Psoriatic arthritis is a debilitating condition that affects the joints and causes a host of uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms. It can also cause fatigue, stiffness, achiness, and as well as inflammation of the skin directly related to psoriasis. Traditional treatment options for this condition include medications, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and therapies. One of the newer treatments for psoriatic arthritis is apremilast, an oral treatment that has been approved for use in the United States since 2014.
Apremilast is a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4, which helps reduce inflammation and inhibit cell differentiation in the body. This drug works differently than other targeted psoriatic arthritis treatments, such as biologic drugs, in that it works indirectly on the immune system rather than directly targeting the disease. Apremilast is primarily prescribed to those who are not responding to more traditional treatments, and it can be used in combination with traditional therapies.
This treatment has been proven to reduce signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, such as swollen and tender joints, pain, and overall inflammation. Studies have also shown that it can help improve the quality of life for those with psoriatic arthritis as well. In a study of over 500 individuals taking Apremilast, almost 60 percent reported improvements in their overall physical functioning, as well as in their quality of sleep.
As with any treatment, Apremilast may produce side effects. Most of these side effects are mild, and most people taking the drug report that they disappear within the first few weeks of treatment. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. Less common side effects may include anxiety, insomnia, or depression.
Apremilast has emerged as a promising treatment for psoriatic arthritis and has provided many individuals with an effective and safe option. It is important to note, however, that as with any treatment, it is important to discuss it thoroughly with your doctor to ensure it is right for you.
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