Cosentyx

1 What is Cosentyx?

Brand: Cosentyx

Generic: Secukinumab

Brand name: 

Cosentyx

Patients who have moderate to severe Plaque psoriasis and are candidates for Systemic therapy or Phototherapy are usually prescribed Secukinumab. However, this medication is also used in adults who are suffering from active Psoriatic arthritis and active Ankylosing spondylitis. It is a human Interleukin-17A antagonist. It is administered through a subcutaneous route and is only available with a physician’s order. You can buy it in powder or solution form.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using this medication for treatment, you and your doctor should take about the risks and benefits associated with its use. You should also take note of several factors that may influence the efficacy of the drug.

For allergies to this medication, your physician should conduct a test before prescribing it to you. You also need to inform your healthcare team about any allergies to food dyes, preservatives, and/or animals.

There haven’t been enough studies to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of Secukinumab in pediatric patients. The same goes for geriatric patients although no age-related problems have been documented.

This medication is a pregnancy category B for all trimesters. Also, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that using Secukinumab can put nursing mothers and their babies at risk of adverse reactions.

However, if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss your concerns with your primary health care physician.

Secukinumab may interact with other medications, which can potentially put you in harm’s way. Using the following medications is usually not recommended but can be necessary at times. These include:

  • Alfentanil
  • Aminophylline
  • Artemether
  • Carbamazepine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Ergotamine
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Lumefantrine
  • Paclitaxel
  • Phenytoin
  • Quinidine
  • Sirolimus
  • Terfenadine
  • Warfarin, and more.

In such cases, your doctor may adjust the dosages of your medications. You must not receive live vaccinations when you are using secukinumab. You may need to avoid certain foods while you are on this medication. If you have concerns about alcohol consumption and tobacco use during treatment, talk with your physician since these can be detrimental to your health.

Secukinumab can also exacerbate certain medical conditions. This drug can increase your risk of infection. Treatment of tuberculosis infection, both active and inactive, should be done first before using Secukinumab.

This medication should be used with caution in patients with Crohn's disease because it can make the condition worse.

3 Proper Usage

Secukinumab is usually administered by a nurse or a doctor in a medical setting like a hospital or clinic. It is a subcutaneous injection with sites usually in the upper arms, thighs and stomach. However, this medication is also prescribed to patients who are not hospitalized.

 In cases where it is to be administered at home by the patient or a family member, it is important to have your doctor or healthcare professional demonstrate how to administer it using a prefilled syringe like the Sensoready® pen. They will also show you where to best inject the medication.

Keep track of your sites and rotate them every time. Only use a prefilled syringe once. If the medication has particles or discolorations, don’t use it.

Inform your doctor if you are allergic to latex since some Sensoready® pen’s cap is made up of rubber, which may cause allergic reactions.

Your doctor will determine the appropriate dosage and timing. But usually in the treatment of plaque psoriasis in adults, it is 300 mg at weeks 1-4. The schedule is then changed to every month or 4 weeks.

If you miss a dose, call your physician because this medication is supposed to be given on a fixed schedule. Discard expired prefilled syringes.

Store your medication in a safe place, away from children.

4 Precautions To Take

Diligently keep your doctor’s appointments so that your condition is closely monitored and you can avoid or treat any side effect.

Inform your physician if you are experiencing fevers or chills, back or side pain, and/or painful urination.

Before commencing treatment using Secukinumab, you need to get a skin test for tuberculosis.

Call your doctor if you have allergic reactions to the drug or have the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling (of the mouth, face or hands)
  • Skin rashes or itching

As mentioned earlier, this particular medication can put you at risk of contracting new infections. Therefore, you shouldn’t get vaccinated while on treatment.

Consult your doctor before getting vaccinated after using Secukinumab. Avoid contact with people who have just been vaccinated or those with infections. You can wear a face mask if necessary.

Do not take any OTC drugs without your physician’s consent.

5 Potential Side Effects

Watch out for any side effects. There are some that may not need treatment. However, if you experience the following signs and symptoms, call your physician right away.

The most common effects include:

The less common symptoms include:

  • Ear congestion
  • Skin redness
  • Loss of voice
  • Chills
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin rash, hives or itching

This drug may also cause:

Call your healthcare professional if you experience other effects.

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