Otezla Dosage, forms & strengths
Complete a free online enrollment application to find out if you’re eligible to pay only $49 per month for your Otezla medication.
Get started today
Otezla (apremilast) is a phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibitor that is manufactured by Amgen, Inc. It is FDA-approved to treat adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and severe plaque psoriasis who can receive phototherapy or systemic therapy. Otezla is also indicated to treat adults with oral ulcers caused by a rare condition known as Behçet’s disease. Otezla can be used as monotherapy or with phototherapy or topicals. It is also effective when taken along with Trexall (methotrexate).
What is Otezla’s mechanism of action?
Otezla is a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) that inhibits the actions of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4). PDE4 is found inside immune cells that are thought to cause inflammation. By blocking PDE4, Otezla is thought to decrease the production of inflammatory molecules, helping to reduce inflammation inside the body.
Otezla dosage forms and strengths
- Tablets: 10mg, 20mg, and 30mg
To lower your risk of gastrointestinal symptoms, you will be given a starter pack to titrate Otezla up to the recommended dose of 30mg twice a day.
The initial dosage titration for adult patients is as follows:
- Day 1: 10mg in the morning
- Day 2: 10mg in the morning and 10mg in the evening
- Day 3: 10mg in the morning and 20mg in the evening
- Day 4: 20mg in the morning and 20mg in the evening
- Day 5: 20mg in the morning and 30mg in the evening
- Day 6 and thereafter: 30mg twice daily
Otezla is not indicated to treat patients under 18 years of age.
Otezla dosage restrictions
- No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with mild or moderate renal impairment.
- A dose reduction to 30mg once a day is recommended in patients with severe renal impairment.
- No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment.
How to take Otezla
- Read the Full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide that comes with this medication.
- Take Otezla exactly as your doctor tells you to. To reduce your risk of GI side effects, your doctor should start this medication at a low dose and then slowly increase it. Do not change your dose or stop taking Otezla without talking with them.
- This medication is usually taken once in the morning and once at night, with or without food. You should swallow Otezla tablets whole. Do not chew, crush, or split them.
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time to take your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take the next dose at its regular time. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed dose.
- Otezla tablets should be stored below 30°C (86°F).
Otezla dosage FAQs
What are some adverse effects of Otezla?
Some common side effects of Otezla seen in clinical studies when compared to placebo include:
- Severe diarrhea
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Excessive tiredness
- Weight loss
- Tension headache
Otezla can sometimes cause more serious side effects, including:
- Serious hypersensitivity reactions (hives, swelling of the face or throat, and shortness of breath)
- New or worsening mood changes or depression
- Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior
Contact your healthcare professional for medical advice about any adverse reactions you experience while taking Otezla. You can report your side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
What are some drug interactions with Otezla?
The use of Otezla with other drugs can affect how they work or increase the frequency and severity of side effects. You should ask your doctor if any of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take may interact with Otezla, including:
- Strong CYP450 enzyme inducers such as rifampin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, and phenytoin
Are there any contraindications or precautions with Otezla?
You should not take Otezla if you have a known hypersensitivity to apremilast or any of the inactive ingredients in its formulation. You should make sure your healthcare provider is aware if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts and behaviors. You should also tell them about your medical conditions such as kidney disease or if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
How many times a day do you take Otezla?
Otezla is typically taken twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
Is it safe to use Otezla while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Animal studies suggest Otezla may cause harm to your unborn baby. There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors outcomes in pregnant women taking Otezla. You can find more information by calling 1-877-311-8972 or visiting https://mothertobaby.org/ongoing-study/otezla/. There is no data on whether Otezla is found in breast milk or its effects on a breastfed infant. It was found in the milk of lactating mice. You should always discuss the risks and benefits of any medication with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Does Otezla cause depression?
Although it isn’t a common side effect, Otezla can cause worsening depression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Make sure to let your doctor know if you have a history of depression before starting this medication.
How much weight can you lose with Otezla?
Patients taking Otezla 30mg twice a day lost an average of 5% to 10% of their body weight after 16 weeks of treatment during clinical trials.
Do you need lab monitoring with Otezla?
Otezla is the only medication approved for PsA or severe plaque psoriasis that doesn’t require routine lab monitoring.
How long does it take for Otezla to start working?
While results will vary, some patients saw improvements in plaque redness, thickness, and scaliness after 4 months of Otezla.
What is the average price of Otezla?
Otezla is a very expensive medication. The average cost of #60 Otezla 30mg tablets is approximately $3,400.
Related resources for Otezla dosage
The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.