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Otezla (Apremilast): Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings

UpdatedMay 29, 2024

Otezla (apremilast) is a medication used to treat specific types of psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and Behçet's disease. It is a phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitor that helps to reduce inflammation in the body by suppressing the immune system. Otezla works by inhibiting an enzyme within your immune system that can affect certain cells and contribute to inflammation in the body.

Otezla is typically taken twice a day and has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation in patients with active psoriatic arthritis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. However, like all medications, Otezla has potential side effects and warnings that patients should be aware of before taking it. Some of the side effects of Otezla include diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, and mood changes, including feelings of depression. It is important to discuss any concerns or questions about the medication with your healthcare provider.

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Key Takeaways

  • Otezla is a medication used to treat specific types of psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and Behçet's disease.
  • Otezla is a phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitor that works by suppressing the immune system to reduce inflammation in the body.
  • While Otezla can be effective in treating these conditions, it is important to be aware of potential side effects and warnings before taking the medication.

Otezla (Apremilast)

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Uses of Otezla

Otezla (Apremilast) is a medication used to treat specific types of psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and Behçet's disease. It is a phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitor that helps to lower inflammation in the body by suppressing the immune system.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Otezla is used to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adults. Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis. It causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Otezla can help reduce the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and improve joint function.

Plaque Psoriasis

Otezla is also used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes raised, red, and scaly patches on the skin. Otezla can help reduce the symptoms of plaque psoriasis and improve the appearance of the skin.

Behçet's Disease

Otezla is used to treat oral ulcers from Behçet's disease. Behçet's disease is a rare autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in blood vessels throughout the body. It can cause oral ulcers, genital ulcers, skin lesions, and eye inflammation. Otezla can help reduce the symptoms of oral ulcers from Behçet's disease.

Overall, Otezla is a medication that can help reduce inflammation in the body and improve the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and Behçet's disease. However, it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of Otezla before starting treatment.

Dosage and Administration

Adult Dosage

The dosage of Otezla (Apremilast) for adults depends on the condition being treated and other factors such as the patient's weight, medical history, and response to treatment. The recommended starting dose for adults with psoriatic arthritis is 30 mg twice daily, taken orally. After five days, the dosage is increased to the maintenance dose of 30 mg twice daily. For adults with plaque psoriasis, the starting dose is 30 mg once daily for the first five days, followed by 30 mg twice daily thereafter.

It is important to take Otezla at the same time each day, with or without food. Patients should not crush, chew, or break the tablets, as this may affect the effectiveness of the medication. If a dose is missed, patients should take it as soon as they remember, but should not take two doses at once to make up for the missed dose.

Children Dosage

The safety and efficacy of Otezla in children have not been established. Therefore, the use of Otezla in children under 18 years of age is not recommended.

Dosage Forms

Otezla is available in tablet form for oral administration. Each tablet contains 10 mg, 20 mg, or 30 mg of Apremilast.

Prescription Label

The prescription label for Otezla should include the recommended dosage and administration instructions. Patients should be advised to read the label carefully and follow the instructions provided by their healthcare provider.

In summary, the dosage of Otezla for adults varies depending on the condition being treated, and should be taken at the same time each day with or without food. Children under 18 years of age should not take Otezla. The medication is available in tablet form, and patients should follow the instructions provided on the prescription label.

Potential Side Effects

When taking Otezla (Apremilast), there are potential side effects that patients should be aware of. These side effects can range from mild to severe, and it is important to understand what they are before starting treatment. Here are some of the potential side effects of Otezla:

Common Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of Otezla include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. However, if they persist or become severe, patients should contact their doctor.

Severe Side Effects

While rare, there are some severe side effects associated with Otezla. These include:

  • Severe diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Oral ulcers

If patients experience any of these severe side effects, they should contact their doctor immediately. In some cases, these side effects may require medical attention.

It is important to note that this is not a complete list of possible side effects. Patients should speak with their doctor about any concerns they have and should report any possible side effects to their doctor.

Overall, while Otezla can be an effective treatment for psoriatic arthritis and other conditions, patients should be aware of the potential side effects. By understanding these side effects and reporting any concerns to their doctor, patients can make informed decisions about their treatment.

Warnings and Precautions

Before taking Otezla (Apremilast), it is important to be aware of the following warnings and precautions:

  • Severe side effects: Otezla can cause severe side effects, including depression, mood changes, and suicidal thoughts. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Allergic reaction: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Otezla, do not take this medication. If you experience any allergic reactions such as swelling, rash, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Mood changes: Otezla can cause mood changes, including depression, anxiety, and irritability. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.
  • FDA warning: The FDA has issued a warning about the risk of depression, suicidal thoughts, and behavior with the use of Otezla. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Pre-existing conditions: If you have a history of depression or other mood disorders, talk to your doctor before taking Otezla. This medication may not be suitable for you.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Otezla is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Liver and kidney function: Otezla may affect liver and kidney function. If you have liver or kidney disease, talk to your doctor before taking Otezla.
  • Drug interactions: Otezla may interact with other medications, including certain antibiotics and antifungal medications. Talk to your doctor before taking Otezla if you are taking any other medications.

It is important to follow your doctor's instructions when taking Otezla. If you experience any side effects or have any concerns about taking this medication, talk to your doctor.

