Psoriasis Medication

Methotrexate
Methotrexate slows cell turnover by suppressing the immune system that triggers the disease. As a psoriasis treatment, it is usually taken once a week, either by pill or injection to treat moderate to severe psoriasis.
 
People taking methotrexate must be closely monitored because it can cause liver damage and/or decrease the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, infection-fighting white blood cells, and clot-enhancing platelets.
 
As a precaution, healthcare providers do not prescribe this medication for psoriasis in people who have had liver disease or anemia. It is sometimes combined with PUVA or UVB treatments.
 
Methotrexate should not be used by pregnant women, or by women who are planning to get pregnant, because it may cause birth defects.
 
Many healthcare providers recommend taking folic acid 1 mg daily or folinic acid 5 mg weekly to decrease the risk of certain methotrexate side effects, such as upset stomach or a sore mouth.
 
Retinoids
A retinoid, such as acitretin (Soriatane®), is a compound with vitamin A-like properties; it may be prescribed for severe cases of psoriasis that do not respond to other therapies. A person might see improvements within one month; but, it may take 3 to 6 months to see the full effect of retinoids.
 
Because this treatment may also cause birth defects, women must protect themselves from pregnancy beginning one month before and continuing through three years after treatment with acitretin. Most people experience a recurrence of psoriasis after these products are discontinued.

Information on Psoriasis

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