Sotyktu (deucravacitinib) is a prescription drug that treats plaque psoriasis. Sotyktu comes as an oral tablet.
Sotyktu is prescribed to certain adults to treat plaque psoriasis that’s moderate or severe.
Sotyktu is an immunosuppressant (a drug that reduces the activity of your immune system). It’s important to note that Sotyktu is not recommended for use with other strong immunosuppressants. To learn more, see the “Is Sotyktu used for plaque psoriasis?” section below.
Sotyktu contains the active ingredient deucravacitinib. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
Sotyktu belongs to a group of drugs called tyrosine kinase 2 blockers. It’s a biologic drug. A biologic drug is made from living cells. Sotyktu is available only as a brand-name drug. There isn’t a biosimilar for Sotyktu. (Biosimilars are like generic drugs. But unlike generics, which are made for nonbiologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologic drugs.)
Keep reading to learn more about Sotyktu, including the drug’s side effects, cost, uses, and more.
Like most drugs, Sotyktu may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Sotyktu may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Sotyktu. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Sotyktu can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Sotyktu’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Sotyktu that have been reported include:
- mild upper respiratory infection, such as a sinus infection
- reactivation of herpes (if you’ve contracted this virus in the past)
- mouth sores
- folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles)
- high level of triglycerides (a kind of fat in the blood)
- high levels of liver enzymes*
- mild allergic reaction†
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* High levels of liver enzymes can be a sign of liver problems or damage. But liver damage wasn’t reported in Sotyktu’s studies.
† To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Sotyktu can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Sotyktu, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Sotyktu that have been reported include:
- increased risk of serious infection, such as pneumonia and COVID-19
- cancer, including lymphoma
- a kind of muscle damage called rhabdomyolysis
- severe allergic reaction*
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually 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 Sotyktu. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
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. A program called Sotyktu 360 Support and other resources are also available. To learn more, call 888-768-9588 or visit the drug’s website.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
Sotyktu treats moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults. Specifically, the drug is prescribed to adults who are considered for treatment with phototherapy (light therapy) or systemic therapy (treatment that affects the whole body).
Sotyktu treats plaque psoriasis by targeting an enzyme (protein) in the body that’s thought to increase inflammation (swelling or damage). Reducing inflammation helps treat plaque psoriasis symptoms.
Note: Sotyktu is an immunosuppressant (a drug that reduces the activity of your immune system). It’s important to note that Sotyktu is not recommended for use with other immunosuppressants.
Taking Sotyktu with other immunosuppressants may reduce your immune system activity too much and raise your risk of infection. This may include serious infections such as COVID-19 or tuberculosis.
About plaque psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common kind of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic (long-term) autoimmune condition. With autoimmune conditions, symptoms are caused by cells in your immune system attacking other cells in your body by mistake.
Plaque psoriasis occurs when your immune cells attack healthy skin cells, causing new skin cells to replace damaged or dead skin cells more quickly than usual. This leads to raised, scaly, thick patches of skin called plaques. Psoriasis plaques may appear anywhere on your body, but they most commonly show up on your:
Usually, psoriasis plaques look:
- purple or brown with gray scales on darker skin
- pink or red with white scales on lighter skin
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Sotyktu.
How does Sotyktu compare with Otezla?
Sotyktu and Otezla belong to different drug groups. Sotyktu is an immunosuppressant (a drug that reduces the activity of the immune system). Otezla belongs to a group of drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
Sotyktu and Otezla also have mostly different side effects. You can learn more about Otezla’s side effects in this article. And to learn about Sotyktu’s side effects, see the “What are Sotyktu’s side effects?” section above.
Your doctor can tell you more about how Sotyktu compares with other drugs for plaque psoriasis, including Otezla.
Can Sotyktu be used for psoriatic arthritis?
Sotyktu is not approved to treat psoriatic arthritis. But doctors may prescribe the drug off-label for this use. (With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.)
If you have questions about possible off-label uses of Sotyktu, including for psoriatic arthritis, talk with your doctor.
Is Sotyktu a biologic?
Yes, Sotyktu is a biologic drug. A biologic is a drug that is made from living cells. Nonbiologic drugs, on the other hand, are made from chemicals.
Biologic drugs are designed to act on a specific target in the body (such as a gene or protein), which helps it be more effective. They may also cause fewer side effects than nonbiologic drugs.
Sotyktu works to treat plaque psoriasis by targeting a specific enzyme (protein) in the body. This reduces inflammation (swelling or damage) and helps relieve plaque psoriasis symptoms.
Biologic drugs are usually more expensive than nonbiologic drugs. It often costs more to research, develop, and manufacture a biologic drug.
To learn more about biologic drugs and how they compare with nonbiologic drugs, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Sotyktu that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Form and strength
Sotyktu comes as a tablet that you swallow. It comes in one strength of 6 milligrams (mg).
For treating plaque psoriasis, the recommended Sotyktu dosage is 6 mg taken once per day.
Questions about Sotyktu’s dosing
Below are some common questions about Sotyktu’s dosing.
