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P and Depression Better On Enbrel
from Ria

Greetings Ed! In your story, Rebound -or- On Flaking Again (of Aug/Sept) I read rage, despair, frustration, sadness; a whole basketful of emotions. I'm glad you let it all out — keeping that sort of mess inside is just too toxic. You seem to have ultimately found your way again to looking forward. Keep up the effort. We P-sufferers know too well the everyday battle to be good to ourselves. Here's hoping 2007 will be good for us all.

The last time I wrote, I had given up on all meds and was using lotion and willpower to get through the days. A year ago last October, my derm convinced me to give Enbrel a try. I checked out all the stories at this site and elsewhere. Worried about the lengthy list of POSSIBLE side effects, my psycho-therapist and I worked our way through the list. She contacted friends in the Neurology field; they hadn't seen anyone develop MS (multiple sclerosis) from Enbrel, and hadn't seen any MS patients get worse because of the drug. Huge Relief! Developing MS was my biggest fear.

Several months passed with 2 shots a week (50 mg doses). The stuff worked! Clear skin! No flakes! The derm had me drop to 1 shot per week; and that's what I've been doing since. With clear skin, I was able to properly deal with my depression. My daily dose of anti-depressant Effexor XR was 450 mg (max daily recommended dose is only 300 mg). Under primary care doc's watchful eye, I dropped the dosage to 150 mg daily, and things are now fine. I bid my psychiatrist goodbye. I bid my therapist goodbye also, although I did stop back in for a "tune-up" in the summer. My primary care doc is amazed at how well I'm doing. And me? After ten years of depression, psoriasis, and all the attendant issues, I am thrilled to be feeling so great!

I'm not sure how long I can continue with Enbrel. Small P-spots are popping up on my hands, face and waistline — but they do stay small. My insurance company has been incredibly helpful with all the different meds I have been taking and I'm very grateful. Medically, since Enbrel doesn't have any long-term usage history to check, I can only hope that problems won't develop in time.

That's my happy story. Ed, in your Rebound story, you mentioned being P-free and taking your clear skin for granted. Not me. I stop what I'm doing every so often and just look at my arms, legs, etc.; run my hand along the smoothness, and smile. Back in the days when the P was spreading, itching and scaling, faster than weeds grow in a garden, I would never have believed this was possible. I know Enbrel doesn't work for everyone, but I'm glad I tried just one more medicine that the derm said would help. Living without the emotional pressures of psoriasis is wonderful!

I wish you all something that will help your skin. -Ria


Ed’s Response:  Great to hear from you, Ria.  (Everybody:  Ria coined the adage on the FlakeHQ home page — Psoriatics — sharing a little of ourselves everywhere we go.)

And I am so very happy for your good response to Enbrel.  You deserve to be P-free, my friend.  All the rest is frosting on the cake.

And with regard to Enbrel, don’t forget that this drug — unlike any other biologic currently prescribed for psoriasis — has over 14 years of clinical experience and over 400,000 users.  This is because it was approved and used, first, for rheumatoid arthritis.  Enbrel’s approval as a drug for psoriasis is only a handful of years old.  To me this means the safety factor of Enbrel is well known.  Its continuing efficacy for P is another story.  What we don’t know is how long it will work well for flakers.  The same can be said for all the biologics. 

In the meantime, Ria, I hope your flake-free, healthy-thinking life takes off for awhile.  Just knowing you feel good makes me feel better.  -Ed

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