If you have certain conditions, your doctor may recommend that you take Cosentyx. It’s a prescription drug that’s used in adults to treat:

If you’d like more information about these conditions, see the “What is Cosentyx used for?” section below.

Cosentyx comes as a solution inside pens and syringes. It also comes as a powder that’s mixed with water to form a solution. You’ll take Cosentyx as an injection under your skin.

Your healthcare provider will likely give you your first dose of Cosentyx in their office. After that, you may be able to give the drug to yourself at home.

The active drug in Cosentyx is called secukinumab, which is a biologic medication. A biologic is made from parts of living organisms. Cosentyx isn’t available in a biosimilar form. (Biosimilars are like generic drugs. But unlike generics, which are made for non-biologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologic drugs.) Instead, secukinumab comes only as the brand-name drug Cosentyx.

Read on if you’d like to learn about Cosentyx’s cost, side effects, and more.

Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. To find current prices for Cosentyx injections (or other forms) in your area, visit GoodRx.com.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the Cosentyx website to see if they have support options.

Like most drugs, Cosentyx may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Cosentyx may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Cosentyx. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.

Mild side effects

Here’s a short list of some of the mild side effects that Cosentyx can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Cosentyx’s Medication Guide.

Mild side effects* of Cosentyx can include:

Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* For more information about these side effects, see the “Side effect focus” section below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Cosentyx can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Cosentyx, call your doctor right away. However, if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects can include:

* For more information about these side effects, see the “Side effect focus” section below.

Side effect focus

Learn more about some of the side effects Cosentyx may cause.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea was a common side effect reported in clinical studies of Cosentyx. In some cases, diarrhea can lead to dehydration (low fluid level in your body). This happens because diarrhea can cause your body to lose large amounts of water and electrolytes.

What might help

The following tips can help relieve diarrhea:

  • Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking water or sports drinks such as Gatorade.
  • Try using over-the-counter products, such as loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol).

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications with Cosentyx. And if you have severe diarrhea or if your diarrhea lasts longer than a couple of days, call your doctor right away.

Upper respiratory infections

You may experience an upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold, after taking Cosentyx.

Common symptoms of upper respiratory infections include:

What might help

Home remedies, such as honey and ginger, can help lessen the symptoms of upper respiratory infections.

Medications that are available without a prescription can also be helpful. Over-the-counter drugs and the symptoms they help relieve include:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications with Cosentyx. And if any of your symptoms become severe, call your doctor.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a rare side effect of Cosentyx that’s been seen in people during clinical studies.

IBD can cause:

What might help

Treatment for IBD usually requires prescription drugs, such as:

However, there are several over-the-counter drugs that can help relieve IBD symptoms. These include:

If you have any symptoms of IBD, talk with your doctor. And be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications with Cosentyx.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Cosentyx. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Cosentyx. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Your doctor will explain how you should take Cosentyx. They’ll also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Below are commonly used dosages but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Taking Cosentyx

Your doctor can recommend the form of Cosentyx that’s best for you. This drug comes as:

  • a solution inside single-dose, prefilled injection pens
  • a solution inside single-dose, prefilled syringes
  • a powder inside single-dose vials that’s mixed with water before injection

You’ll inject Cosentyx under your skin.

If you’re using the pen or syringe form, your first dose might be given in a doctor’s office so they can show you how to inject the drug. After that, you can give yourself Cosentyx injections at home.

However, you won’t give injections of Cosentyx from the vial to yourself. Instead, this form of Cosentyx is only given by a healthcare provider in a clinic or in your home.

Dosage

The dosage of Cosentyx you’ll take depends on the condition you’re using the drug to treat:

  • If you have plaque psoriasis, you’ll likely use two syringes, vials, or injection pens once per week for 5 weeks. Then, you’ll switch to two syringes, vials, or injection pens once every 4 weeks.
  • If you have psoriatic arthritis:
    • Your doctor might start by giving you a loading dose so the drug can start working quickly. A loading dose is an initial injection of the drug that gets a high level of the drug into your body. The typical loading dose is one syringe, vial, or injection pen once per week for 5 weeks. After that, you’ll use just one syringe, vial, or injection pen once every 4 weeks.
    • If your doctor starts treatment without a loading dose, you’ll start by using only one syringe, vial, or injection pen once every 4 weeks.
  • If you have both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, you’ll likely use the higher-dose schedule typically used for plaque psoriasis alone.
  • If you have ankylosing spondylitis or non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis:
    • Your doctor might start by giving you a loading dose of 1 syringe, vial, or injection pen once a week for 5 weeks. Then, you’ll likely switch to 1 syringe, vial, or injection pen once every 4 weeks.
    • If your doctor starts treatment without a loading dose, you’ll likely use 1 syringe, vial, or injection pen once every 4 weeks.
    • If you continue to have ankylosing spondylitis symptoms with treatment, your doctor may increase your dosage to 2 syringes, vials, or injection pens once every 4 weeks.

For more information on the conditions Cosentryx is used to treat, see the “What is Cosentyx used for?” section below.

Questions about taking Cosentyx

Read on for answers to some questions commonly asked about taking Cosentyx.

