Apremilast is an anti-inflammatory medication used to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. But it also includes compounds that are likely to counteract the expression of genes linked to heavy alcohol use.[^1]
Hence, the drug may be used for reasons other than the one it was first designed for.
This would be great if it could help to reduce alcohol-related deaths. And yet, I couldn't help but think about all the different drugs designed for one use but marketed for others — something which usually comes about due to their side effects.
Take viagra. A drug initially created to treat heart disease. But turned out not to be great at that.[^2]
But the one side effect the participants did report was an increase in erections.[^3] Hence, the drug became the go-to for erectile dysfunction.
I guess not all side effects are bad, then!
[^1]: Oregon Health & Science University, 2023. Pill for skin disease may also curb excessive drinking, study shows [WWW Document]. ScienceDaily. URL [https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/02/230221132118.htm](https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/02/230221132118.htm)
[^2]: Caroline Criado Perez writes about this in her book Invisible Women - which I highly recommend by the way. → [Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men: Caroline Criado Perez](https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invisible-Women-Exposing-World-Designed/dp/B07KFKC17B/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2TJSI6R3TF83V&keywords=Invisible+Women+by+Caroline+Criado+Perez&qid=1686906415&s=books&sprefix=invisible+women+by+caroline+criado+perez%2Cstripbooks%2C185&sr=1-1)
[^3]: And yes, all the trial participants were men. But that's for a different post.