Psoriasis Treatment: Other Medications

Approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other medical conditions, these medications are showing promise in treating severe psoriasis:

6-Thioguanine
Approved for treating leukemia, it may be effective in treating psoriasis, especially pustular psoriasis. Possible side effects include anemia, decrease in white blood cells and platelets and bone marrow toxicity.

Hydroxyurea
An oral medication used to treat one form of leukemia, hydroxyurea may also be effective in treating plaque psoriasis. When combined with PUVA or retinoids, good results have been seen. Possible side effects include anemia, decrease in white blood cells and platelets and bone marrow toxicity.

Isotretinoin
FDA approved for the treatment of severe cystic acne, oral isotretinoin may also be effective in treating pustular psoriasis. Isotretinoin is a potent drug that can cause severe birth defects. For this reason, it should not be used by a woman who is pregnant or breast feeding. Women planning a pregnancy should discontinue taking isotretinoin and use birth control for at least one month before trying to become pregnant.

Mycophenolate mofetil
FDA approved for preventing rejection of a transplanted kidney, liver or heart, this drug is a potent immunosuppressant. Combining this drug with cyclosporine may increase the effectiveness of cyclosporine and reduce the risk of kidney damage associated with cyclosporine.

Sulfasalazine
Used to treat psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, this drug may also be effective in treating some patients with psoriasis. Studies find that patients who respond tend to respond quickly.

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

 

For an overview, visit the AAD pamphlet Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis.

There are different types of psoriasis treatment:

Medicine Applied to the Skin

Lasers and Other Light Therapies

Biologics

Medicine that Works throughout the Body

Other Medications


 
 

 

 

 

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Page last updated 2/17/10

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