What to Expect When Taking a Biologic for Psoriasis
Deciding to take a biologic injection can be a big deal. The treatments come with potential side effects and you may come to the conclusion that it’s just not for you.
If you are, however, thinking of having one, you may have some questions about what that will entail and how it will affect your condition. So, I’ve decided to write this piece on what you should expect if you’re going to have a biologic injection for your psoriasis.
Don’t expect treatment to work right away
With my current biologic, I have been frustrated that the treatment did not shown signs of improving my psoriasis immediately. But it’s important to say, it can take a number of weeks or even months to see your symptoms go away, so don’t expect too much.
I have been on Stelara and Cosentyx and on those it didn’t take too long to see signs of improvement. However, on my current medication, Skyrizi, it has taken around two months for my symptoms to improve. So, it’s worth noting that different people react differently to treatments and it could be some considerable time before you start noticing your symptoms go away.
Brace yourself for potential side effects
As with any treatment with affects the immune system, you may suffer from infections from time to time. I have had a couple and they have been a nuisance, but they’ve been treatable either from stopping the medication for some time or with creams or ointments.
If you’re put off from having the biologic because you’re worried about getting infections, have a good discussion with your medical team first. They will be able to help you and you can come to a decision about whether this really is a course of treatment you would like to pursue.
Be prepared to switch or stop treatment at any time
You hope when starting a biologic that if it works you can be on it for some considerable time to come, but you have to brace yourself for the prospect that that may not be the case.
I have so far been on three different biologic injections, and I’ve really had to be open about swapping treatments. What I’ve learned from my experience is that over time biologics can lose their effectiveness or stop treating psoriasis entirely so it doesn’t make much sense to stay on them if they’re not really helping.
The decision to switch treatments
I would say be open to swapping. Some biologics will work well on some people while others will work better on someone else. If biologics is something you want to pursue, be open to change so you can find the right treatment for you.
In addition, I’d say be open to coming off the treatment entirely and not pursuing biologics if you find they don’t work for you and you don’t like them. Sometimes, treatments just aren’t for us and if you find the side effects tricky or don’t think it’s having much of an impact on your psoriasis, speak up and let your medical team know.
Do your own research
No matter what you decide to do, going on a biologic is a big step. Be sure that you have all the information you could want before deciding to take this treatment. That includes understanding the treatment itself, its side effects and what the potential long-term impact could be.
It’s a huge decision to take a biologic so making yourself informed about it will help you make a better decision.
Where on your body does psoriasis bother you the most?