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Otezla Tablets

Otezla (apremilast) is an oral medication used to manage psoriatic arthritis by reducing pain and swelling, potentially enhancing joint flexibility. It is also FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, helping to alleviate skin redness, thickening, and scaling. Additionally, Otezla, which contains the active ingredient apremilast and belongs to the phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor class of drugs, is prescribed for treating mouth sores in individuals with Behcet’s disease, easing pain and promoting healing. So, if you want to buy Otezla to treat psoriatic arthritis, you must get your doctor’s prescription first.

Product Overview

Otezla (apremilast) is an oral medication primarily prescribed to treat psoriatic arthritis, moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, and mouth sores associated with Behcet’s disease. As a member of the phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor class, Otezla modulates immune responses and inflammation by regulating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels in the body. This action helps reduce symptoms such as joint pain and swelling in psoriatic arthritis and alleviates skin issues like redness, scaling, and thickening in plaque psoriasis. 

Otezla is available in tablet form and comes in dosages of 10 mg, 20 mg, & 30 mg. The medication’s dosage regimen is typically ramped up gradually over the first five days to minimize gastrointestinal side effects, which are common when starting treatment. Adults are generally prescribed a maintenance dose of 30 mg twice daily, while the dosage for pediatric patients varies based on body weight. It is crucial for patients to take Otezla exactly as prescribed by their healthcare provider. This includes adhering to scheduled doses and not doubling up if a dose is missed. For those with severe kidney disease, the dosage may need to be adjusted. The drug should be taken with or without food, and tablets should not be crushed, chewed, or split.

Safety is a priority when taking Otezla, and patients should be aware of both common and severe side effects. Common issues may include nausea, diarrhea, and headaches, while more serious risks involve depression and potential allergic reactions. Regular monitoring by a doctor is recommended, particularly for signs of unusual weight loss or if severe kidney problems exist. Patients should store Otezla in its original packaging away from light and moisture and at temperatures below 30°C (86°F). The medication should also be kept out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

Uses of Otezla Tablets

This medication is used for

  • treating psoriatic arthritis 
  • treating plaque psoriasis 
  • addressing mouth sores in individuals with Behcet’s disease

How to Use Otezla?


It is available in tablet form and has the following strengths:

  • 10 mg 
  • 20mg 
  • 30mg

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients

Adult Dosage of Otezla for Psoriatic Arthritis, Plaque Psoriasis, and Behcet’s Disease:

  • Initial Dosage for Adults:
      • Day 1: Take 10 mg orally once in the morning.
      • Day 2: Take 10 mg orally twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
      • Day 3: Take 10 mg in the morning and 20 mg in the evening.
      • Day 4: Take 20 mg twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
      • Day 5: Take 20 mg in the morning and 30 mg in the evening, followed by a maintenance dose.
  • Maintenance Dosage for Adults:
    • Take 30 mg orally twice daily, in the morning and evening.

Usual Dosage of Otezla for Pediatric Patients Aged 6 Years & Older with Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis, Weighing at Least 20 kg:

  • For Pediatric Patients Weighing 20 kg to Less Than 50 kg:
      • Day 1: Take 10 mg orally once in the morning.
      • Day 2: Take 10 mg orally twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
      • Day 3: Take 10 mg in the morning and 20 mg in the evening.
      • Day 4: Take 20 mg twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, followed by a maintenance dose.
  • Maintenance Dosage for Pediatric Patients Weighing 20 kg to Less Than 50 kg:
      • Take 20 mg orally twice daily, in the morning and evening.
  • For Pediatric Patients with a Weight of 50 kg or More:
      • Day 1: Take 10 mg orally once in the morning.
      • Day 2: Take 10 mg orally twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
      • Day 3: Take 10 mg in the morning and 20 mg in the evening.
      • Day 4: Take 20 mg twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
      • Day 5: Take 20 mg in the morning and 30 mg in the evening, followed by a maintenance dose.
  • Maintenance Dosage for Pediatric Patients Weighing 50 kg or More:
    • Take 30 mg orally twice daily, in the morning and evening.

[Note: Remember, these recommendations can vary from person to person. Discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist, and they’ll customize your Otezla dosage accordingly.]

How to Take Otezla?

  • Take Otezla twice daily, once in the morning and once at night.
  • If you have severe kidney disease, take one pill per day.
  • Swallow the tablet whole; do not crush, chew, or break it.
  • You can take this medicine with or without food.
  • The dose of Otezla is usually increased gradually over the first week to minimize gastrointestinal symptoms when starting the medication.
  • Take Otezla exactly as your doctor directed. 
  • Always follow the instructions on the prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right Otezla amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines & studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Otezla Work?

