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Apremilast

Generic Name: apremilast (a-PRE-mi-last)
Brand Name: Otezla

Apremilast is used for:

Treating active psoriatic arthritis. It is also used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in certain patients.

Apremilast is a phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor. Exactly how it works is not known.

Do NOT use apremilast if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in apremilast
  • you are taking carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, or rifampin

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using apremilast:

Some medical conditions may interact with apremilast. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems
  • if you have a history of mental or mood problems (eg, depression) or suicidal thoughts or actions

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with apremilast. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, or rifampin because they may decrease apremilast's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if apremilast may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use apremilast:

Use apremilast as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take apremilast by mouth with or without food.
  • Swallow apremilast whole. Do not break, crush, split, or chew before swallowing.
  • If you miss a dose of apremilast, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use apremilast.

Important safety information:

  • Apremilast may cause depression. The risk may be greater in patients who have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or actions. Families and caregivers must closely watch patients who take apremilast. It is important to keep in close contact with the patient's doctor. Tell the doctor right away if the patient has new, worsened, or sudden symptoms, such as depression; anxiety, restlessness, or irritability; panic attacks; or any changes in behavior. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
  • Apremilast may cause weight loss. You will need to have regular weight checks while you are taking apremilast.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using apremilast while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use apremilast, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of apremilast:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; headache; nausea; weight loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); unusual or big weight loss.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of apremilast:

Store apremilast below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep apremilast out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about apremilast, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Apremilast is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take apremilast or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about apremilast. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to apremilast. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using apremilast.

Review Date: November 3, 2016

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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