(BPT) - *Gina is an actual SKYRIZI patient, compensated by AbbVie for sharing her story.
As a Texas native, Gina is no stranger to the scorching temperatures, which for most people means a wardrobe of short-sleeved shirts and shorts. But when Gina experienced a rapid onset of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis-a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes itchy, red, flaky and sometimes painful patches known as plaques to appear on the skin-she had no choice but to adjust her wardrobe.
Gina's psoriasis plaques that covered the majority of her body dictated her style, so she covered them with long pants, boots and shirts that came up to her neck. Working in a high-profile role as a framing superintendent and estimator, where she spent most of her time outside, Gina's wardrobe was often called into question by her coworkers. 'The last thing I wanted was to bring attention to my plaques,' she remembers.
This, combined with the loss of her father, mother and beloved dog all within just over a year's time, impacted Gina's life.
'Most days, I would work, come home and sleep,' Gina says. 'Especially in the beginning when my plaque psoriasis was getting worse, it was hard to think of much else but the plaques on my skin.'
After nearly a year of receiving advice from her family doctor, Gina knew it was time to see a dermatologist. While initially nervous because of the severity of her symptoms, Gina recalls feeling more comfortable once she met the dermatologist and his team.
'Immediately he was sympathetic and open to talk about everything,' Gina says. 'Any question I had, he answered it. He was so open and honest, and always made me feel important and heard.'
Her dermatologist first prescribed topical treatments, but Gina didn't experience the skin clearance she had hoped. So, she approached her dermatologist hoping to find a treatment plan that would meet her goals. Together, she and her dermatologist decided to try SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa), a biologic medicine for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
Within a few months, her plaques cleared up almost completely. Gina isn't the only one who achieved clearer skin with SKYRIZI. In clinical trials, three out of four people achieved 90% clearer skin at four months after just two doses. Of those who achieved 90% clearer skin, nearly 9 out of 10 people sustained 90% clearer skin through one year. Additionally, nearly four out of 10 people achieved 100% clear skin at four months and nearly six out of 10 people achieved it at one year. Individual experiences may vary.
SKYRIZI is administered quarterly with four doses a year after two starter doses.
SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including:
- Serious allergic reactions: Stop using SKYRIZI and get emergency medical help right away if you get any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction.
- Infections: SKYRIZI may increase your risk of infections. Before starting treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. Tell your doctor right away if you have an infection or symptoms of one.
Do not use SKYRIZI if you are allergic to risankizumab-rzaa or any of the ingredients in SKYRIZI.
Also, tell your doctor if you plan to or recently received a vaccine.
Gina embraced aspects of her life differently by no longer hiding her plaques and letting her condition influence her fashion choices. She even wore a green, ruffle-accented dress that showed off her legs where her plaques used to be and complemented her shoulders to a friend's wedding.
'I get up and put on what I want to wear,' Gina shares, noting how she felt with people not asking as many uncomfortable questions about her skin. 'The plaques on my skin are not the first thing that starts my conversations.'
Looking back, Gina wishes she hadn't waited so long to see a dermatologist. 'For me, seeking a specialist and second opinion was an important part of finding a treatment plan to help me achieve my goals,' she explains.
Preparing questions ahead of time, reading online resources and downloading a doctor discussion guide can also help people prepare to have a proactive conversation with their dermatologist. 'Feeling heard is an important consideration when choosing a physician,' she adds. 'No one deserves to feel alone or suffer in silence.'
Open and honest conversations with a dermatologist who specializes in treating plaque psoriasis may help people find a management plan that fits their lifestyle. Learn more about SKYRIZI here.
USE for SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa)
SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with:
- moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or treatment using ultraviolet or UV light (phototherapy).
Important Safety Information
What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa)?
SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine that may cause serious side effects, including:
Serious allergic reactions:
- Stop using SKYRIZI and get emergency medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
- fainting, dizziness, feeling lightheaded (low blood pressure)
- swelling of your face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
- trouble breathing or throat tightness
- chest tightness
- skin rash, hives
SKYRIZI may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with SKYRIZI and may treat you for TB before you begin treatment with SKYRIZI if you have a history of TB or have active TB. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with SKYRIZI.
- Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, including:
- fever, sweats, or chills
- shortness of breath
- blood in your mucus (phlegm)
- muscle aches
- warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body different from your psoriasis
- weight loss
- diarrhea or stomach pain
- burning when you urinate or urinating more often than normal
Do not use SKYRIZI if you are allergic to risankizumab-rzaa or any of the ingredients in SKYRIZI. See the Medication Guide or Consumer Brief Summary for a complete list of ingredients.
Before using SKYRIZI, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions,
including if you:
- have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in the section 'What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI?'
- have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back.
- have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB.
- have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). Medications that interact with the immune system may increase your risk of getting an infection after receiving live vaccines. You should avoid receiving live vaccines right before, during, or right after treatment with SKYRIZI. Tell your healthcare provider that you are taking SKYRIZI before receiving a vaccine.
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if SKYRIZI can harm your unborn baby.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if SKYRIZI passes into your breast milk.
- become pregnant while taking SKYRIZI. You are encouraged to enroll in the Pregnancy Registry, which is used to collect information about the health of you and your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider or call 1-877-302-2161 to enroll in this registry.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What are the possible side effects of SKYRIZI?
SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects. See 'What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI?'
The most common side effects of SKYRIZI in people treated for plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis include: upper respiratory infections, headache, feeling tired, injection site reactions, and fungal skin infections.
These are not all the possible side effects of SKYRIZI. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Use SKYRIZI exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.
SKYRIZI is available in a 150 mg/mL prefilled syringe and pen.
Please see the Full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, for SKYRIZI.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
If you are having difficulty paying for your medicine, AbbVie may be able to help.
Visit AbbVie.com/myAbbVieAssist to learn more.
Learn more about SKYRIZI at SKYRIZI.com.
Sponsored by AbbVie.