New Oral Treatments

New oral treatment are small molecule medicines that are taken 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.

Otezla (apremilast)

Otezla treats psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis by regulating inflammation within the cell. It inhibits an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4). This enzyme controls much of the inflammatory action within cells, which can affect the level of inflammation associated with psoriatic disease.

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 until the recommended dose of 30 milligrams twice daily is reached. Otezla is meant to be taken continuously to maintain improvement.

What are the risks?

There have been rare reports of:

  • Gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
  • Depression
  • Weight decrease

Common side effects

In clinical trials, the most common side effects were diarrhea, nausea, headache and upper respiratory infection.

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 health care provider about whether using any other treatments with Otezla is right for you.

Download the Otezla fact sheet (pdf) »


Xeljanz and Xeljanz XR (tofacitinib)

Xeljanz treats psoriatic arthritis by inhibiting an enzyme known as Janus kinase (JAK). This enzyme controls much of the inflammatory action within cells, which can affect the level of inflammation associated with psoriatic disease.

How is it used?

Xeljanz is available as a 5 mg tablet taken twice daily. Xeljanz XR is available as an 11 mg tablet taken once daily. Xeljanz and Xeljanz XR are meant to be taken continuously to maintain improvement.

What are the risks?

There have been rare reports of:

  • High lipid levels, including cholesterol
  • High liver enzymes
  • Low blood count
  • Lymphoma and other malignancies
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) perforations

Common side effects

In clinical trials, the most common side effects were upper respiratory infection, headache, diarrhea and cold or flu-like symptoms.  

Using Xeljanz with other treatments

Xeljanz 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 health care provider about whether using any other treatments with Xeljanz is right for you.

Download the Xeljanz fact sheet (pdf) »


Do you have additional questions?

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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