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Apremilast for Psoriasis: What You Need to Know

Apremilast, a breakthrough medication, offers hope to those battling the debilitating effects of psoriasis.

With its unique mechanism of action, this oral treatment targets the underlying inflammatory processes responsible for psoriasis symptoms, providing relief and improved skin health.

Let’s discover how Apremilast is transforming the landscape of psoriasis management.

What is Apremilast

apremilast for psoriasis 1

Apremilast (Otezla) is a medication prescribed for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, conditions characterized by inflammatory symptoms.

This medication falls under the category of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and specifically targets an enzyme known as PDE4, which plays a key role in the inflammatory processes responsible for the symptoms associated with these conditions.

Apremilast is administered orally, with the recommended adult dosage being 30 mg twice daily for individuals dealing with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Before gaining approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), apremilast underwent extensive clinical trials involving more than 4,000 adult participants dealing with plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, or both.

Most patients reported experiencing mild side effects during these trials. Only a small percentage of patients with plaque psoriasis discontinued apremilast due to side effects. Among those who discontinued, common reasons included nausea, diarrhea, and headaches.

Apremilast can be combined with other treatments like phototherapy or topicals, and its safety and efficacy have been demonstrated when used in conjunction with methotrexate. However, it’s important to be cautious about potential interactions with other medications, so consulting with a healthcare professional or pharmacist before starting new medications is advisable.

Patients who respond positively to apremilast should begin noticing benefits within approximately four months of commencing treatment. These benefits include a reduction in symptoms like swollen and tender joints, as well as improvements in skin conditions, including scalp and nail psoriasis.

How long does Apremilast take to clear psoriasis

In a clinical trial involving individuals with mild to moderate plaque psoriasis, Otezla demonstrated its effectiveness, with 22% of participants experiencing clearer skin after just four months, a significant contrast to the mere 4% improvement observed in the placebo group.

Similarly, in a study involving moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, Otezla exhibited its potential, with 33% of individuals achieving clearer skin within the same timeframe, compared to only 5% in the placebo group.

What is the success rate of Apremilast

Based on real-world data, the median survival duration for apremilast usage varies between 12.5 to 65 weeks, with a 52-week survival probability ranging from 40.7% to 53.4% [7–11].

Common concerns when taking Apremilast

Common concerns when taking apremilast may include:

  1. Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Some individuals may experience side effects like nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfort. It’s important to communicate these issues with your healthcare provider, as they can often provide guidance to manage these symptoms.

  2. Headaches: Headaches can occasionally occur while taking apremilast. Inform your healthcare provider if these become bothersome.

  3. Interactions with Other Medications: Apremilast may interact with other medications you are taking, so it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare professional to ensure safe co-administration.

  4. Effectiveness: While apremilast can be effective, its success may vary from person to person, and it may take several months to see noticeable improvements in psoriasis symptoms. Be patient and maintain open communication with your healthcare provider to assess progress.

  5. Monitoring: Regular monitoring of your condition and potential side effects is essential while using apremilast. Keep in touch with your healthcare provider to address any concerns and ensure safe and effective treatment.

Remember that individual experiences with apremilast can differ, so discussing any concerns with your healthcare provider is key to addressing and managing them effectively.

Does Apremilast cause weight gain

Officially, Otezla does not typically lead to weight gain; in fact, it is more likely to result in weight loss.

Apremilast, the active ingredient in Otezla, is generally not linked to weight gain as a common side effect.

Monitoring your weight and addressing any concerns with your healthcare provider is essential, as they can offer guidance and address any specific treatment-related issues.

Does Apremilast cause hair loss

Apremilast is not commonly associated with hair loss as a side effect. Hair loss is not a typical or common adverse reaction to this medication.

However, responses to medications can vary, so if you notice any unusual changes in your hair, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your healthcare provider to rule out any potential underlying causes.

Is Otezla bad for kidneys

  • Liver and Kidney Health: Otezla (Apremilast) has the potential to influence liver and kidney function. If you have a history of liver or kidney disease, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor before considering Otezla as a treatment option.
  • Drug Interactions: Otezla (Apremilast) can interact with various medications, including specific antibiotics and antifungal drugs. Always inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Is Otezla hard on the liver

Otezla is generally considered liver-friendly, distinguishing itself from certain other psoriasis management medications known to pose liver-related risks.

Nevertheless, there are additional factors to consider when it comes to alcohol consumption for individuals dealing with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.

Is Apremilast a high risk medication

Apremilast is generally considered a low-to-moderate risk medication. It has a manageable side effect profile for most individuals and is not typically associated with severe or high-risk adverse effects.

However, as with any medication, individual responses may vary, and it can interact with other medications.

It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider who can assess your specific medical history and needs to determine the appropriateness of apremilast for your condition and manage any potential risks effectively.

Can Apremilast cause anxiety

Apremilast may potentially lead to anxiety as a side effect in some individuals. While this is not a common or frequently reported adverse effect, it’s essential to be aware of the possibility.

If you experience anxiety or have concerns about it while taking Apremilast, it’s advisable to discuss this with your healthcare provider, who can provide guidance and explore potential adjustments to your treatment plan if necessary.

Does Apremilast cause depression

A study in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology found that psoriasis patients taking apremilast had comparable rates of anxiety and depression to those on alternative non-corticosteroid treatments.

What to avoid while taking Apremilast

While taking Apremilast, it’s advisable to avoid or be cautious with the following:

  1. Grapefruit: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interact with certain medications, including apremilast. It’s best to avoid these while on the medication.

  2. Alcohol: While moderate alcohol consumption is generally considered safe, it’s a good idea to limit alcohol intake or consult with your healthcare provider, as alcohol can potentially interact with apremilast.

  3. Other Medications: Apremilast may interact with specific medications, so always inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.

  4. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the use of apremilast with your healthcare provider, as it may have implications for pregnancy and nursing.

  5. Live Vaccines: Avoid live vaccines while taking apremilast, as it may reduce their effectiveness.

It’s essential to have open communication with your healthcare provider about any dietary, lifestyle, or medication-related concerns while using apremilast to ensure safe and effective treatment.