I've Just Started My Third Biologic Treatment
Third time lucky, as they say. March represents an important month in my psoriasis journey. Four weeks ago, I finished my last Cosentyx injection after it stopped working as effectively as it had done so. I am now moving on to a different injection called Skyrizi.
This treatment journey is not as simple as the Cosentyx doses. I have to have this administered at the hospital. For my first two doses, this will be done in four weekly segments. After that, it will be given to me once every 12 weeks.
An opportunity up for grabs
What I haven’t yet said is that I am part of a study. This means the injection is being given me as part of a trial, for scientists to see how the injection benefits those with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis where Cosentyx hadn’t worked. To be allowed to be on the study, you had to previously have a Cosentyx injection.
I am fine with all of that. When I first wanted to change medications, it was explained to me that this was a good study to be a part of and Skyrizi is one of the best injections around.
Now, I have yet to set any results, but I will report back after a month or two to see if anything has changed.
My biggest fear
In the meantime, what do I fear the most from my latest injection? For me, the injection not working is by far my biggest fear. My psoriasis has been mostly under control for the past two years with Cosentyx. It hasn’t really bothered me at all, and any minor plaques have gone away themselves.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case lately. That’s why my dermatologist suggested I shift. My psoriasis has started flaring on my scalp, on my arms, legs and in other places. I’ve also noticed where my skin has become injured through a cut or skin burn, instead of healing, the skin is turning to psoriasis and becoming inflamed.
Even last time, when I had my blood tests done, about a few weeks after I noticed where the skin has been pricked to get the injection in, it has now turned into a psoriasis plaque!
Side effects & cost
I am not so bothered by the side effects as I have been quite lucky with Cosentyx, in that they’ve been kept largely to a minimum. I have only seen a few side effects in the last few months, and that’s another reason why I wanted to shift treatments.
So how do you get the treatment otherwise? To get a biologic in the UK, I had to go through quite a few treatments. They are expensive, so the National Health Service (NHS) won’t fund them unless you fail other types of medications.
Typically this includes topical corticosteroids, moisturizers, ointments, phototherapy, and oral medications such as cyclosporine.
Weighing the pros and cons
The good news is that if the biologic is successful, you could potentially be on it for the rest of your life. The downside is that they may not work after a period of time. As I’ve already outlined with Cosentyx, they do come with side effects and you can pick up infections due to the weakened immune system.
You may have to go to a hospital or wait for a nurse to administer the medication for you. With Cosentyx, I could do it myself after being shown, but before that, I was on Stelara which had to be given to me by a nurse. That was a bit troublesome as I often had other commitments so fitting it around my job and social life was tough, but do-able if you really want it.
Keep going with your psoriasis journey, and let me know in the comments section if you’ve had success on a biologic.
Do you get frustrated with your psoriasis treatment plan?