Interactions with Other Medications

It is essential to inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including prescription, non-prescription, and herbal products, before starting Otezla (Apremilast) treatment. Certain medications may interact with Otezla, leading to adverse effects or reducing its effectiveness. The following medications may interact with Otezla:

  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenytoin
  • Rifampin
  • Phenobarbital
  • Primidone
  • Rifabutin
  • Enzalutamide
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Mitotane
  • Rifapentine

These medications may affect the way Otezla works, increasing the risk of side effects or reducing its effectiveness. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose of Otezla or change your medications to avoid interactions.

Carbamazepine, phenytoin, rifampin, phenobarbital, and primidone are known to induce enzymes that metabolize Otezla, leading to a reduction in its effectiveness. Enzalutamide, fosphenytoin, mitotane, rifabutin, and rifapentine may also reduce the effectiveness of Otezla.

It is essential to monitor your condition closely while taking Otezla with any of the medications listed above. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose of Otezla or change your medications to avoid interactions.

In addition to the medications listed above, Otezla may interact with other drugs, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements. It is crucial to inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking to avoid interactions.

In conclusion, it is essential to inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking before starting Otezla treatment. Certain medications may interact with Otezla, leading to adverse effects or reducing its effectiveness. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose of Otezla or change your medications to avoid interactions.

Special Considerations

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is important to discuss with your doctor before taking Otezla. The drug may harm an unborn baby, and it is not yet known if it can pass into breast milk. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking Otezla if you become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Kidney Disease

If you have kidney disease or are on dialysis, your doctor may need to adjust your Otezla dosage. Otezla is primarily eliminated from the body through the kidneys, and a decrease in kidney function may affect how the drug is cleared from your body. Your doctor may need to monitor your kidney function while you are taking Otezla.

It is important to inform your doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking before starting Otezla. Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage or monitor you more closely if you have certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease.

Overall, Otezla can be an effective treatment option for psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and Behcet's disease. However, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions and to be aware of any potential risks associated with the drug. If you experience any side effects or have concerns about taking Otezla, speak to your doctor.

Overdose and Treatment

In case of an overdose of Otezla (Apremilast), immediate medical attention is required. The symptoms of an overdose may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It is important to note that the recommended maximum daily dose of Otezla is 60 mg per day.

If an overdose occurs, the patient should seek medical attention immediately. The healthcare provider may induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage to remove the medication from the stomach. Additionally, the patient may receive supportive care to manage the symptoms of the overdose.

In case of an emergency, the patient or caregiver should contact the local poison control center or emergency services. The poison control center can provide guidance on how to manage an overdose and may advise on whether the patient needs to seek medical attention.

It is important to note that Otezla should only be taken as prescribed by a healthcare provider. Patients should not increase their dose or take the medication more frequently than prescribed. If a patient misses a dose, they should take it as soon as they remember. However, if it is close to the time for the next dose, they should skip the missed dose and continue with their regular dosing schedule.

Additional Information

When taking Otezla (Apremilast), there are a few important things to keep in mind. This section provides additional information about the medication that may be useful to know.

Tablets

Otezla comes in tablet form and should be taken orally, twice a day. It is important to follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

Do not crush or chew the tablet, as it may affect how the medication is absorbed by your body. You can take Otezla with or without food.

Alcohol

While taking Otezla, it is best to limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol can increase the risk of certain side effects, such as dizziness or drowsiness.

Weight Loss

Weight loss may occur while taking Otezla. If you experience significant weight loss, talk to your healthcare provider.

Depression

Otezla may cause or worsen depression. If you experience symptoms of depression, such as feelings of sadness or hopelessness, talk to your healthcare provider.

Medical Advice

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting Otezla. They can provide medical advice and determine if the medication is right for you.

Complete List of Side Effects

This is not a complete list of side effects associated with Otezla. If you experience any unusual symptoms or side effects while taking Otezla, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist immediately.

Overall, Otezla is a medication used to treat specific types of psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and Behçet's disease. It is important to follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider and talk to them if you have any questions or concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Otezla cause long-term side effects?

The long-term effects of Otezla are still being studied. However, some people have reported experiencing side effects after taking Otezla for an extended period of time. It is essential to discuss any concerns about long-term side effects with your healthcare provider.

2. Does Otezla have any contraindications?

Yes, Otezla has contraindications. It is not recommended for people with severe liver impairment or those who are allergic to any of its ingredients. It is also not recommended for use during pregnancy. Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication.

3. What are the common side effects of Otezla?

The most common side effects of Otezla include diarrhea, nausea, headache, and upper respiratory tract infection. These side effects are usually mild and tend to go away after a few days. However, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

4. Do Otezla side effects go away?

Most Otezla side effects go away on their own after a few days. However, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose or recommend a different medication.

5. What are the kidney side effects of Otezla?

Otezla may cause kidney side effects, including an increase in serum creatinine levels. Serum creatinine levels should be monitored regularly during treatment with Otezla. If you experience any kidney-related side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

6. Are there any reviews on Otezla's side effects?

There are many reviews available online about Otezla's side effects. However, it is essential to remember that everyone's experience with medication is different. Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication and discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

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