10 Things you should know about your psoriasis medication

Think you know everything about your psoriasis medication? The more you know about your psoriasis treatment, the more likely you are to stick with treatment and see results.

Here are 10 things you should know about your psoriasis medication.

  1. The name of the medication. Knowing the name of your medication can help you take control of your psoriasis treatment. It will also help you stick to your psoriasis treatment plan.
  2. What the medication is used for. What type of psoriasis severity is it for – mild, moderate, or severe psoriasis? You are more likely to use the medication properly if you understand what it's for.
  3. What the medication can do. Find out how your psoriasis medication is meant to help you. Will it improve your symptoms? Will it clear your psoriasis lesions? If you have lesions on different parts of your body, is it meant to clear all the affected areas?
  4. How to tell if the medication is working. The medication is working if you start to notice improvements in your symptoms. However, sometimes it may take several weeks before you can see if the medication is working. Ask your doctor how long it will take to notice an improvement.
  5. How to use the medication properly. You won't get the full benefit of your psoriasis medication if you're not using it properly. Topical medications are applied to the skin. Oral psoriasis medications are taken by mouth. Ask your pharmacist if there are any specific instructions such as taking oral medications with food. There are also injectable medications. You may be able to self-inject at home or you may need to go into a clinic. If you are giving the medication to yourself, make sure you understand how to inject it properly. Oral and injectable medications are also referred to as systemic treatments.
  6. How often to use the medication. If you are using topical medications, find out how often you should be applying them to your skin (e.g., once or twice a day). Psoriasis medications that are taken by mouth can be taken once a day, twice a day, or once a week. Psoriasis medications that are given by injection can differ widely in how often you get the injection: it can range from 1 or 2 injections a week to 1 injection every 12 weeks.
  7. What side effects you may experience. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what side effects you may experience. Often, there are ways to manage the side effects without having to stop the medication.
  8. How long you are to use the medication. Some psoriasis medications are used for a specified time period. Other medications can be used as long as they are working.
  9. What to do if you miss a dose. You should know what to do if you miss a dose because it's important to take your medication doses as scheduled. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for instructions on what to do if you miss a dose.
  10. How to store the medication. Should it be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator? How you store your medication affects the expiry date. If your medication isn't stored properly, the expiry date may be a lot shorter than what's written on the label.

If you have any questions about your psoriasis medication, talk to your pharmacist or your doctor using the doctor discussion guide.

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