FAQs about Psoriatic Arthritis and Otezla® (apremilast)
Indications
Approved Uses Otezla® (apremilast) is a prescription medicine used to treat adult patients with:
  • Plaque psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate. Read more >
Approved Uses Otezla® (apremilast) is a prescription medicine used to treat adult patients with:
  • Plaque psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate.
  • Active psoriatic arthritis.
  • Oral ulcers associated with Behçet’s Disease. Read less >

Frequently asked questions

about Otezla.

Whether you’re already taking Otezla or just want to learn more, it’s normal to have some questions about treatment. Take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about Otezla.

What is Otezla?

  • What is Otezla® (apremilast)?
    Example of Otezla (apremilast) pill

    Otezla is a prescription pill used to treat adults with plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. It is also approved for the treatment of oral ulcers associated with a rare condition called Behçet’s Disease.

  • Is Otezla a biologic?
    PDE4 inhibitor

    No, Otezla is not a biologic. It is a phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor. This means it reduces the activity of an enzyme called PDE4 inside the cells—which is then thought to reduce inflammation and psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Learn more about how Otezla works.

Taking Otezla

  • How do I take Otezla?
    Calendar

    When you start Otezla, you will slowly increase your dose over the first 5 days of treatment until you reach the recommended dose. This is known as a titration. People with severe kidney disease will follow a different schedule.

    Titration is meant to help reduce the stomach and digestive side effects (nausea and diarrhea) that can happen when starting Otezla.

    After your first 5 days, you will take Otezla twice daily—one pill in the morning and one at night. Be sure to take Otezla as directed by your doctor. Learn more by clicking here.

  • What are the side effects of Otezla?

    The most common side effects of Otezla include diarrhea, nausea, headache, and upper respiratory tract infection. These are not all the possible side effects of Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential side effects.

    Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. Learn more about the side effects of Otezla.

  • Are there certain medications I already take that could make Otezla less effective?

    Yes, so it’s important to discuss all the medications you’re currently taking with your doctor. It may help to compile a list, and bring it to your appointment. You can also ask a pharmacist if you should not take some medications with Otezla.

  • How many people have taken Otezla?
    840K+

    Otezla has been studied in multiple clinical trials and has been approved by the FDA to treat both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Over 840,000 people have now taken Otezla, and for almost 9 years, doctors have been prescribing it.

  • Has Otezla been studied in pregnant women or in women who are breastfeeding?

    Otezla has not been studied in pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or planning to breastfeed.

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-332-1088.

How Otezla works

  • How does Otezla work?
    Example of PDE4 inhibitor

    The exact way in which Otezla works is not completely understood. Research has shown that Otezla blocks the activity of an enzyme found inside cells called phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4). PDE4 is believed to contribute to the inflammation that comes with psoriatic arthritis. By blocking PDE4, Otezla is thought to help reduce inflammation inside the body and lessen psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Learn more details about how Otezla works, or watch the video below.

Otezla results

  • When can I expect to see results with Otezla?

    Everyone’s experience is different, but after just 4 months, Otezla was proven to reduce the joint swelling, tenderness, and pain of psoriatic arthritis, and to improve the ability to perform physical activities in some people. See how Otezla could help with the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.

    Use this guide to discuss your results with your doctor.

  • Why do I need to take Otezla if my symptoms have improved?

    Even though you may be feeling better, psoriatic arthritis does not go away. Otezla should be taken as prescribed, at the same times every day. Talk to your doctor if you experience any side effects.

Getting Otezla

  • How will I receive my Otezla prescription?
    Delivery

    Your Otezla prescription will be delivered to you each month by a specialty pharmacy. Not sure what that means? Specialty pharmacies operate a lot like retail pharmacies, but they provide additional services and deliver your medication right to your door. Your specialty pharmacy will coordinate the delivery of your Otezla prescription and offer support, including access to pharmacists, refill reminders when you’re running low on your medication, and more.

    Patient roadmap

    Download this helpful Patient Roadmap or visit the Getting Your Prescription page for more details.

  • Is Otezla covered by my insurance?
    Insurance coverage questions

    Learn more about the ways Amgen® SupportPlus can help you access your prescribed medication. Please call 1-844-4OTEZLA (1-844-468-3952). Someone is available 8 AM – 8 PM ET, Monday – Friday.
    Find out more about Amgen SupportPlus.

  • Where can I find help paying for Otezla?
    insurance card

    We know every patient has unique needs. And we’re here to provide financial support information and resources, regardless of your current financial situation or type of insurance you have.

    Commercial Insurance (self-purchased or through an employer)
    If you are commercially insured, you can get Otezla for $0 per month by enrolling in the $0 Co-Pay* Program.

    *Eligibility criteria and program maximums apply. Please see the full Terms and Conditions.

    Medicare/Medicaid
    Amgen SupportPlus Representatives can help you understand your current Medicare insurance plan and anticipated out-of-pocket costs for Otezla. If you want to switch Medicare plans, we can help identify other local options. We may also be able to refer you, if eligible, for Medicare Extra Help (Low Income Subsidy) or put you in touch with independent nonprofit foundations.