- What if I miss a dose of Sotyktu? If you miss a dose of Sotyktu, try and take it as soon as you remember. But if you miss a day, take your next dose as scheduled. You should not take more than one dose of Sotyktu per day.
- Will I need to take Sotyktu long term? Yes. If you and your doctor agree that Sotyktu is safe and working well for you, you’ll likely take the drug long term.
- How long does Sotyktu take to work? Sotyktu begins working with your first dose. But it may take 16 to 24 weeks for the drug to experience the maximum effect and relief of your plaque psoriasis symptoms.
Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.
Before taking Sotyktu, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter kinds. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Sotyktu.
For information about drug-condition interactions, see the “Warnings” section below.
Interactions with drugs or supplements
There currently aren’t any medications or supplements known to interact with Sotyktu. But this doesn’t mean drug interactions with Sotyktu won’t be recognized in the future. For example, new medications may be approved that interact with Sotyktu.
For this reason, you should still tell your doctor and pharmacist about any medications you take besides Sotyktu. This way, they can check for any new interactions during your treatment.
Note: Sotyktu is an immunosuppressant (a drug that reduces the activity of your immune system). It’s important to note that Sotyktu is not recommended for use with other strong immunosuppressants such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune) and mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept). Sotyktu’s use with these other drugs has not been studied.
You should not receive a live vaccine while you’re taking Sotyktu. (Live vaccines contain a weakened form of the virus or bacterium they protect against.)
Receiving a live vaccine while taking Sotyktu could cause you to become sick from the virus contained in the vaccine.
Examples of live vaccines include:
- yellow fever vaccine
- chickenpox vaccine
- measles, mumps, rubella (
- nasal (nose) spray flu vaccine (FluMist)
Before taking Sotyktu, ask your doctor if you’re due for any vaccinations. Your doctor may recommend that you get them before starting Sotyktu treatment.
Sotyktu can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Sotyktu is a good treatment option for you.
Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Sotyktu. Factors to consider include those described below.
Active* infection. If you currently have an infection (or have symptoms of an infection such as rash or fever), let your doctor know before taking Sotyktu. This drug works by reducing the activity of your immune system, which makes it harder to treat infections. Your doctor will likely want to treat any infection before you start taking Sotyktu.
Hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Before starting Sotyktu treatment, let your doctor know if you’ve ever had hepatitis B or hepatitis C. If you have an active hepatitis B or C infection, your doctor will consider an alternative medication rather than prescribe Sotyktu.
Sotyktu may also cause an inactive* virus to reactivate (cause symptoms again). If you’ve had hepatitis B or C before, your doctor will determine whether Sotyktu is safe for you to take.
Tuberculosis. If you’ve ever had tuberculosis (TB) or been in close contact with someone with TB, tell your doctor before taking Sotyktu. Your doctor will check whether you currently have TB. People who have had TB can take Sotyktu as long as the infection has been treated and is no longer active. During treatment with Sotyktu, your doctor will monitor you for symptoms of infection, including TB infection.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Sotyktu or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Sotyktu. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.
* An infection or virus is active if it’s currently causing symptoms. An inactive infection or virus doesn’t cause symptoms.
Sotyktu and alcohol
There’s no known interaction between Sotyktu and alcohol.
But Sotyktu reduces your immune system activity, and alcohol may have this effect as well. Having reduced immune system activity raises your risk of infection. So drinking alcohol while taking Sotyktu can raise your risk of infection even more.
Some people also experience worse psoriasis symptoms after drinking alcohol.
If you drink alcohol and have questions about consuming alcohol while taking Sotyktu, talk with your doctor.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether it’s safe to take Sotyktu while pregnant. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about whether Sotyktu is right for you.
It’s also unknown whether it’s safe to take Sotyktu while breastfeeding. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before taking Sotyktu.
Your doctor will explain how you should take Sotyktu. They’ll also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Sotyktu comes as a tablet that you swallow.
Accessible medication containers and labels
If it’s hard for you to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- contain a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text into audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that offers these options if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Also, if you’re having trouble opening your medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to put Sotyktu in an easy-open container. Your pharmacist may also recommend tools to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
Questions about taking Sotyktu
Below are some common questions about taking Sotyktu.
- Can Sotyktu be chewed, crushed, or split? No, you should not chew, crush, or split Sotyktu tablets. If you’re having trouble swallowing pills, check out these tips or talk with your pharmacist or doctor.
- Should I take Sotyktu with food? You may take Sotyktu with or without food.
- Is there a best time of day to take Sotyktu? No, there isn’t a best time of day to take Sotyktu. Take your dose once per day according to your doctor’s instructions.
Do not take more Sotyktu than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, doing so can lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you take too much Sotyktu
Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Sotyktu. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.
Sotyktu is prescribed to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in certain adults.
If you have questions about taking Sotyktu, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:
- How well does Sotyktu work compared with other treatments for moderate or severe plaque psoriasis?
- If I have side effects from Sotyktu, is there a lower dose I can try?
- Do I need to take special precautions to help prevent infection while taking Sotyktu, such as wearing a mask in public areas?
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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.