Psoriasis is a skin disease caused to due unknown reasons whose predisposition is assumed to be genetic. Psoriasis is not contagious and worsens with certain environmental issues. The symptoms vary from small itchy skin flakes to elevated white patches.
Biologics are a newer form of treatment approved for managing moderate to severe psoriasis. Unlike the regular drugs, Biologics are derived from human or animal proteins, and when injected into patients they work at restoring immune balance. “Biologics are an extremely effective and safe treatment option for psoriasis” says Dr Agarwala. “They are not just an excellent choice for the patients failing conventional treatment, but also the best first line therapy for patients with severe disease,” he added. While some patients may see results as early as four weeks, few may take three to four months to improve. Cost of the therapy is the major factor limiting the widespread use of biologicals. They are the newest and most advanced type of psoriasis treatment.
Psoriasis is an immune system disorder wherein an aberrant immune response leads to skin inflammation and swollen stiff joints. In psoriasis, the life of cells is speeded up and they build up rapidly on the surface of the skin forming scales and red patches. There are several types of psoriasis, most of them showing a cyclical pattern, flaring up for weeks to months and then going into remission. In addition to inflamed, scaly skin, psoriatic arthritis causes swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. Sometimes the joint symptoms are the first or only manifestation of psoriasis or at times only nail changes are seen.
Biologics work by interfering with very specific components of immune response system. Unlike general immunosuppressants that suppress the entire immune system, Biologics can fight selectively and target only those chemicals involved in causing psoriasis.
About 3 out of 4 people experience >75% of improvement in their symptoms with biologic treatment compared to about 1 in 3 people who experience similar results from cyclosporine, methotrexate, phototherapy.
All these Biologics are given as injections as per defined dosage, schedule and intervals.
To date, Biologics for psoriasis appear to have very few side effects.However individual outcome may differ. Because of their very precise targets, they do not affect the entire immune system the way that general immunosuppressants do. However,Biologics should still be considered immunosuppressive and may increase risk of infection.
Dr Manoj Agarwala, MD from prestigious CMC Vellore is a certified expert in Biologics having extensive experience of managing psoriatic patients with Biologics. Patients travel from all over India to Raipur to meet Dr Manoj Agarwala to avail the benefit of this advanced treatment.
Biologics offer a hope for long term remission with monotherapy i.e. it means no other drugs needs to be taken for psoriasis per se.There are various biologicals available in the Indian market and your dermatologist can decide which one will suit you the most. Few of them are simple subcutaneous injections and it hardly takes 10 minutes for the administration of the drug.