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Biological treatments for psoriasis

Biological treatments may be recommended to treat symptoms of severe psoriasis if other treatments have not been effective.

Biological treatments are usually given by injection and target overactive cells in the body's immune system.

Biological treatments for psoriasis include:


This twice weekly injection will be tried for 12 weeks but stopped if there has been no improvement in symptoms. Side effects of etanercept include a rash at the injection site.


This fortnightly injected treatment will be tried for 16 weeks but stopped if symptoms have not improved. Adalimumab can be harmful to a developing baby, so should not be used by women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. Side effects include headaches, nausea, a rash where the injection is given and severe infection.


Infliximab is given by IV drip in a clinic or hospital. There are 3 infusions in 6 weeks, then one every 8 weeks. The treatment will be stopped if no improvement is seen after 10 weeks.

Side effects include the risk of infections.


Ustekinumab is given by two injections 4 weeks part to start with, then every 12 weeks. The treatment will be stopped after 16 weeks if there's been no improvement. Side effects include infections.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on August 08, 2016

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