If you have psoriasis, your doctor might suggest Cosentyx (secukinumab) as a treatment option for you.
Cosentyx is a prescription medication that’s used to treat plaque psoriasis in adults and in children ages 6 years and older.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects your skin. Specifically, plaque psoriasis causes thick plaques (patches) on your skin that are red or discolored. These patches commonly occur on the elbows, knees, or scalp.
The active ingredient in Cosentyx is secukinumab, which is a
- liquid solution in a single-use Sensoready pen
- liquid solution in a single-use prefilled syringe
- powder in a single-use vial that’s mixed into a solution
This article gives details on Cosentyx and its use in treating psoriasis. You can alsosee this in-depth article for more information about Cosentyx and its other uses.
Cosentyx is used to treat plaque psoriasis. For information on the dosage of Cosentyx and how to use the drug, see the sections below.
What is the typical dosage for Cosentyx?
For adults the usual dosage of Cosentyx for treating plaque psoriasis is 300 mg, which is given as an injection under your skin. You’ll get Cosentyx injections each week for the first five doses. After that, you’ll get a dose once every 4 weeks.
Cosentyx is available as a single-use prefilled syringe or Sensoready pen, both of which contain 150 mg of the drug. If you’re using a dose of 300 mg, you’ll need to inject twice for each dose. These injections should be done on the same day.
In some people, a dose of 150 mg may be enough to treat symptoms of plaque psoriasis. Talk with your doctor about the best dosage for you. They’ll determine the right Cosentyx dosing for your specific condition.
Cosentyx is also approved for use in children ages 6 years and older with plaque psoriasis. In children, the dosage is based on body weight in kilograms (kg).* For a child weighing less than 50 kg (about 110 pounds), a dose of 75 milligrams (mg) is recommended. For children weighing 50 kg or more, a dosage of 150 mg is recommended.
For use in children, Cosentyx comes as a single-dose prefilled syringe that contains 75 mg of the drug.
The dosing schedule for children is the same as for adults. So, your child should get a dose of Cosentyx each week for the first 5 doses. After that, they’ll get a dose once every 4 weeks.
Note: Cosentyx has other uses in addition treating psoriasis. The dosage may be different for these other uses. To learn more, talk with your doctor.
*One kilogram is equal to about 2.2 pounds.
How do you use Cosentyx?
Cosentyx comes in three forms, all of which are given as an injection under your skin:
- liquid solution in a single-use Sensoready pen
- liquid solution in a single-use prefilled syringe
- powder in a single-use vial that’s mixed into a liquid solution
Your doctor can help determine which form of the drug is the best fit for you.
For the pen or syringe form, you may receive your first dose at your doctor’s office so they can show you how to inject the drug. After that, you’ll likely give yourself injections at home.
If you use the powder form, you won’t use Cosentyx at home. This form of Cosentyx is only given by a healthcare professional at your doctor’s office, in a clinic, or in your home.
If you’re using Cosentyx at home, you should take your dose out of the refrigerator about 15 to 30 minutes before your injection. You can inject your medication into:
- the front of your upper legs
- your upper outer arms (if someone else can inject it for you)
- your lower abdomen (belly), but not within 2 inches of your belly button
Do not inject Cosentyx into tender or bruised skin, or skin that is red or discolored, scaly, or hard from psoriasis plaques (patches). You should rotate the sites you use for each injection.
For helpful videos with step-by-step instructions and tips on how to use the prefilled syringe and the Sensoready pen, visit the manufacturer website. If you still have questions about how to inject Cosentyx, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
How often should I use Cosentyx?
At the start of your treatment with Cosentyx, you’ll need to get doses more often. This is to help the medication begin working more quickly in your body. When you first start your treatment, you’ll get a dose once per week for 5 weeks. After that, you’ll need a Cosentyx dose once every 4 weeks.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Cosentyx.
Will Cosentyx cure my psoriasis?
No, Cosentyx will not cure your psoriasis. Currently, there is no cure for psoriasis. But Cosentyx can treat your symptoms of psoriasis so that you have fewer psoriasis plaques (or none at all) during your treatment. You may also notice a decrease in your other symptoms, such as itching or pain.
How does Cosentyx compare with Humira or Stelara for treating psoriasis?
Cosentyx, Humira, and Stelara are all approved treatment options for psoriasis. All three medications have been shown to be effective at treating psoriasis. But even though these drugs treat the same condition, they may have different dosages, side effects, and drug interactions.
To learn more about how Cosentyx and Humira are alike and different, see “How does Cosentyx compare to Humira?” in this article. For information on the differences between Humira and Stelara, see this comparison article.
To find out which medication may be the best treatment option for you, talk with your doctor. They can determine the best treatment for you based on your other medical conditions and other drugs you may be taking.
