User Reviews for Apremilast to treat Psoriatic Arthritis
Also known as: Otezla
Apremilast has an average rating of 4.9 out of 10 from a total of 115 ratings for the treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis. 30% of reviewers reported a positive effect, while 41% reported a negative effect.
Otezla (apremilast): “Hi. I just need someone to know that Otezla changed my husband's mood from pleasant to hostile. At first I just thought he was getting older and moodier. Then I asked him if he was taking something--he was--Otezla. But he has terrible psoriatic arthritis and wouldn't go off the drug, so I started to deal with it, knowing that saying the simplest thing like, 'pass the salt' could cause a war. Flash forward a year, and his Otezla is no longer covered. It's a miracle. This loss of benefits is a gift from God to me He's back to his old self. He's pleasant, and kind and wakes up like a human being should, not an angry, hungry black bear. The f-bombs have gone from about 100 a day to zero. I've heard this can happen to 2% of the people who use Otezla. In this case, Otezla could have destroyed our marriage. I hope I help someone. And I hope I don't deter someone who is helped by Otezla. God bless.”
Otezla (apremilast): “I have both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. I am typing this on my phone at 6 am. Normally my hand and elbow hurt too badly first thing in the morning to even hold a coffee mug but I am on day 6 of Otezla and have woken up pain free for the first time in a year! I had violent diarrhea on days 2 through 4, along with an annoying headache but both of those went away yesterday. Hopefully this is the beginning of a pain free way of life. Too soon to know. I did feel compelled to share because some reviews are very scary. From the short time I've taken Otezla, I can tell that it is best taken on a full stomach. I think I can handle a little nausea from time to time if it means pain free living. My psoriasis is already getting better too. Good luck to all.”
Otezla (apremilast): “In late February/early March my upper legs broke out with skin psoriasis while recovering from an ankle surgery. The dermatologist gave me a steroidal cream that took care of about 80% of the breakout in 4-8 weeks. I then experienced mild joint and leg pains staring in June. It was recommended that I see a Rheumatologist. Her recommendation was to see if my insurance covered all or part of a script for Otezla. I was in lucked and my Otezla script was covered 100%. I started taking it in August and Otezla has knocked out almost all of the morning stiffness in my legs and any joint pains. I'm currently experiencing almost no side effects. After reading some of the other reviews. I hope I'm not jinxing myself. I will update the board should there be any big changes.”
Otezla (apremilast): “My dr put me on Otezla for psoriatic arthritis over a year ago. The results were absolutely amazing! I had terrible itchy, scaly patches on my scalp and all in and outside of my ears. Also had a lot of joint pain. This drug eliminated all of that PLUS I lost 45 lbs. Now, it did cause diarrhea, but it wasn't unmanageable. I felt better than I have felt in years. I was lucky at that time to get this for a zero co-pay and stayed on it for a year. Unfortunately, I went on medicare this year and am no longer eligible for the zero copay and now my co-pay will be over $1,200/month, which I cannot possibly afford. I am heartbroken and all broken out again after getting off of it (plus gaining some of the weight back). I wish the drug manufacturer could somehow reduce the cost so it would be more affordable. Hopefully as time goes by, they will. But, if you can get it, please try it. I know you will be pleased.”
Otezla (apremilast): “I have been taking Otezla for over 2 years (with zero copay) and several times I thought about stopping, but only because I would forget about the severe pain I had before when attempting to straighten my fingers. I never could straighten my fingers and the pain was always there regardless. I was 57 when I started and it did take time to be able to completely straighten my fingers with no pain. When being tested prior to taking a medication for PA, I was found to have latent TB. The TB medication slowed down the effectiveness of Ortezla, but if it wasn't for Otezla I wouldn't be able to take anything. Also, because of PA I had chronic plantar fasciitis for 3+ years. Now I can walk with minimal pain. I have a couple more autoimmune disorders which may mask the true results of Otezla, so I may have improved more than I know. I did get sick for the first 2 weeks and it went away. I am grateful that Otezla exists and I would never tell anyone not to try it.”
Otezla (apremilast): “I am considering Otezla for my Psoriatic Arthritis, but after reading these reviews I wanted to share something that some of you may find helpful. There is a book entitled "The Great Arthritis Breakthrough" in which the author cites several studies that have attributed many cases of arthritis to bacteria and tests confirmed that a daily low dose of Minocycline antibiotic fended off the arthritis. I tried this regimen and found that it did work great for arthritis, however it did nothing for the Psoriasis. But seriously, if you are in pain like I was, this is worth it. I took Minocycline for about 2 years and then stopped and have have been off of it for two years now. I am only now starting to have a little inflammation in my right middle finger. Anyway, I wanted to share this in case others might find it useful.”
