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Otezla Side Effects

Generic name: apremilast

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on May 13, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about apremilast. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Otezla.

Summary

Common side effects of Otezla include: weight loss. Other side effects include: diarrhea, headache, and nausea. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to apremilast: oral tablet

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, apremilast (the active ingredient contained in Otezla) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking apremilast:

Rare

  • Changes in behavior
  • discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • thoughts of killing oneself
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping

Incidence not known

  • Cough
  • chest tightness
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • hives, itching, or rash
  • hoarseness
  • irritation
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • redness of the skin
  • swelling of the hands or feet
  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weight loss

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of apremilast may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Less common

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to apremilast: oral tablet

General

The most commonly reported side effects included diarrhea, headache, and nausea.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, upper abdominal pain

Frequency not reported: Frequent bowel movement, gastroesophageal reflux disease, dyspepsia[Ref]

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis

Frequency not reported: Cough[Ref]

Dermatologic

Frequency not reported: Rash[Ref]

Metabolic

Frequency not reported: Weight decrease, decreased appetite[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Frequency not reported: Migraine[Ref]

Frequently asked questions

References

1. "Product Information. Otezla (apremilast)." Celgene Corporation (2014):

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.