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Generic Name:

secukinumab, Injectable solution

All Brands

  • Cosentyx
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for secukinumab

Injectable solution
1

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.

2

This drug comes in a powder that your healthcare provider mixes into a solution and gives you as an injection.

3

This drug is only available as the brand-name drug Cosentyx. It’s not available as a generic drug.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Risk of infections

This drug may weaken your immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight infections. It may also make it easier for you to get infections. If you think you have an infection, contact your doctor right away. Symptoms can include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, and blood in your phlegm. They can also include weight loss, sores on your body, diarrhea, stomach pain, and burning when you urinate. Your doctor may stop your therapy with this drug until your infection heals.

Live vaccines

You should not receive live vaccines while taking this drug. This drug can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of infection from the live virus in the vaccine.

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.

See Details

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.

See Details

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. It’s used when topical medication has not worked.

This drug is also used to treat psoriatic arthritis and arthritis that affects the spine and large joints. This is called ankylosing spondylitis.

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.

This drug targets a substance in your body that normally causes inflammation and skin plaques. Secukinumab blocks the activity of this substance. This reduces inflammation, itching, and the formation of skin plaques that are associated with your plaque psoriasis.

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SECTION 2 of 4

secukinumab Side Effects

Injectable solution

More common side effects

The more common side effects of secukinumab can include:

  • colds, with symptoms such as:

    • runny nose
    • congested nose
    • sneezing
    • cough
    • sore throat
  • upper respiratory infections, such as bronchitis, laryngitis, or sinusitis

  • diarrhea

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
    • diarrhea
    • dark, tarry stools
    • bloating
    • weight loss
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

secukinumab May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable solution

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.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
serious infection warning
People with infections

This drug may weaken your immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight infections. If you have an infection or symptoms of an infection, let your doctor know before you take this drug. Your doctor may not have you take this drug until your infection goes away.

inflammatory bowel disease
People with inflammatory bowel disease

Taking this drug can cause flare-ups of your inflammatory bowel disease. These flare-ups may be severe. Tell your doctor if you have a flare-up during your treatment with this drug. Symptoms can include stomach pain or cramping, diarrhea, bloody stools, and unexpected weight loss.

pregnancy warning
Pregnant women

This drug is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

breast feeding warning
Women who are-breast-feeding

It isn’t known if this drug may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor about breastfeeding your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

children's warning
For children

This medication has not been studied in children. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.

allergy warning
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • feeling faint
  • swelling of your face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
  • trouble breathing
  • throat tightness
  • chest tightness
  • skin rash

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take secukinumab (Dosage)

Injectable solution

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.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

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.

You’ll receive this drug at different times

For the first 5 weeks, you will likely need an injection once per week. After that period, you’ll receive an injection once per month. Your doctor will decide the treatment schedule they think is best for you.

How long does it take?

Receiving the injection should only take a few minutes. However, your healthcare provider may need time to mix the drug into a solution before giving you the injection.

Can I drive home after?

This drug will not affect your ability to get home by yourself after your injection.

Travel

Speak to your doctor about any travel plans. Your doctor can help you plan to receive treatment during your travel.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor should monitor certain health issues during your treatment. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Infection. Symptoms of an infection can include:
    • fever, sweats, or chills
    • muscle aches
    • cough
    • shortness of breath
    • blood in your phlegm
    • weight loss
    • warm, red, or painful skin or sores
    • diarrhea
    • stomach pain
    • burning when you urinate
    • urinating more often than normal

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor may need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.


Show Sources

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

Disclaimer: Healthline 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 other 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.
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