Otezla (apremilast): “I have been taking this medication for a little over 2 months for scalp psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. I have been lucky and experienced no adverse side effects except for several minutes of minor nausea during the first week or so of beginning it. My scalp cleared almost completely within 2-3 weeks. The itchiness is gone as well. The swelling in my hands has decreased about 20 to 25 percent and I am hoping for more as I reach the 4 to 5 month mark. I was able to remove a ring that I was sure would need to be cut off. I also have had no other side effects that others have reportedsuch as mood changes, headache, diarrhea, etc. I want others to know about good experiences so they won't be scared off. I will report back soon.”
Frequently asked questions
- What are the new drugs for the treatment of plaque psoriasis?
- How long does it take for Otezla to work?
- Is Otezla (apremilast) an immunosuppressant?
- Who makes Otezla and why is it so expensive?
Otezla (apremilast): “I began with two starter kits so I can double the time to gradually get to 30 mg twice a day. I hate it! Pain went from a 5 to a 9 within a day or two of starting. Severe back pain all over, hip pain, tightness around my ribs, and joint pains come and go places I didn’t have problems with prior to Otzela. I'm experiencing vomiting, diarrhea terrible gerd started two days ago, thought I was having a mini heart attack my blood pressure jumps high all of a sudden. First day or two became extremely weak. That’s a bit better. I am not convinced I even need to be on this but my rheumatologist recommened it because I’m 47 and have had scalp psoriasis since I was 16. ( guttate covered my body for months until methotrexate saved me!! I also have severe back injuries. He thinks it will prevent bone erosion in my spine that he explained happens with this autoimmune disease. But honestly, I want to quit...when the future hits I can deal with that then... what do you think?”
Otezla (apremilast): “I did read reviews before starting otezla, and was scared of the adverse reaction mentioned in almost every review. I am taking otezla for a month now. I do not see any changes in my psoriasis yet, but I don't have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Just mild headache, manageable. A couple of nights light insomnia, but it went away in a week. I am keep going, will see how it works.”
Otezla (apremilast): “I put a lot of hope in getting some relief for psoriatic arthritis but my suffering from taking these Otezla pills, (30mg/day after week 1), has been indescribable. I persevered the first 2 weeks of terrible stomach cramps, nausea and burning sensation in my stomach by determination, but after week 6, I felt horrible. All I could try to do was try reduce my extreme discomfort daily, including 20-30 trips to the toilet daily. I lost the daily battle in week 6 where I was taking anti-diarrhea medicine, ant-acids, pesto bismol and eating very bland foods like I had a bad case of colitis. The bladder and rectal pains lasted 48 hours after having dropped Otezla. I had a normal BM and the gas pains have finally over. It had the worst side effects imaginable and I was not able to find out if I could be helped by Otezla and I no longer care. I’ll have to try biologics or just accept a shorter and more restricted life at age 65.”
Otezla (apremilast): “Starting on month 2. I first noticed the inflammation in my hands reducing. I had a finger that I couldn't straighten or bend. I can now do both. Also, doing a lot less limping. There is still foot and ankle pain, but with definite improvement. They say full-effect can take 4 months, but I feel this is working for me and I am happy to not be on a biologic.”
Otezla (apremilast): “I have psoriatic arthritis and skin plaques. I lasted 6 weeks on Otezla in extreme gaseous discomfort and with horrible diarrhea. In weeks 4-6, I had severe pressures in bladder and stomach pains that was torturous. Currently wondering how this medicine was ever approved for sale and the tv commercials are fraudulent and misleading. It was BAD. However, the miserable symptoms went away after 2-3 days after terminating this medicine.”
Otezla (apremilast): “I have both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and this has helped BOTH immensely. I had no idea it was also used for psoriasis, but I currently have only about 4 lesions on my whole body, NONE on my scalp, in my ears or skin folds (this is AMAZING). For PsA, I was only diagnosed with that about a year ago (I thought I had Osteoarthritis until the surgeon told me the operation would be riskier because of PsA!). I immediately went to a rheumatologist & started meds. Cancelled surgery and I'm doing pretty well. Not entirely pain free, but HUGELY improved! Insurance originally approved the med but is now questioning it. Waiting for a ruling.”
Otezla (apremilast): “Had swollen joints in hands, knee pain and neck pain. No real skin issues other than 2 small spots. RA was inconclusive, so PsA was the diagnosis. Doctor gave me a choice of Humira, Enbrel or Otezla to try - I picked Otezla. On week three and the results are quite good. The pain and swelling is greatly reduced and the side effects of Otezla are very minimal. Very happy so far.”
Otezla (apremilast): “After all the years of other medications that either didn't work or I had a reaction to I was prescribed otelza. It was working.No more psoriatic arthritis pain. I didn't have any side effects and it also cleared up my psoriasis. Amazing. I did lose some weight but that was ok. Unfortunately my insurance company decided not to cover this drug and I couldn't afford it. After running out I had a bad relapse within a month. I got so sick from the relapse and I ended up losing my job. My rheumatologist is fighting to get it back. It truly was the only medication that worked for me.”
