Generic Name: apremilast (a PRE mi last)
Brand Name: Otezla, Otezla Starter Pack
What is apremilast?
Apremilast inhibits an enzyme within your immune system that can affect certain cells and contribute to inflammation in the body.
Apremilast is used to treat the symptoms of active psoriatic arthritis in adults. Apremilast is also used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in people who may also receive phototherapy or other treatments for psoriasis.
Apremilast can relieve tenderness and swelling in and around the joints, but this medicine is not a cure for psoriatic arthritis.
Apremilast may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about apremilast?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking apremilast?
You should not use apremilast if you are allergic to it.
To make sure apremilast is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or actions;
if you take seizure medication (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin); or
if you take medicine to treat HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis.
Some people have depression or thoughts about suicide while taking apremilast. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using apremilast. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether apremilast will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
It is not known whether apremilast passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.
How should I take apremilast?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose or dosing schedule to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take apremilast with or without food.
Do not crush, chew, or break an apremilast tablet. Swallow it whole.
Keep track of your body weight while you are taking this medicine, and tell your doctor about any major weight loss.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking apremilast?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Apremilast side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
unexplained weight loss, or if you lose a lot of weight;
mood changes, new or worsening depression; or
thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.
Common side effects may include:
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Apremilast dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Psoriatic Arthritis:
-Day 1: 10 mg orally once a day (AM)
-Day 2: 10 mg orally twice a day (AM and PM)
-Day 3: 10 mg orally once a day (AM); 20 mg orally once a day (PM)
-Day 4: 20 mg orally twice a day (AM and PM)
-Day 5: 20 mg orally once a day (AM); 30 mg orally once a day (PM)
Maintenance dose: 30 mg orally twice a day (AM and PM)
Comments: This titration is intended to reduce the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with initial therapy.
Use: Treatment of adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis
What other drugs will affect apremilast?
Other drugs may interact with apremilast, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
More about apremilast
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 194 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: antirheumatics
Other brands: Otezla
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about apremilast.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.02.
Last reviewed: October 07, 2014
Date modified: August 01, 2017