Otezla belongs to a group of drugs known as PDE4 inhibitors. These medications function by influencing the levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a crucial messenger molecule involved in various cellular signaling processes within the body. By increasing cAMP levels, Otezla helps regulate immune responses and inflammation, which are critical factors in the conditions prescribed to treat.

Important Safety Information

Otezla Side Effects

Common side effects of Otezla are:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite

Mild side effects of Otezla are:

  • Insomnia (Trouble sleeping)
  • Belly pain
  • Fatigue (Lack of energy)
  • Upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Weight loss

Serious side effects of Otezla are:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Allergic reaction
  • Depression

[Note: This list may not cover all side effects of Otezla. Always consult with your healthcare giver or a doctor for medical advice about side effects.]

Otezla Warnings

Kidney Problems: If you are suffering from severe kidney issues, your body might not eliminate Otezla as efficiently as expected. In such cases, your doctor may recommend a lower dosage to accommodate your kidney function. It’s crucial to consult your doctor about your health history before initiating treatment with Otezla.

Weight Loss Concerns: Otezla may suppress your appetite, potentially leading to weight loss. If weight loss is a concern, ensure you discuss it with your healthcare professional prior to starting the medication. Your doctor will likely monitor your weight regularly throughout the course of your treatment with Otezla.

Hypersensitivity Reactions: There have been several reports of severe hypersensitivity reactions, including swelling (angioedema) and anaphylaxis, in response to Otezla. This medication should not be used in patients with a known hypersensitivity to apremilast, the active ingredient in Otezla.

Allergic Reactions: If you have a previous track record of experiencing an allergic reaction to Otezla or any of its components, inform your doctor. In such instances, your doctor will probably advise against using Otezla and may suggest alternative treatments that are more suitable for your condition.

Otezla Precautions

Pregnancy Considerations: If you are pregnant, it is important to consider the possible risks associated with Otezla, as it may harm an unborn baby. To avoid unintended pregnancy while taking Otezla, use effective birth control methods. If you become pregnant during this medication period, inform your doctor immediately. Additionally, your healthcare provider might suggest enrolling your details in a pregnancy registry. This registry collects data on the effects of apremilast, the active ingredient in Otezla, on the baby, helping to ensure safer use and monitor any potential risks.

Breastfeeding Considerations: The safety of breastfeeding while taking Otezla has not been definitively established. There may be risks to the child from exposure to Otezla through breast milk. If you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, discuss all potential risks with your doctor to determine the best course of action. Your doctor can guide you on whether to discontinue breastfeeding or to consider alternative treatments that are less risky for breastfeeding mothers.

Otezla Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Otezla tablets, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if the time is near for your next scheduled Otezla dose, you should skip the missed dose altogether. It is important not to take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose. Otezla is typically taken twice daily, with the recommended times being in the morning and at night, to maintain even levels of the medication in your body. Always follow your prescribed schedule closely to achieve the best results from your treatment.

[Note: If you have missed a dose of Otezla and are unsure about when to take the next dose, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Otezla Overdose

In the event of an overdose of Otezla, if symptoms like fainting or difficulty breathing occur, it is important to seek immediate medical attention by taking the patient to the emergency room. Quick intervention is crucial in managing any potential complications from an overdose. Additionally, Otezla has been known to cause weight loss, so it is important for patients to monitor their weight regularly while on this medication. If you notice any significant or unusual weight loss, notify your doctor immediately. Regular communication with your doctor about your weight and any other side effects is essential for safe and effective treatment with Otezla.

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended Otezla dose, get medical help right away or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Otezla Storage

  • Store tablets in their original container to protect them from light & moisture, which can degrade the active ingredients.
  • Place the medication away from heat sources such as radiators, stoves, or direct sunlight. Excessive heat can cause tablets to degrade or become ineffective.
  • Keep the tablets in a cool room where the temperature consistently stays below 30°C (86°F). Avoid storing medications in places that might fluctuate in temperature, like a vehicle or near windows.
  • If the original packaging isn’t air-tight, consider storing the tablets in a secondary air-tight container to protect them from humidity and air exposure.
  • Use silica gel packets or a small dehumidifier in the storage area if high humidity is a concern, as moisture can adversely affect the tablet’s integrity.
  • Store tablets in a dry location away from sinks, water pipes, or damp areas to prevent moisture exposure.
  • Ensure that Otezla tablets are stored out of reach of children & pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Regularly inspect the storage area to ensure the conditions are stable and that the tablets have not been compromised in any way.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional or doctor about the proper disposal of any unused Otezla tablets & any questions you may have regarding their storage.]

