Taking World Psoriasis Day Personally

(BPT) – An estimated 125 million people across the world live with psoriasis, a disease that affects not only the skin, but can also shape daily life.1,2 For Evelyn Weisz, plaque psoriasis impacted both the health of her skin as well as her law career and social life.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of cells, causing them to build up more rapidly on the surface of the skin. The result is itchy and sometimes painful patches covered with thick, silvery scales.3 World Psoriasis Day, on October 29th is dedicated to improving understanding, management, and treatment of this disease that affects so many millions of people.1

For Weisz, who was diagnosed with plaque psoriasis at age 31, the disease affected every part of her body except her face. The red, itchy patches were the worst on her feet and hands — so much so that she wore white gloves for six months to protect them and hide them from her friends, coworkers, and clients. Over time, Weisz was concealing more than just her hands. She was hiding herself away to avoid interacting with others, and she felt increasingly self-conscious and isolated.

“After 25 years of practicing corporate law, I had to step away from my job. Not only had plaque psoriasis drained me of my energy and outgoing personality, but it took away my career, too,” said Weisz, 56. “Between my skin and nearly a dozen repeated failures with topical and phototherapy treatments, I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I decided to reach out to my doctor to discuss my treatment options.”

Since it works differently than other treatments by blocking a specific group of proteins at the site of inflammation, Weisz’s dermatologist recommended she try SILIQ™ (brodalumab) injection, a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet light treatment), and who have tried other systemic therapies that didn’t work or stopped working. It is not known whether SILIQ is safe and effective in children.4

Two months later, Weisz found relief and her skin cleared significantly. “I stopped wearing my gloves,” she said. “Being able to comfortably shake hands with someone — something so simple — has been the best feeling.”

“This World Psoriasis Day I plan to share my journey with plaque psoriasis with the hope of inspiring others to work with their dermatologists and identify the treatment that’s right for them,” Weisz said. “And I look forward to celebrating the day comfortable in my own skin — without my gloves.”

If you have psoriasis, talk to your health care provider about potential treatment options. For more information about SILIQ and complete prescribing information, visit www.siliq.com.

Important Safety Information

What is SILIQ?

SILIQTM injection is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis:

  • who may benefit from injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet light treatment)

and

  • who have tried another systemic therapy that didn’t work or stopped working

It is not known if SILIQ is safe and effective in children.

What is the most important information I should know about SILIQ?

Suicidal thoughts or behavior: Some patients taking SILIQ have had suicidal thoughts or ended their own lives. This risk is higher if you have a history of suicidal thoughts or depression. It is not known if SILIQ causes these thoughts or actions.

Get medical help right away if you or a family member notices that you have any of the following symptoms:

  • new or worsening depression, anxiety, or mood problems
  • thoughts of suicide, dying, or hurting yourself
  • attempt to commit suicide, or acting on dangerous impulses
  • other unusual changes in your behavior or mood

Your healthcare provider will give you a SILIQ patient/wallet card about symptoms that need medical attention right away. Carry the card with you during treatment with SILIQ and show it to all of your healthcare providers.

Serious Infections: SILIQ may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections.

  • Your healthcare provider should check you for tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with SILIQ and may treat you for TB before starting SILIQ if you have TB or a history of it
  • You and your healthcare provider need to watch closely for signs and symptoms of infection during treatment with SILIQ, including fever, sweats, chills, shortness of breath, stomach issues, muscle aches, cough, sore throat or trouble swallowing, warm/red/painful skin sores, burning while urinating or more frequent urination

Who should not use SILIQ?

Do not use SILIQ if you have Crohn’s disease. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop diarrhea, bloody stools, stomach pain or cramping, sudden or uncontrollable bowel movements, loss of appetite, constipation, weight loss, fever or tiredness as these may be symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Before starting SILIQ, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have a history of mental health problems, including suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, or mood problems
  • have an infection that does not go away or keeps coming back
  • have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). You should avoid getting live vaccines while being treated with SILIQ
  • are or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to do so. It is unknown if SILIQ can harm your unborn or newborn baby

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

How should I use SILIQ?

See the detailed “Instructions for Use” that come with your SILIQ for information on the right way to store, prepare, and give your SILIQ injections at home, and how to properly throw away (dispose of) used SILIQ prefilled syringes. Use SILIQ exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.

What are possible side effects of SILIQ?

SILIQ may cause serious side effects. See “What is the most important information I should know about SILIQ?” and “Who should not take SILIQ?”

The most common side effects of SILIQ include: joint pain, muscle pain, headache, injection site reactions, tiredness, flu, diarrhea, low white blood cell count (neutropenia), mouth or throat pain, fungal infections of the skin, nausea.

Call your doctor for medical advice on side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to FDA at www.fda.gov/MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please click here for accompanying full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning about suicidal ideation and behavior, and Medication Guide.

Please click here for full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

SILIQ is a trademark of Ortho Dermatologics’ affiliated entities.

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References

  1. National Psoriasis Foundation. (2017). World Psoriasis Day 10.29.2017. Retrieved from https://www.psoriasis.org/world-psoriasis-day. Accessed July 18, 2018.
  2. World Health Organization. (2016). Psoriasis. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/ncds/management/psoriasis/en/. Accessed February 6, 2018.
  3. The Mayo Clinic. (2017). Psoriasis. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840. Accessed July 11, 2018.
  4. SILIQ [prescribing information]. Bridgewater, NJ: Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC.

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