How Safe Are Biologics for Psoriasis?


Chris Iliades, MD

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Biologic medications for psoriasis are making a huge difference in the treatment of the disease. Also called biologics, they're different from other psoriasis medications because they are proteins that come from living cells instead chemicals.

These drugs can treat psoriasis by targeting the specific cells in your immune system that are causing your symptoms; they block the actions of these cells; or they block psoriasis-causing proteins released by the cells.

Though we hear a lot about biologics these days, they have been around for about 100 years. Insulin, the drug used to treat diabetes, is a biologic. Biologics for psoriasis, however, are relatively new. There are six biologics currently approved to treat moderate to severe psoriasis.

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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