(BPT) - Though winter can be a time of fun and festivities, it can be challenging for people living with plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. The symptoms of these diseases can be exacerbated by the cold - and the anticipation of the season can quickly be replaced by stress. Check out three personal tips from Kayla and Cindy, who each live with moderate plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and see how proper symptom management can help you enjoy wintery activities.
Question: When the weather outside is cold, what strategies help you feel more comfortable?
Cindy: 'I have both moderate plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. With plaque psoriasis, fabric is important to me. You might think a woolly sweater is the way to go in winter, but especially when my plaque psoriasis was uncontrolled, cotton fabrics were much more comfortable. For psoriatic arthritis, my doctor recommends regular activity. But the changing weather where I live in New York can make that challenging. That's why I started bowling! Because we play indoors, I can play all year 'round. I would suggest talking to your doctor about activities that might work for you.'
Question: Beyond the weather, wintertime is also often filled with events, gatherings, year-end shopping and new-year planning. Stress can also be a trigger for psoriatic flares. How do you avoid getting stressed?
Kayla: 'This time of year is busy for me at work. I always tell my husband when my plaque psoriasis is acting up or when I'm feeling down, and he lets me know I'm not alone. We like to plan fun outings together like driving around to look at all the festive lights.'
Question: Both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune conditions, meaning the immune system attacks and damages healthy tissue by mistake. In addition to thinking about external wintertime factors, what other steps are you taking to address your disease from within?
Kayla: 'I had tried some treatments in the past, but my plaque psoriasis was still flaring. When it got bad, my husband inspired me to go back to the doctor. My doctor recommended Otezla (apremilast), a prescription medicine used to treat adult patients with plaque psoriasis and active psoriatic arthritis. I liked that it was an effective oral option, and I didn't need to go in for routine blood tests. My doctor even told me it helps some people with plaque psoriasis achieve up to 75% clearer skin after four months of treatment.'
Cindy: 'My biggest advice is don't hesitate! Ask questions and don't be afraid to do your own research. That's how I learned about Otezla, the only oral prescription medicine for all severities of adult plaque psoriasis and active psoriatic arthritis. I asked my doctor about it, and we decided to give it a try. I liked that it was an oral option that fit with my regular routines. I'm so glad I asked about it! I encourage others to have open conversations to help find the right options for them.'
Patients should not use if they are allergic to Otezla, and the following risks have been associated with Otezla: severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting; depression; weight loss. You should not take certain medicines when you are taking Otezla as they may decrease its effectiveness. The most common side effects of Otezla in clinical studies were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache.
For more information, and to discover how Otezla can help, visit InsideLookPsO.com.
Otezla® (apremilast) is a prescription medicine used to treat adult patients with:
- Plaque psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate.
- Active psoriatic arthritis.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
You must not take Otezla if you are allergic to apremilast or to any of the ingredients in Otezla.
Otezla can cause allergic reactions, sometimes severe. Stop using Otezla and call your healthcare provider or seek emergency help right away if you develop any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: trouble breathing or swallowing, raised bumps (hives), rash or itching, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat or arms.
Otezla can cause severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, especially within the first few weeks of treatment. Use in elderly patients and the use of certain medications with Otezla appears to increase the risk of complications from having severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Tell your doctor if any of these conditions occur.
Otezla is associated with an increase in depression. In clinical studies, some patients reported depression, or suicidal behavior while taking Otezla. Some patients stopped taking Otezla due to depression. Before starting Otezla, tell your doctor if you have had feelings of depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior. Be sure to tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or other mood changes develop or worsen during treatment with Otezla.
Some patients taking Otezla lost body weight. Your doctor should monitor your weight regularly. If unexplained or significant weight loss occurs, your doctor will decide if you should continue taking Otezla.
Some medicines may make Otezla less effective and should not be taken with Otezla. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines.
The most common side effects of Otezla include diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache. These are not all the possible side effects with Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or planning to breastfeed.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-332-1088.
Please click here for the Full Prescribing Information for Otezla.