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The FDA has approved the use of ustekinumab (Stelara – Centocor Ortho Biotech), an interleukin antagonist given by subcutaneous (SC) injection for treatment of adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. It is the first agent in its class for this indication; the other biologic agents for psoriasis are Tcell or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors.1
MECHANISM OF ACTION — Ustekinumab is a fully human IgG1 antibody directed against the p40 subunit of IL-12 and IL-23 cytokines, which are present in psoriasis skin lesions. These cytokines activate inflammatory and immune responses thought to be involved in the keratinocyte hyperplasia characteristic of psoriasis.
DRUGS FOR PSORIASIS — Mild to moderate psoriasis is generally treated with topical corticosteroids; calcitriol (Vectical), calcipotriene (Dovonex, and others) or... more