Biologics and Other Psoriasis Drugs

Biologics are injectable drugs that provide relief from itchy and flaky skin for people suffering from psoriasis. These drugs are potent and effective in controlling the condition's symptoms.

Stekinumab (Stelara) and Briakinumab
However, they carry a risk of serious infections and side effects. In fact, some clinical trials that involved new biologics ustekinumab (Stelara) and briakinumab were found to increase risk of stroke and heart attack.

Still a newer study emerged saying that the heart risk linked with these drugs shouldn't be a cause for concern. This study evaluated the previous research and found that there is no measurable evidence that biologics ustekinumab (Stelara) and briakinumab are bad for the heart. The findings of this new study were published at the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers of this study say that more extensive studies should be done to confirm this new conclusion.

According to psoriasis researchers at the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas, since there is no statistical significance of the drugs' effects on heart health, there can be no actual evidence that these bring about cardiovascular problems. However, this doesn't prove too that there is zero risk for heart disease for these drugs. The number of participants in the study is too small to draw conclusive findings.

Biologics are not the only forms of treatment for this skin problem.
Other treatment options for psoriasis include the following:

Occlusion Therapy
This makes use of medicated creams, gels and moisturizers, which are applied to the skin. After the application, the skin is wrapped using tape, plastic or fabric. The medications keep the skin moist and soft. For small areas, steroid creams may be used but only for a few days. Using this treatment for large areas of the skin can result in skin thinning. Be sure to discuss with the doctor the repercussions and effectiveness rate of this treatment before undergoing it.

Phototherapy
Ultraviolet light such as UVB and UVA are used to treat psoriasis. This is combined with creams and ointments.

• UVB with Tar or Calcipotriene
Treatment using medicines such as tar and calcipotriene with UVB is a safe and effective treatment for psoriasis.

• PUVA
UVA, meanwhile, is combined with a medicine called psoralen, which makes the skin more absorbent to UVA light. This treatment is also called PUVA, which stands for psoralen and UVA. You can take the psoralen as a pill, apply it on the skin as lotion or use it as bath salt. This is done before going into the UVA light therapy.

Oral Medications
Moderate to severe psoriasis can also be treated by oral medications like:
- methotrexate
- cyclosporine
- retinoids

Sometimes, these medicines are injected into the body or applied as a patch.

Psoriasis is a serious skin problem that requires immediate medical attention. It's fortunate that advancements in the field of medicine have paved the way for the introduction of these treatment options that can make the lives of psoriasis patients better.

 


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