Otezla (apremilast) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat:

Otezla comes as oral tablets. It belongs to a class of drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Otezla is available only as a brand-name drug. There currently isn’t a generic version.

For information about the dosage of Otezla, including its strengths and how to take it, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Otezla, see this article.

This article describes typical dosages for Otezla provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Otezla, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

The usual recommended dosages for Otezla are described below. That said, your doctor will prescribe a dosage that’s right for you.

Otezla form

Otezla comes as oral tablets. You’ll take them by mouth.

Otezla strength

Otezla is available in three strengths:

  • 10 milligrams (mg)
  • 20 mg
  • 30 mg

Typical dosages

Typically, your doctor will prescribe a low starting dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the maintenance dosage that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Your doctor will start you on a low dosage of Otezla. They’ll likely increase your dosage gradually over several days to help reduce gastrointestinal side effects. On day 6, you’ll likely reach your maintenance dosage. This is the dosage that keeps a steady level of the drug in your body during treatment.

Dosage for plaque psoriasis

The recommended Otezla dosage schedule for plaque psoriasis in adults is shown in the table below:

DayDosage
Day 1• 10 mg once in the morning
Day 2• 10 mg once in the morning
• 10 mg once in the evening
Day 3• 10 mg once in the morning
• 20 mg once in the evening
Day 4• 20 mg once in the morning
• 20 mg once in the evening
Day 5• 20 mg once in the morning
• 30 mg once in the evening
Day 6 and beyond• 30 mg once in the morning
• 30 mg once in the evening

Dosage for psoriatic arthritis

The recommended Otezla dosage schedule for psoriatic arthritis in adults is shown in the table below:

DayDosage
Day 1• 10 mg once in the morning
Day 2• 10 mg once in the morning
• 10 mg once in the evening
Day 3• 10 mg once in the morning
• 20 mg once in the evening
Day 4• 20 mg once in the morning
• 20 mg once in the evening
Day 5• 20 mg once in the morning
• 30 mg once in the evening
Day 6 and beyond• 30 mg once in the morning
• 30 mg once in the evening

Dosage for mouth ulcers in people with Behçet’s disease

The recommended Otezla dosage schedule for mouth ulcers related to Behçet’s disease in adults is shown in the table below:

DayDosage
Day 1• 10 mg once in the morning
Day 2• 10 mg once in the morning
• 10 mg once in the evening
Day 3• 10 mg once in the morning
• 20 mg once in the evening
Day 4• 20 mg once in the morning
• 20 mg once in the evening
Day 5• 20 mg once in the morning
• 30 mg once in the evening
Day 6 and beyond• 30 mg once in the morning
• 30 mg once in the evening

Long-term treatment

Otezla is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Otezla is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Below, find some answers to frequently asked questions about Otezla.

What does Otezla cost?

The price you’ll pay for Otezla can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage (if any), and the pharmacy you use. To save money on your Otezla prescription, explore the coupon option below.

What is Otezla starter pack dosing?

Otezla tablets come in bottles, cartons, and starter packs. The way your prescription is supplied depends on:

  • your prescribed dose and dosing schedule
  • the phase of treatment you’re in

Because your dosage will slowly change over the first several days of treatment, it’s likely your doctor will prescribe a starter pack, which is also called a titration pack. These packs contain varying tablet strengths. Titration pack directions will be provided that describe how your dosage will increase over time.

Before you start Otezla treatment, talk with your doctor about what to do in case of a starter pack missed dose or other missed doses. For more information about what to do for a missed dose, see the “Missed dose” section below.

Does Otezla have dosing instructions?

Yes, dosing directions will come with your Otezla prescription. These directions will describe how to take the medication properly. Your pharmacist can also review the directions with you.

Your doctor will likely prescribe Otezla at a low dosage that will slowly increase over the first several days of treatment. Your dosing instructions will show the dosage to take each day and how to take it.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your Otezla dosing instructions.

Is there a loading dose for Otezla?

No, Otezla doesn’t have a loading dose. This is a dose that’s higher than the usual daily dose of a medication. It’s given at the beginning of treatment to cause a quick response to the drug in the body.

For Otezla, your doctor will prescribe a low starting dosage. Then, it’s likely that they will gradually increase the dosage over several days. Doing so helps prevent gastrointestinal side effects.

If you have questions about the dosage of Otezla, see the “Typical dosages” section above. Your doctor can also give you more information about Otezla dosages.

If you miss a dose of Otezla, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. You shouldn’t take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

If you miss a dose from a starter pack at the beginning of your Otezla treatment while your dosage is increasing, call your doctor. They can provide directions on how to get back on schedule with your doses.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

The Otezla dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • whether you have kidney problems
  • how your body responds to Otezla

Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Otezla dosage.

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may prescribe the recommended renal dosing of Otezla if you have kidney disease. In this case, your dosage may be decreased.

Discuss any kidney problems you have with your doctor before you start treatment with Otezla.

Otezla comes as oral tablets. You’ll take them by mouth, with or without food.

You should swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush, split, or chew them.

If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS

If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles or blister packs, ask your pharmacist about putting Otezla in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles and give tips on removing tablets from blister packs.

It’s important that you don’t take more Otezla than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to side effects or overdose.

If you take more than the recommended amount of Otezla

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Otezla. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Otezla for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

As with any drug, never change your dosage of Otezla without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Otezla that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Otezla. These additional articles might be helpful:

  • More about Otezla. For information about other aspects of Otezla, refer to this article.
  • Side effects. To learn about side effects of Otezla, see this article. You can also look at the Otezla prescribing information.
  • Drug comparison. To find out how Otezla compares with Humira, read this article.
  • Interactions. For details about what Otezla interacts with, see this article.
  • Details about plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. For details about plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, see our psoriasis hub and arthritis hub.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.