Highlights for secukinumab
Secukinumab is used to treat adults with plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis is arthritis that affects the spine and large joints.
This drug comes in a powder that your healthcare provider mixes into a solution and gives you as an injection.
This drug is only available as the brand-name drug Cosentyx. It’s not available as a generic drug.
What is secukinumab?
Secukinumab is a prescription drug. It comes as a solution that a healthcare provider injects into your upper arm, thigh, or abdomen in a clinic or hospital.
This drug can become a self-injectable drug. That means your healthcare provider may decide that you can give yourself the injections at home. If that happens, your healthcare provider will train you to mix and inject the drug.
This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.
Why it's used
This drug is used to treat adults with a skin condition called plaque psoriasis. It’s used when your psoriasis is moderate to severe and involves large areas or many areas of your body.
How it works
This drug belongs to a class of drugs called immunomodulators. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
secukinumab Side Effects
More common side effects
The more common side effects of secukinumab can include:
colds, with symptoms such as:
- runny nose
- congested nose
- sore throat
upper respiratory infections, such as bronchitis, laryngitis, or sinusitis
If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
Inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms can include:
- abdominal pain
- dark, tarry stools
- weight loss
This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.
secukinumab May Interact with Other Medications
Secukinumab can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs, or vitamins you’re taking.
How to Take secukinumab (Dosage)
Your doctor will determine a dosage that’s right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dosage. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your healthcare provider administers the drug to you.
This drug comes with risks if you don’t receive it as prescribed.
If you stop receiving the drug suddenly or don’t receive it at all
The symptoms of your condition may get worse.
If you miss doses or don’t receive the drug on schedule
Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.
What to do if you miss an appointment
Call your doctor right away for instructions on what to do and to reschedule your injection.
How to tell if the drug is working
If you’re receiving this drug for plaque psoriasis, then your itchiness, pain, and thick or scaly skin should get better. If you are receiving the drug for psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, then your joint pain, stiffness, and swelling should get better.
This drug is used for long-term treatment.
- Cosentyx – secukinumab injection. (2015, January). Retrieved from http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=77c4b13e-7df3-42d4-81db-3d0cddb7f67a
Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group
Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on February 2, 2016