OTEZLA medication is used to treat a certain type of arthritis (psoriatic arthritis). Apremilast is also used to treat a certain type of skin condition (moderate to severe plaque psoriasis). Apremilast belongs to a class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors. The treatment of psoriatic arthritis decreases pain and swelling and may help improve flexibility in the affected joints. For the treatment of plaque psoriasis, it may help to reduce the redness, thickening, and scaling of the skin that occurs with this condition.
How to use Otezla
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily. The manufacturer directs not to crush, split, or chew the tablet before taking it. However, many similar drugs (immediate-release tablets) can be crushed, split, or chewed. Follow your doctor’s directions on how to take this medication.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, or weight loss may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.
Rarely, people who take this medication may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US –
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking apremilast, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, mental/mood disorders (such as depression).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Consult your pharmacist or physician.