Psoriasis can be quite persistent as it is a great cause of emotional distress for those who suffer with it. And, just like with most skin conditions, not everyone fits the same mold when it comes to the right treatment that works. That is why a new form of treatment that promises results is always a welcome development.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Wednesday, February 15, that it has given the green light to a new treatment drug that can help cure moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis among adults.
New Psoriasis Treatment For Adults
This new injectable treatment drug called Siliq provides another option for those people suffering from psoriasis, but have found that their bodies were not responding to treatments involving systemic therapy (use of medications administered orally or through injection and works throughout the body via the bloodstream) or phototherapy (light therapy using ultraviolet light).
Patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and were candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy saw a clear up of their skin after using Siliq as compared to those in placebo after three randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. More than 4,300 adult patients were involved in these trials.
This new psoriasis cure, marketed by Bridgewater, New Jersey-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals, works by allowing its active ingredient, Brodalumab, to bind to a protein that induces inflammation, thus preventing an inflammatory response that is crucial in the formation of plaque psoriasis, according to a press announcement released by the FDA.
What Is Psoriasis And Its Symptoms
According to WebMD, psoriasis is an unpredictable and irritating skin condition, mostly found on the scalp, elbows, knees, palms, torso, and feet, wherein the cells in the skin multiply faster than the usual rate. As some of the cells get to the skin surface and eventually die, they result in these raised and reddish plaques covered with white scales.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of this skin condition, and symptoms can include itchy and painful plaques of red skin, often covered with loose, silver-colored scales, discoloration or separation of the nails from the nail bed, and plaques of scales on the scalp.
While it is known that a person’s immune system and family history can both be a factor in the development of this skin condition, experts are still clueless when it comes to the exact cause of psoriasis, says the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Psoriasis can occur in both genders at the same rates and in people of all ethnicities. It usually develops among people who are 15-years-old and up to around 35 years of age. But, psoriasis can also develop at a younger age and among infants on rare occasions.
Siliq And Health Risks
While the safety and efficacy of Siliq have been established in the clinical trials, there are still some health risks associated with the new psoriasis treatment drug.
According to the FDA, there has been an observed risk of suicidal ideation and behavior among patients treated with the new psoriasis drug during the trial. This is why the labeling for Siliq includes a Boxed Warning and the drug is only available through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called the Siliq REMS Program.
The use of Siliq is also prohibited for those suffering from Crohn’s disease and those with active TB infection. The use of this new psoriasis treatment drug can also cause joint pain (arthralgia), headache, fatigue, diarrhea, throat pain (oropharyngeal pain), nausea, muscle pain (myalgia), injection site reactions, influenza, low white blood cell count (neutropenia) and fungal (tinea) infections.
“Patients and their health care providers should discuss the benefits and risks of Siliq before considering treatment,” said Julie Beitz, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
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