psoriasis novartis

Is it time to switch to biologics?

November 16, 2018

There are many medications and treatments available for psoriasis. Topical creams, light therapy, and oral treatments are some of the ways to keep psoriasis at bay.

In recent times, biologic medication has shown great success in clearing psoriasis flare-ups. They are made of proteins produced by living cells, unlike most drugs that are made from chemicals.

Types of biologics

There are two types of psoriasis biologic treatments: tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha blockers and interleukin (IL)-12/12/23.

TNF-alpha blockers are proteins that block TNF-alpha, a chemical messenger that worsens the inflammation underlying psoriasis. Examples of TNF-alpha blockers include etanercept, golimumab, and adalimumab.

The second type of biologics, IL-12/17A/23, are medications that keep proteins from attaching to other cells, which leads to inflammation. Brodalumab and secukinumab are some of the IL-12/17A/23 medications available in the US market.

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What are the factors to consider?

The method of taking biologics, how efficient it is, and how fast you’ll see the results are some of the factors to consider before a psoriasis patient switches to biologics.

The frequency of taking biologic medications depends on the way a patient receives it. For example, injections and infusion both have different frequencies when taking it.

The time it takes for biologics take effect varies. Remicade is known show results in two to three weeks, while others may take up to three months.

How long a biologic medication lasts is another factor to consider. Some biologics last longer than others, but there are times when you won’t need them to be in your body for too long. For example, you may not want biologics in your system before surgery.

Should you change to biologic treatment?

Biologics are a significant advance in psoriasis treatment and has an excellent success rate.  However, it is essential to know that the results vary from an individual to another. Some patients can control their psoriasis with biologics, but others may not see any results at all.

Interested to know more about biologic treatments? Visit for more information.