Managing Psoriasis- Pharmacy Technician
This issue will bring you up to date on the impact of Psoriasis and recent developments in drug therapy.
• Psoriasis is recognized as an immunemediated, chronic, systemic inflammatory condition.
• About 80% of patients with mild to moderate psoriasis can be managed well with topical medications.
• Corticosteroids are the cornerstone of topical therapy.
Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune condition in
the US, affecting 7.5 million people. It is a complex, genetically
linked disease; 1 in every 3 patients with psoriasis has a relative
with the condition. The human and economic tolls are significant.
Patients with psoriasis have lower quality of life scores,
along with increased occurrences of depression, anxiety and
suicidal ideation. In the US, more than $63 million is spent annually
in direct healthcare costs for psoriasis.
Currently, there is no cure; however, a variety of treatments
(topical, systemic, phototherapy) are available to manage
symptoms, minimize disease progression, and improve quality
of life. Since the early 2000s, research into the immunopathogenesis
of psoriasis has led to the development of biologic agents
that target specific components of the immune system. Despite
the availability of multiple treatments, patients with psoriasis
in the US are often under treated, or untreated. Untreated or
under treated psoriasis leads to disseminated disease and potentially,
to joint impairment in the form of psoriatic arthritis (PsA),
which causes pain and stiffness of affected joints.
While psoriasis treatment guidelines recommend that
trained specialty providers prescribe systemic therapies for
patients with this disease, community practitioners should have
a sufficient knowledge base to monitor treatment. Frequent
patient interactions allow community practitioners, including
pharmacists and nurse practitioners, to play an important role in
psoriasis management. This issue will review basic information
about cutaneous psoriasis and summarize various treatments so
practitioners can better manage and educate patients...