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Biologics for Psoriasis: What to Consider

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If single drugs aren't working for you, it may be time to consider combining biologics with traditional treatments.

There are three main benefits of using a combination approach:

  • It can decrease the possibility of reaching toxic levels with a single drug.
  • The single drug will be prescribed at a lower dose.
  • A combination approach can be more successful than a single dose.

Research shows that those taking a biologic, or a biologic along with another form of treatment, are generally more satisfied than those taking topical therapies or acitrecin (Soriatane) alone.

If you feel like your current psoriasis treatment isn't working, talk to your doctor about biologics. Using biologics, or a combination of biologics with traditional drugs, may be the answer for you.

Written by Jennifer Abayowa

Medically Reviewed by Darren Hein, PharmD on July 5, 2016

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

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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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