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How do biologics improve psoriasis?

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In general, biologics improve your psoriasis because they:

  • Curb T cells (a form of white blood cell)
  • Block a substance called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), one of the main messenger chemicals in the immune system
  • Block a family of the immune system's chemical messengers called interleukins
  • Bind to proteins that cause inflammation

The patches and plaques of psoriasis develop after an interaction between skin cells and white blood cells. Biologics interfere with TNF-alpha or T cells, or they target interleukins. This short-circuits the unhealthy link between the two cell types. Your inflammation (redness and itch) will ease and you'll have less growth of thick, scaly skin.

SOURCES:

Callen, J.P., Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2003; vol 49: pp 351-356.

FDA: "FDA approves new psoriasis drug Taltz."

News release, FDA: "FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira." 

Lebwohl, M., Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2003; vol 49: pp S118-S124.

Lowes, M.A., Nature, 2007; vol 445: pp 866-873.

Nickoloff, B.J., Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2004; vol 113: pp 1664-1675.

Saini, R., Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2005; vol 11: pp 273-280.

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on November 8, 2019

SOURCES:

Callen, J.P., Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2003; vol 49: pp 351-356.

FDA: "FDA approves new psoriasis drug Taltz."

News release, FDA: "FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira." 

Lebwohl, M., Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2003; vol 49: pp S118-S124.

Lowes, M.A., Nature, 2007; vol 445: pp 866-873.

Nickoloff, B.J., Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2004; vol 113: pp 1664-1675.

Saini, R., Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2005; vol 11: pp 273-280.

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on November 8, 2019

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What are some biologic medicines that treat moderate to severe psoriasis?

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