Dr. Becky Smith Talks about Otezla® (apremilast) | Dermatologist

Dr. Becky Smith Talks about Otezla® (apremilast) | Dermatologist


Otezla® (apremilast) is a prescription
medicine approved for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe plaque
psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate. “Psoriasis is a very tough disease. It’s
very demanding. I feel like my psoriasis patients are spending a lot of energy
and a lot of time on covering their disease and hiding their disease. They
wear longer sleeves and long pants, even when it’s warm outside. Even in the dead
of summertime, these patients are wearing hoodies and they’re wearing
things to help hide; and sometimes they change the colors that they wear. They
don’t like to wear black because all the flaking from their scalp might show, and
they might wear hats more often. When I was growing up I used to love to try to
help my dolls and try to put band-aids on them. I always knew that I wanted to
grow up and help people. There are lots of patients out there lots of diseases
to treat. I’ve always been passionate about helping other people, at the end of
the day that’s what my job is all about. Right now is an exciting time to be in
dermatology because there are so many treatment options. One of my favorite
psoriasis patients is one that came in, he’d had psoriasis since his teenage
years and he’s now in his early 30s, and he has moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, but he wears clothing that hides it. He was embarrassed of his disease. This
particular patient had tried several other treatment options, but mostly just
topicals and light therapy, but he was really ready for a change. I talked to my
patient about Otezla, we discussed all the benefits and risks. He liked the fact
that it was a pill. We agreed it was the right treatment for him, so we got
started right away.” In clinical studies, approximately one out of three people
with plaque psoriasis saw 75% clearer skin after four months. The most common side effects of Otezla were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection,
and headache. People who are allergic to Otezla or its components should not take
Otezla. Otezla is associated with severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting as well as
depression, weight decrease, and interacting with other medicines, which
may make Otezla less effective. For more information listen to the Important
Safety Information at the end of this video, and read the Full Prescribing
Information for Otezla. “This feeling of being able to help
somebody to that degree is an amazing feeling. When you see somebody come
in and they’re dressing to hide their plaques. To have them come back for six
months later, and they’re in shorts and a t-shirt, and they feel better; it’s just
heartwarming. Our skin is our largest organ and it’s the biggest part of who
we are. We spend a lot of time taking care of our skin, it reflects what we
think about ourselves, it reflects our inner health and the better care we take
of it, the better care it’s gonna take of us” Do not take Otezla if you are
allergic to apremilast or to any of the ingredients in Otezla. Otezla can
cause severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, especially within the first few
weeks of treatment. Use in elderly patients and the use of certain
medications with Otezla appears to increase the risk of having diarrhea,
nausea, or vomiting. Tell your doctor if any of these conditions occur.
Otezla is associated with an increase in depression. In clinical studies, some
patients reported depression and suicidal behavior while taking Otezla.
Some patients stopped taking Otezla due to depression. Before starting Otezla, tell
your doctor if you have had feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts or
behavior. Be sure to tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or other mood
changes develop or worsen during treatment with Otezla. Some patients
taking Otezla lost body weight. Your doctor should monitor your weight
regularly. If unexplained or significant weight loss occurs, your doctor will
decide if you should continue taking Otezla. Some medicines may make Otezla
less effective, and should not be taken with Otezla. Tell your doctor about all
the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription
medicines. Side effects of Otezla include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting upper
respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache. These are not all
the possible side effects with Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential
side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not
go away. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant,
planning to become pregnant, or planning to breastfeed. Otezla has not been
studied in pregnant women or in women who are breastfeeding.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to
the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-332-1088. Please read the Full Prescribing Information for Otezla.

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