials.

  3. David do we know if the trial conducted by Merck has been published? Im doing a Cochrane review on Rosacea and wanted to include the study
    Professor Zbys Fedorowicz
    The Bahrain Branch of The Cochrane Collaboration
    For information on the Bahrain branch see:
    ☎ +973-39188056

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