My experience with plaque psoriasis: How I took control of my symptoms
(BPT) - Robert was in his early twenties when he began noticing patches of dry, red, and scaly skin. As a working chef living in California who enjoyed hiking, biking, and spending time at the beach, he tried to keep living his life as normally as possible, until the noticeable stares and reactions from strangers started to affect him. Robert started to try and hide his skin, wearing long sleeves and pants all the time, even at work and in the warm California weather.
“As a chef, I rely heavily on the use of my hands, and the heat of the kitchen made covering up all the time really uncomfortable,” said Robert. “My plaque psoriasis affected me every day.”
It was not until nearly two decades later that Robert finally received a diagnosis of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune skin condition that results in the overproduction of skin cells. When these cells reproduce more quickly than normal, they become raised, inflamed, red lesions, also called plaques. These plaques can be itchy and painful, usually occurring on the scalp, knees, elbows, hands, and feet, and can even cause stinging and burning.1,2 It is estimated that more than 8 million Americans live with some form of psoriasis.3 Approximately 80% of those affected with plaque psoriasis have mild to moderate disease, while 20% have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.2
Without health insurance coverage to help cover his medical costs, Robert initially relied on home remedies in times of desperation to help alleviate his plaque psoriasis. Eventually, he enrolled in two clinical trials to try to treat his symptoms, but ultimately did not achieve the results he was looking for.
After exhausting these options, which did not result in any long-term improvements, Robert talked to his doctor who helped him join a clinical trial with a treatment called TREMFYA® (guselkumab) that was approved in July 2017 to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet or UV light).
While in the clinical trial for TREMFYA®, Robert experienced clearer skin for the first time in years. “After working with my doctor, I was able to take control of my plaque psoriasis symptoms such as itching, pain, and burning,” said Robert. “I’m hoping that through sharing my experiences, I will be able to help and inspire others who are faced with a similar situation.”
Results may vary. TREMFYA® may not be right for everyone. Only your doctor can decide if TREMFYA® is right for you.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about TREMFYA®?
TREMFYA® may cause serious side effects, including infections. TREMFYA® is a prescription medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with TREMFYA® and may treat you for TB before you begin treatment with TREMFYA® if you have a history of TB or have active TB. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with TREMFYA®.
Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, including:fever, sweats, or chillsdiarrhea or stomach painmuscle achesshortness of breathweight lossblood in your phlegm (mucus)coughburning when you urinate or urinating more often than normalwarm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body different from your psoriasis
Before using TREMFYA®, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in the section “What is the most important information I should know about TREMFYA®?”have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back.have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB.have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). You should avoid receiving live vaccines during treatment with TREMFYA®.are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TREMFYA® can harm your unborn baby.are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if TREMFYA® passes into your breast milk.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What are the possible side effects of TREMFYA®?
TREMFYA® may cause serious side effects. See “What is the most important information I should know about TREMFYA®?”
The most common side effects of TREMFYA® include: upper respiratory infections, headache, injection site reactions, joint pain (arthralgia), diarrhea, stomach flu (gastroenteritis), fungal skin infections, and herpes simplex infections.
These are not all the possible side effects of TREMFYA®. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Use TREMFYA® exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
1 National Psoriasis Foundation. About Psoriasis. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis.
Accessed January 8, 2018.
2 American Academy of Dermatology. Psoriasis. https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/skin-conditions-by-the-numbers
Accessed February 2, 2018.
3 National Psoriasis Foundation. About the National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-us.
Accessed January 11, 2018.
© Janssen Biotech, Inc. 2018 March 2018 cp-49519v1