apremilast (Otezla)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

What is apremilast, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Apremilast is an oral medication used to treat adults with active psoriatic arthritis (a form of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis). It is also used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in patients who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy. Apremilast works by reducing production of an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase 4(PDE4). This may lead to a reduction in chemicals that cause inflammation in the body. However the exact mechanism in treating psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis is not known. In clinical studies, patients with psoriatic arthritis had improvement in tender and swollen joints, as well as physical function. Patients with plaque psoriasis had reductions in redness, scaliness and thickness of the skin. The FDA approved apremilast in March 2014.

What brand names are available for apremilast?


Is apremilast available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for apremilast?


What are the side effects of apremilast?

The most common side effects associated with apremilast are diarrhea, nausea, and headache. It also can cause upper respiratory tract infections. Depression, upper abdominal pain, and weight loss were also reported in clinical studies.

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Psoriasis Types, Images, Treatments
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