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Any Amevive Trial Subjects Out There?
from Tiffany

Hi Ed.  I have a great relationship with my derm, and trust her completely. She's something of a psoriasis "junkie" and is very into research. She wants me to start Amevive as soon as it's available, and while I've read a lot about it, I've never seen a post anywhere from a person who's actually been on it. Have you? If so, I'd love to see it.

After more than 25 years of trying everything, this is the first time I'm not rolling my eyes at or totally freaked out by a treatment option ... I'm actually kind of (cautiously) excited.  Thanks, -Tiffany


Ed’s Response:  Surprisingly, I can’t find anything written by an alefacept trial participant, either.  It may be that I’m forgetting the trial’s code name.

But there is good information about Amevive (alefacept) at the National Psoriasis Foundation web site:

What I’m reading about Amevive has me scratching my head.  Obviously people are excited about the drug because it has so few (and relatively harmless) short-term side effects.  It’s a systemic drug that goes at the cause of P on a cellular level (shutting off the function of certain T-cells that otherwise ignite lesion development), and it does this without bothering a lot of other immune system functions — which has always been the complaint about other immune suppressing drugs like Methotrexate and Cyclosporine.  But according to the first article bulleted above, 53% of the trial subjects improved significantly while on the drug.  I read “50/50 chance of working” in those results.  Am I being overly cynical to suggest I’m not too impressed?

I suppose given a drug with no bad side effects a 50/50 chance of working in your case is worth the time and expense.  If you’re unlucky enough to be on the wrong side of the ratio, there are other — albeit less desirable — alternatives.  And the point needs to be made that other, safer-than-in-the-past choices are coming into being (Enbrel, Remicade...). 

I have a worn list of topical corticosteroids that has been my a la carte menu for a decade and everyone knows they shouldn’t be used continuously for that length of time.  Having choices like Amevive, Enbrel and Remicade — though each may or may not work for me — could still compel me to throw away that worn list of goops. 

Sometimes I need to remind myself that 99% of progress isn’t accomplished all at once and in a burst of inspiration.  Or, the way my grandfather used to put it, “One miracle at a time, Ed.  One miracle at a time.”  -Ed

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