Biologic Treatment for Psoriasis

What is a biologic treatment?

A biological medicine, or biologic, is a type of treatment for some long-term medical conditions like psoriasis.

Unlike traditional medications, like ibuprofen or paracetamol, biologic medicines are made from living organisms. These can include microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast.

Most biologics are designed to block specific parts of the immune system and can be thought of as ‘targeted therapies’. Because these therapies are proteins, they do not work as tablets, and must be given as an injection or through a drip.

Biological therapies are only given to people who have already tried other treatments appropriate to their condition and not responded well to them. Biological therapies are often given alongside other medications.

Role of biologic treatments in psoriasis

Biologic Treatment

Role of biologic treatments in psoriasis

Research has shown that many people can still have significant improvements in their symptoms when taking biologic treatments.

Occasionally some people have to stop their biologic medication due to side effects. Your dermatologist or GP will be able to explain these possible side effects.

People who don’t see an improvement in symptoms (it may take 3–6 months to be certain), or who get serious side effects, will usually be recommended to stop their biologic medication. If it’s safe and suitable to do so, your dermatologist may suggest trying a different biologic medicine. Not every biologic medicine works in the same way. So if one doesn’t work, another one might.

Biologic medicines used to treat psoriasis

Anti-TNF treatment
Anti-TNF treatments disrupt the action of a protein called tumour necrosis factor (TNF), which is over-active in people with psoriasis. Too much TNF causes inflammation. Anti-TNF treatments block how TNF works and can reduce the amount of excess inflammation present in your body.

Anti-IL treatment
People with psoriasis have very high levels of proteins called interleukins (IL) in their body. Interleukins play a very important role in causing the excess inflammation associated with various inflammatory conditions. Anti-IL treatments work by neutralizing the activity of certain interleukins and can help to reduce the amount of excess inflammation

Patients will be monitored for side effects during treatment with biologic therapies.