Community Views: Psoriasis and Biologics
Last updated: March 2023
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which the body detects a threat to the skin and produces skin cell growth at a rapid rate. This bodily response also causes painful symptoms, crippling fatigue, and a huge emotional weight.
While there is no cure for this condition, this type of immune response can be controlled by a variety of different treatments as well as lifestyle management. Psoriasis can consume so much control in a person's life, and symptoms turn severe; one treatment option is a clinical injection treatment called a biologic.
Read what those with psoriasis have to say...
Biologic treatments target specific parts of the immune system, and many of those in the PlauquePsoriasis.com community have relied on this treatment to find relief from their painful symptoms and in an effort to improve their quality of life.1,2
We reached out to the PlaquePsoriasis.com Facebook community to ask: “Is anyone on a biologic for psoriasis? What has your journey been like?” Community members shared a wide range of experiences.
Reduction in plaque coverage
There are many options for biologic treatments. Respondents shared using different types of these drugs. Several had a meaningful reduction in plaque coverage. Biologics are transformative for their skin and quality of life.
- “Skyrizi for over 2 years. No side effects. Been clear since April 2019!”
- “Tremfya. 100 percent clear.”
- “Best thing I ever did! Stelara is great.”
- “I'm on Cosentyx. It has worked wonders so far.”
It helps until it stops
The temporary effectiveness of biologics was a common complaint. Results were positive for a while. When the drug stopped helping, doctors prescribed a new one. Many respondents went through multiple biologics.
- “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle! When one quits working, you move on to the next one!”
- “I have tried and failed on multiples. They work for a year and taper off (Humira, Taltz, Stelara, and one other).”
- “I've been on 5 different ones. I now don't have much of an immune system, a side effect of biologics. Plus, after a couple of years, my body rejects them.”
- “Ups and downs. Your body adapts to it; it’s like injecting water.”
Plaques and psoriatic arthritis symptoms
Respondents who live with psoriasis often have psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Balancing treatments is challenging. A biologic may help clear skin and relieve joint pain. Sometimes one biologic helps both conditions. Other times respondents must choose to treat one disease over the other.
- “Taltz works great for me for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. 100 percent clear.”
- “Been on Enbrel for over a year now, and I also take methotrexate. My PsA is 95 percent better, and my skin is probably 90 percent clear.”
- “Enbrel 12.5 years – my miracle drug for PsA but not so much for psoriasis.”
- “I've been on Enbrel forever. It doesn't really do much for my skin, but it works great for the stiffness. I'm to the point that the clearer skin is a trade-off because I'm not messing with what is working for the PsA.”
Severe side effects
All people are unique in how biologics affect the body. Biologics target specific parts of the immune system. A common side effect is a weakened immune system. It is harder for the body to fight off infections. Respondents shared the side effects they experienced.1,2
- “I had a bad allergy, and they tried stopping the biologic. The allergy went away, but I had the same issues when I started again.”
- “Humira nearly killed me. I was on it for about a month. I had 2 DVT [deep vein thrombosis] blood clots and a pulmonary embolism.”
- “I recently moved to Taltz hoping it would help the arthritis side, and I had an allergic reaction.”
- “Took Enbrel for a few years. I had to get off it and no longer use them [biologics] because it destroyed my immune system.”
Is skin management a priority in your psoriasis experience? (Select all that apply)
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