If you have certain conditions, your doctor may recommend that you take Cosentyx. It’s a prescription drug that’s used in adults and some children.

Cosentyx can be given to treat:

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

Cosentyx basics

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

Your healthcare professional 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 nonbiologic 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.

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 this side effect, 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, Kaopectate).

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 (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

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 sterile water before being given as an 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 professional 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.

In adults, Cosentyx dosages are as follows:

  • 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 one syringe, vial, or injection pen once a week for 5 weeks. Then, you’ll likely switch to one syringe, vial, or injection pen once every 4 weeks.
    • If your doctor starts treatment without a loading dose, you’ll likely use one 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 two syringes, vials, or injection pens once every 4 weeks.
  • If you have arthritis affecting inflamed entheses (areas on bone where ligaments and tendons attach), you’ll likely use one syringe, vial, or injection pen once per week for 5 weeks. Then, you’ll switch to one syringe, vial, or injection pen once every 4 weeks.

In children, Cosentyx dosages are based on body weight. In general, doses are given once every week for 5 weeks. After week 5, doses are given 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.

If you have certain conditions, your doctor may recommend that you take Cosentyx. It’s a prescription drug that’s used in adults and some children.

Cosentyx can be given to certain people to treat these conditions:

  • Moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is a condition that causes discolored, scaly skin patches. Cosentyx can be used for this condition in people who could use systemic therapy or phototherapy. (Systemic therapy affects your entire body. Phototherapy is also called light therapy.) Adults and children ages 6 years and older can take Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis.
  • Psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that causes both discolored, scaly skin patches and painful, swollen joints. Adults and children ages 2 years and older can take Cosentyx for psoriatic arthritis.
  • Active ankylosing spondylitis. Active ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that affects your spine and that can be seen on X-rays. Adults can take Cosentyx for this condition.
  • Non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis. Non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis is a form of arthritis that affects your spine but that can’t be seen on X-rays. Adults can take Cosentyx for this condition.
  • Enthesitis-related arthritis. This is a type of arthritis affecting inflamed entheses (areas on bone where ligaments and tendons attach. Adults and children ages 4 years and older can take Cosentyx for enthesitis-related arthritis.

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.

Is Cosentyx a TNF inhibitor?

No, Cosentyx isn’t a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor. Instead, it’s a kind of drug called a monoclonal antibody. (These are immune proteins that are made in a lab.)

Like TNF inhibitors, Cosentyx works by stopping inflammation in your body. But it works differently than TNF inhibitors.

If you’d like to know more about how Cosentyx works compared with TNF inhibitors, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

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.)

Additionally, weight loss can happen as a symptom of infection. And infections are a possible side effect of Cosentyx.

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 was recently studied for eczema. But the results of this study haven’t been released yet.

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

Other drugs may be used for some of the conditions Cosentyx treats. Examples of alternative drugs include:

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

You may wonder how Cosentyx and Taltz compare. These medications are each given as an injection under the skin.

Taltz is used for some of the same conditions as Cosentyx.

For example, both drugs treat plaque psoriasis in certain adults. And Cosentyx is used for plaque psoriasis in some children. Taltz and Cosentyx also each treat psoriatic arthritis in adults.

Cosentyx is used for a few other conditions too. To learn more, see the “What is Cosentyx used for?” section above.

If you’d like to read a detailed comparison of Cosentyx and Taltz, see this article. Also, talk with your doctor about which drug is right for your condition.

As with Taltz, which is described just above, Cosentyx and Stelara have some shared uses, too.

Cosentyx and Stelara are both used for plaque psoriasis in certain adults and children. They’re also both used for psoriatic arthritis. But Stelara treats this in adults, while Cosentyx treats this in adults and children ages 2 years and older.

In addition to these conditions, Cosentyx and Stelara each have other uses too. For details about Cosentyx’s other uses, see the “What is Cosentyx used for?” section above.

Both medications are given as an injection under the skin. In some cases, Stelara is given by IV infusion.

Check out this article if you’d like to view a side-by-side comparison of the two drugs. If you’d like, ask your doctor for more information about these medications.

Like Stelara and Taltz, which are described above, Otezla has some uses similar to those of Cosentyx.

Cosentyx and Otezla both treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in certain adults. Cosentyx also treats plaque psoriasis in certain children ages 6 years and older.

These medications have unique uses too. To learn about Cosentyx’s other uses, see the “What is Cosentyx used for?” section above. For more about Otezla’s other uses, see this article.

Cosentyx is given as an injection under the skin. That’s unlike Otezla, which is a tablet that’s taken by mouth.

If you’d like to know more about these drugs, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

You may be wondering how Cosentyx and Humira are alike and different.

Both medications 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 has other uses too. For details about Cosentyx’s other uses, see the “What is Cosentyx used for?” section above.

Depending on the condition treated, these medications may be used in adults and some children.

Cosentyx and Humira are each given as an injection under the skin.

If you’d like to know more about these drugs, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Also, check out this detailed comparison.

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.

It’s possible that Cosentyx can interact with other drugs. But the drug isn’t known to interact with supplements or foods. Additionally, Cosentyx 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 a live 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.

Cosentyx and 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.

Other treatment options are available for the conditions this drug treats. To learn more about those conditions, see the “What is Cosentyx used for?” section above.

Below are a few resources for 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?

Q:

Can I take corticosteroids with Cosentyx?

Anonymous

A:

Possibly. There aren’t any known interactions between Cosentyx and corticosteroids. But corticosteroids lower the response of your body’s immune system. And they may increase your risk for infections. Cosentyx also may increase your risk for infections. So combining these drugs could raise your risk even more.

Talk with your doctor about taking Cosentyx if you’re currently taking corticosteroids or are planning to start taking them. Your doctor can recommend a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCPAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

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 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.