Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Biologic Treatments for Psoriasis

If you aren’t getting relief from other treatments, your doctor may suggest you try a drug that fights the causes of psoriasis, rather than just the symptoms. These medications, called biologics, target a specific part of your immune system.

These drugs are approved to treat severe plaque psoriasis. They also treat psoriatic arthritis, a long-term disease that comes along with the skin condition and causes painful, swollen joints.

Recommended Related to Psoriasis

How Is Pustular Psoriasis Treated?

If you have itchy red skin that's covered with tiny blisters filled with white or yellow pus, you may have pustular psoriasis. It's a rare skin disease that causes pain and itching. You may have fever, nausea, and other symptoms, too. One form of pustular psoriasis that spreads to involve a large portion of your body needs to be treated at once by a doctor. See your doctor quickly if you think you might have it. He'll look at your skin, take a blood sample, and swab the pus that's inside a blister...

Read the How Is Pustular Psoriasis Treated? article > >

Adalimumab (Humira). You inject it under your skin every other week. People with heart failure or multiple sclerosis shouldn't take it.

Side effects include serious and sometimes deadly infections like tuberculosis, a higher risk of certain types of cancer like lymphoma, and a greater risk of autoimmune disorders such as a lupus-like syndrome.

Apremilast (Otezla). Thisisn’t a biologic, but it does affect your immune system. It’s a pill that you take once or twice a day. It reduces the redness, thickness, and scaliness of psoriasis plaques.

It has been linked to depression and suicidal thoughts or behavior. Tell your doctor if you've ever had these kinds of thoughts or feelings before you start this medication.

You might also have diarrhea, nausea, an upper respiratory tract infection, headaches, and other side effects. You could lose weight without trying, so your doctor will keep track of how much you weigh.

Etanercept (Enbrel). You take this by injecting it under your skin at home. You use it twice weekly for 3 months. After that, you inject it once a week.

Side effects include skin irritation and rashes. You shouldn't take it if you have multiple sclerosis, a weakened immune system, hepatitis B, or heart failure.

Infliximab (Remicade). You get this through an IV while in a doctor's office. The session lasts 2 to 3 hours. You'll follow-up 2 and 6 weeks after the first dose. After that you'll get treatments every 8 weeks.

Ustekinumab (Stelara). You take it by an injection. After the first shot, you get another shot 4 weeks later, and then an injection every 12 weeks.

It lessens the thickness of your psoriasis patches, while easing scaling, and redness.

The drug can raise your chances of serious infections, cancer, and a rare condition called reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy, which affects your brain and is sometimes fatal.

Today on WebMD

Woman sitting in front of UV lights
About 7.5 million people in the U.S. Get the facts.
stress and psoriasis
What might spark your psoriasis today?
woman bathing
Slideshow: Home Remedies For Psoriasis
woman applying lotion
It starts in the immune system. Read on.
Top Psoriasis Treatments To Try At Home
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Beware Miracle Diets For Psoriasis
Psoriasis Laser Therapy
10 Questions About Psoriasis To Ask Your Doctor
psoriasis on elbow
Psoriasis (Moderate to Severe)
Psoriatic Arthritis Do You Know The Symptoms