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Soriatane on a Seasonal Schedule
from Stephen D.

Hi Ed.  I live in the Tampa Bay area in Florida and recently discovered  I've had Psoriasis since 1983.  June-August are not bad and I really do not have much need for Soriatane.  September through November early warning signs suggest my psoriasis is on the move.  Then December through May are the worst of it.  The winter months.  Then I take Soriatane:  Every other day I take 25 mgs of Soriatane Sept-November, then 25mg every day from December through May.

I tried all the topicals then stopped and haven’t looked back for 15 years now.  I did PUVA treatments.  They were costly and inconvenient, but they did worked back in the late 80's.

In the early 90s I started using Tegison, which I found reasonable at $1.50 a capsule, from Roche Labs out of New Jersey.  And it controlled my P.  Those were glory days!

Of course, anything that is successful can't last $-wise.  Roche changed the name from Tegison to Soriatane about 5 years ago or so.  They also conveniently change the cost from $1.50 a cap to $17.00 a cap.  Where is Ralph Nader when you need him?

How can the government let this company do something like that?  Fortunately, I have prescription coverage but my heart aches for the ones that used Tegison (with no medical prescription coverage) and had relief from P only to get ripped off by a Roche in the name-change to Soriatane.

In closing, I read your article in regard to Dr Connolly's book and agree with you. [See "Dr. Connolly's Book Discovered".]

It's bad enough to have psoriasis without needing to go through a whole life-style change with the major inconveniences of a very restricted diet, etc..

Just wondering about your thoughts in regard to Tegison/Soriatane usage. The last 10 years have worked out good psoriasis-wise/control with this "one-a-day" capsule for basically 7 months out of the year.  Thanks, -Stephen D.


Ed’s Response:  I don’t often hear from people who have managed to control their P with seasonal adjustments to medication dosages, but it sounds like an excellent idea if it means reducing or eliminating drugs when they’re not necessary. 

Like you, I definitely see my P reacting to seasonal changes.  I don’t seem to have a “bad season” (they’re all bad), but I’m worst during the handful of weeks when seasons change.  Summer-into-Fall, Fall-into-Winter, Winter-into-Spring. If unabated by drugs or regimens, I will invariably flare when the weather changes.  However, once a season settles into its course, my P will subside from a flare to its more-or-less static irritating self.

The change from Tegison to Soriatane was supposed to be more than a name change.  It was a reformulation of the drug. There was quite a bit of correspondence here at FlakeHQ during the change from Tegison to Soriatane in the late 1990s.  See Tegison Wrap-Up, and other correspondence under “Tegison” in the Archives.  Evidently people who took Tegison were being told they could never again donate blood.  Soriatane was/is supposed to be different, but confusion still persists.  In a June 1999 organized Chat on the NPF web site, a guest expert dermatologist said he advised Soriatane patients to plan on “never giving blood again.”  And, of course, both Tegison (then) and Soriatane, its “replacement,” should not be used by women trying to conceive or already pregnant.  It leads to birth defects.  (Some derms won't even prescribe to women of conceiving age, irrespective of their intentions.)

Regarding the big difference in price between Tegison (then) and Soriatane (now), I hadn’t realized it was as dramatic as you show, Stephen.  Do you suppose Roche is building a war chest to help fight years of litigation by Tegison/Soriatane users in the future?  Lord, I hope not.  -Ed

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