Each day millions of Americans, in excess of 4.5 million, suffer from a dermatological, immunosuppressive, inflammatory condition known as psoriasis. As a cosmetically unsightly condition, nearly 10 percent of the psoriasis sufferers, unfortunately, are children. As a parent of a child suffering from psoriasis, understanding the cause and origin of psoriasis, as well as the treatment options with the FDA approved drug, Raptiva, will ensure parents and children are better educated in the viable treatment options.
Childhood psoriasis is an inflammatory, dermatological condition which does not differentiate among genders. That is to say, male and female children suffer from childhood psoriasis equally. While the cause and origin of childhood psoriasis is generally not well understood, many pediatricians and dermatologists agree, it is a progressive condition involving suppression of the immune system.
Symptoms of childhood psoriasis, which usually appear during a child’s teen years, but may occur in infants, commonly presents as patchy, red inflamed skin with a crusty, almost glossy, white dry covering. These symptoms present to the skin in a variety of locations but most often, in children, are found, initially, on the upper and lower extremities. For children in advanced cases, psoriasis will advance and appear on the back and scalp area. Rarely, however, unless a severe case of psoriasis, will children exhibit symptoms to the torso, chest or face area.
In an effort to provide psoriasis relief to children, the FDA has approved a prescription immunosuppressive drug, Raptiva. Lending its success to the suppression of an overly active immune system, Raptiva, in treatment of psoriasis in children, is showing positive affects by alleviating and remedying psoriasis outbreaks, thereby improving a child’s ability to perform activities of daily living, attend school outbreak free and, therefore, indirectly improves self esteem and emotional factors common with this dermatological condition.
When providing a child with the FDA approved drug, Raptiva, parents should be cautioned as to the side effects and potential life threatening complications which can be associated with use in treatment childhood psoriasis. Such side effects, commonly seen in children, include complaints of flu type symptoms such as fever, sore throat and even onset of urinary tract infections. Because Raptiva is an immunosuppressive drug, the dosing of Raptiva is crucial to ensuring the child’s immune system is not suppressed to such an extent so as to allow for the suffering of other health related conditions such as infectious disease. Therefore, when administering Raptiva to a child, suffering from psoriasis, consult a pediatrician when other health related complications first appear as it may be necessary to reduce the dosing levels in the child with psoriasis.
Beyond immune suppression side effects, Raptiva, as an FDA approved drug to treat childhood psoriasis, provides for common discomfort to children through administration of the drug, itself. As an injection, Raptiva must be administered by an adult, once a week, to the child’s thigh or upper arm. While injection is often unpleasant, children will eventually understand this FDA approved drug is crucial to restoring and maintaining health, in the long term when fighting psoriasis.
As with any FDA approved drug on the market, long term health complications associated with the use of Raptiva should be weighed against the benefits of the drug use. Because Raptiva carries a slight risk of association in the development of cancer, using Raptiva in children suffering with psoriasis should be considered carefully. With prolonged and long term use, children are placed at a greater risk for development some forms of cancer later in life.
When caring for a child suffering from a childhood ailment, such as psoriasis, working with both the pediatrician as well as the dermatologist, will provide for a combination approach in establishing the most appropriate treatment plan of this immunosuppressive disease. When considering treatment of psoriasis in a child, discuss the use and implications of Raptiva as part of the healthcare plan.
For more information regarding Raptiva, visit www.raptiva.com.