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When to expect results from psoriasis treatments

Featuring content from MediResource Inc.

In order to have a sense of control over your psoriasis treatment, you need to know what to expect from it when. Many psoriasis medications take weeks to work - a wait that can be easier if you can expect results at the end of it. Here's when to start looking for results and how long the results might last:

Topical medications (for more information on the different types of psoriasis treatment, see "How psoriasis treatment works")

  • Calcipotriol (Dovonex®) starts to work within 2 weeks, with maximum effects after 6-8 weeks. You can stop using the medication once your psoriasis clears up, and your remission can last for about 4-18 months.
  • Calcipotriol/betamethasone (Dovobet®) starts to work within one week, with maximum effects after 4 weeks. Some studies have shown that using calcipotriol plus a steroid can provide a longer remission than calcipotriol alone, which gives a 4-18 month remission.
  • Coal tar (Targel®) can clear up psoriasis within 3-4 weeks when used together with light therapy.
  • Corticosteroids (various brands) can have maximum effects within a week if used with an airtight dressing.
  • Dithranol, also called anthralin (Anthranol®, Anthrascalp®, Anthraforte®), takes about 3 weeks for maximum effects.
  • Tazarotene (Tazorac®) starts to work after one week, with maximum improvement after 12 weeks.

Systemic medications - biologics

  • Alefacept (Amevive®) starts to work within 6 weeks, with maximum effects 18 weeks after treatment is started (treatment lasts 12 weeks). Remission lasts an average of 8 months after treatment is stopped.
  • Efalizumab (Raptiva®) starts to work within 12 weeks. Studies have shown that improvement may continue for up to 3 years if the treatment is continued.
  • Etanercept (Enbrel®) starts to work within one week, with maximum effects after 3 months. Remission lasts about one month after treatment is stopped.

Systemic medications - non-biologics

  • Acitretin (Soriatane®) starts to work within 2-3 months. During the first month, symptoms may seem to get worse, but then they will improve. Remission lasts for a few months after treatment is stopped.
  • Cyclosporine (Neoral® and generics) starts to work after 2 weeks of treatment, with maximum effects after 12-16 weeks of treatment. Remission lasts for 6-16 weeks after treatment is stopped.
  • Methotrexate (Methotrexate® and generics) starts to work within 4-6 weeks, with most people noticing an improvement after 2-3 months.

Light therapy

  • UVB (ultraviolet B) treatment starts to work after about 30 treatments (treatments are given 3 times per week).
  • PUVA (psoralen plus ultraviolet A) treatment starts to work after about 25 treatments (treatments are given 2-3 times per week). Remission lasts for 3-12 months after treatment is stopped.
  • Laser treatment clears up psoriasis within 4-6 weeks.

If your treatment doesn't start working within the expected timeframe, or if you think your psoriasis is coming back after being in remission, check with your doctor.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/What-to-Expect-from-Psoriasis-Treatment