Have a burning question about the medications you are taking, let Dr. Cooper, The Pharmacist help!  Post your question here, and Dr. Cooper will provide the best answer possible.  Please note, because Dr. Cooper does not know your case personally, it is encouraged that you make an appointment for a medication consultation and follow-up with your attending physician(s), as he is not responsible for outcomes based on response(s) to questions.

Hi Dr. Copper I’ve had plaque psoriasis for 9yrs and now it’s getting worse. Every medicine the Dr. prescribed had aweful side effects. There is a new drug out that I was going to try because it’s suppose to have less side effects but I’m still skeptical. Can you inform me about the drug BRODALUMAB? Thanks! 3. August 2014

Hello. This is another great question. From what I understand, Brodalumab is still in phase 3, the final stage of clinical trials. However, based on limited information from the clinical trial and it’s mechanism of action it seems to block several of the possible contributing factors of plaque psoriasis. There are two doses of the medication, a low dose (140 mg) and a high dose (210mg) to be given as an injection under the skin. I found from the clinical data that patients have experienced up to 100% full clearance in the symptoms of plaque psoriasis at about 3 months of treatment, namely the painful redness, scaliness, and thickness of skin. The only information I’ve found about adverse events states patients have experienced upper respiratory tract infections and headaches probably due to mild suppression of the immune system by the medication. With limited information available, a lot remains to be discovered about the medication from the clinical trial. Also we will need head-to-head clinical trials of Brodalumab vs. current therapies to understand where it fits along the continuum of available treatments. However, it seems like a promising therapy. I hope this helps for now.

In 2008 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I was in remission until December 2013. My Dr. want to put me on humira which I see one of the side effects is lymphoma. I immediately said no! I have been on pentasa. What are other options or alternatives? 27. July 2014

Great question. There are several treatment options for Crohn’s disease. The medications available work to reduce the inflammation throughout the GI tract. Also medications are use to lower hyperactivity of the immune system. There are several classes of medications available, i.e., Imuran (azathioprine), methotrexate, prednisone, humira, remicade infusions, etc. The medications do a great job and work rapidly to get symptoms under control and slow the progression of Crohn’s disease, however the side effect profile is extensive. Proceed with caution and manage your medication carefully. I also recommend researching the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), the diet and lifestyle change has helped many patients manage their symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

Dr. Cooper, I recently went to my doctor, and they informed me that I have a thyroid nodule. They say it’s large enough (3cm) to do surgery on. I have a few questions for you, as they told me that it will be my decision if I have surgery or not. If I have a thyroid nodule removed will I have to take medication for the rest of my life? Can any medication dissolve a thyroid nodule? Any feedback is appreciated. Thank you. 27. July 2014

Great questions. First, determining the cause by your physician is critical in this situation.  If having high thyroid levels (hyperthyroidism) is the cause for the thyroid nodule, then yes medications and a medication strategy can be used to reduce the high thyroid levels which should shrink/dissolve the nodule. Furthermore; if you elect surgery, lifelong medication is not necessarily required, the decision for lifelong medication will be based on the severity of your symptoms and thyroid levels after the surgery.

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