Biologics For Psoriasis Treatment | Samar Borhani, PharmD | RxEconsult

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Biologic Drugs For Treatment Of Psoriasis Category: Dermatology by - June 4, 2014 | Views: 67688 | Likes: 1 | Comment: 0  

T-Cell Inhibitors

Amevive (alefacept)

Amevive is a 15 mg once weekly injection administered intramuscularly for a full 12-week period. It was FDA approved in January 2003 for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis. Amevive is not recommended for patients with a white blood cell count of <250/ml. In a clinical trial of Amevive, 21% of the participants achieved a 75% improvement at week 14, which was 2 weeks after the end of 12-week treatment with Amevive. Some of the common side effects of Amevive include a cough, sore throat, nausea, itchiness, headache, injection site reactions, and low white blood cells. It can also increase the risk of serious infections and cancer. The average wholesale price of Amevive 15 mg vial is $995.

TNF-Alpha Inhibitors

Humira (adalimumab)

Humira 80 mg injected subcutaneously for 1 week followed by a 40 mg subcutaneous injection every other week was approved by the FDD in December 2013 for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis. In a clinical trial of Humira versus placebo in the treatment of psoriasis, there was an improvement in 71% of patients after a 16-week treatment with Humira compared to 7% in placebo for the same duration of treatment. Some of the common side effects of Humira include a headache, upper respiratory tract infections, and injection site reactions. It is also associated with allergic reactions, reduced number of white blood cells, and cancer. The wholesale price is $1501.57 for a kit containing 40 mg/0.8 mL of Humira.

Enbrel (etanercept)

Enbrel is given as a 50 mg twice a week subcutaneous injection for 3 months followed by 50 mg once a week. It was FDA approved in November 1998 for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. A clinical trial studying of Enbrel for the treatment of severe to moderate psoriasis showed a significant improvement in 49% of patients receiving 50 mg twice weekly compared to 4% of the patients on placebo after 12 weeks. Injection site reaction, headache, respiratory and non-respiratory tract infections, and rhinitis are common side effects seen with Enbrel. Reduced number of blood cells and cancer also occur. The wholesale price is $378.97 for a kit containing 25 mg of Enbrel.  

Remicade (infliximab)

Remicade is administered as a 0.5 mg/kg IV infusion at weeks 0, 2, 6, and then every 8 weeks for maintenance. It was FDA approved in August 1998 for the treatment of severe chronic plaque psoriasis. In a clinical study analyzing the efficacy of psoriasis treatment and standard doses of Remicade, 78.6% of patients showed a significant improvement after 12 weeks compared to 82% of patients after 24 weeks of treatment. Some common side effects of Remicade include infection, headache, lower stomach pain, and infusion reactions. Cancer and serious allergic reactions occur. The wholesale price of Remicade 100 mg is $1061.86.


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