A new treatment that has been recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for adult patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis is available at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
“The new treatment, available by injection, can offer psoriasis patients a longer-lasting treatment option and control of their disease, which should improve their quality of life,” said Steven R. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., dermatologist and director of the psoriasis center at Wake Forest. “Patients should see a longer remission from the disease.”
Amevive®, known generically as alefacept, is the first of a new class of biologic treatments that work by helping to rebalance the overactive cells in the immune system that cause psoriasis and reduces the number of these disease-causing cells. Biologics are a class of drugs engineered from proteins made in living cells and grown in a laboratory. In treating psoriasis, biologics work by blocking and eliminating cells involved with the disease. Patients receive injections weekly for 12 weeks.
Other treatments for moderate-to-severe psoriasis include oral medications or ultraviolet light therapy.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease in which cells multiply 10 times faster than the normal rate. The excess cells pile up on the skin’s surface forming red, raised, scaly plaques that can be painful and disfiguring. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than 7 million adults across the country have psoriasis and approximately 1.5 million of them suffer with the moderate-to-severe form of the disease.
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