Are you rethinking your everyday choices due to plaque psoriasis? Watch and read real stories about choosing a treatment and living with plaque psoriasis from people taking Otezla.
Not everyone responds to Otezla, and those who do respond may respond differently.
Sarah's plaque psoriasis made her want to hide her skin. With Otezla, she's found hope again.
Actual patient. Not everyone responds to Otezla, and those who do respond may respond differently.
Sarah's plaque psoriasis was taking her away from her passion—the great outdoors.
Fly fishing is one of Sarah’s greatest passions. Being in the great outdoors is where she feels most at peace with herself and with the world around her. But when plaque psoriasis entered the picture, and her skin started to flare up (bringing redness, flaking, and scaliness with it) going outside was the last thing she wanted to do. On the contrary, she wanted to stay inside and hide her skin from the world. Initially, her dermatologist prescribed topical shampoos and creams, but they didn’t give her the results she desired. “At one point, I had to put this oil on my hairline and then sleep in a disposable shower cap…the oil bleached my pillowcases—further reminding me of my problems.” Frustrated with her treatment options, Sarah decided to get a second opinion. Her new dermatologist had this to say: “We’re done with the creams.” Sarah’s dermatologist recommended Otezla, and after a conversation about side effects and results, she began taking the starter pack. “And there it was again: hope. ” At 4 months, her skin had improved. She now has elbows and a scalp that look and feel better. She's able to be back in the great outdoors, feeling better in her own skin. “I’m grateful to be on an oral therapy that works for me. ”
Ever since she was a child, life with psoriasis was a constant battle for Elicia.
Since she was a child, Elicia has suffered from the effects of plaque psoriasis. Growing up in Wisconsin, snow would be a constant in her daily life. While most wouldn’t love the cold weather, Elicia appreciated the snow. When it was coming down outside, she could worry less about her psoriasis flakes—they blended right into her surroundings. Life with psoriasis was a constant battle. When she was a toddler, Elicia’s mom would often put petroleum jelly and bandages behind her ears in an effort to cover up her plaques. As she got older, the effects of her plaque psoriasis worsened to the point where she would exclusively wear white clothing to hide her flakes. She tried many different topical treatments, but they didn’t get the job done. “Out of desperation, I decided to try light therapy as a way to keep my flaky skin under control ” One night as she was watching TV before bed, an Otezla commercial came on. Watching it, Elicia knew that she wanted to talk to her dermatologist about Otezla—as a pill, it seemed different from everything else she had tried. At her next visit, she brought up Otezla with her doctor. After discussing the side effects and potential benefits, they decided it was a good next step. Together, they worked with Otezla SupportPlus™ to figure out Elicia’s insurance coverage, and got her enrolled in the $0 co-pay program. “I received the good news that my insurance authorized Otezla. I was also able to enroll in the $0 co-pay program, which means I pay $0 out-of-pocket for Otezla each month.” At 4 months, Elicia noticed a difference in her skin and is happy with her results. She saw a reduction in redness and scaliness, and overall, saw clearer-looking skin. That alone is a benefit, but for Elicia, clearer skin isn’t even the best part. Now, she feels like she can wear whatever color she wants. “Now, people actually see me—not my psoriasis. ”
Between worsening symptoms and hurtful comments from peers, Christy struggled with her body image.
When her symptoms first appeared, Christy did some research online, and narrowed it down to eczema or psoriasis—so when her dermatologist delivered the diagnosis, Christy wasn’t surprised. “I knew psoriasis was something I’d always have to live with. ” Christy’s dermatologist prescribed a steroid cream, which cleared up a plaque on her ankle—but her plaque psoriasis continued to spread, first to her legs, then to her elbows and arms. “I tried not to focus on how bad it might get, and tried to take life day by day. ” As Christy’s symptoms worsened, her confidence dropped. She stopped wearing shorts and dresses, covering her plaques with long sleeves. When her peers at work made hurtful comments, asking if her symptoms were contagious, she didn’t challenge them. “I let my desire to hide hold me back from my life. My world was shrinking.” In addition to creams, Christy tried laser and tanning treatments, but nothing gave her the results she was looking for. She asked her dermatologist what else she could try, and he told her about Otezla. Christy decided she was ready for something different. “I jumped at the opportunity to try a different treatment. ” Although it took some time, Christy’s symptoms improved. After 4 months on Otezla, her plaques became clearer. For the first month, she had an upset stomach and nausea, which she discussed with her doctor, but these symptoms have become less frequent over time. This was Christy's experience, but yours may be different. After joining an online support group, Christy was inspired to talk about her struggles with psoriasis, and to share her story as an ambassador for Otezla. Though she still has insecurities, she’s learned not to let them consume her. Instead, Christy has learned to focus on the positive. “Don’t focus on the negatives of psoriasis. Focus on what you can do to manage it. ”
After years of hiding, Eddie was fully ready to be himself, and he couldn't ignore his psoriasis anymore.
