Why Do Meds Stop Working?
by John Stewart

Hi Ed: I've had psoriasis for 39 years, so I found your page [FLAKE HQ] helpful and funny at the same time. You mention the fact that some applications work well for awhile and then quit. Do you know why they quit working? Dovonex put the P away on my left elbow (not the right) and this was the first time I had no P on that part of my body since age ten. Then the Dovonex just seemed to do nothing for me for six months. I posted a question in the P newsgroup about applications just quitting, but I guess no one thought it worthy of a reply.

I bought a batch of the much-touted Exorex and it did nothing for me. I think they should tone down their advertising as it sounds to good to be true, but really isn't. -John Stewart

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Ed's Response:

Dear John: I've asked my derm the same question about topicals that stop working. His response was that our systems eventually become immune to the chemical "base" that contains the drug (cream, ointment, gel, etc.) and end up rejecting the baby with the bath water (so to speak). He's demonstrated this to me by shifting me from one manufacturer's product to another that contains exactly the same active ingredient but a slightly different base compound. The shift usually works (at least for awhile)!

With regard to over-the-counter (OTC) products that are widely advertized, I share your frustration. I vented at length in Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic, and have more to say on the subject of product advertising in More Flakes. I'll probably get around to posting some of the newer rantings here. Thanks for emailing! -Ed

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