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Is Stelara Stellar? The New Biologic on the Block | Psoriasis Pictures, Symptoms, Treatment, Cures

Is Stelara Stellar? The New Biologic on the Block

As we move farther away from the dark depths of winter, many of us “psoriatics” can anticipate a moderate reduction in our symptoms due to increased exposure to the sun. In my next newsletter I’ll discuss some of the lesser-known reasons behind this and other details regarding the connection between sunlight and psoriasis…but today I thought I would discuss another “stellar” topic- which would be the relatively recent arrival of a new “biologic” treatment for psoriasis. It’s called Stelara.

By know, most folks with psoriasis know about the biologics: Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, Raptiva and Amevive. The newest kid on the biologic block is Stelara, which seems poised to take on Enbrel as the first choice among the biologics in treating psoriasis. Stelara has demonstrated two significant advantages over Enbrel: the first is that it actually seems to work better (approximately 70-75% of those that take Stelara report a 75% decrease in symptoms after 12 weeks) and the second is that Stelara requires only a few injections over 12 weeks, compared to 24 for Enbrel. Additionally, Stelara works significantly differently than the other biologics: Stelara works by regulating the activity of interleukin-12 and interleukin-23, which are cytokines and important factors in the inflammatory immune response behind psoriasis and some other immune disorders. Most of the other biologics are what are called TNF (tumor necrosis factor) blockers and there is some hope that Stelara’s different focus will bring with it fewer and less serious side-effects, since it seems to be a more targeted approach. Thus far, the report from dermatologists after just a few months of Stelara being on the market is that Stelara is already their first choice after Enbrel.

It’s still too early to tell whether Stelara will show some of the drawbacks we’ve seen with the other biologics, which is that they often stop working and sometimes require steadily higher doses and the jury is still out on Stelara’s long-term side-effects, but for those that are interested in the bringing out the heavy guns to treat their

psoriasis, Stelara is certainly important to know about.

Personally, I will be sticking with turning to diet modification and coconut oil and my trusty dovonex whenever my own symptoms flare up, at least until that stops working for me; which it hasn’t yet!!

Good luck everyone, stay in touch, and enjoy the return of the sun.


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