Efalizumab (Raptiva®) is no longer commercially available. The withdrawal follows concerns over progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare brain infection, occurring in patients using this treatment.
Drug name: Raptiva® (Efalizumab)
How does Raptiva work?Raptiva is an immunosuppressant that binds to T-Cells, decreasing its activities. This subdues the over-activity of the white blood cells, which are thought to cause psoriasis symptoms. Treatment will generally take effect quickly, making noticeable changes within two or three weeks.
Who was a candidate for Raptiva?Raptiva was previously recommended for adults (over the age of 18) with moderate to severe psoriasis. It can be used in isolation, or in conjunction with other therapies.
What are possible side-effects?Immunosuppression can cause flu-like symptoms and make the body vulnerable to opportunistic infections. In some cases, a worsening of psoriasis can be seen.
Are there any other concerns?Cessation of medication can trigger a serious flaring of psoriasis in some. In most cases, psoriasis will return within 2 months of discontinuing treatment. Blood tests may be required to monitor treatment progression.
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Please note that this is a very brief and basic introduction to the Raptiva treatment. For detailed information about Raptiva, please go to the Raptiva Resources page.