Monday, October 12, 2009

Stelara, New Biologic for Psoriasis, Offers Efficacy and Convenience

Stelara (ustekinumab) is a new "biologic" medication that was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis in adults.

Stelara is given twice in the first month, followed by dosing just four times per year. The relatively long duration of relief between treatments (only 5 doses per year) is one of the benefits of Stelara that psoriasis patients will appreciate.

Stelara (ustekinumab) has a unique mechanism of action. It blocks IL-12 and IL-23, immune-system proteins linked to inflammation and rapid skin cell growth which are the precursors to psoriasis lesions. Other biologic medications, such as Humira and Remicade block different components of the immune system, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

Three clinical studies of 2,266 psoriasis patients showed Stelara to be safe and effective for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis.

Unlike some biologic medications that may be self-injected at home, Stelara should be administered by a medical professional.

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