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Biologics for Psoriasis: What to Consider

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Th1 cells, types of T-cells, increase inflammatory cytokines that cause psoriasis, including interferon-gamma (IFN-?), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin-12 (IL-12).

Th17 mechanism

Some biologics target cytokines produced by Th17 cells, which can also cause psoriasis. These cells stimulate secretion of IL-17 cytokines. Biologics can stop these inflammatory cells and reduce the onset of psoriatic arthritis.

What biologics are currently available?

Currently, there are seven biologics for psoriasis:

  • infliximab (Remicade)
  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • ustekinumab (Stelara)
  • apremilast (Otezla)
  • ixekizumab (Taltz)
  • secukinumab (Cosentyx)

These biologics target different cytokines and inflammatory mediators, so talk to your doctor about which biologic is right for you. Research to develop other biologics for psoriasis is ongoing.

Can biologics be combined with other treatments?

The use of a single drug or a single therapeutic method may not be effective for everyone with psoriasis.

Read more in Psoriasis Resources
  • Psoriasis. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/conditions/psoriasis
  • Cai, Y., Fleming, C., & Yan, J. (2012). New insights of T cells in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Cellular & Molecular Immunology, 9(4), 302ñ309. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/cmi/journal/v9/n4/full/cmi201215a.html
  • Callis Duffin, K., Yeung, H., Takeshita, J., Krueger, G. G., Robertson, A. D., Troxel, A. B., Ö Gelfand, J. M. (2014, March). Patient satisfaction with treatments for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in clinical practice. British Journal of Dermatology, 170(3), 672ñ680. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.12745/abstract 
  • Lewis, B. J., Rajpara, S., Haggart, A. M., Wilson, H. M., Barker, R. N., & Ormerod, A. D. (2013, July). Predominance of activated, clonally expanded T helper type 17 cells within the CD4+T cell population in psoriatic lesions. Clinical & Experimental Immunology, 173(1), 38ñ46. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cei.12086/abstract
  • * Mease, P. J., McInnes, I. B., Kirkham, B., Kavanaugh, A., Rahman, P., van der Heijde, D., Ö Mpofu, S. (2015). Secukinumab inhibition of interleukin-17A in patients with psoriatic arthritis. New England Journal of Medicine, 373(14), 1329ñ1339. Retrieved from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1412679
  • Noda, S., Krueger, J. G., & Guttman-Yassky, E. (2014, November 17). The translational revolution and use of biologics in patients with inflammatory skin diseases. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 135(2), 324ñ336. Retrieved from http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(14)01669-8/abstract
  • Feely, M.A., Smith, B.L., & Weinberg, J.M. (2015, May). Novel psoriasis therapies and patient outcomes, part 2: biologic treatments?: cutis: cutaneous medicine for the practitioner. Cutis, 95(5), 282-290. Retrieved from http://www.cutis.com/the-publication/past-issues-single-view/novel-psoriasis-therapies-and-patient-outcomes-part-2-biologic-treatments/98d6e144e5a4d6d1be15f9de4efa53fd.html
  • Papoutsaki, M. & Antoniou, C. (2015). Biologic agents for psoriasis. European Handbook of Dermatological Treatments, 1411ñ1420. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-662-45139-7_137
  • Pariser D.M., Bagel J., Gelfand J.M., Korman, N.J., Ritchlin, C.T., Strober, B.E., Ö Van Voorhees, A.S. (2007, February). National psoriasis foundation clinical consensus on disease severity. Archives of Dermatology, 143(2), 239ñ242. Retrieved from http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=411159
  • Rachakonda, T. D., Schupp, C. W., & Armstrong, A. W. (2014, January 6). Psoriasis prevalence among adults in the United States. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 70(3), 512ñ516. Retrieved from http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(13)01268-1/abstract
  • What is a biological product? (2015, August 20). Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194516.htm

Psoriasis Resources

5 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter Without Agitating Your Psoriasis

5 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter Without Agitating Your Psoriasis

10 Ways to Treat Psoriasis at Home

10 Ways to Treat Psoriasis at Home

Why Your Psoriasis Treatment Is Not Working

Why Your Psoriasis Treatment Is Not Working

What's Your Psoriasis Severity?

What's Your Psoriasis Severity?

All in Psoriasis Resources

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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