I recently signed up to receive news from the Arthritis Foundation and on Wednesday I got an email which was all about a new medication called Otezla (Apremilast), that has just been approved by the FDA for Psoriatic Arthritis.
I know a couple of people with Psoriatic Arthritis and so it’s nice to see that research is focusing on other types of arthritis and not only Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I find sometimes draws more attention than other types of arthritis… And I have read opinions on other blogs, of people who seem to share this thought.
Otezla is a selective phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, which sounds really complicated but what it actually does it block an enzyme (called phosphodiesterase 4, funnily enough) which plays quite a major role in the inflammation that Psoriatic Arthritis causes…. Meaning that this medication reduces the inflammation!
Clinical trials showed that not only was Otezla effective, but it was relatively safe too, in that it doesn’t seem to increase the risk of serious infection like so many Biologics do!
I’m not suggesting that Otezla will revolutionise the treatment of Psoriatic Arthitis, there is no evidence to suggest that BUT it does give people more options, which is really needed, not only in Psoriatic Arthritis but in all types of arthritis. I know people who are worried about running out of medication to try so maybe, just maybe this med might help. This is the second new medication that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis in the last 6 months, the other being Stelara, so it does really look like there is more and more research going into arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis in particular.
And what’s more Otezla is administered orally by taking a tablet! I found that concept quite novel as all of the biological medications I know of either have to be injected or infused… Although there are quite a few DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) that are taken orally, methotrexate, sulfasalazine and leflunomide come to mind.
I haven’t been able to find much on when Otezla will be reaching the UK and Europe but I will do a bit more digging, and hopefully Otezla will be approved very soon here!