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Otezla (Generic Apremilast)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Otezla (apremilast) is a prescription medication that is used to treat certain types of inflammatory conditions. It is primarily prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Plaque psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition characterized by red, itchy, and scaly patches on the skin. Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that affects some individuals with psoriasis, causing joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Otezla is classified as a phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor. It works by inhibiting the action of PDE4 enzymes in the body, which helps to reduce the production of certain inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. By targeting these inflammatory pathways, Otezla helps to alleviate the signs and symptoms of plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

How should this medicine be used?

Otezla (apremilast) comes in the form of oral tablets that are taken by mouth. It is important to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare professional and the medication’s packaging. Here are some general guidelines for using Otezla:

  • Dosage: The recommended starting dosage is usually 10 mg taken orally, twice a day, regardless of food intake. After 5 days, the dosage is increased to the maintenance dosage of 30 mg taken orally, twice a day.
  • Swallowing: Take the tablet whole with water. Do not crush, chew, or split the tablet.
  • Timing: Otezla can be taken at any time of the day, with or without food. It is important to take it consistently at the same times each day to maintain a steady level of the medication in your system.
  • Follow-up: Regularly follow up with your healthcare professional to monitor your progress, adjust the dosage if needed, and address any concerns or side effects you may experience.
  • Duration: Otezla is usually taken for a prolonged period, as prescribed by your healthcare professional. The duration of treatment will depend on your specific condition and response to the medication.

It is essential to inform your healthcare professional about any other medications, supplements, or medical conditions you have before starting Otezla. They can provide you with personalized instructions and monitor for any potential interactions or adverse effects.

Always consult your healthcare professional for specific dosing instructions and any questions or concerns you may have about using Otezla.

Other uses for this medicine

While Otezla (apremilast) is primarily prescribed for the treatment of plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, it has also been studied for other inflammatory conditions. Always consult a healthcare professional for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the uses of Otezla.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions associated with Otezla, here are some important considerations:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare professional if you have a known allergy or hypersensitivity to apremilast or any of the other ingredients in Otezla. Allergic reactions to Otezla are rare but can occur.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits of Otezla with your healthcare professional. The safety of Otezla during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been extensively studied, and the potential risks to the fetus or infant are not fully known.
  • Other medical conditions: Inform your healthcare professional about any other medical conditions you have, such as liver problems, kidney problems, or a history of depression or suicidal thoughts. Otezla may require caution or dose adjustments in these situations.
  • Drug interactions: Otezla may interact with certain medications, such as strong cytochrome P450 enzyme inducers (e.g., rifampin, phenobarbital) or strong cytochrome P450 enzyme inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, clarithromycin). Inform your healthcare professional about all the medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Side effects: Like any medication, Otezla can cause side effects. Common side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, headache, upper respiratory tract infection, and decreased appetite. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, it is important to contact your healthcare professional.

It is crucial to discuss your medical history, current medications, and any concerns you have with your healthcare professional before starting Otezla. They can provide personalized advice, guidance, and monitoring throughout your treatment.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions or instructions for Otezla (apremilast). However, it is generally recommended to take the medication with or without food, as directed by your healthcare professional. Otezla can be taken at any time of the day, and there is no requirement to adjust your diet while using this medication.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Otezla, you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Otezla (apremilast) can cause a range of side effects, although not everyone who takes the medication will experience them. Common side effects of Otezla include:

  • Gastrointestinal effects: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are the most commonly reported side effects. These symptoms are usually mild to moderate and tend to improve over time.
  • Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches while taking Otezla.
  • Upper respiratory tract infection: Otezla may increase the risk of upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold or sinusitis.
  • Decreased appetite: Some people may experience a decrease in appetite while taking Otezla.
  • Weight loss: Otezla has been associated with weight loss in some individuals.
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts: In rare cases, Otezla may cause or worsen depression and lead to suicidal thoughts. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any mood changes or symptoms of depression while taking Otezla.

It is crucial to note that this is not an exhaustive list of side effects, and others may occur. Additionally, individual responses to medications can vary, and some people may experience different or no side effects while taking Otezla.

If you experience any severe or persistent side effects or have concerns about the side effects you are experiencing, it is essential to contact your healthcare professional. They can provide guidance, address your concerns, and determine the best course of action based on your specific situation.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

  • Storage: Store Otezla tablets at room temperature, away from excessive heat and moisture. Follow the storage instructions provided by the medication’s packaging. Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Do not dispose of Otezla tablets in household trash or flush them down the toilet. Properly dispose of unused or expired medication through a take-back program or by following local guidelines for medication disposal. Consult your pharmacist or healthcare professional for guidance on safe disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Emergency: If you experience a severe allergic reaction or any other emergency situation while taking Otezla, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, seek immediate medical attention or call emergency services.
  • Overdose: In the case of an overdose, contact your local poison control center at once or go to the nearest emergency room. Symptoms of an overdose may include severe diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or other severe adverse effects.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow-up appointments: It is important to attend follow-up appointments with your healthcare professional as scheduled. They will monitor your progress, assess the effectiveness of the medication, and address any concerns or side effects.
  • Compliance: Take Otezla as prescribed by your healthcare professional. Do not adjust the dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting them.
  • Interactions: Inform your healthcare professional about all medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with Otezla. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Patient assistance programs: If you have concerns about the cost or access to Otezla, inquire about patient assistance programs or financial support options that may be available.

Remember, the information provided here is not exhaustive, and it is important to consult your healthcare professional or pharmacist for complete and personalized instructions regarding the storage, disposal, emergencies, and any other information specific to your situation and treatment with Otezla.

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