Over the years, healthcare providers have traditionally prescribed over-the-counter therapies, regimented lifestyle changes, as well as certain types of prescription drugs for the purpose of treating psoriasis. In recent times, a new form of treatment called biologic drugs have been introduced, with the hope that it can significantly improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from psoriasis. In that regard, here are some of the benefits of using biologic drugs to treat psoriasis.
It Is Better at Treating Psoriasis than Traditional Forms of Treatment
Incorporating the use of traditional treatment alternatives may prove effective for individuals with mild to moderate cases of psoriasis. These alternatives include using topical creams, steroids, cyclosporine or methotrexate (both immunosuppressants), retinoids (used to treat skin conditions), and phototherapy.
However, they do not work well for individuals with moderate to severe cases of psoriasis. This is where biologic treatment is considered more effective, as it is able to block certain triggers from causing psoriasis or its accompanying symptoms. In addition to that, switching to biological drugs may be better for treating painful plaques on the soles of your feet, palms, face, or genitals, all of which could be deterring you from going about your daily life as per usual.
The Amount of Doses Required are Far Lesser
Most traditional alternatives for treating psoriasis need to be taken daily in order to be effective. This can be particularly difficult for certain individuals such as those who lead hectic daily lives or those who travel frequently. For that reason, biologic treatment can work to their advantage as it can be taken less frequently as compared to other treatment options.
Some types of biologic drugs require administration once every week, while others such as ustekinumab (an antibody used to treat psoriasis) only needs to be administered once every 3 months after the first 2 doses. In addition to that, these drugs can also be self-administered within the comfort of your own home after receiving proper guidance from a certified healthcare provider.
They are Not Made from Chemical Substances
As compared to traditional alternatives for treating psoriasis, which are made using chemical substances, biologic drugs are engineered proteins from genes. The manufacturing stage of these drugs, which also involves a biological process, stimulates the production of these proteins from natural sources. These sources include microorganisms, human beings, or animals, and each biologic drug is specifically designed for the purpose of either impairing or blocking certain functions of the immune system from triggering psoriasis.
Additionally, biologic drugs work more selectively as compared to traditional alternatives as they only target specific proteins in the immune system, which have been identified as triggers of psoriasis, and subsequently subdue them. For that reason, these drugs tend to cause less severe side effects to your body (yes, they can cause side effects too) as compared to traditional alternatives such as cyclosporine, steroids, and methotrexate.
These traditional drugs have been known to cause painful and debilitating side effects such as mouth sores, nausea, stomach aches, and in some cases skin cancer. Comparatively, using biologic drugs have only been known to cause side effects such as minor irritation, redness, pain, or reaction at the area of skin where the drug was administered.
It Can Treat Each Symptom Individually
Given the fact that biologic drugs function as suppressors or mitigators for different types of protein that trigger psoriasis, speaking to a certified healthcare provider can help you decide which drug works best for your specific situation.
There are currently 11 types of biologic drugs available in the market that are able to treat both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, infliximab, ixekizumab, secukinumab, and ustekinumab are able to specifically treat both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. On the other hand, guselkumab, brodalumab, risankizumab, and tildrakizumab can be taken to only treat plaque psoriasis.
There is nothing uncommon about switching from traditional alternatives to biologic drugs in psoriasis treatment. And while you are free to weigh the pros and cons of this treatment option on your own, ultimately the best thing to do would be to speak to your healthcare provider before coming to a decision.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.