Oral systemic treatments are small molecule medicines that are taken by mouth. Systemic medications, aimed at those with moderate-to-severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, are prescription drugs that work throughout the body. They are also used in those who are not responsive or are unable to take topical medications or UV light therapy.
Systemic psoriasis drugs have been around for more than 10 years and are taken by mouth in liquid or pill form or given by injection.
Newer oral systemic 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 those with psoriatic disease, leading to improvements in redness and a reduction in psoriasis scales, tenderness and swelling.
Some treatments, such as methotrexate, which is an oral systemic (see below), are also disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). DMARDs may relieve more severe symptoms and attempt to slow or stop joint and tissue damage and the progression of psoriatic arthritis.