Biological Fortitude

Psoriasis affects 2 to 3 percent of the world’s population. Seven and a half million Americans suffer with our disease. Psoriasis is often associated with depression and heart disease. The comorbidities of Psoriasis are disabling and if left untreated could be life threatening. The inflammation reeks havoc throughout the entire body, not just the surface of the skin. The visual symptoms on the skin are only a indication of the disease deep within.

The disease is classified in three objective ways. Mild, moderate, or severe. There are also a few types of the disease; Plaque, Guttate, Erythmodermic, Pustular, Inverse, and Psoriatic Arthritis. The disease can affect the skin, soft tissue, ligaments, bones, joints, eyes, nervous system, circulatory systems, organs, and motor function.

Psoriasis is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, painful, and embarrassing. There is no cure and treatments are very costly. The disease is relentless and can severely affect a person’s quality of life. Control is possible but it’s often hit or miss. Control requires a knowledgeable doctor and somewhat knowledgeable patient. Within the last decade many new treatments have been approved for use by the FDA. Some are more effectives than others.

My experience with biologics has been up and down. With each new medication I’ve experienced different results. It’s difficult to determine the outcome before the drug is actually prescribed. You have to roll with the punches. Each medication has a different medical device for delivery. The mechanisms I find are easy to use. All are subcutaneous, but vary in the amount of live cells injected.

Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to update you with my experience. As you may know I have a severe case of Psoriasis. I have the disease for 28 years or half my life. I’ll try not to bore you with details. Hopefully my experience provides you with hope and the possibility of remission. Although remission is the wrong word, I like to use it because it’s understood by most.

So let’s talk about the last three biologics I’ve been on briefly. Novartis’s Cosentyx was an amazing medication where I gained control for just about 5 years. After experiencing breakthrough and joint pain my doctor and I decided to try the new drug Tremfya. I had decent control for just about a year. Tremfya is a Jannsen product that binds with specific proteins called Interleukins. More specifically IL-23. My belief for my short term control was because I was on another product of Janssen’s called Stelara. I got 5 years of remission from this similar medication tthat binds with IL-12 & IL-23. This is why I believe Tremfya was short lived. Our bodies eventually build antibodies that recognizes the medication and renders it useless. No fault of the drug.

That brings me to the medication I’m on now. Taltz is a Lilly product and I was skeptical at first only to be pleasantly surprised with how fast it worked. Almost right away if you could imagine. I know that’s hard to believe but it’s true for both my PsO, PsA, and inverse. Taltz is a TNF inhibitor.

It’s extremely exciting for me to report this to my followers. I honestly haven’t felt this good in a long while. Taltz is a game changer for me. If you don’t have this disease it’s hard to understand. But for those of you who do, reading success stories about treatment options is like riding Rock-n-Roll rollercoaster at Disney. Chronic disease most often chranges your life. The trick is to discover how to change it for the better.

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