Apremilast

Also know as Otezla, apremilast treats psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It regulates inflammation in the body. It blocks an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), which often causes more inflammation. It is a pill that you will take two times a day.

Side effects of apremilast

  • Nausea (feeling like you need to vomit)
  • Diarrhea

These often get better or go away during the first 4 to 6 weeks of taking the medicine.

Other side effects of apremilast

  • Headache
  • Respiratory infections (colds)
  • Weight loss
  • Low mood (depression)

Tell your doctor if you have a history of depression.

Signs of depression

  • Changes in sleep and appetite
  • Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Changes in mood
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others

Stop the medicine and call your doctor if you have any of the above symptoms.

How to take apremilast

To lower the risk of nausea and diarrhea, start the medicine with a starter pack. You will slowly take a higher dose over many days until you reach a goal dose of 30 mg 2 times a day. Tell your doctor if you have a history of kidney disease, this can change your recommended dose.

Last reviewed: 
August 2018

Interested in using our health content?