View Full Version : Psoriasis drug may treat depression, fatigue

12-23-05, 11:53 PM
A new study shows that the psoriasis drug called Enbrel (etanercept), made by the California-based Amgen company, appears to also reduce depression and fatigue.

The findings by Ranga Krishnan, M.D., of Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, and his colleagues were published online in the UK medical journal Lancet on Dec. 15.

Enbrel works by blocking tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which is produced by the body during inflammation. High concentrations of TNF-alpha have also been linked to major depression, the researchers said. The question that Krishnan and his colleagues wanted to answer was whether blocking TNF-alpha could improve the symptoms of depression and fatigue.

"When people get a cold, infection, psoriasis or arthritis, they tend to feel bad and have low energy. They want to sleep more, and they're moody and depressed," Krishnan said. "It has been shown that this is due to the elevation of cytokines such as TNF-alpha".

In a 618-patient trial of Enbrel, those given the drug for 12 weeks had a 47-percent improvement in mood, as measured by a commonly used rating scale for depression. Compared to those taking the placebo, the Enbrel subjects showed less fatigue, a significant improvement with feelings of guilt and irritability, and raised levels of interest, self-appearance, work productivity, sleep capability and sexual performance. Although these positive results were not highly correlated with Enbrel's success on treating psoriasis, some critics of the study suggest that the psychological improvements can not be separated from relieving psoriasis symptoms.

"I think any therapy that improves psoriasis is going to improve depression and fatigue," said Jeffrey M. Weinberg, M.D., director of the clinical research center in the department of dermatology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. "My patients are very happy when they are doing better. Not only can we improve the disease, but the disease also has a social-psycho impact, and successful therapy can positively impact that."

Currently, drugs like Enbrel cost more than $12,000 a year, making them a more expensive and less common treatment for depression.

02-26-10, 09:10 PM
I agree with the Dr, that says that one would probably be more active with the reduction of Psoriasis. I was in the initial Raptiva studies many moons ago and it cleared me, my life changed greatly, short sleeves, shorts and an overall better attitude. As Cancer came up, I was pulled off Raptiva (never proven that I had the bladder cancer from Raptiva, as I had an occurence 12 years earlier before immuniosuppressive at 38). Been on Humira, 80% clear these days, only in the lower legs, but I still wear shorts and my Bi Polar is uncontrollable.

My life is great or should be, have all I could want but cannot control bi polar. I feel better without the Psoriasis covering Severe Plaque that covered 70% of my body, but to me there was not a place it was not, While my mind is better to be clear than unclear, at 50, my diagnosed bi polar, while I am fine with myself, I am killing everyone around me and that is the biggest pain. So I think this Dr. is way off base when he said it took away depression by using EMBREL. A normal human brain with all other things the same, surely a cleared body will make one less depressed, but is that Chemical or mental and physical, I say it was the latter. And a great way for the makers of Embrel to sell allot more off label.

I thank our retired military insurance to pay for my then after Trials Raptiva and now Humira. So many with Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, and that has come on viciously to me the last few years, that I have the availability. Cost me $27 bucks a month and even in 2010, I am sure these shots must be $200-300 each and I take a self injection every two weeks.