Psoriasis Treatment

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.
 
Cyclosporine
Like methotrexate, cyclosporine acts by suppressing the immune system to slow down the rapid turnover of skin cells. It may provide quick relief of symptoms, but the improvement stops when treatment is discontinued.
 
The best candidates for this therapy are those with severe psoriasis who have not responded to, or cannot tolerate, other systemic psoriasis treatments. Its rapid onset of action is helpful in avoiding hospitalization of people whose psoriasis is rapidly progressing.
 
Cyclosporine may impair kidney function or cause high blood pressure (hypertension). Therefore, people must be carefully monitored by their healthcare provider.
 
Also, cyclosporine is not recommended for people who have a weak immune system or those who have had skin cancers as a result of PUVA treatments in the past. It should not be given with phototherapy.
 
6-Thioguanine
This psoriasis treatment is nearly as effective as methotrexate and cyclosporine. It has fewer side effects, but there is a greater likelihood of anemia. This drug must also be avoided by pregnant women and by women who are planning to become pregnant, because it may cause birth defects.

Information on Psoriasis

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