Otezla (apremilast): “I have been on Otezla for 3 weeks for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It started out ok, but then I became nauseous, couldn't eat, had diarrhea, but I was managing. Then my joints got worse and worse, I couldn't move. The final straw was I took an evening dose and severely began vomiting. I stopped taking it and called the doctor. I have been without it almost 48 hours and while my stomach is still a little queazy, I'm not nearly as sore and don't feel miserable. 90% of my symptoms came on as a result of this medication, it might have helped a little with my plaque psoriasis, but not enough to keep feeling miserable. We are looking into a new treatment.”
Otezla (apremilast): “This is the only drug that has worked for me -- and I have tried em all! Really. All. Of. Them. I have both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The side effects were minimal in relation to the relief I received. About 50 percent cleared on scalp-- 100 percent cleared every where else on my body. 100 percent relief with arthritis pain.”
Otezla (apremilast): “My rheumatologist gave me 2 sample packs of Otezla, and by the time I finished the first pack, I could see a major difference in my skin plaques. They had all but disappeared. When I completed the second pack, they were gone, and the pain in my joints, especially my fingers, was improving. To me, this is a miracle drug. I type for a living, and my fingers were becoming so stiff, I thought I was going to have to quit my job. No flakes from my scalp, no plaques on the back of my legs, upper arms, or anywhere else they normally appeared. I haven't lost any weight so far. It's terribly expensive, but my rheumatologist gave me a 0 co-pay card with the samples, and I got on the program with Otezla with just one phone call for a year.”
Otezla (apremilast): “Was on the starter pack of Otezla, progressively ramping up the dose. Nausea, diarrhea, and eventually vomiting as I reached higher doses. I don't think I was on it long enough to notice any positive effect, because the side effects were debilitating and left me nearly bed (toilet?) ridden. Maybe you'll have better luck than me :/ If you are someone who is sensitive to meds and/or generally gets side effects, keep that in mind.”
Otezla (apremilast): “Started Otezla 4 months ago. I had had a strep throat that caused me to developed guttate psoriasis which I've never had before. That alongside my psoriatic arthritis and regular psoriasis. I was pretty much covered head-to-toe and miserable. After having six months of methotrexate I really didn't want to to be back on a med. The pain from it all got unbearable so I went in for an appointment and was recommended otezla because of my concerns with some of the stronger medicines. At first, it felt similar to methotrexate with the nausea and stomach issues, so I was used to that. However I am now almost 5 months in and at 40 years old I feel like my my memory is gone. I've never had any issues with my memory or fogginess. I have read that psoriatic arthritis can cause this, so who knows. All I know is that I can't take the nausea, the headaches, the GERD, and I believe severe memory issues. I am discontinuing it.”
Otezla (apremilast): “its has cleared 98 percent of my body i still have some like in my ears but very small and like two spots on both legs but overall i am happy i still have pain in my ankles sometimes but that only comes from where i work (in a hospital) very seldom do i get nauseous or have diarrhea but i would recommend this medicine to everyone because it worked for me.”
Otezla (apremilast): “Terrible side effects of diarrhea, loss of appetite and energy, depression, neck stiffness and back pain, increased psoriasis, and overall feeling punked out. This did not go away after a few weeks as predicted, but got worse until I had a blow out reaction. I also did not see much improvement in joint pain and swelling, and my psoriasis increased. Overall, I was disappointed with the medication!”
Otezla (apremilast): “I've been on Otezla 30mg twice a day for one week, and so far, I've had no side effects at all. My joints are slightly better already. I'm staying positive that the side effects won't appear, and I see some gradual improvement in my plaque and arthritis.”
Otezla (apremilast): “Have been on since approved by FDA in 2013. Previously on MTX and Enbrel which I had to discontinue due to CMV and Epstein-Barr virus. Otezla works great on my joints and skin....BUT....I have lost 30#, now wt. is 88-90#. SEVERE nausea, diarrhea. Am taking lexapro, 10mg for depression. cannot take 30 mg bid, Dermatologist has reduced to 15mg hs. Still have the severe nausea, diarrhea, but much better. I am cutting the tabs in half . 10mg is manufactured for the the titration dose, but can't get this for a maintenance dose. WHY NOT? So, I will continue to take 15mg daily because it works GREAT for severe PsA and psoriasis and I have no other options.”
Otezla (apremilast): “Just started taking Otezla on March 20th. I started out with the low dosage and I am now currently at 30mg twice a day. In 6 days, I have lost 4 pounds, mainly from the diarrhea and have had some headaches however I will keep going with this as I am waking up with no stiffness or pain from the Psoriatic Arthritis which is a huge bonus. The only thing I really need to watch is the insomnia. Last night was not a good night for me as I tossed and turned all night but that very well could be from the Prednisone I am also taking, but only for another week or so. I am hopeful Otezla will continue to work for me because I refuse to take Biologics that my doctor wanted to put me on.”
This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare professionals.
Learn more about Psoriatic Arthritis
Symptoms and treatments
Mayo Clinic Reference
More about apremilast
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 396 Reviews
- Drug class: antirheumatics
- Other brands