New Oral Treatments

New oral treatment options have emerged with a sophisticated approach to treating psoriatic disease. These so-called "small-molecule" treatments can be delivered effectively by mouth. Unlike earlier pills used for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, these new oral treatments selectively target molecules inside immune cells. By adjusting the complicated processes of inflammation within the cell, these treatments correct the overactive immune response that causes inflammation in people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, leading to improvement in redness and scaliness as well as joint tenderness and swelling.


The newest available oral treatment for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is Otezla (apremilast). Otezla treats psoriatic arthritis by regulating inflammation within the cell. It inhibits an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase 4, or PDE4. PDE4 controls much of the inflammatory action within cells, which can affect the level of inflammation associated with psoriatic disease.

By helping to control inflammation in this way, Otezla improves joint tenderness and swelling in people with active psoriatic arthritis, and can improve symptoms of redness and scaliness in people with psoriasis.

For more information on Otezla, contact NPF’s Patient Navigation Center. Our team of experts provide personalized guidance to educate you on new oral treatments. 

How is it used?

Otezla is available as a 30-milligram (mg) tablet. The first five days is a start period, where the dosage will gradually increase over five days until the recommended dose of 30 milligrams twice daily is reached. Otezla is designed to be taken continuously to maintain improvement.

What are the risks?

In clinical trials, 10 to 12 percent of people taking Otezla reported unexplained weight loss of 5 to 10 percent during their trial period. It is recommended that people taking Otezla have their weight monitored regularly.

In clinical trials, approximately 6.1 percent of the people taking Otezla for psoriasis discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction.

Common side effects

In clinical trials, the most common side effects were diarrhea, nausea and headache, which occurred in the first two weeks and tended to lessen with continued treatment.

Using Otezla with other treatments

Otezla can be used with other treatments such as phototherapy or topicals. It has been shown to be safe and effective when taken with methotrexate. Talk to your doctor about whether using any other treatments with Otezla is right for you.

Do you have additional questions about Otezla?

NPF’s Patient Navigation Center is the world's first, personalized support center for psoriatic disease. Our Patient Navigators can answer your questions about new oral treatments, including understanding their side effects and helping assess potential risks. For free and confidential assistance, contact our Patient Navigators »

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