Psoriatic Arthritis and Taking Charge of Your Health
6 mins read

Psoriatic Arthritis and Taking Charge of Your Health

At the start of the year, many people resolved to take better control of their health – by making necessary doctors’ appointments, exercising more, eating more fruits and vegetables, and losing weight. As moms, it can be difficult to make our own health a priority, but it’s very important to do so.

Taking control of one’s health is particularly important for the 133 million Americans—that’s 45% of the population!—with chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and psoriatic arthritis.A chronic condition that is not often discussed is psoriatic arthritis (PsA). However, this disease impacts over 1 million people in the United States alone, and it is believed that many more live with it undiagnosed.2,3 PsA occurs in up to 30% of patients living with the skin condition psoriasis.4 Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and tenderness of the joints, but tenderness, pain, and swelling of tendons can also occur.The effects of PsA are not only physical. The disease can have a significant emotional impact as well.6

As with many chronic conditions, one of the keys to managing PsA is having transparent conversations with your doctor about the disease and discussing lifestyle changes and treatments that may help. Remember, additional treatments continue to come to market for chronic illness, including those for PsA. Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Otezla® (apremilast), the first and only oral therapy for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis. Otezla has been shown to help PsA symptoms, including joint swelling and tenderness; decrease pain, swelling, and tenderness of tendons; and improve physical function.

People who are allergic to any of its components should not take Otezla. Otezla is associated with serious side effects like depression, weight decrease, and interacting with other medicines that can make Otezla less effective. Common side effects of Otezla are diarrhea, nausea, and headache. Please see Approved Use and Important Safety Information for Otezla below.

Renae, 51, can attest to the challenges of living with PsA. As a working woman and mother, her days were busy between keeping up with her job, managing the household and fulfilling her other full-time role as mom. At some points during the course of her disease, she was in so much pain that even getting out of bed was a struggle. Renae worked with her healthcare provider to identify a treatment plan that worked for her and began taking Otezla. These days, her pain has decreased, and she is able to get out of bed without the daily struggle.

A new program was launched recently to help people like Renae, who are living with PsA. The “pSAY YES!” program is a patient-focused initiative that aims to help patients address the areas of their lives that are often impacted by the disease (such as work, hobbies, and relationships) and encourages them to pSAY YES to a different approach to managing the condition. The program is made up of stories from actual patients discussing the impact PsA has had on their lives, along with tips from people living with the disease, a rheumatologist, and a chronic illness life coach, Rosalind Joffe.

For more information about the “pSAY YES!” program, visit Additional information about PsA can also be found at the Arthritis Foundation and National Psoriasis Foundation websites.

As you settle into the rhythm of 2015, remember to take the time to prioritize your health—and perhaps encourage a friend or loved one to do the same! If you can’t remember the last time you had a checkup, make that appointment! And if you are one of the millions of Americans living with a chronic illness, remember: it’s important to have those open conversations with your healthcare provider to determine what treatment works best for your needs.


Otezla® (apremilast) is a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis.


You must not take Otezla if you are allergic to apremilast or to any of the ingredients in Otezla.

Otezla is associated with an increase in adverse reactions of depression. In clinical studies, some patients reported depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behavior while taking Otezla. Some patients stopped taking Otezla due to depression. Before starting Otezla, tell your doctor if you have had feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal behavior. Be sure to tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or other mood changes develop or worsen during treatment with Otezla.

Some patients taking Otezla lost body weight. Your doctor should monitor your weight regularly. If unexplained or significant weight loss occurs, your doctor will decide if you should continue taking Otezla.

Some medicines may make Otezla less effective, and should not be taken with Otezla. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines.

Side effects of Otezla were diarrhea, headache, and nausea.

These are not all the possible side effects with Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or planning to breastfeed. Otezla has not been studied in pregnant women or in women who are breastfeeding.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-332-1088.

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information.

*This post was sponsored by Celgene.

1. Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. The Growing Crisis of Chronic Disease in the United States. Accessed January 13, 2015.
2. National Psoriasis Foundation. National Psoriasis Foundation Prioritizes Psoriatic Arthritis With New Program. Accessed February 10, 2015.
3. National Psoriasis Foundation. 2011 Survey Panel Snapshot. Accessed January 13, 2015.
4. National Psoriasis Foundation. About Psoriatic Arthritis. Accessed January 23, 2015.
5. National Psoriasis Foundation. Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis. Accessed January 23, 2015.
6. National Psoriasis Foundation. A Overview of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. Accessed January 13, 2015.

Otezla® is a registered trademark of Celgene Corporation.

© 2015 Celgene Corporation 03/15 USII-APR150024