Can using Cosentyx make my plaque psoriasis worse?
No, Cosentyx shouldn’t make your plaque psoriasis worse. If you believe your psoriasis is getting worse during your Cosentyx treatment, talk with your doctor. They may be able to determine what’s causing your symptoms to worsen. Or they may recommend that you switch to a different medication to treat your condition.
Does Cosentyx treat scalp psoriasis?
Yes, Cosentyx can be used to treat scalp psoriasis. With this type of psoriasis, you have patches on your scalp that are thick, scaly, and red or discolored. Studies have shown that Cosentyx is an effective treatment option for plaque psoriasis on your scalp.
If you’re interested in using Cosentyx to treat your scalp psoriasis, talk with your doctor.
Cosentyx is approved to treat plaque psoriasis in adults and in children ages 6 years and older. Plaque psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects your skin. Specifically, plaque psoriasis causes thick plaques (patches) on your skin that are red or discolored.
These patches may be painful or itchy and may have white buildup in them. Plaque psoriasis can affect any part of your body, but it commonly occurs on your knees, elbows, and scalp.
How does Cosentyx work?
It’s believed that psoriasis may be caused by an overactive immune system, which causes inflammation (swelling and damage) in your body. This may lead to the symptoms of plaque psoriasis.
A protein in your body, called IL-17A, may be responsible for the overactive immune system that leads to inflammation and symptoms of plaque psoriasis. Cosentyx works by blocking IL-17A in your body. This decreases inflammation, which can reduce your plaque psoriasis symptoms.
How long does it take Cosentyx to work?
Cosentyx will begin to work as soon as you get your first injection. But it may take a few weeks for you to notice that the medication is working to treat your symptoms. This is because it takes time for the drug to build up in your body and have an effect.
Using Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis* may cause side effects in some people. These side effects can be mild or serious.
The lists below include some of the main side effects that have been reported in people using Cosentyx. For information about other possible side effects of the drug, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with X drug, visit MedWatch.
* Cosentyx is also approved to treat other conditions. It’s important to note that side effects from Cosentyx may differ depending on the condition it’s being used to treat.
What are Cosentyx’s mild side effects?
Cosentyx may cause you to experience some mild side effects, including:
In many cases, mild side effects from the drug are temporary. Some side effects may be easy to manage, too. But if side effects last for a longer time, or if they bother you or become severe, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
What are Cosentyx’s serious side effects?
Although they’re less common, serious side effects can occur during Cosentyx treatment. Examples of serious side effects that can occur with Cosentyx include:
Call your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects while using Cosentyx. If the side effects seem life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
The price of Cosentyx depends on several factors. These can include your treatment plan, your insurance plan, the pharmacy you use, and your location. For estimates of how much Cosentyx costs, visit GoodRx.com.
Cosentyx is a brand-name drug that 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.) Brand-name drugs usually cost more than generics or biosimilars.
Plaque psoriasis can affect any part of your body, but it commonly occurs on your knees, elbows, and scalp. It’s believed that psoriasis may be caused by an overactive immune system, which causes inflammation (swelling and damage) in your body. This may lead to the symptoms of plaque psoriasis.
What are the symptoms of plaque psoriasis?
Symptoms of plaque psoriasis include:
- dry, cracked patches of skin
- red or discolored patches of skin with white or silvery scales
- itching or burning skin
Who is Cosentyx is prescribed for?
Cosentyx is approved for use in adults and in children ages 6 years and older with plaque psoriasis. Specifically, Cosentyx can be used in people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are eligible for phototherapy (light treatment) or systemic therapy (treatment that affects your whole body).
If you have any questions about whether Cosentyx may be a treatment option for you, talk with your doctor.
Cosentyx is an effective treatment option for people with plaque psoriasis. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation recommend Cosentyx in their guidelines as a treatment option for people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
For more information on the effectiveness of Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis, see the manufacturer website. And to learn whether Cosentyx may be an effective treatment option for you, talk with your doctor.
Before you use Cosentyx, there’s some important information to keep in mind. The drug may not be a safe option for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Some of these are listed below.
If any of the following medical conditions or other health factors apply to you, talk with your doctor before using Cosentyx:
- if you currently have tuberculosis or have had it in the past
- if you have inflammatory bowel disease
- if you currently have an infection or have an infection that keeps coming back
- if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
- if you’ve had an allergic reaction to the drug or any of its ingredients, including latex
Talk with your doctor about using Cosentyx for psoriasis. They can help determine if Cosentyx might be a good fit for you.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- How should I manage side effects that I experience from Cosentyx?
- What if I become pregnant while taking this medication?
- Will my other medications interact with Cosentyx?
- Do my other medical conditions increase my risk of side effects from Cosentyx?
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.