Eddie struggled with his weight and body image for years, on top of coming to terms with his sexuality. By the time he was in his 20s, he was ready to fully be himself. Unfortunately, this was when a small patch first appeared on his elbow. “Now, cue the plot twist, and send in the psoriasis. ” As the patch grew larger and similar patches began to appear on other parts of his body, Eddie felt confused and frustrated. He did some research and, suspecting the cause was psoriasis, tried over-the-counter creams from the drugstore. He had to apply them multiple times a day, and couldn’t use them for extended periods of time because they contained steroids. “Unlike being gay or overweight, psoriasis was something I could hide—at least for a while. ” For years, Eddie chose to just live with his symptoms and deal with patches that would sometimes go away with creams, and sometimes not. He wore long sleeves and pants, even in the summer, to cover up his skin. He went to multiple dermatologists, but they couldn’t give him a clear answer of what the problem was, or a way to treat it. “Psoriasis crossed a line, and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. ” When the patches spread to his face, he knew it was time to make a change. He went to a new dermatologist and finally received the correct diagnosis: plaque psoriasis. Eddie asked about treatment options, and his dermatologist recommended Otezla as a different approach to treating his condition. After discussing the side effects and potential benefits with his dermatologist, Eddie decided to give it a try, and took the first dose right there in the office. “After taking Otezla for a while, the psoriasis on my face was much less noticeable. Relief! ” Today, Eddie’s life is not spent hiding. Now he can also focus on the things that really matter to him, and on putting his energy into what makes him happy. “Everyone will have different results, but Otezla has helped me to stop hiding. ”
Errin is a published historian, dog owner, dancer, and more, so she was too busy to let psoriasis get in her way.
Errin is a published historian and doctoral candidate in European history. She’s also a dancer, softball player, wife, and dog owner. In other words, Errin leads a busy life—which is why she didn’t want plaque psoriasis to get in her way. Errin started with topical treatments, but they weren’t right for her—between the time commitment and the results she experienced, they just weren’t worth it. Phototherapy and laser therapy worked for a while, but her plaques would always come back. After seeing a commercial for Otezla, Errin was intrigued; she liked that Otezla is a pill that works differently. “I knew there were potential side effects, but I still wanted to talk to my doctor about Otezla. I immediately called my dermatologist’s office to schedule an appointment.” “I met with my dermatologist, and together, we decided that Otezla would be a good fit for me. ” Finally, Errin feels like she’s gained some of her confidence back. After taking Otezla for over a year now, she is satisfied with the results. As she puts it, “Everyone will have different results, but personally, Otezla is working for me. ”
Riding his motorcycle made Bob feel free; his psoriasis had the opposite effect, but he didn't let it stop him.
Being on the bike, open road ahead of him, is one of the only things, Bob says, that makes him feel free. His plaque psoriasis, on the other hand, makes him feel the opposite. He’s had it for years, and as much as he wishes it wasn’t, psoriasis is a big part of Bob’s life. His symptoms first started in his mid 30s, following his divorce. As a single dad, he found himself taking his daughters to their social activities, including the local pool. At first, he thought nothing of it. Then one day, one of the girls said, “What is that on your back?” Sure enough, Bob had red, scaly patches on both his back and his arms. “I started to wear a t-shirt to cover up whenever I went to the pool. ” By the time he was in his 40s, Bob noticed the patches were getting larger, and were also appearing on his elbows and knees. At first, he thought it was just irritation, and for the most part, he ignored it—but he couldn’t ignore the reactions of those around him, especially children, who looked at him like he was a monster. “Red and scaly skin could be intimidating to people, especially children. ” Bob’s father had lived with psoriasis for years, and as soon as he saw the patches on Bob’s skin, he told him what it was, and recommended he see a dermatologist. So Bob made an appointment, and got the diagnosis that confirmed his suspicions: he had plaque psoriasis. “My initial reaction was, ‘Why is mine so much worse than my dad’s?’ ” His dermatologist put him on topical creams and scheduled him for UV light therapy, which he tried for a little while. Then he tried other oral treatments, but had trouble finding one that worked for him. By the time he was 50, he felt like he’d tried it all—so his doctor recommended injections. Frustrated, Bob agreed to give them a try. While they worked for a little while, Bob wasn’t satisfied with the results. “I wasn’t a big fan of either of those treatments. ” He started doing research online, determined to find a different treatment. That’s how he stumbled upon Otezla® (apremilast). He asked his dermatologist about Otezla, and she told him it wasn’t an injection or a biologic, but instead, a pill he’d take twice a day. Bob’s dermatologist mentioned that the Otezla Prescribing Information has no requirement for ongoing lab monitoring or initial lab testing, and discussed the risks and benefits of Otezla. Bob and his dermatologist decided he should try it. After taking Otezla for 4 months, Bob noticed that his skin was looking clearer. Finally, he’d found a treatment that worked for him. Now, when he hops onto his bike, it’s not to escape his psoriasis. As he says, “I ride because I want to—and finding a treatment that worked for me was one of the things that got me to this point.”
Meet Dr. Becky Smith: A dermatologist with plaque psoriasis patients who have seen results with Otezla.
Cory’s plaque psoriasis threatened to put a stop to his musical life on the road. Thankfully, switching his psoriasis medication to Otezla helped his career stay on track.
You must not take Otezla if you are allergic to apremilast or to any of the ingredients in Otezla.
Otezla can cause allergic reactions, sometimes severe. Stop using Otezla and call your healthcare provider or seek emergency help right away if you develop any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: trouble breathing or swallowing, raised bumps (hives), rash or itching, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat or arms.
Otezla can cause severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, especially within the first few weeks of treatment. Use in elderly patients and the use of certain medications with Otezla appears to increase the risk of complications from having severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Tell your doctor if any of these conditions occur.
Otezla is associated with an increase in depression. In clinical studies, some patients reported depression, or suicidal behavior while taking Otezla. Some patients stopped taking Otezla due to depression. Before starting Otezla, tell your doctor if you have had feelings of depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior. Be sure to tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or other mood changes develop or worsen during treatment with Otezla.
Some patients taking Otezla lost body weight. Your doctor should monitor your weight regularly. If unexplained or significant weight loss occurs, your doctor will decide if you should continue taking Otezla.
Some medicines may make Otezla less effective, and should not be taken with Otezla. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines.
The most common side effects of Otezla include diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache. These are not all the possible side effects with Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or planning to breastfeed.
Please click here for the Full Prescribing Information for Otezla.
Otezla® (apremilast) is a prescription medicine used to treat adult patients with: