Systemic Treatment for Psoriasis

Systemic treatments are medicines that are injected or tablets that you swallow which affect your whole body or ‘system’. They are often prescribed by your dermatologist (skin doctor) if your psoriasis is severe and hasn’t responded to other treatments.

Psoriasis Medication

Methotrexate

This medicine reduces your skin’s inflammation and slows the overproduction of your skin cells. You may feel sick when taking this medicine and you can not drink alcohol while on this.

Women must not get pregnant when taking methotrexate. There will be additional monitoring including blood tests.

Ciclosporin

This medicine works by limiting how well your immune system works. It was originally used for patients who had an organ transplant to stop it being rejected but it works well for treating psoriasis. Your kidneys and blood pressure will be kept an eye on while taking this medicine.

Acitretin

This is a type of medicine called a retinoid, it slows down the skin cells growth. It is only used if other non-biologic treatments haven’t worked for your psoriasis. Acitretin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight so you should cover up and wear sun cream when outside.

Women must not get pregnant when taking acitretin.

Other treatments

These are used when you have severe psoriasis that has not responded to any other treatments. They work by reducing the inflammation. These include apremilast and dimethyl fumarate.