    Eligibility for resources provided by independent nonprofit patient assistance programs is based on the nonprofit’s criteria. Amgen has no control over these programs and provides information as a courtesy only.

    Please contact Amgen SupportPlus at 1-844-4OTEZLA (1-844-468-3952). Our team is here and ready to help Monday-Friday, 8 AM-8 PM ET.

    I do not have insurance
    If you are eligible, Amgen SupportPlus Representatives can provide information about independent nonprofit foundations that may be able to help.* Click here to get started by enrolling in Amgen SupportPlus or by calling 1-844-4OTEZLA (1-844-468-3952).

  • What is Co-Pay and the $0 Co-Pay* Program?

    A co-pay (or co-payment) is a flat fee that is paid each time a patient goes to a doctor or fills a prescription. The $0 Co-Pay Program helps reduce that fee.

    Patients with commercial insurance (self-purchased or through an employer) usually pay what is called the “out-of-pocket” cost for Otezla. This is the amount they owe after their insurance coverage has kicked in and any co-pays or deductibles have been applied.

    Whether you were just prescribed Otezla or have been on Otezla, you can enroll in the $0 Co-Pay Program today. Once you have enrolled, you’ll receive a digital co-pay card via email. Share the member ID number on your card with your specialty pharmacy to begin lowering your out-of-pocket costs. Eligible, commercially insured patients may pay as little as $0 per month for Otezla.

    The pharmacy can apply the $0 Co-Pay Card benefit (automatically) each month up to the annual maximum benefit of the co-pay program.

    The $0 Co-Pay Program is not for underinsured, Medicare, or Medicaid patients. If this is you, our team of Amgen SupportPlus Representatives can assist you with any questions you may have about your plan.

    *Eligibility criteria and program maximums apply. Please see the full Terms and Conditions.

  • How do I get Co-Pay?

    Signing up is simple, just fill out the form at Otezla.com/enroll, and if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically be enrolled. Once you have enrolled, you’ll receive a digital co-pay card via email. Share the member ID number on your card with your specialty pharmacy to begin lowering your out-of-pocket costs.

    If you prefer to enroll over the phone, you can call 1-844-4OTEZLA (1-844-468-3952) and speak to an Amgen SupportPlus Representative (available 8 AM – 8 PM ET, Monday – Friday).

    The Otezla Co-Pay Card is available to eligible patients with commercial insurance (usually self-purchased or through an employer) regardless of income level.

  • How long does enrollment in the $0 Co-Pay Program last?

    Re-enrollment in the program is required at regular intervals. You may continue in the program as long as you re-enroll as required by Amgen and continue to meet all of the program’s eligibility requirements during participation in the program.

    If at any point a patient’s insurance changes, their enrollment in the program may be re-evaluated. They must continue to meet the program’s eligibility requirements to continue receiving benefits.

About psoriatic arthritis
and plaque psoriasis

  • What is psoriatic arthritis?
    Joint

    Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It’s a type of arthritis that can affect anyone, but sometimes develops in people with psoriasis. Some of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. Learn more about what causes psoriatic arthritis.

  • What is plaque psoriasis?

    Plaque psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that starts inside the body, but appears on the skin as red, scaly plaques, which can also itch. Find out more about what causes plaque psoriasis.

  • Is there a relationship between psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis?

    Many people with psoriatic arthritis have symptoms of plaque psoriasis too, like nail changes, or uncomfortable, flaky patches on their skin. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please talk to your doctor.

  • Where can I find more information about psoriatic arthritis?

    Here are some helpful websites for psoriatic arthritis information and support:

Resources and support

  • Are there any resources to help me when I start treatment?
    Amgen® SupportPlus Representative

    Your doctor is always your best resource for any questions you might have about treatment, but we can help you find more information about getting started with Otezla once prescribed. Visit the Amgen SupportPlus page, or call 1-844-4OTEZLA (1-844-468-3952) to speak with an Amgen SupportPlus Representative.

  • How can I hear from others about their decision to start Otezla?
    Two talking bubbles

    You’ll find stories from people living with psoriatic arthritis and currently taking Otezla on our Patient Stories page.

  • Will my prescription shipments be delayed due to COVID-19?

    Otezla is delivered by a specialty pharmacy. Currently, we don’t anticipate any interruption in Otezla shipments.

  • Is there a supply shortage of Otezla?

    No, Amgen continues to provide an uninterrupted supply of medicines for patients around the world. We don’t anticipate a shortage of Otezla at this time.

    If you have questions or concerns regarding your supply of Otezla, you should contact your specialty pharmacy or Amgen SupportPlus at 1-844-4OTEZLA (1-844-468-3952).

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

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.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-332-1088.

Please click here for the Full Prescribing Information for Otezla.

APPROVED USES

Otezla® (apremilast) is a prescription medicine used to treat adult patients with:

  • Plaque psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate.
  • Active psoriatic arthritis.
  • Oral ulcers associated with Behçet’s Disease.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

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,