NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. – The approval of apremilast (Otezla) for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis will make a significant impact on patient care, Dr. Alan Menter of Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Tex., said at Skin Disease Education Foundation’s Women’s & Pediatric Dermatology Seminar.
“I think where this drug is going to have a role is ... patients who are risk averse to needles, have contraindications to TNF-alpha agents ... patients who want a drug with minimal to no long-term side effects,” with the exception of the significant incidence of diarrhea within the early weeks of starting the drug, Dr. Menter explained. Clinicians should explain the risk of diarrhea to patients, and help them get through the first few months. The diarrhea “definitely does vanish with time,” he said. Overall, the risk of side effects is extremely low, he noted. “It is probably the safest drug we have approved for psoriasis today.”
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