Have you been suffering with the chronic itching of hives or are areas of your body covered in plaques of psoriasis? There is more that can be done than just topical steroids that you have probably been using for years and years with it only to really manage your condition. Topical steroids are good for acute attacks and for some do the job, but for others it just doesn’t seem to clear the psoriasis. That’s where biologics come in! Biologics can treat psoriasis but also hives or HS (Hidradenitis Suppurativa). YAY!
What are Biologic drugs?
Biologics, biologic therapies, or biological response modifiers, are drugs derived from living material (human, plant, animal, or micro-organism). They interfere with specific parts of the body’s immune system to treat and prevent immune-mediated inflammatory disorders and cancers. They are also called targeted therapies.
Biological agents work by interfering with specific components of the autoimmune response. Unlike general immunosuppressant’s that suppress the entire immune system, biological agents can fight more selectively and target only those chemicals involved in causing the specific disease.
How do I get onto a Biologic drug?
You will need to see a dermatologist to be prescribed this drug, the dermatologist will take a full history and determine if we should plan to put you on this drug.
Your skin condition will need to be fairly moderate or severe to be approved for this medication. It is also a bit of a process getting a patient on the drug, as patients must try lower strength medications and UVB therapy first and if your skin condition is still failing, then we can look to apply for the biologics! Biologics use to be very expensive but now some are on the PSB which is great; meaning it’s around $40 a script making it affordable for patients!
What to expect?
Biologics are administered through regular injections – the frequency depends on your skin condition. Patients normally find within 4-6 weeks an improvement in their skin, however this can sometimes take longer. Once treatment has kicked in people normally find around 90% clearance rate!
Once you are clear it doesn’t mean you can then stop treatment unfortunately. Normally you will need to be on this for a while, but the doctor may look to decrease the dose or frequency of the drug and slowly look to wean you off if you condition allows you to do this.
Biologics are not a new thing, it’s just many people don’t know that it is available and we need people to get to know about it! It is honestly life changing for people who have been suffering with chronic skin conditions for years and years. Book in with one of our dermatologists to start your path to clear skin! We can help you and you don’t have to live with these itchy debilitating conditions!