Apremilast - oral
Apremilast - oral
This medication is used to treat a certain type of arthritis (psoriatic arthritis). Apremilast is also used to treat a certain type of skin condition (moderate to severe plaque psoriasis). Apremilast belongs to a class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors. For the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, it decreases pain and swelling, and may help improve flexibility in the affected joints. For the treatment of plaque psoriasis, it may help to reduce the redness, thickening, and scaling of the skin that occurs with this condition.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily. The manufacturer directs not to crush, split, or chew the tablet before taking it. However, many similar drugs (immediate-release tablets) can be crushed, split, or chewed. Follow your doctor's directions on how to take this medication.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, or weight loss may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
Infrequently, people who take this medication may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
In the US -
Before taking apremilast, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Other medications can affect the removal of apremilast from your body, which may affect how apremilast works. Examples include certain drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone), rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifabutin), among others.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Since this medication can cause weight loss, check your weight regularly while taking this drug. Tell your doctor of any unusual weight loss.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised June 2018.
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