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:
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
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.
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.
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
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.