  • What if I miss a dose of Cosentyx? Take your missed injection of Cosentyx as soon as you remember. If you have questions about when to take your next dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Will I need to use Cosentyx long term? Yes, Cosentyx is meant to be used long term. Talk with your doctor about whether it’s a good long-term treatment for your condition.
  • Should I take Cosentyx with food? You can take Cosentyx with or without food.
  • How long does Cosentyx take to work? It will likely take several weeks after your first dose of Cosentyx for you to notice your symptoms improving.

Cosentyx is prescribed for the following uses in adults:

These conditions can happen because of inflammation that causes your immune system to attack healthy cells in your body. Cosentyx works by blocking a certain protein in your body that’s related to inflammation.

Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Cosentyx.

Does Cosentyx cause weight loss or weight gain?

No, weight loss and weight gain weren’t reported as side effects in clinical studies of Cosentyx.

However, weight changes have been reported with other biologic drugs, such as adalimumab (Humira). (A biologic is a drug made from parts of living organisms.)

Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned about weight changes while taking Cosentyx. They can recommend healthy ways to manage your weight.

Can I use Cosentyx to treat eczema?

No, Cosentyx isn’t currently used to treat eczema.

However, this might change in the future. That’s because the drug is currently being studied for eczema in a clinical trial.

If you have eczema, talk with your doctor about treatment options that might work for you.

How does Cosentyx compare to Humira?

Cosentyx and Humira are both injections used to treat plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Humira is also prescribed to treat other conditions. These include rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and hidradenitis suppurativa.

Cosentyx and Humira each contain different active drugs. Cosentyx contains the active drug secukinumab, but Humira contains the active drug adalimumab. Cosentyx doses are typically given every 4 weeks. But Humira doses are usually given every other week.

If you’d like to know more about the differences between Cosentyx and Humira, talk with your doctor.

What are some alternatives to Cosentyx?

There are several alternatives to Cosentyx. The specific alternatives depend on the condition you’re using Cosentyx to treat.

Here are a few other drugs that may be used to treat plaque psoriasis:

Some other drugs that may be used to treat psoriatic arthritis include:

  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • infliximab (Remicade)
  • apremilast (Otezla)
  • ustekinumab (Stelara)
  • ixekizumab (Taltz)
  • certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)

Ankylosing spondylitis may also be treated with these alternatives:

  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • infliximab (Remicade)
  • certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)

And axial spondyloarthritis that doesn’t show up on X-rays may also be treated with this alternative:

  • certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)

If you’re interested in using a drug other than Cosentyx to treat your condition, talk with your doctor.

When considering Cosentyx treatment, it’s important to talk with your doctor about your overall health and any medical conditions you may have. Below are a few things to consider before taking Cosentyx.

Interactions

Taking medications, vaccines, foods, and other things with a certain drug can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.

Cosentyx isn’t known to interact with any other drugs, supplements, or foods. However, the drug may interact with vaccines, as discussed below.

Before taking Cosentyx, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take (including prescription and over-the-counter types). Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Cosentyx.

Other interactions

You shouldn’t receive live vaccines while using Cosentyx. Live vaccines are made with an active form of a virus.

Live vaccines don’t normally cause an infection. But Cosentyx can lower your ability to fight infections. So the risk of getting an infection from a live vaccine is higher when you’re taking Cosentyx.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about all vaccines you plan to take while you’re using Cosentyx.

Warnings

Cosentyx may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before using Cosentyx. Factors to consider include those in the list below.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If you have IBD, taking Cosentyx can cause your IBD symptoms to flare up. Make sure your doctor knows if you have IBD before you start taking the drug. They can monitor your condition closely.

Tuberculosis (TB). You’ll likely have a TB test before you start taking Cosentyx. If you have TB, you’ll receive TB treatment before starting the drug. This is because Cosentyx can lower your body’s ability to fight TB.

Current infection. You shouldn’t take Cosentyx if you currently have an infection. Cosentyx can raise your risk for serious infections. Your doctor should treat any active infections you have before you start the drug. If you get an infection while taking Cosentyx, tell your doctor right away.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Cosentyx or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Cosentyx. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.

Allergy to latex. If you have a latex allergy, you may not be able to use Cosentyx. This is because the cap of the pen and syringe forms of Cosentyx contains rubber latex. Talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe to use Cosentyx if you have a latex allergy.

Use with alcohol

There aren’t any known problems with drinking alcohol while using Cosentyx.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about the amount of alcohol that’s safe for you to drink while using the drug.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

The safety of Cosentyx use during pregnancy or breastfeeding isn’t known.

If you’re planning a pregnancy or to breastfeed while using Cosentyx, be sure to talk with your doctor. They can tell you about the risks and benefits of continuing the drug.

Don’t take more Cosentyx than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this can lead to serious side effects.

What to do in case you take too much Cosentyx

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Cosentyx. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use their online resource. However, if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

If you have questions about whether Cosentyx is right for you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

There are other treatment options available for plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Below are a few resources on other treatment options. You may want to discuss these treatments with your doctor:

To learn more about treating and managing psoriasis, sign up here to receive our newsletter.

Here are a few other questions you may want to ask your doctor about Cosentyx:

  • Will my symptoms come back after I stop using Cosentyx?
  • What other treatment options might work well for me?
  • Can I take Cosentyx with other treatments?
  • How is Cosentyx different from other treatments?

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.