Biologic drugs have revolutionised the treatment of chronic diseases, including psoriasis. Most commonly prescribed for moderate to severe forms of the disease, these drugs have shown to be effective in getting rid of itchy and scaly skin.
Consumption of these drugs have also resulted in experiencing fewer side effects as compared to the use of traditional treatment medicines such as steroids and cyclosporine. However, certain doubts about biologic drugs still remain. In that regard, here are some of the reasons as to why you should not worry about incorporating biologic treatment for effective management of psoriasis.
Understanding How Biologic Drugs Affect Your Immune System
A mythical claim that relates to biologic treatment for psoriasis is that these drugs will destroy your immune system, thus making you susceptible to infections, health problems, and a higher risk of fatal diseases. In truth, just like any other forms of medicine, you should ensure to obtain complete understanding of a drug’s potency as well as its side effects before agreeing to take it.
Prior to that, ensure that you’ve undergone the necessary screening tests for diseases. This is to ascertain your risk of suffering from chronic diseases as a result of treating psoriasis with biologic drugs. At the same time, you have to also make sure that you are up-to-date on all the necessary immunisations as this will help you reduce the risk of infection. However, it is important to note that using biologic drugs to treat psoriasis is relatively much safer as compared to leaving it untreated. It is also safer compared to traditional treatment alternatives especially if you’re suffering from a moderate to severe form of psoriasis. In fact, opting for traditional treatment could put you at higher risk of not being able to go about daily life as per usual. It can also increase your risk of other chronic diseases such as Crohn’s disease, or problems affecting your liver, heart, or kidney.
Understanding the Best to Way to Administer Biologic Drugs
Unlike other forms of treatment for diseases, the use of biologic drugs for managing psoriasis can be self-administered within the comfort of your own home. Much like insulin pens for diabetes, these drugs are administered through auto-injector pens, as opposed to traditional syringes, which could make the process more laborious.
The first step in this process is to thoroughly clean your hands as well as the area of skin in which the injection is to be administered. It is important to note that it should only be used in an area of skin that is not affected by psoriasis. Next, place the auto-injector flush to the skin, then press the release button to deliver the medication. Do not lift the auto-injector until the dose has been fully administered into your body. Lastly, clean the skin area if there is any hint of blood and apply an adhesive bandage. If you are not comfortable with administering the drug on your own, fret not as you can seek help from your healthcare provider to help you with the process.
Understanding the Effectiveness of Biologic Drugs for Psoriasis
For certain individuals with psoriasis, the benefits of using biologic drugs may lessen over time. There could be a couple of reasons as to why this happens. Firstly, it could be a result of your body developing antibodies against a specific type of medication, therefore neutralising its effectiveness. Secondly, a particular class of biologic drugs may not be effective in treating your psoriasis at all.
This may be dependent on the genetic mutation which has caused your skin condition, as different individuals may respond differently to varying classes of biologic drugs. Medical professionals have yet to fully comprehend all the genetic mutations which can cause psoriasis, hence why there is still no certain way of predicting the effectiveness of a biologic drug. However, if your body does not respond to a certain class of biologic drug after several weeks of continuous use, your dermatologist or healthcare provider may prescribe you with a different drug altogether. This drug can either be in the same or different drug class as before.
Understanding the Duration for Biologic Drugs to be Effective in Treating Psoriasis
In general, topical formulations (typically used for milder cases) are able to improve skin conditions in a matter of weeks, seeing as there are less affected skin areas to treat. In stark contrast, the duration taken for biologic drugs (a form of systemic treatment) to be effective can vary across different levels of severity.
For some, improvement of their skin condition can be seen in a few weeks, while it can take a few months for others. This could be down to how each individual’s body responds to the drug as each drug is specifically designed to target different parts of your immune system. Take time to understand how your body responds to biologic drugs and keep your healthcare professional informed of any development to help with effective management of the condition.
Understanding the Combination of Biologic Drugs with Other Forms of Treatment
If required, your dermatologist may prescribe a combination of biologic drugs with other forms of treatment. And while your dermatologist may prefer to prescribe a certain type of treatment rather than two, some individuals may require a more extensive form of treatment to improve their condition.
For instance, Dr. Erin Boh from Tulane University Health Sciences Centre has noted that a patient who is on a systemic form of treatment can sometimes be introduced to light therapy in order to boost the effectiveness of their treatment. Again, your optimal recovery hinges largely on various discussions with your healthcare professional on the most effective treatment possible.
Ultimately, how you approach treating and living with psoriasis is entirely up to you. At the same time, doing extensive research on treating psoriasis with biologic drugs can put your mind at ease and give you a better understanding of the treatment before making a decision. Alternatively, consider speaking to a dermatologist should you need further assurance on the effectiveness of this treatment.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.