Otezla Interactions

  • Alcohol Interaction with Otezla: While no direct interaction has been established between Otezla and alcohol, drinking alcohol during treatment may increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects common to both Otezla and alcohol, such as nausea, headaches, and diarrhea. Alcohol consumption can also aggravate mouth ulcers in individuals diagnosed with Behcet’s disease. It is advisable to discuss the consumption of alcohol with your healthcare provider to understand the safe limits during your treatment with Otezla.
  • Drug Interactions with Otezla: Before beginning treatment with Otezla, it is critical to inform your doctor about all medications you are currently taking, whether they are prescription, over-the-counter, or other types of drugs. This precaution is essential to avoid potential drug interactions. Some medications known to decrease the effectiveness of Otezla include:
    • Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
    • Certain seizure medications, like phenobarbital, carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), fosphenytoin (Cerebyx), and primidone (Mysoline)
    • Drugs containing butalbital, such as butalbital/acetaminophen (Butapap) and butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine/codeine (Fioricet with codeine)
    • Enzalutamide (Xtandi)
    • Mitotane (Lysodren)
    • Lumacaftor/ivacaftor (Orkambi)
  • Interactions with Supplements and Herbs: Discuss all supplements, herbs, and vitamins you are taking with your healthcare provider to prevent any unforeseen interactions. Particularly, St. John’s wort has been noted to accelerate the elimination of Otezla from the body, which reduces its effectiveness. If you are currently using St. John’s wort, you might need to discontinue it while being treated with Otezla, following your doctor’s recommendations.
  • Food, Vaccine, and Lab Test Interactions: Currently, there are no known interactions between Otezla and any foods, vaccines, or lab tests. However, maintaining open communication with your healthcare provider about your dietary habits and any upcoming vaccines or tests is essential during your treatment with Otezla.

[Note: This isn’t a complete interaction list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Otezla. Make sure to tell your doctor or healthcare giver about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products you’re taking.]

Otezla Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s the best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications of Otezla without consulting your doctor. Taking them by yourself can cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Otezla cost?

The cost of Otezla can fluctuate based on several factors, making the price you pay potentially different from others. These factors include the specifics of your treatment plan, such as dosage and duration, as well as whether you have health insurance and the nature of your coverage. To potentially reduce the cost of your Otezla prescription, you should consider exploring various savings options. One effective way to save money is to buy Otezla online from Canada. Additionally, always ensure that you check for the most current and applicable offers to help manage your medication expenses.

How to prevent Otezla interactions?

To prevent interactions while taking Otezla, it’s important to take proactive steps and communicate effectively with your healthcare providers. Here are some key measures to consider:

  • Before starting Otezla, discuss your alcohol use, all medications, supplements, and herbs with your doctor and pharmacist.
  • With your healthcare provider’s help, compile a comprehensive list of all medications and supplements you take to prevent interactions.
  • Read Otezla’s label and accompanying patient package insert or medication guide for information on potential interactions. If you didn’t receive these documents, ask your pharmacist for a copy.
  • If you’re unclear about any information in the drug documentation, consult your doctor or pharmacist for explanations.
  • Adhere strictly to the prescribed Otezla dosage and usage instructions to minimize the risk of interactions.

Can I take 30 mg of Otezla twice daily?

Yes, you can take 30 mg of Otezla twice daily. This specific dosage regimen involves administering two separate doses of 30 mg each. The routine is to consume one tablet in the morning and another in the evening. This dosing schedule is typically prescribed for individuals dealing with conditions such as plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and mouth sores associated with Behçet’s disease. It is common for patients with these conditions to follow this dosage. However, to ensure it is appropriate for your specific health needs & to address any concerns you might have about taking Otezla, it is advisable to consult with your doctor or a pharmacist.

Is Otezla bad for the kidneys?

Otezla is metabolized in part by the kidneys, which play a role in its elimination from the body. Consequently, if your kidney function is compromised or impaired, there is a risk that Otezla could build up in your system, potentially leading to adverse effects. To mitigate this risk & ensure safe usage of the medication, your healthcare provider will carefully adjust the dosage of Otezla based on an assessment of your renal function. This tailored approach helps to prevent the accumulation of the drug in your body while managing your condition effectively.

Which is safer, methotrexate or Otezla?

When comparing the safety profiles of methotrexate and Otezla, it is important to consider their mechanisms of action and associated side effects. Otezla is a relatively recent oral medication that specifically targets a particular pathway within the immune system. This targeted approach allows it to offer a milder impact with potentially fewer side effects. 

On the other hand, methotrexate is an older, traditionally administered injectable drug that broadly suppresses the immune system. While this can lead to more effective treatment outcomes, it produces more pronounced and potentially severe side effects. Therefore, Otezla might be considered a safer option due to its more selective and less intensive impact on the immune system.

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