Can you drink alcohol while taking Otezla?
Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Feb 3, 2021.
There is no evidence that it is unsafe to drink alcohol while taking Otezla. This is most likely because Otezla is not known to cause liver problems, unlike some other medications used to manage psoriasis.
However, there are other reasons why it can be beneficial to limit alcohol consumption if you have psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
- Heavy alcohol consumption is a common trigger for psoriasis. It may sometimes cause psoriasis to appear for the first time or induce a flare-up if you already have the condition.
- Psoriasis treatments can be more effective, meaning you may have fewer flare-ups.
- The risk of developing psoriatic arthritis (in women) and fatty liver disease is reduced.
- Drinking excessive alcohol can intensify the side effects of certain drugs used to control psoriasis.
- It can even be dangerous to combine alcohol with some psoriasis medications. For example, methotrexate, a drug approved to treat severe psoriasis, can cause liver damage if you drink alcohol while taking it.
Although Otezla is not known to cause liver damage when combined with alcohol, it can lead to other complications. The most common side effects of Otezla are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Respiratory tract infections
- Cold-like symptoms
These side effects are often mild, but some symptoms—like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting—can sometimes be severe.
Depression is another possible side effect of Otezla. If you have a history of depression, let your doctor know before starting treatment with Otezla. Also, pay close attention to any mood changes, including emerging or worsening depression and suicidal thoughts.
If any of these symptoms develop, the dose of Otezla may need to be lowered or even stopped altogether. However, stopping (or even switching) treatments can sometimes cause symptoms to return or come back worse. It is important not to stop taking Otezla without talking to your doctor first.
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Otezla (apremilast): highlights of prescribing information. June 2017. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/205437s006lbl.pdf. [Accessed January 20, 2021].
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. Psoriasis treatment: methotrexate. Undated. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/treatment/medications/methotrexate. [Accessed January 19, 2021].
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. Psoriasis: causes. Undated. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/what/causes. [Accessed January 19, 2021].
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. Healthy diet and other lifestyle changes that can improve psoriasis. Undated. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/insider/diet. [Accessed January 19, 2021].
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. Psoriasis treatment: apremilast. Undated. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/treatment/medications/apremilast. [Accessed January 19, 2021].
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