Biologics are used for people with moderate to severe psoriasis. They may also help people who cannot use other drugs or treatments, for example those who have had an allergic reaction to another psoriasis medication. Eligibility for treatment with biologics depends on the medication used. Biologics are given by injection.
Alefacept (Amevive) is the first biologic approved in Canada for the treatment of psoriasis. People with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy are eligible to use it, and it is currently the only biologic available in Canada for psoriasis. Alefacept is given as an intramuscular (into the muscle) injection once a week for a period of 12 weeks. This is followed by a treatment-free period of at least 12 weeks. The effects of alefacept may continue even after the last dose is given, so treatment-free periods allow people to take a "holiday" from regular medication use. The doctor or nurse may teach people using alefacept to self-inject at home.
For more information, contact your dermatologist.
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