Generic Name: apremilast (a PRE mi last)
Brand Names: Otezla
Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD Last updated on Jul 24, 2019.
What is Otezla?
Otezla (apremilast) inhibits an enzyme within your immune system that can affect certain cells and contribute to inflammation in the body.
Otezla is used to treat the symptoms of active psoriatic arthritis in adults.
Otezla can relieve tenderness and swelling in and around the joints, but this medicine is not a cure for psoriatic arthritis.
Otezla is used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in people who may also receive phototherapy or other treatments for psoriasis.
Otezla is also used to treat adults with oral ulcers associated with Behçet’s Disease.
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.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Otezla if you are allergic to apremilast.
To make sure Otezla 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 Otezla. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. 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 Otezla 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 Otezla?
Take Otezla exactly as prescribed by your doctor. 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 Otezla with or without food.
Do not crush, chew, or break an Otezla 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?
Otezla 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.
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 Otezla?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Otezla side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Otezla: 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 Otezla 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.
What other drugs will affect Otezla?
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.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this Otezla only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2019 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03 DDC.
More about Otezla (apremilast)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
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- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
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- Drug class: antirheumatics
- FDA Approval History