Apremilast

Description

Apremilast is an anti-rheumatic medicine containing Apremilast. It is used for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, a form of arthritis associated with psoriasis. Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness and swelling, which may flare and subside. It is also used for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by symptoms such as skin rashes, scales on the skin, etc. Apremilast works by reducing the pain by blocking certain chemicals responsible for pain and swelling. Apremilast may cause side effects like headache, vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhoea, etc. These side effects may subside over time. However, if any of these side effects bother you or persist for a long time, consult your doctor. Avoid taking this medicine if you are allergic to it. Apremilast can be taken with or without food. The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor based on the severity of your condition. Take it at the same time every day to maintain a constant level of this medicine in your body. Do not stop taking this medicine without consulting your doctor. Never take more than the prescribed dose as it can lead to serious side effects. Apremilast is not recommended for use in children below 18 years of age. Inform your doctor if you have kidney, liver or heart problems before taking this medicine. Also, report all your ongoing medicines to your doctor to avoid interactions. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are planning a pregnancy, consult your doctor before taking Apremilast.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Apremilast

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Abdominal pain
  • Runny nose and sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Unusual tiredness and weakness

Uses of Apremilast

What is it prescribed for?

  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Plaque Psoriasis
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The amount of time required for Apremilast to start showing its effect is not known.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which Apremilast remains effective is not known.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendency has been reported for Apremilast.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    Apremilast is not recommended for use in pregnancy unless necessary as it may cause side effects in your developing foetus. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    It is not known whether Apremilast passes into breastmilk or not. Hence, this medicine is not recommended during breastfeeding unless necessary. If you are breastfeeding, consult your doctor before taking this medicine.

Allergy

Avoid taking Apremilast if you are allergic to it. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms such as skin rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, breathing difficulty, etc.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

Apremilast is not recommended for use in pregnancy unless necessary as it may cause side effects in your developing foetus. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before taking this medicine.

Breast-feeding

It is not known whether Apremilast passes into breastmilk or not. Hence, this medicine is not recommended during breastfeeding unless necessary. If you are breastfeeding, consult your doctor before taking this medicine.
General warnings

Severe diarrhea

Apremilast should be used with caution due to the increased risk of severe diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. Report any such symptoms to the doctor immediately. Your doctor may adjust the dose of this medicine or prescribe a suitable alternative based on your condition.

Use in children

Apremilast is not recommended for use in patients less than 18 years of age since the safety and efficacy data are not available.

Missed Dose

Do not skip any dose of Apremilast. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your dose to compensate for a missed one.

Overdose

Never take more than the prescribed dose. Contact your doctor immediately if you suspect that you have taken an overdose of Apremilast.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Dexamethasone

Phenobarbital

Efavirenz

Carbamazepine

Disease interactions

Depression

Apremilast should be used with caution if you have a history of depression /suicidal thoughts as it may increase the risk of worsening your mental health condition.

Kidney diseases

If you have any kidney problems, Apremilast should be used with caution due to the risk of kidney damage. Your doctor may suggest tests to monitor your kidney function while you are on treatment with this medicine.

Anorexia

Apremilast should be used with caution if you have anorexia (loss of appetite) or malnutrition due to the increased risk of weight loss. Appropriate corrective measures, dose adjustments, or replacement with a suitable alternative may be necessary based on your clinical condition.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Apremilast is used in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. Take Apremilast as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or fewer doses than prescribed. Follow all the instructions given by your doctor. The dose of Apremilast is likely to change during treatment. Report any undesirable effects like diarrhoea to your doctor immediately. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor. Avoid taking Apremilast if you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or are breastfeeding due to the serious side effects. Keep the medicine away from the reach of children and pets. Do not use it after the expiry date. Any unused medication should be discarded properly.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Does not cause sleepiness

How it works
Apremilast works by blocking the action of certain chemical substances in the body that are responsible for causing swelling, redness, and scales on the skin.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Antirheumatics

Schedule

Schedule H

Accessdata.fda.gov. 2021. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 30 November 2021].

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2014/205437s000lbl.pdf>

Media.celgene.com. 2021. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 30 November 2021].

http://media.celgene.com/content/uploads/otezla-pi.pdf>

Bad.org.uk. 2021. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 30 November 2021].

http://www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=5904&itemtype=document>

Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2021. DailyMed - OTEZLA- apremilast kitOTEZLA- apremilast tablet, film coated. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 30 November 2021].

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=3acf6751-827d-11e2-9e96-0800200c9a66>

Otezla® (apremilast) - Official Website. 2021. Otezla® (apremilast) - a pill treatment option. [online] Available at: < [Accessed 30 November 2021].

https://www.otezla.com/>

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Information on this page was last updated on 3 Dec 2021

Disclaimer

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