(BPT) - In 2007 Paul’s skin began to itch. Before long it was thinning and tearing, and his primary care physician grew concerned about its appearance. His dermatologist first diagnosed him with eczema. Paul tried multiple treatments, from prescription medications to creams and ice packs, but nothing cleared his skin or helped the burning sensation that made it difficult for him to perform daily tasks or sleep at night. After years of pain and embarrassment, Paul knew he needed to make a major change.
While Paul’s eczema treatments would stop his flare-ups for a couple weeks, it was only a matter of time before his skin would revert to painful plaques, redness and flakes. After a decade of this agonizing routine, Paul found a new dermatologist in March 2019 and received news that would change his life: he was finally diagnosed correctly with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. This diagnosis opened the door to a new world of treatment options.
Paul’s first biologic treatment for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis was ILUMYA® (tildrakizumab-asmn), which slows the action of the IL-23 molecules — a key inflammatory protein — to decrease inflammation and help reduce redness, flaking and plaque thickness. ILUMYA® is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections, pills, or phototherapy. The most common (≥1%) adverse reactions associated with ILUMYA® compared to placebo are upper respiratory infections (14% vs 12%), injection site reactions (3% vs 2%), and diarrhea (2% vs 1%).
Within three months under new treatment, Paul's skin was almost completely clear
“I lived in pain for years due to my initial misdiagnosis and couldn’t believe how quickly everything turned around once I began this treatment,” said Paul. “I spent so much time planning my life around my condition — never exposing my arms or legs, living in fear of what people would say if they saw my skin — that I almost gave up hope things would ever change. Connecting with a physician who not only understood my condition but also the treatment landscape changed everything.”
According to a recent survey of people with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, more than half of respondents (53 percent) would often or sometimes try to keep themselves away from social situations because of their symptoms. However, nearly half of people reported they are overwhelmed about their treatment options (44 percent) and wish they could receive help with selecting a treatment (48 percent).
Daniel Carrasco, MD, a dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas, explains that there are several treatments approved for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and that it is important for each individual to speak with their doctor about which one might be best for them. With ILUMYA®, it is not just the efficacy that empowers patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis to reclaim their lives — the dosing schedule is also a factor for many people.
“In my experience, patients appreciate only having to come into our office once every three months for their ILUMYA® injection, rather than going through the hassle of self-administering frequent shots at home,” said Dr. Carrasco. “The regimen has been particularly important during the pandemic, and it gives our patients the peace of mind that their psoriasis is under control even during these tumultuous times.”
After a long career in banking, Paul is now retired and not only currently free from the symptoms of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, but also from the burdens of a more frequent dosing schedule. Results may vary from patient to patient. ILUMYA® is a medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with ILUMYA® and may treat you for TB before you begin treatment with ILUMYA® if you have a history of TB or have active TB. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with ILUMYA®.
“Plaque psoriasis, it steals your life a little. Now that I’m living without these flare-ups, without the redness, the itching and the flaking, my freedom has been given back to me,” said Paul.
Successfully managing moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis can allow people to shift their focus to doing what matters most in their lives. People living with moderate-to-severe psoriasis should talk to their doctor to determine what treatment option may be right for them. For more information about ILUMYA®, and a downloadable doctor discussion guide, visit ILUMYA.com/talk-with-your-dermatologist.
What is ILUMYA?
ILUMYA® (tildrakizumab-asmn) is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections, pills (systemic therapy), or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet or UV light).
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about ILUMYA?
Do not use ILUMYA if you have had a severe allergic reaction to ILUMYA or any of its ingredients.
Get emergency medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
- feel faint
- trouble breathing or throat tightness
- swelling of your face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue or throat
- chest tightness
- skin rash
ILUMYA is a medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with ILUMYA and may treat you for TB before you begin treatment with ILUMYA if you have a history of TB or have active TB. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with ILUMYA.
Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, including:
- fever, sweats, or chills
- muscle aches
- weight loss
- warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body different from your psoriasis
- diarrhea or stomach pain
- shortness of breath
- burning when you urinate or urinating more often than normal
- blood in your phlegm (mucus)
Before receiving ILUMYA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in the section “What is the most important information I should know about ILUMYA?”
- have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back
- have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB
- recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine (immunization). You should avoid receiving live vaccines during treatment with ILUMYA.
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if ILUMYA can harm your unborn baby.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if ILUMYA passes into your breast milk.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
It is not known if ILUMYA is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
What are the possible side effects of ILUMYA?
ILUMYA may cause serious side effects. See “What is the most important information I should know about ILUMYA?”
The most common side effects of ILUMYA include upper respiratory infections, injection site reactions and diarrhea. These are not all of the possible side effects of ILUMYA. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report any negative side effects of ILUMYA to FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. You are also encouraged to report side effects or ADEs (adverse drug events) to our Drug Safety Department at 1-800-406-7984 or drug.safetyUSA@sunpharma.com (preferred) with as much information as available.
Please read the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for ILUMYA and discuss any questions with your doctor.