Stopping and Restarting Biologic Medications for Psoriasis


Jane Soung

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PHYSICIAN CONTRIBUTOR psoriasis-on-elbow

Expert Answers to Psoriasis Treatment FAQs

Dr. David Harvey, a dermatologist and surgeon, answers some common psoriasis questions.
Man with doctor

Your doctor may have explained why biologics were right for your psoriasis before you started treatment. But is there ever a reason to stop taking a biologic? When should you talk with your doctor about changing treatment?

Reasons You Might Stop

In most cases, once you start a biologic, it’s best not to stop, since most of these medications don’t work as well when restarted. Remicade (infliximab) is an example of a biologic that is typically used only once, since it often isn’t as effective when restarted after a break. Enbrel (etanercept) is an exception and seems better suited for off-and-on use.

There are many treatment options for psoriasis, and they all come with risks and benefits. Ultimately, whether you treat with topical creams, light therapy, or medications, you and your doctor will decide the best treatment path together.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 13, 2016

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